Gender and females are often times defined by

Gender socialization and gender roles have always existed in society. When analyzing gender roles and their coming of age in the stories “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro and “A&P” by John Updike, they are not always equal or consistent when comparing cultures; however, the expectations for males and females are often times defined by the community they reside in. Another way gender stereotypes are produced is through media such as television shows and movies. Media tends to have two kinds of gender tropes that show the ideal types of characteristics each gender is supposed to have. Masculinity tropes consist of having expectations of what a man should be, such as brave and diligent, and that men who have these features are considered real men. Femininity tropes are about women expecting to perform a certain way and having traits such as beauty and grace. These tropes set an “ideal” type of way that men and women should carry themselves.In Alice Munro’s short story, “Boys and Girls”, the community is in a small farm/ village and the story was published in between 1890-1895 so back then gender roles were a fundamental part of society. It takes place at a time where there was no such thing as equality. Woman had expectations such as being housewives and taking care of the kids. Men had expectations to be strong, powerful, leading and controlling. The narrator is forced to doing jobs she wasn’t into doing such as things associated with woman work.In “Boys and Girls”, parents expect their children to grow into the gender roles by the sex that was assigned to them. This is seen throughout the story in many occasions such as when the narrator hears her mother talking to her father and says, “I heard my mother saying, ‘Wait till Laird get a little bigger, then you’ll have real help’or ‘And then I can use her more in the house.'” Another time this gender role assignment was obvious was when her grandmother comes to visit and tells her all the things girls aren’t supposed to do, and when she is roughhousing with her little brother and the farmhand, Henry Bailey tells her, “that there Laird’s gonna show you, one of these days.” While the narrator disagrees with the adults and tries not to respect the rules to their expectations, at the end of the story both she and her brother end up conforming to their expected gender roles. Throughout the story, the different roles and expectations placed on men and women are given the spotlight and the two children reaching maturity is described in a way that can be related to many women looking back on their own childhood. The narrator also leaves out the word child and began on identifying a new role as a young woman.In the John Updike short story, “A&P”, the community is the A&P grocery store and Sammy sees the customers as sheep or followers. The way Sammy was eyeballing the three girls and checking them out non stop gave a little hint of how men were. Then when Sammy tried becoming a protector for the girls but they left not needing it he was left without a job and showed that women weren’t being shown as the weak ones. The community for the women has grown stronger and that they can handle problems on their own.In the short story, “A&P”, Sammy the clerk’s first time looking at those three young women in bathing suits to his release of strong emotion and following his act of giving up a position, Sammy was not able to separate reason from his attractions to them. Sammy first makes the comment, “The longer her neck was, the more of her there was,” and later says, “From the third slot I look straight up this aisle to the meat counter, and I watched them all the way”. After a while of being needy of the sight of the beautiful girls, Sammy gave in and stood up for them to the manager of the store. Sammy made no effort to wisely think about what he was doing, instead, he acted on, tried to be a macho man but realized the women weren’t there to give him recognition.  People may argue that women are nurturers and men are protectors. If males and females move from the roles that was given to them then we will end up with a society that is chaotic and that there is a reason why males are the head of the family and women are the supporters of the males but I disagree. Gender roles can limit people to do so much in life but our society is better off when recognizing men and women as equals. Both genders have slowly taken over each others positions and proved their place in the world by setting roles for themselves and choosing their own path. In my opinion, I don’t think anyone benefits from having this particularly gendered initiation into society. In gender roles they make women seem weak and only good for housework and looking pretty, when in reality they are hard working and don’t always look their best. People categorize men as dominant and superior and women are supporters. Men are very supportive and hard working in reality. Nowadays a woman can do any job a man can and a man can do any job a woman can do. I think some roles are important but gender roles are not because they make everyone look bad when it would be easier to just share the roles and cooperate.


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