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Igbo vs. American Gender Roles

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Grace Gautereaux

on 17 March 2014

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Transcript of Igbo vs. American Gender Roles

The dominant role for women is to be an honorable bride, a submissive wife, and the bearer of many children.
Women have been gaining increasing opportunities as gender roles are challenged. Are able to get an education and enter the work force.
Igbo vs American Culture
Gender Roles
Men have more responsibilities in the home and in caring for the children.
Everything from work to food is gendered
Women can vote, and are considered equal to men.
Most men—but not all—do the home and auto repairs.
"His mother and sisters worked hard enough, but they grew women's crops, like cocoa yams, beans and cassava." (Pg. 22-23)
Women get married later and give birth later in life
Protested for political power and equality
Generally go into jobs that don't require large spans of hard labor
Yam represents manliness and is considered "King of Crops"
Gender role is generally defined as a set of attitudes, behaviors, and self-presentation methods ascribed to members of a certain biological sex.
Basic Gender
Women are often expected to be passive and submissive
Domestic Behavior-
Caring for children is generally associated with or is thought to be best done by women.
Physical Appearance-

Women are married in their later years of adolescence and give birth soon after
Physical abuse is not a serious crime, or is not judged very harshly.
Physical abuse is punished more severely.
Women are generally expected to act a certain way in a relationship (generally passive, as stated previously)
Women tend to take care of children more than men.
Are able to take a more dominant role in relationships.
Are more passive in relationships
Main religion has female deities
Main religion has only male deity
Physical appearance — For example, women are expected to be small and graceful
Women are generally associated with certain jobs. (In our culture, think secretary. In their culture, think cassava farmer)
Men plant, farm, and harvest yams.
Take much pride in being warriors or defenders of their tribe/village
Build their own huts or
Have same jobs as women
Basic Gender

Personality —
Men are usually expected to be self confident and aggressive
Domestic behaviors —

For example, household repairs are often considered best done by men.

Physical appearance —

For example, men are expected to be tall and broad-shouldered.

Occupations —

For example, until very recently most doctors and construction workers were usually men.

Men are more likely to work outside the home
Generally have a “no sissy stuff” mentality

The boy is brought up to see himself as superior to the girls.

A boy’s father did everything from scolding to severe beating to ensure that he removes any trace of womanish trait from his son.

Masculine stories of violence and bloodshed are told so as to toughen them and prepare them for their future roles as the protector, guardian and head of their families.

Men have more responsibilities in the home and in caring for the children.
Changes and variety in male role in family - single or married, externally employed or stay-at-home, adoptive or step-parent, gay or straight.
The majority of men now rank having free time with family as one of the most important factors in choosing their employment.
Heroic acts have a long tradition as part of manhood.
Strive for achievement and success, focus on competition
Author, Unknown. "The Status of Women and Girls." — IWPR. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Cauchon, Dennis. "An American Role-reversal: Women." USA Today. Gannett, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Barksdale, Martha. "How Are Gender Roles in Society Changing? - Curiosity." Curiosity. Discover, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Things Fall Apart Theme of Gender." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Jan. 2014
Ozumba, Goddy. "Gender-Sensitivity In Igbo Culture: A Philosophical Re-appraisal." Goddy Ozumba :. N.p., Summer 2005. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
"Psychology of Men » Male Gender Role." Psychology of Men » Male Gender Role. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Planned Parenthood. "Gender & Gender Identity." Gender Identity. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
"Evolving Gender Roles Explored at Anne Roe Lecture." Harvard Graduate School of Education. Harvard, 24 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Eliman, Barbara, and Morris Taggart. "CHANGING GENDER NORMS." CHANGING GENDER NORMS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor, 1994. Print.
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