gender roles throughout history

What do women think of their gender roles?

How have gender roles for women changed throughout history?

Women’s gender roles have strayed long from their past- spiraling, evolving, and ever-changing.

In the book The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, takes place in the Roaring 20’s, where the cult of domesticity was nowhere to be found, and women and men took on new lives outside of rural homes and moved to the cities in search of opportunity.

Instead of the “home as women’s ‘proper sphere'” (Bret, Carroll; American Masculinities), were now straying away from their houses, venturing into speakeasies and partying in lighter clothing, shorter dresses, and a more daring behavior, with much scorn from the conservative, uptight, elder generation.

Though women did have the opportunity to grow distant from their oppressive past, and feminism rising with the ratification of the amendment for women’s suffrage, they were still under men in the societal pyramid.

How do women feel that they should act/behave in their society?

“I pay our women well so they can dress attractively and get married.” -Henry Ford

Daisy Buchanan, Nick’s cousin, and the woman that Gatsby loves, who later marries Tom Buchanan while Gatsby was serving in war. She has an insatiable need for love, and tries to hide her pain coming from her husband’s infidelity by having an affair with Gatsby after he returns to East Egg.

The Great Gatsby belongs to F. Scott Fitzgerald. I made this image on


Daisy says this after giving birth to her daughter, asking the nurse if her child was a boy or a girl. She is surrounded by an environment that does not value a woman’s intelligence. She seems to say that the most a girl could be is simplistic, beautiful, and dumb.


Image created by me on QuotesCover

In this scene, we have Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, with the woman he is cheating with, arguing about Mrs. Wilson having the right to say Daisy’s name, and he punches Mrs. Wilson in the nose, breaking it.

What struck me as surprising is that no one made a move to fight Tom, or say what he did to Mrs. Wilson was wrong.

Women’s gender roles were petty and small in The Great Gatsby, where men dominated the hierarchical pyramid.

vintage advertisement on pinterest.

The evolution in women’s gender roles today have deviated from those in the 1920’s. Women now can do anything a man can do, in a range from career opportunities to hobbies, though there is still a present wage gap, like in the 1920’s women made only $8 a week, gaining 54%-60% less than men, and today women are paid 79% or what men are paid, leaving a 21% gap in pay.


Gender Pay Gap.


Though women have changed our gender roles since the 1920’s, we have a long way to go until we can truthfully say that men and women are truly equal.




3 thoughts on “gender roles throughout history

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