“What can’t women do?” by Tatiana Herman
Gender roles have been fairly set throughout the centuries except for the past few decades. Men have traditionally grown wings while women have been encouraged to grow roots. Men have been and often still are, thought to be the providers of the household with a firm, steady hand, and women the sensitive nurturers. Some theorists feel that gender roles are produced by the culture in which they’re found.
The following clips are from the same episode of the TV series “Friends” and both show how culture has changed and re-shaped perspectives on gender roles in today’s American culture.
watch to 2:35: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZhPcNzzrMA
watch from 1:34 to 2:13: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc1xHircIKc
Both of these clips show two ways in which culture has influenced gender roles. First, you can see how Ross and Joey are influenced by the traditional view that men don’t nurture and rear children the way women do. They begin saying that a man wanting to nanny is as ludicrous as a woman wanting to… They don’t finish the sentence as Rachel and Monica quickly react to their statements and demand to know what a woman can’t do that a man can. They scramble as they realize they are about to dig a hole for themselves. These videos display the mentality still prevalent that while women are essentially allowed to break free of traditional roles, men are still largely reined in, and that culture greatly influences gender roles.