Have you noticed a shift in gender roles among today’s youth? Are more young people embracing the idea that men should take on household chores, work, and pay the bills, while women should take it easy? Do you think enforcing gender roles is sexist or necessary? Let’s talk about it…

Barbara Gendron-Greene: “This is great. Some women want to be warriors. Some men enjoy the gentle side of life. It may be convenient to divide everyone into two stereotypical genders, but it’s not very accurate. Humans have the tendency to be individuals. This applies to ordinary straight people. You can be 100% heterosexual but be a fan of cooking and fashion instead of sports. For the species to survive in the past, gender roles were more necessary. Today people have the luxury of trying lots of roles before they settle down. Middle and old age gives us a chance to be freer and less afraid of looking silly. In the real world, though, someone has to earn a living and someone has to cook supper. All adults have to do things they don’t love some of the time. Find a partner who is willing to be flexible and then do as you both please.”

Kavooss Shamloo: “I think this generation is more confused about their own gender rather than their gender roles to begin with!”

Adam Smith: “ It is sexist and unnecessary. It’s also so pervasive that you don’t even realize you’re playing into it by labeling your own interests as ‘feminine.’ You do you, man. Be in touch with your emotions, smell flowers, dress in pretty colors, and stop worrying if those things are masculine or feminine. They are just enjoyable things, that’s all.”

Anonymous: “Why, exactly, does one person or the other have to be one thing or the other? Where does this idea come from? Why is it tied to gender? I thought relationships were supposed to be a partnership. A partnership generally tends toward an equitable distribution of tasks, doesn’t it? What’s WRONG with liking to be touched? We’re wired to it from birth. Infants that aren’t touched enough sicken and die. Why shouldn’t adults need to be touched? What makes something “feminine” other than someone else’s opinion of the same? Wouldn’t it be better to look at “give and take,” in the case of protection/provider/whatever, or ‘I like this,’ in the case of what you like/don’t like? If it’s a major compatibility problem with your partner, then discuss it or decide you’re not right for each other. If it’s ‘what would other people think,’ either limit yourself or ignore them. My ex and I used to take turns at paying and that seemed to work okay for us. I always enjoyed being held by her, in fact I wished it would occur more often. She liked to be held by me. I don’t see how either of us was more “dominant” in the end. She tended to drive, she seemed to prefer it and I was okay with that. She was a better cook than I was and I let her. I could fix her computer and assemble her furniture. We played video games together. Find a partner and drop the presupposition and find what works for both of you.”

Ashwin Dollar: “ Gender roles aren’t a necessity though some are dictated by biology (for the foreseeable future it’s unlikely men can get pregnant or that women a whole lot of women would be as good a fit for lifting heavy objects or people over distances) and it’s difficult to do much to change it. Being a protector isn’t really a role I necessarily want to take on either and while I wouldn’t be comfortable being dependent on a wife’s salary I think I’d have said exactly the same if I was female about a husband’s salary. In previous generations and in more traditional circles you might encounter some negativity but in general most people will respect your decisions.”

Alice Thompson: “Because men should take care of women. And women should take care of men. Equals. Equals in loving and caring for each other.”

Drake Takin: “The biggest double standard you’ll ever get is that when women act like men, they’re applauded and even encouraged. When men act like women, they’re chastised and ridiculed for it.This attitude harms both sides in different ways.”

Greg Willborn: “The biggest double standard between men and women is the way women get away with all the verbal and emotionally abusive things they do to men. Men are expected to just take it or believe we deserved it. Women can be brutal. Especially when it comes to a man’s kids. When the hell did a woman’s emotional well being become more important than a mans? Men get mocked, antagonized, hit where it hurts repeatedly by a woman and the second he lashes out he’s labeled an abuser. The woman is coddled and believed. Even after being known as a liar. Women are not special. I’m sorry they’re really not.”

Dawn MacGregor: “When you tell someone to ‘man up’, the implication is that they are behaving in a feminine way, and that behaving in that feminine way is somehow undesirable. It is often meant as a rebuke, or an insult. There is no universal male or female behavior. Both sexes are capable of feeling fear, disgust, confusion, or many other feelings that are less than desirable in a given situation. Feelings that they need to get over and move on. Hence I think “suck it up” is more appropriate for both (or non-binary) genders.”

Modi Ramos: “They actually annoy me greatly. There is no reason why a woman can’t be the breadwinner and a woman can’t be the hustler. Being a man doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to be the more successful one. When my daughters were very young, I stayed home to take care of them. I was absolutely miserable. I wanted to earn, I wanted to help support my family, and I wanted to exercise my brain. My husband made a good living at the time and I technically didn’t have to work. Then the oil crisis of 2014 happened and I had to go back to work or we would have lost our house. The one we literally just bought .I was pregnant with our third child. I did what I had to do. And you know what? I’m damn proud of it. Flashforward to today. My husband just lost his job, again. Guess what? I make six figures now. We will be fine. I actually don’t care about him killing himself working 60 hours a week and him never getting to see our children. We are a team so our gender roles are NOT defined. I will never, ever hold over him the fact that I earn more than him. It doesn’t matter. If not for him I know for certain I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. He believed in me when no one else did. Gender roles don’t exist when you find your equal. Do not let society define what role you feel you should be playing based on your gender. Create it for yourself, and never be made to feel bad for it. I grew up with a single mom and a father who never paid a single dime in child support. But I’m thankful for it because she showed me the value of hard work and how to support a family.”

Jess (Burde) Mahler: “There’s a difference between being ‘pro-gender roles’ for me, and ‘pro-gender roles’ for everyone. Many people, both men and women, want to follow traditional gender roles. And that isn’t a problem if that’s all they want.But when they want to make other people follow traditional gender roles… that is a problem. Because they are trying to force their ideas on other people. Now, in the US today there is a specific … challenge for women who want to adhere to traditional gender roles — the economy .Most families need two incomes to support them these days. Even for those that don’t, it’s a lot harder with just a single income. Some men feel that a woman expecting to be able to follow ‘traditional gender roles’ is putting unfair expectations/pressure on him to be ‘the wage earner’ in a world that really needs two wage earners per household.”

Toby David Low: “Oh jeez, I’m a man and you are going to tell me what roles I can and can’t do?! There are loads of roles, that typically would be classed as male, that I am actually completely unsuited for, despite being a male. Equally there are loads of roles, that typically would be classed as a woman’s, that I know I could do just as well. I’m really good with kids for instance, and changing nappies is a speciality of mine. Where does that leave us? It leaves me thinking ‘let’s not bother with that rubbish about gender roles please, thanks’.”