When it comes to male and female gender, it has been a topic that scientists and researchers have discussed for years. Still today gender is a major topic when it comes to our everyday lives. In addition it’s a topic that is widely discussed in psychology. Gender is the state of being a male or female often implemented when it comes to identifying cultural and social differences.  Many times gender is implemented when biological identities are not referenced.  When interviewing a woman by the name of Thelma Jordan, it was easy to gain understanding on her views when it comes to gender in her generation.

       Thelma Jordan was born in the 1950’s and she was raised in a two parent home with her mother LeAnn Bass Jordan and father Jeffery Jordan. During the interview, Thelma had an exceptional ability to communicate her feelings about gender, and how she viewed her role in society both in this time and the past.  Thelma was raised in a middle class home and often mentioned that she was aware of what men and women jobs were growing up.  When Thelma was asked the question of what gender meant to her, and without hesitation she replied that it was how one determines his or her identity. In addition, the role in which one prefers to live over what they may have been told to live by society.



      When compared to personal generation her perspective definition was the role that one should be able to live, whether it be male or female regardless of what others feel or think of a human being. Although her definition and personal opinions seemed similar, she strongly shared that these were two totally different things.  In this case, she felt that her perspective was more accurate than her definition of gender.  Thelma mentioned that as time moved on the difference in gender roles are viewed clearly in the family gender dynamics.  Thelma stated that “I was raised in my time when women were the one’s responsible to take care of the children, make the meals, work in the garden, and clean the house.

  The men were the ones, who would go out and work outside in hard labor and bring home the food, work at the mill, and even focus on the building. These roles were to demonstrate the jobs of men and women so that it may be carried on in generations to come. It was just not right for a woman to go out and work a regular job as a man was, this was not a woman’s work! And that is just how it was” (Jordan, 2016).  Our American society has be divided by gender since the rise of what they call industrialism (Brannon, 1996).

When I asked Thelma about how it was for her growing up as a teenager in her time, she mentioned that “I was taught that girls should behave like young ladies and do what is instructed for her so that she could have the life of a valued bride. It was told that men were to do what is required of them to have the ideal life of a valued husband. The men were look as greater than women and were the ones who were able to do greater things no matter what that was. If a woman wanted to take on the same role as a man it was against all rules set by their generation and you are labeled as a disgrace or in better words troubled.



    If a girl was seen doing these things she would be questionable, less attractive, and would not be the ideal look for any man to take as a bride. I remember my best friend being in tears after she was forced to stay inside and do women’s work and all she wanted to do was play softball with the boys. So many times she was called un-lady like because of what she found great interest in. This for her was very disheartening and it was just plain wrong. The boys would be able to stay out and go to events that if a girl was found to be out late with him would determine her to be un-lady like, and called harmful names like sluts are what we called in our time a floozy.

    I can say that there were some fathers who raised their girls as boys when they saw how they played the role of a tomboy. It was just like this, girls and boys were always told by our society what we did and what we didn’t do being a particular gender. Was it right no! But it was just how it was (Jordan, 2016). Knowing all of this information from Thelma she still concluded that she herself did not have a problem with being her gender.    Thelma enjoyed working with her mom learning how to cook, keep house and other womanly things.  It is not surprising to hear these things from Thelma being that she herself grew up in the generation that is considered the mid twentieth century where the gender roles were divided with different moral strategies.



      Thelma believes that the changes in today’s time have definitely shifted when it comes to women working more corporate jobs.  Thelma also mentioned that the shift in gender roles in America, are making the women feel less balanced as they enter more and more in the work place.  The subject of women feeling less balanced reminded me of this article that I discovered. It stated that “Of the employed women in the United States workforce, about 71 percent have children under the age of 18. That number is significantly lower than that of men. 94 percent of employed men in the United States have children under the age of 18 (United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013).

     In addition to this article, there were also issues with the wage gap that many women felt deprived of and felt juggling family and career was not worth the pay. I can completely understand why this has become such a major problem in America. On the other hand, I must say that today there has been greater change and greater opportunities for women especially when it comes to increased opportunities in a variety of career fields. As time progress, I feel that it will definitely open more doors for all genders to live as they wish. The careers will be open to women as they are to men and that wages will be equally matched.


References

Brannon, L. (1996). Gender: Psychological perspectives (5th Ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Women in the Labor Force: (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2016, from http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook-2013.pdf

Ziman, R. (n.d.). Women in the workplace workforce: an in-depth analysis of gender roles and compensation inequity in the modern workplace. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1158&context=honors