Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gender Roles: Then and Now

Last class, we talked in our gender groups and as a whole class about the stereotypes and characteristics of males and females in today's society. When we started this activity, I promised you that it would relate to William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and it certainly does.

In this play, women are expected to behave a certain way and accept a certain amount of control and abuse from their husbands if they do not behave or conduct themselves in a "womanly" fashion. Also, men in this play are expected to maintain the upper hand, so to speak, in their relationships. Both genders have roles to play and both genders could suffer repercussions if they do not conform to society's expectations of what it means to be a man/ woman.

To better understand what is and was expected of women, I asked that you all create a Venn Diagram illustrating the differences and similarities between expectations of the genders from Elizabethan society to modern society. To complete this task, you all needed to search for information about gender roles in Elizabethan England and compare/ contrast this information to today's expectations. Here is a sample of your work (click on the image to make it larger):

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