Monday, June 27, 2011

Gender Roles in Sexual Orientaion

Monday, June 27, 2011
By: Rosalia Gentile

   Gender roles are the basic assignments of characteristics each sex is expected to live by. Girls are expected to be sensitive ,understanding, nurturing and dress feminine. For boys, they want to be perceived as tough, dominant, and strong.  These attributes are expected of one another in heterosexual relationships. People say negative things about men who take care of a household as his primary priority. If a man cooks, cleans, and stays home with children, he is perceived as weak. Some people would even say" That guy is defiantly the woman in the relationship." They may say he is ''whipped". It is not expected for a women to take the lead  financially as the household provider.
  I find it disappointing that after all women have fought for , we still are plagued with the traditional stay-at-home mom/wife expectations in the home. As if we were born with a mop on hand!
   Okay, now take gay and lesbian couples. What are the role expectations in those relationships? There has to be some boundary between which partner contributes to the household. Gay men are still men and lesbian women ,women. The answer is they too are judged unequally, by which characteristics they portray.
    Gay men are usually all perceived as overly feminine ,girly, flaky, and flamboyant. This could not be any more un-true. A gay man can obtain the same masculine characteristics as any straight man. He could be just as courageous and strong.
I have had many homosexual friends throughout my life. I  have found that they too struggle with expected roles within there partnerships. You always hear people say  ''So which one of you is the women ?''  that means the male that is more sensitive and  compassionate over dominant and in control is the ''women''. This creates an inequality even between two people with the same sex. The male with  women like qualities is treated less favorable. Two reasons one for attaining so called weaker characteristics and the other for being a man being this way.
     Of course inequality exists significantly between men and women. But if you are a gay feminine male, social and economic advancement will be the hardest of that group to achieve . A  gay friend of mine told me once he and his partner once applied to the same job. His partner was hired. Later on he came to find that he wasn't chosen because he was ''too gay''. That meant that they didn't care that the two men were gay, it was that the gay male that portrayed himself as a man was taken into consideration because he was living up to his gender expectations. I have another example with the same concept . I have straight male friends as well, and one time one of them introduced me to another friend of his, the guy was gay. My friend said ''it's okay to hang out with him because he didn't act gay and that other people couldn't really tell.'' I thought that was terrible. So if it was obvious than I guess they wouldn't be friends.
   You see gender roles in gay couples overdramatized in the media all the time. They always portray them as one the ''guy'' and the other the "lady''.

A scene from the popular movie Sex and the city 2. Both these men are gay however it is obviously portrayed here which one is the ''man''. Also pay attention to some of the associations  people make with this ''gay'' wedding. Anybody’s wedding could be that extravagant!
Another, both gay but the guy with the stroller is the '''women'' of the two.

This picture portrays the men as built ,strong men. Qualities every straight man wants to be recognized for. However all of these men in this picture are gay. Sorry ladies! :)

People are way to quick to judge and make assumptions. Of course everyone wants to be treated equal and as far as we have come to that , we still have alot of work to do to change this shallow world. In this day, people have many characteristics that can be associated with either male or female sex. I feel that the only way to attain equality is to distribute these characteristics throughout your relationships equally. Regardless if it's the man's job or not . Pitch in , cooperate. It couldn't hurt.

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