In terms o cognitive abilities, personality and leadership, both men and women are alike. As Janet Shibley, men and women are similar in most of the psychological variables from childhood to adulthood. She concluded this after assessing the gender impact on most of the psychological traits such as verbal and nonverbal communication cognitive abilities, aggression, self-esteem, leadership motor behaviors and moral reasoning (American Psychological Association). However, the society has different expectations for both men and women. The society expects men to be fixers, unfeeling, obedient and soldierly.
From a young age, young boys are led to believe in the masculine ideal. This leds them to believing that women are a nuisance and should not be respected. As sociologists say, people are a product of their own society. First, the society expects a man to take up serious careers such as engineering as opposed to careers such as writing. A man is expected to be a good provider for his family. This to some extent belittles women. Women can also provide for their families. The society expects the man to make money and when things go wrong, the man is blamed. As Paul Theroux’s says, “It is normal in America for a man to be dismissive or even somewhat apologetic about being a writer” (Paul 2). Writing is considered feminine as opposed to manly. It is not considered masculine enough to bring in the much-needed money.
A man is expected to soldiery. This means that men should be strong, big, muscular and powerful than women. This is displayed everywhere in our society from TVs, videogames, movies, and advertisements. However, this is something men have little control over. Being masculine depends with ones natural build. This is a very narrow and rigid expectation. It is actually unachievable for most of the men in the society and this makes them feel like they have lost a game, which was rigged in the first place.
The society expects a man to have no feelings. It is common to hear the phrase “be a man” if a man happens to portray some feelings. It is expected that men are stronger than any feelings. Ever seen a man cry in public, not everybody takes it positively. It is considered as a show of weakness. The young boys are led to believe that a man does not cry as if crying is an act, which can be done whenever one feels like. Emotions are real, they are inborn and no one can shut them out. Men are not stones, they have nerves and a mind to perceive and develop feelings.
Men are viewed as fixers. They are supposed to be able to fix everything from a flat tire to a broken door. The society expects men to have some inborn ability to fix everything especially mechanical things. Look at it from this perspective; young boys learn how to fix things from their fathers or older brothers (Paul 3). Because they have learnt, they can be able to fix things. The society then perceives that they have an inborn ability to fix things and then translates this to mean that all men should have that ability.
The society in general expects the man to be better than the woman. Men are supposed to have serious careers to bring in more money to be able to take care of their families. The whole idea of the masculinity ideal is to belittle women. It makes the men view the women as a mystery waiting to be solved. It is common to hear a man say that women are hard to understand.
The society has bestowed unrealistic expectations on men, which cause many difficulties to men. Men just like women are dynamic and the old gender roles cannot leave to be expected of men of this new generation. All people are equal regardless of their gender. What matters are ones physical capabilities and not the cognitive abilities. (652 words)
American Psychological Association. “Men and Women: No Big Difference.” American Psychological Association. 20 Oct. 2005. Web. 23 Mar. 2016. <http://www.apa.org/research/action/difference.aspx>.
Paul Theroux. Sunrise with Seamonsters. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
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