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Gender roles

A few decades ago the average Hungarian family consisted of a husband and wife and at least three children. The father was the breadwinner and the head of the family, the mother was a housewife and brought up the children. Nowadays most women want to work. Even if they have small children they just send them to a crèche and go back to work as soon as possible. Women are responsible for at least three jobs. Their profession is the first one. Moreover, they have to be excellent mothers as well. Finally, it is also important that they are very good housewives at the same time. It is usually very hard to keep a good balance between the family and the career.

In order to fulfil the gender role for women they must be feminine. To be feminine means being pretty, neat and charming.  For generations, there has been a stereotype that women need to be “perfect”. In order for men to fulfil their gender role, they need to be masculine. To be masculine means being strong, powerful and handsome.

Men are usually good at decorating the flat and repairing household devices. Men can fix a dripping tap or replace light bulbs easily. They symbolise the power in the family, and women feel that their partner can protect her and their children in case of emergency. Men often earn more money than women and work more hours as well. That is why they can’t pay as much attention to their home and family as women.

Traditional women’s jobs are being a nurse, a secretary, a teacher or a dress-maker. Pilots, doctors, fire-fighters and lawyers are mainly men. Nowadays, these roles can be fulfilled by both sex. There isn’t a huge gap between men and women concerning professions.

At home it is ideal if the husband and wife can share household chores. Typical male responsibilities are D.I.Y and looking after the car, while women usually do the ironing, cooking and washing.

All in all, we are humans, but of course there has always been difference between the two genders. For me, the most recognisable difference is the wonder of giving birth to a child. Only women can do this!