Do conventional gender roles still exist in modern day relationships?

Wow. This is probably the first time my blurb title has ever precisely provided a complete meaning of the question without any further explanation needed on my part.

But that doesn’t save you from me getting wordy and additionally descriptive.

Perhaps a better question would actually be if the gender roles still exist, and if they do (which I’m sure is the case in some relationships) does it really matter?

It’s a new age. This isn’t the era of ‘Mad Men’. Commercials for laundry soap are being marked towards the Stay-at-Home-Dad. Being able to cook has become “cool”. Women going hunting has become “hot”. Are there still some expectations for us to maintain some gender-oriented items despite them being out-of-date?

So, if you’re looking for a relationship how much of a Man’s Man are you looking for. How much of a Girly Girl is being enough?

Do you expect your boyfriend/husband/boyfriend to prepare dinner when you’re working late? Do you mind that your wife/girlfriend can clean your clock (and wallet) at poker?

How about when courting? Does it really matter these days who asks who out? Who makes the first call? Who approaches whom? *again remember we are trying to throw away all conventionality*

8 thoughts on “Do conventional gender roles still exist in modern day relationships?

  1. Liastim says:

    [As others have stated, much of what you’re comfortable with is personal choice and situation. Whatever two people are happy with works!

    In my experience and when I’ve spoken to others about this subject (it’s something I’ve thought a bit about myself) the general consensus seems to be something along the lines of “gender roles don’t really matter anymore except that they kind of do.”

    For example, using typical stereotypes of gender roles: I’ve spoken to men who find that a woman who knows how to cook, and is happy to for her partner, to be extremely attractive trait and others who don’t state it’s important at all. On the other side I’ve spoken with women who openly express irritation at the lack of “masculinity” exhibited in men these days, such as the ability to be handy around the house for one. Whether we express it out loud or not, these things still matter quite a bit to some people.

    When it comes to dating, I’m happy to approach and be approached. I find a woman who makes the first move to be very attractive. Dunno, something about it is sexy!

  2. Happy Pants says:

    [I think a lot of it depends on where you live and how you grew up, but I do think that in general, those conventional roles do still exist. Personally, I’m not a fan and prefer relationships to be “equal”, but that’s kind of a Utopian ideal, i.e. great in theory, but almost impossible in practice. I don’t necessarily need a man to provide for me, or to stand up for me, or to open every door for me, but as my SO, he should want to do all those things for me, and I for him. I don’t believe I should be expected to have dinner on the table, or do the laundry, or look hot all the time, but I want to do all those things for the person I love, and he should too.

    And even if those roles to really exist, I don’t think it matters as long as both parties are cool with it. Again, I actually like being domestic, but I can’t stand the idea that I’m expected to be just because I’m a woman. Conversely, I don’t expect my partner to be “manly” and swagger around with a six-shooter on his hip and a cigar in his mouth, but I do expect him to be confident and sure of himself, and I don’t consider those things to be exclusively masculine.

    As for the courting aspect, I think it’s all cool. I’ve asked guys out on numerous occasions, with varying degrees of success, just how I suspect a lot of guys ask out numerous girls with varying degrees of success. If you’re interested, you call—it doesn’t really matter what kind of plumbing you have.

  3. EricaSwagger says:

    [I think this answer really depends a lot on the relationship, and the people in the relationship.
    Big picture, there are things at which men and women truly will never be “equal.” I’m very irritated by people who think this isn’t true. It’s just science, guys.

    But specific gender roles in relationships, to me, actually depend on the specific task.
    I don’t want to be the one in the relationship who kills spiders, takes out the garbage, mows the lawn, etc. The guy can have that.
    I don’t like to see my boyfriend folding laundry. Something about it bugs me. Not sure if it’s because he doesn’t fold things “right” or if it’s because I just don’t feel like it’s a task worth his time/effort. But while we’re together he’ll never fold a single shirt.

    On the flip side… I genuinely enjoy fixing things around the house. And I’d far prefer it if he cooked every night. But this is our particular situation.

    For dating… Yeah, I do expect the guy to pay for the first few dates. I mean, if I personally suggested he go to a fashion show with me or my niece’s beauty pageant, I’d probably buy the tickets. But for the most part, I’m old fashioned. Guy pays. Now that I’m in a relationship, we split. But even still, I hate paying, and my boyfriend hates when I pay. I just do it to be practical and fair.

    And finally, I have always lived my life by the rule “If he wants to talk to me, he’ll talk to me.” If a guy doesn’t have the balls to come up and buy me a drink (or whatever) then he’s not the type of pansy ass guy I want to date anyway. I don’t approach guys first, ever. Because the type of guy I want isn’t the type of guy who likes girls that approach them first.

  4. AKchic says:

    [I do think this all depends on the individual. I grew up with a mother who very much tried to instill a “traditional” sense within us girls. That the man should pay, the man should be a gentleman, the man should do “this and that” and blah blah blah. Well… my sister has a distorted view of the world (which I won’t get into). Me, personally, I’ve never been one to let someone else just take the lead. I tried with my 1st husband, but he was an abusive jerk to begin with and his idea of male chivalry was to dominate and belittle anyone with a differing opinion.

    My 2nd husband was more into traditional gender roles, but his idea of cleaning the house was taking out the trash once a week and he needed heaps of praise for doing that much, and I worked just as many hours outside of the house as he did and he expected me to keep the house spotless and watch 3 kids on top of a 40 hour work week and 20 hours of school. His 35 hours a week of work didn’t compare. Not when I took on a second job. When I cut back after my car accident, he couldn’t figure out why things were slacking (note that our youngest wasn’t even 6 months when I had the accident) – I nearly buried him in the back yard.

    While my mom was teaching my sister and I to depend on men (like she’d been raised), my grandpa had taught me that he was wrong for raising my mother the way he did, and taught me to be independent and strong. I am glad he did. Yes, things have changed. My current SO stays home most of the time and watches the kids. No, he can’t cook for shit, even with me teaching him. His laundry skills leave a lot to be desired, but he can do the majority of it. I’ll fold, I’ll do my delicates. He can clean the basics. If I want an in-depth, spotless clean, well… I will probably have to do it myself. He’ll mow the lawn, but I have to get on everyone to really shovel the walkway in the winter and to put down ice melt.

    Does it matter? No, not really. I can do it myself should I choose to. I’m happy he can program the tv (something I can’t do). He’s happier to let me tinker with the truck (something he can’t do) and let me work on the big stuff in the house (put together the furniture, work on the washer/dryer, fix the broken toys) and I’m happy to turn over a non-functioning computer to him. He lets me blow shit up and I let him play video games. He lets me geek out and I let him wear the same stuff my 12 year old wears (granted, I wear jeans, t-shirts and flannel too).

  5. Brandon Sklar says:

    [I certainly do think that they still exist, although hopefully not in another generation or two. But I think to deny their existence entirely in this day in age is a little foolish. Take the dating world for example. At least in my experience, men are still the aggressors in almost every instance (and has anyone honestly ever heard of a girl getting down on a knee and proposing to a man?). Although, I am beginning to hear rumors through the grapevine that women are growing bolder, which is fantastic news for a lazy, single male such as myself. But society still pressures me to pay for every date’s dinner to maintain some sort of macho mystique for myself. Society still pressures me to approach the women I like rather than wait and be approached by them. Society still pressures me that I should only date women shorter than me.

    That being said, of course it is all silly nonsense. Men are from Mars and women from Venus is total baloney. The only reason why this illusion seems true is due to our culture having us mask our true natures and put up stereotypical masks. Once this fraudulent layer is broken down, I have found that the only general differences one could possibly state with affirmation are all biological. The only reason why men overwhelmingly like Starcraft and robots and women like pinterest and TV channels like Lifetime and Oxygen (bleh) is due to society driving us towards those things since our birth. But you know what? I freaking love The Holiday and The Lakehouse and I would totally be alright with a world where all that existed other than myself were cute puppies and kittens in which I could cuddle with until the end of days. And I would hedge a bet that the people who share my aforementioned opinions would be equally dispersed among XY and XX.

    So I do not exactly remember what letter our generation is being labelled… Generation Z? Q? I dunno, but whatever it is, it really should be labelled Generation T, because we are by far the most Tolerant group of homo sapiens to have graced this earth, despite what CNN and FOXNEWS insists is not true. I think we have reached a turning point in regards to separating biological differences from societal differences. For me personally? I would LOVE for my eventual spouse to make vast amounts of more money than me. That would not bother me one bit. Hell, I would gladly pass on the “top breadwinner” pressure to her… I may even consider myself selfish for doing so.

    However… You bet your ass I am paying for all my first dates for the rest of my life, always mowing the lawn, and allowing no being with more estrogen than me to touch my grill.

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [There are many things that I do like about this generation. To even begin to state them all here would be a waste of your time. But one thing that I do like is that we are able to determine what “gender roles” work for us in our own unique circumstances. Back in the day, if you were a woman, you did all the domestic duties. And if you were a man, you worked outside the home. Today, things can remain like that, or, if you prefer, they can be reversed or modified. This is the beauty of our generation. For me, I appreciate an empowered woman who can work outside the home, kick butt in athletics and still come home and make a home-cooked meal and clean the house. In this sense, we can have it all. I do appreciate certain gender roles, but they aren’t always set in stone. I like to tend to the domestic duties and my husband does the “manly” stuff like taking out the trash, doing yardwork, working on the cars, etc. But hey, it’s 2012. Sometimes I come home and he is making dinner. In which case…I’m taking out the trash!!

  7. MargieCharles says:

    [I’ll echo everyone else who said that it really just depends on the couple. I actually read this question and was prepared to give examples about how my boyfriend and I adhere to or break the traditional roles, but I’m having trouble coming up with anything. I guess we’re both just in the area of that middle ground. We approach most things equally. He may be more likely to carry in the heaviest grocery bags and I may be more likely to do more dishes, but that’s mostly because he has much better upper body strength and sucks at cleaning.

    But if someone adheres to the gender roles more stereotypically, I don’t think that’s a problem. I think it becomes a problem when someone feels like that’s all they can do and what they *have* to do, or that they’re doing with the mindset that it is their gender’s role.

  8. resullins says:

    [This is an incredibly good question. Mostly because my BF commented on this just the other day. Immediately after helping him improve his welding skills and feeding my pet snake, I went in the kitchen and baked an apple pie.

    I think the lines are getting blurrier, but there are still lines. I still do the majority of the cleaning, and Q takes out the trash and mows the lawn. It’s not that either of us can’t do the other things, it’s just that’s where we’re comfortable.

    I think the lines will be even more faded in another generation or two, but we’re still only one generation removed from June Cleaver and advertisements for the nuclear family.

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