A Modern Revolution: Gender Roles

Vanessa Le, Photojournalist

Our generation, which is called the Generation Y or the Millennial Generation, is constantly surrounded by technology; thus, we have much more resources and access to receiving and learning new information. We have become more accepting of social issues that surface the world every single day, including an issue with gender roles.

We are facing a gender revolution head-first, and we have social media to thank for that. Famous celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Miley Cyrus, and Laverne Cox have helped to combat this issue and raise awareness to society, targeting our generation to become more understanding and accepting. These famous faces of the gender revolution, so to speak, are helping more and more people to come out as transgender because they do not feel as alone anymore.


Let’s break it down:

To define, gender is a social construct assigned to us at birth determining how we are supposed to be.

An example to further explain this is when a person is born with a female genitalia and is automatically classified at birth as a girl, thus receiving pink attire and toys. While boys are brought up to be masculine by being taught to play sports or by learning to identify which tool is which, girls are taught to be proper and “lady-like.” This goes on, even though no one in society is ever asked if they wanted to be brought up this way.

This leads us to gender roles. Gender roles are principles of behavior that say what people should and should not do, based off of their gender. Because people are assigned genders based on their genitalia, they are raised differently in order to distinguish them between being male and being female. Essentially, gender roles only exist because of the concept of gender itself.


According to Huffington Post,

For at least two generations, progressive parents have encouraged daughters to cast off restrictive gender roles that equate “girl” with “femininity.” We’ve told them, “You can play with trucks, you can be smart, assertive and powerful, and you can grow up to be President someday.” At the very moment princesses are hotter than ever, there’s a gender revolution underway in the culture. The new transgender frontier doesn’t just add a third gender category. It has shattered the notion that gender is limited to two categories of male and female, and instead views gender as a spectrum. That spectrum isn’t just about how girly or boyish we look, but how we think about our identities. This radical new frontier moves from telling our daughters, ‘You can express your gender any way you want’ to now telling them, ‘You can define your gender any way you want.’ At younger and younger ages, kids are learning that gender isn’t simply boy/girl anymore.

Not only does Huffington Post feels this way, Leah Boghosian (12) also thinks that, “People should be able to be and do what they want, whether that means dressing or acting a certain way. Society should be accepting of people’s right to choose their identities.”

This article is by no means meant to be offensive to anybody at all; it is just a source of information to briefly educate you on what is going on in society and what the hot topics are all about. I hope after reading this article, you as an individual understand what some people are facing in today’s society.