The gender-based roles for both men and women widely differ as they are defined depending on the different cultures. This is a clear sign that roles and expectations form important components of any culture in our today’s world. Therefore, without culture, there would be nothing to define the roles to be played by both men and women.
It is true to say that culture has a great impact on how the male should behave and act. The different cultural practices have determined the roles and responsibilities of men over the years. Basically, a man’s role is associated with dominance, strength, and aggression, while a female’s role is associated with subordination and nurturing.
Traditionally men have always been seen as the providers, ambitious and primary breadwinners while women as the caregivers. These are some of the things that have been defined by our different cultures and are being passed down from generation to generation. However, we should note that we live in a dynamic world, and women are now performing some of the roles that have been played by men.
What are some of the roles and expectation of men?
According to research conducted in most cultures around the world. One of the most important roles that any man should play is to provide for every basic and even material needs of his family. The provision comes along with ensuring that all the required and necessary resources are available in the home. This includes; ensuring that the family has enough to eat, there is money to pay for all the household bills and even to cater for his children’s education among other things. Being a provider comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the family is comfortable and lacks nothing. Either way, men do take pride as the family providers since it is part of their responsibility. However, all this can be a big burden especially if the man does not have a stable and sustainable income.
Another role that a man is expected to play in the society is the role of being able to protect his family. Being a protector involves not just protecting his family from any physical harm but also providing that emotional protection and support. It involves protecting his family self-worth and making them feel that they can depend on him at all times.
Head of the family/leaders
Men in the society are regarded as the head and masters of the family and the entire household. Being the head of the household does not mean dominating, controlling or ruling over everything. It simply means taking that initiative to care for your family needs as well as your wife.
Also, being the head comes with the full responsibility of being the primary breadwinner of the home. In some cases, the role of being the breadwinner is shared with the wife to lessen the burden on the man.
Another expectation underlining any culture when it comes to men is that a man is expected to be able to father a child. This means that any man should be in a position to make his wife pregnant and be able to bear and raise a child. As such, this is an expectation and a man’s role. What if a man is unable to father a child? It is evident that he will end up being judged harshly since he is not in a position to perform one of his roles.
Being physically strong
The widespread perception of ‘Be a man and boys do not cry mentality’ emanates from here. The society expects men to be strong and not cry irrespective of the difficult situations. However, if he cries, then he is regarded as being weak and is compared to a woman. This mentality has led to most men not being able to open up and talk about their emotions but would rather choose to hold it in even if it kills them.
In addition, men in our culture are expected to have that inborn ability to be able to fix anything that is broken or damaged. A man should be able to fix that broken tap, change car tires, and handle any mechanical problem that may arise.
All these expectations and pressures placed on men has made us forget that human beings have a limited degree of control over them.