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Happily Ever After Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

Happily Ever After
How important is the gender role in a happy marriage? Does the man have to be the bread winner and financial supporter? Does the woman have to keep the house and take care of the children for the marriage to succeed? Research has shown that “it is essential for both members of the couple to understand the gender role expectations of themselves and their partners throughout the course of the marriage” (Gender). This would indicate that even if the roles are not traditional, gender roles do play an important part in marriage. This might explain the fact that in the late 70‘s we experienced our highest percentage of divorce.(Hughes). At this time gender roles were ...view middle of the document...

The late 1960’s started the Women's Movement, and gained full momentum by 1970. “For example, the membership in NOW (National Organization for Women), one of the largest and most mainstream organizations of the Women’s Movement, increased it’s numbers from 1,200 in 1967 to 48,000 in 1970” ( Douglas). The movement, while liberating women, angered men and muddled the roles in the family. This helped contribute to the unsuccessful marriages which peaked in the late 1970’s. Media had it’s part it this as well. Television shows like ‘The Bionic Woman,’ ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ and ‘Charlie’s Angles,’ all featured women in liberating roles. While these shows depicted women braking out of the traditional subservient role, they still hold underlying messages. “In all three of these shows the women are given their power by men, and in turn, are controlled by them” ( Douglas). These shows imply that women cannot control their own lives. “Television, even today is far from a stage where both male and female characters are shown in equality. While this equality is a dream of many women and men, it will only become reality when we all work together to understand the messages and motivation in the world of television” (Douglas).
With the change in media and the Women’s Movement, women started standing up for their rights, breaking out of their gender roles, and trying to find themselves. This disrupted the household and befuddled some men. Women entering the work force, while still taking care of the children and balancing all the chores at home, along with having dinner ready for the family, put additional strains on the marriage. After women entered the workforce, they became more aware of gender inequality. “ As wives become less traditional in outlook, they may perceive that they are disadvantaged or exploited and thus become less happy with their marriages” (Amato). Thus with the gender roles mixed up and obscured, in many cases divorce was emanate.
Today we are seeing a different wave of influence through the media.“The New Adventures of Old Christine” about a single working mother, the dysfunctional family of “Malcolm in the Middle,” and just recently “Modern Family” which follow three very different but intertwined families. These shows all give a different view of how family life should be acted out. One thing is clear, their roles in the family are defined.

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