From Tradition to Transformation: The Roles of Men and Women in Partnerships

From Tradition to Transformation: The Roles  of Men and Women in Partnerships


Today’s relationship dynamics are quite dissimilar to those that existed a century earlier. Men and women are not the only ones changing over the course of time or over the course of the relationship: so do their roles. The social relations which used to be normal are no longer seen as normal in today’s cultures of inequality. 

Historical Perspective: Traditional Gender Roles

Traditionally, expectations of men and women in relationships have been distinct and had their primary focus in family. In most of the households, the man was the one who assumed the role of the provider, ranging from fishing to hunting to acting as a trader. While men concentrated in formal employment and income earning activities women assumed the responsibilities of managing households and children. What is important to note is that this division of labor was not only functional, but it was also couched in culture. 

As for the relations between these roles, they are the following in many societies: these roles were clearly distinct, fixed and regarded as innate. Male sexuality was associated with the capacity for power and dominance and men were considered more capable of surviving in the sphere of work and politics. Women were portrayed as caregivers, loving and obeying their husbands; their place was in the home or in the kitchen.

The Winds of Change: Mid-20th Century Shifts

The middle of the twentieth century witnessed some radical transformations as the gender conventionary barriers were broken. Change of women’s role in society was one of the most significant prerequisites for gender roles transformation, and the issue was addressed by the feminist movements of the 1960 and the 1970s. With the coming of this period women called for liberation and as such they demanded the right to work like their male counterparts and be able to practice a profession. 

For men, change was also noticeable, as they stepped to a new level of human development. They began to engage in child care and other domestic activities such as cooking and cleaning.

The Modern Era: Fluid and Flexible Roles

In today’s world, the conventional roles of man and woman are quite blurred compared to decades ago. The roles that used to be more compartmentalized between male and female have started to merge softening the traditional gender divide. A new trend sees most partners splitting expenses and household chores according to their proclivities without necessarily referring to cultural norms.

The Impact of Technology and Social Media

Modern technology has also had its impact on the change of gender roles. Social media platforms are the technological inventions that bring a new way for communication and freedom of expression. The couple has received opportunities to come across different views and outlooks in the world, which forces them to change their views and become more progressive.

Social networks also can be used for sharing stories and concerns as for promoting advocacy. 

The Bottom Line

Gender roles in relationships is not an event that has a knock and done effect but rather a process. This is to mean that as year’s advance and the social structure is revised, then so do the relationships between the partners. One has to keep abreast and most importantly be receptive to change whenever it is for the better with the society improving from one that demeans women to one that respects them.

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