Traditional gender roles changing for women

by SARA MARSHALL//Photo Editor

Since childhood, women are encouraged by society to allow a man to take care of them.

I don’t believe this should be what we are taught, or how we should think.

Throughout my entire life, someone has said, at one time or another, what is considered gentlemanly in our close-minded society. Men are constantly expected to pay the check after a date, always make the decisions and open doors. On the other hand, women are always encouraged to look presentable and beautiful, no matter what kind of day they are having.

I believe women can have just as much power in a relationship as men. It should be commonplace by now for a woman to be able to pay for her own meals, or drive her and her significant other to and from places, without constant ridicule or negative comments from friends or onlookers.

Women are fully capable of being independent, being their own person. Women are not helpless in adult matters, especially while in a relationship. It’s the 21st century, and people have the full capability of being independent.

Woman carries the world.
Woman carries the world.

Though doing various gentlemanly things every once in a while are greatly appreciated, feeling the requirement of a man to make the first move or take care of us is such a crippling thought.

I believe the act of the man paying the tab during a date began during a time when women did not often work, and men were the ones with all the money. Today, women and men work in somewhat equal manners, even if it’s not equal pay. But this proves that women are indeed capable of paying their own way during a date, especially when it’s date 10 or 12.

I believe in the concept of always splitting the bill, which is quickly becoming practice in many adolescent relationships, since both know how expensive life is.

Also, decision-making does not always have to fall on to the guy in the relationship. I know for a fact women have a specific place in mind when the question “Where do you want to eat?” arises. Feeling the need to hold back your opinion should not be the case. Women should gladly give their input, avoiding the cliché 20-minute battle of “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” These battles typically result in one or more angry people and a rushed decision neither party wanted.

Lastly, the idea that women should always be presented as put-together and picturesque for their significant other is ridiculous. For the first or second date, I believe you should put a little extra effort into presenting yourself. But when you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, you shouldn’t feel the pressure to always look perfect. At that point, they should be in a relationship for you, not your looks.

I feel that traditional gender roles in a relationship should not exist. Gentlemanly acts should be a treat, not constant, and women should be allowed to pay their own way, to be independent and present themselves the way they want as often as they wish.

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