Gender Balance in Relationships

Feminism is a concept that focuses on women issues, particularly seeking equal opportunities in the economic, political and social sectors. Because of this, it overlaps women’s rights movements. Feminisms do not only concentrate on women’s problems. Because it seeks equality among the genders, it includes men sexism problems too. This paper discusses gender balance in modern relationships. Particularly, it focuses on the rise in the number of women at work places in relation to the reducing numbers of men. It also highlights the societal consequences of this trend, basing it on a news story in “Guardian”.

According to Willets, a new generation of women is coming up; the kind that drives their male counterparts out of workplaces into homes. He argues that the new “stay-at-home” fathers are a result of this new generation of women.  These women overtake men at workplaces, leaving men with no choice but to look after their children. Additionally, the workplace and the modern society suits women more than it does men. Compared to the relationships that their parents had, this new generation of men and women have somehow adopted reversed roles. While mothers stayed home to take care of the home and children, men now do that, leaving their wives to work. In the past, women have always taken the home duties. Though, in most families, both parents go to work, this trend is slowly changing. I grew up in a family unit in which parents equally went to work, but observing the current situation in the society, it is clear that most women than men, are financially taking care of their families. The concern is whether the postindustrial society is pushing men out of workplaces. In the fifteen job category, men only dominate two categories namely; computer engineering and janitor. Women dominate the remaining thirteen categories including nursing, food preparation, childcare, and health home assistance.  New jobs in the society replace “women duties”, leading to an accumulation of jobs that suit women than men. In present America, women hold the nation’s major jobs, and are more dominant in professional schools and Colleges.  Because of these changes, marriage terms have also changed radically. Statistics indicate a reduction on the number of women getting married, divorce rates are higher and more men are staying at home. The benefit of this trend is that it enables women to be independent, therefore, reducing past marital problems such as wife battery (Willets 10).

Gender equality issues have always been contentious in the contemporary society. Activists who support equality argue that the society should give women equal opportunities to improve their lives, as men. While this has improved in the corporate world, relationships have remained the same way. Some people have attributed the increasing divorce rates to this balance. While most women who stay at home feel dissatisfied and sad, some people argue that it would reduce the number of divorces people go through today.  The change has not only affected women, as men feel the change too. More than ever, they help in housework and childcare without complaining. Some men willingly agree to stay at home while their wives go to work. In most cases, the society has a negative perception on such men. In order to achieve balance in relationships, it is important for the society to change its view on sexism. Social constructionists believe that gender varieties are because of socialization. That from birth, parents treat their children differently, based on their genders. Additionally, men who are relationally oriented find it difficult opening up about their situation due to socialization.

In the past, studies suggested that the society suits men better to work and provide for their families. This has changed over time, owing to various empowerment interventions that provide women with resources to improve their lives. The situation is becoming severe and without interventions, the future society would be harsh to men. The disempowerment of men will affect the entire society in a number of ways. One major institution that will suffer is marriage and the family. For a stable society to exist, children must be brought up well, within the boundaries of families. Psychologists prove the importance of a child having both parents in their lives. With divorces, this would be difficult to achieve, leaving children to be raised by single parents. As much as this does not guarantee poor upbringing, it affects the development of a child. In addition to this, there have been cases in the media indicating a sharp increase of women criminals compared to times before. Though there are no direct links of these criminal activities to women’s independence, it is clear that their financial situation contributes to their behaviors. Another problem appearing in the media is the rising cases of older women getting into relationships with younger men. Because women have taken over job opportunities, young men have limited opportunities to improve their finances. In order to survive, these men look for rich older women to provide their financial needs.

It is important to maintain gender balance at a ratio where neither of the genders suffers. To do this effectively, the society must change its perception on gender, especially its understanding of what feminism is. It should not use feminity or masculinity as a measure of qualifying a human being. Men should be able to express themselves without fear of ridicule. With this, they will feel more comfortable joining the available job opportunities to improve their living conditions.