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Should gender roles (and identities) exist? (See argument for more detail)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 456 times Debate No: 98253
Debate Rounds (3)
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We live at a time riddled with controversy over gender, especially that of gender identity. Gender identity is a huge problem nowadays, with tons of people against the very idea. However, I propose that the root of the problem is gender roles- societal establishments about what men should do and women should do. However, many people do not always conform with these standards, as if they were round holes being forced through square pegs. Perhaps to cope with this stress, some turn to gender identities and gender transformation to create their own sense of belonging.

But if you think about it, what if you widen the holes that these individuals are being forced through? If we were to (hypothetically) get rid of every single stereotype and expectation for males and females, would there not be no need for gender identities? This is why I propose the abolishment of gender roles. Would it be easy to implement? Of course not. However, gender roles are clearly outdated in today's day and age.


I think that gender roles should exist because of the fact that if we didn't have them nobody would know who would do what in a relationship. This just means that there is certain roles that a man and woman should do. It is just tradition that we have as humans to set certain roles for the genders. For example our society has the men as the protectors and the woman as the nurtures. This is a big key in society that we need to keep.

I think that we should have gender roles because of those reasons. The gender roles have been around since we were created and we should keep them as that. We should not try to change what society wants in life.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, let's define the gender roles that we are talking about. Generally, it's common consensus that men are to take the dominant role and females are to take the more docile role.

Men are supposed to be assertive, confident, physically and emotionally strong, and large.
Women are supposed to be submissive, docile, graceful, physically and emotionally "weak", and as short and skinny as possible.

Considering that generally, in almost every civilization since the dawn of the human race, patriarchies were established, one would have to consider why this happened. The answer probably comes down to physical strength- while men tend to accumulate mass in muscle from excess energy, women tend to accumulate fat, leading to women generally from 40-60% as strong as men. In a primitive world, physical strength translated into men doing physically demanding labor such as hunting and farming while women did less physically demanding house chores- raising children, cooking, and sweeping. In a world where primal instincts scream "bigger and stronger means more likeliness of survival", men became generally seen as dominant over women.

However, in today's world, these things do not occur. Most jobs nowadays are no longer require extreme physical ability. The conditions that led to gender roles no longer exist, and have no reason to be maintained.

I would argue that aside from societal teachings that we are taught since the day we were born, there are few differences between men and women. There is a wide variance of personality, intellect, and physical ability within each sex. There are extremely submissive men and very dominant women in the world, and, without considering gender roles, is that necessarily wrong? Besides teachings by society about the how the world should be, there is little psychological difference between men and women. The gender roles that have been established do nothing but create irrelevant guidelines following nature's rules that were present before the establishment of society but have no relevance nowadays. Not only that, they oppress those who do not fit the guidelines, physical and mental.


First of all the gender roles that we have in place do not show the dominance of the male gender it just tells you what society thinks that the male gender should be. This is not saying that the female gender can;'t do the same thing it is only saying what society thinks that should be the way that the male gender should be. In some aspects men are biologically stronger, which makes then feel like protectors. Women are the child-bearers, so they will forever have the care-giving maternal instinct. In other species, the men must prove themselves to be worthy of the women, which is why male peacocks are given brighter feathers: to impress the ladies. If you want to argue that our heightened intelligence separates us from other species, we can still look at the situations of today. Most women still want to be cared for by men and most men still want to care for women. There are exceptions, of course, as there is to everything. Society doesn't have to recommend a boy becomes a nurse; if he wants to become one, however, no one is stopping him.

However, A man needs to realize what his role is in making his spouse "bloom", same with the woman. Roles as in cooking, cleaning, and staying at home, have been directed towards women but not exactly in all cases is this true. Men are capable of cooking and cleaning, as are women for doing car maintenance and working, but when it comes to emotional roles things are pushed into place. The woman is a flower that should be tended by her spouse and taken care of, and the woman should tend to her spouse also. When roles like this are confused and abused, bad things can take place such as domestic abuse, and the relationship may fail. In order to keep a society flourishing, these roles need to be realized and practiced by men and women.

So there fore i think that we should have gender roles for those reasons. I think that the gender roles that were put into place from when we were first made should still be in the world today. We need to have some guidelines to go off of because with out this we wouldn't know our roles in relationships that are made today. There would be more fights and a lot more divorces and breakups if we didn't have gender roles.
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, it is undeniable that gender roles are based around the dominance of man. There are two main types of gender roles: within relations, and outside of them. However, both follow the same general principal: men are to be the strong leaders and protectors and women are to be followers and damsels. This very thought breeds the feeling of dominance in men- how could it not, with men being positioned so much higher up in their own minds? They are the heroes and the kings, the protectors of the weak, etc. etc. etc. This dominance can lead to misinterpretations by some men who buy completely into gender roles- they begin feel in charge of everything and become emperors of their own world, believing they can do whatever they want and women will have to succumb to them. This, rather than lack of gender roles, is what leads to domestic abuse, rape, and sexism. While it is true that females can commit these against men, given dominance that men are taught they must exhibit to be attractive, they are much more likely to commit these acts. I did not intend to bring the issue of sexism into my argument, but my argument encompasses the fact that gender roles are the root of sexism.

As I said and you have shown, outside of relationships, gender roles are becoming less significant. Men are now taking jobs in fields that used to be considered "women's work", and vice versa. However, gender roles outside of relationships are still getting in the way of each being able to take positions that they may be more qualified in. Female leadership roles in large companies are almost nonexistent- less than 18% of board members of Fortune 500 companies are female, and less than 5% are CEOs. Why? Because gender roles dictate otherwise.

I understand that you believe that men should care for women, and this is true. Yes, men want to care for women, and yes, women want to be cared for, but the opposite is also true- women want to care for men too, and men want to be cared for. Each needs to take care of the other, and that is not based on gender roles, it's just based on mutual love and partnership. We don't need gender roles to love and care for one another, it's within our blood and bones. We all want to care for someone and be cared for, and we don't need gender roles to tell us how to do it. A man should be able to love however he wants, as a woman should be able to as well. There should be no reason to look down upon a woman who is assertive in a relationship or a man who is meek, which occurs often in our society today.

Given the insignificant real differences between men and women in that today's society, gender roles hold no place in today's world. Perhaps in days before civilization where the distribution of work by gender for mechanical (muscle) purposes, gender roles were relevant, but in today's society, gender roles have become irrelevant. There is no reason why each should be forced to perform a certain role in society and relationships, and these expectations create more problems than they solve.


I think that Gender roles should exist for these reasons without gender roles there would be confusion and chaos. We have advanced from times when women were not allowed to work, or even go to college, but there are still roles that women and men each have to fulfill. Just because women are allowed to work doesn't mean they can neglect other responsibilities, such as motherhood. The mother is the one to care for the children, have dinners prepared and take care of the household. When the children get older they can help with the responsibilities around the house, however it is not the man's job to cook and clean. The man is supposed to go out and provides the money to buy food and support the family. Gender roles are very important to society. Each and every person born on this earth is born with a specific purpose. Gender roles as males and females are very important as each has a responsibility of its own . Both male and females have some responsibility that specifically only male can do and same is true with females. Without gender roles there will be chaos all around not knowing what to do and what is our responsibility.

I think gender roles are important because they show us our personalities. They teach us lessons and without them, we would be so confused and frazzled that we would look like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off. We wouldn't know where our place is, or the people we are looking for to spend our lives with; and there would also be no direction as to where we all need to go and what we need to do. Both women and men are other capable of achieving most tasks except of course, child birth. However..The majority of women were born with the nature of being nurturing, caring and domestically oriented. Men on the other hand, are more focused on protecting and providing. This of course doesn't mean that the roles shouldn't be switched, or women should stay at home all day. It just explains why this had been the role structure for a long period of time. It's what feels natural, and it's how we were made to be, women were made to care for children give birth etc...And men were build strong to provide for the family. I'm grateful that in America women can choose to be what ever you want to be and still be feminine. Gender roles may exist and are natural but that doesn't mean you can't also have a job an succeed as a person, not just as a woman. Gender roles have been established for a very long period of time. Gender roles are even laid out in the Bible. It is essential that we have these roles because men and women are different plain and simple. Women can do a number of things well that men couldn't at all. Look at child birth, that's a gender role that I don't think is going to change anytime soon. Women are tough enough to be able to give birth to a child. A man could never even fathom that Idea. There are roles men fit that women couldn't do as well as men either. Men are built to do more manual labor as opposed to women. These are just some of the definitive things about men and women that give me the idea that gender roles are very important to humanity and to our society.

Personally, I think traditional gender roles are very, very important because they give each person a specific purpose in the household or society at times. But these traditions vary widely from culture to culture. Arabian women, for example, do not even have the option to leave the house without a man's permission. American women are usually dominant nowadays socially, yet on the bottom politically. Of course, nature indeed intended for women to give birth and to care for their children, and men to defend and provide for their families but at times i believe they need to share those duties. I think that gender roles are important to the society. There needs to be order in the home. Traditionally the man works outside the house and the woman works in the house. I personally agree with this tradition and i plan to practice it in my future marriage, but i also think the role you share in the family should be based on interest.

There for these reasons are why we should have gender roles in our society if we didn't have them nobody would know what to do in our society. Us women were made to be the care takers yes but we also can do other things in our positions. We have to carry the kid for 9 months and we still do as much work that men do. If anything we are the dominant ones to. We can do all the same things that the men do. But we still should have gender roles or else society would be CHAOS.
Debate Round No. 3
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