Social Question

Mariah's avatar

How do views on gender roles vary significantly across various races?

Asked by Mariah (25624points) July 6th, 2011

For instance, is there a higher percentage of feminism in any one race in particular? Discrepancies as to what exactly our gender roles are among various races or ethnicities? I know this’ll be generalizations galore; I apologize.

For the record, this question popped into my head when I was thinking that there seem to be more lyrics promoting strength and independence among black female singers than white ones. Look at Beyonce vs. Taylor Swift for examples. I don’t know if that has any significant at all.

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10 Answers

bob_'s avatar

Maybe Beyonce’s songs are a reaction to this?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Well, for awhile, black and lower class women weren’t really “allowed” to be part of feminism; the second wave was aimed at white middle class housewives (the ones with the time and money to be part of it). The racism within the feminist movement has been quite the sore spot (understandably and rightly, imho) with many, and something that the 3rd wave often looks to address.

cletrans2col's avatar

Many households in the black community are headed by females (unfortunately, since many black males are absent from the home) and they don’t think about feminism, just that if their kids are gonna eat and need food and shelter, somebody has to work. Although @Aethelflaed is also on point.

zenvelo's avatar

I am more aware of gender role differentiation by culture, not race. Native Asian gender roles are much different from second generation Asian American; Hassidic Jewish women are culturally much more limited than conservative Jewish women.

Beyond that view I have little expertise.

FutureMemory's avatar

My Mexican grandmother once stopped me from washing my plate in the sink, saying “this is women’s work”, then promptly summoned my (now horrified) girlfriend to the sink to help her do the dishes.

I think generally speaking it’s accurate to stereotype latin culture as very patriarchal.


I don’t think gender roles vary across races as much as they do across “cultures”. Across cultures there can be great differences in gender roles, from strict Middle Eastern cultures where women are not allowed to show their faces, to Scandinavian cultures where women participate widely in politics and decision making.

JLeslie's avatar

If we are only talking about America, and subcultures within America, I would say by the third generation women become fairly Americanized and differences among the various ethnicities dissappear more than not. Although, I think social class has a lot to do with it, maybe that is the biggest influence in the end.

Black women where I live have a reputation for having an attitude, which I think for them is part of a feminist type movement. It seems to the observer they are not going to be dependent, pushed around, or stepped on. But, for whatever reason it comes across as brash, uncooperative, or not helpful. Where I have lived previously this was not the case. But, there is a much bigger and more obvious socioeconomic difference between the races here.

I find in group settings things tend to revert back to tradition. A man who might help with dishes on a regular day, during a party is generally not in the kitchen, unless he is the chef of the house. I find this especially true among Hispanics and Italians, I am sure there are others, where the woman quickly takes on the role of being in the kitchen and serving others, and even other women join her, while the men are out of the kitchen talking, watching TV, generally relaxing and socializing.

Blackberry's avatar

I also think they vary across cultures, not race.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are plenty of black people born and grown up in Germany. Gender roles are related to German culture, not the color of skin. One of our best women soccer players looks like Barack Obama. Black father, white mother.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Western feminism got its roots in observing indigenous women, particularly Haudenosaunee women. In Haudenosaunee culture, women still basically call the shots.

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