GENDER ROLES: Women being financially dependent on men

My previous article was about domestic violence, which was believed by a lot of people, to be caused by the greed of some women, i.e staying with physically abusive men, because of the financial benefits they receive from such men. Though I wrote about how that cannot always be the case, and mere material things cannot be the sole purpose of staying in an abusive relationship, this has made me reminisce on the reason why a lot of young women are conveniently financially dependent, why they see men who show the slightest interest in them as their meal tickets, why they place so much focus on material things when choosing a partner, and why they easily compromise for money. For instance, cheating becomes less offensive when the guy pays the bills for some ladies, which should not be so. But considering the fact that gender roles are very active in our society, this should not be a complete surprise


Right from when we were little, we’ve been taught gender roles, so much that we already define ourselves by it. It becomes difficult for some of us to identify ourselves by the things we like doing, and the things we are capable of doing, but by the society’s gender roles. So much that we think these roles that have been assigned to us subconsciously by the society, are roles that are embedded in our genetics, as women or as men. For instance, a girl who likes sports but ends up dropping sports because she doesn’t want to build muscles and look ‘masculine’, or a guy who likes cooking but is told ‘that’s a woman’s job’. If you doubt this, think of how many people say Serena Williams is unattractive because she’s ‘too masculine’ for a woman.


Since when we were babies, we were taught that girls are supposed to play with dolls and wear pink clothes, females were taught to be ‘more ladylike’ by not playing rough like the boys, closing legs when they sit, learning how to do house chores etc. Boys on the other hand were allowed to be free and play rough on the field with the excuse that ‘boys will be boys’. While schools continuously teaches them about patriarchy – fathers being the head of the house, whose role in the house is to financially provide for the family, whilst that of mother is to take care of the home by cooking and cleaning the house. Are we then supposed to be surprised that a lot of young women feel entitled to money from any man who shows the slightest interest in them?


Even as adults, the pressure of being financially stable is not on women as it is on men. When you finish university as a man, the pressure you’re faced with first is the pressure of making money, ladies on the under hand are faced with the pressure of marriage – finding a man that will take care of them, even though that is not always the case. Their relatives start pressuring them to get married, not caring if they have jobs, or if they are financially stable enough to start a family, because they simply expect her to get married to a man who is excessively rich enough for two, some not minding whatever job the suitor does to get money. So while we address the greed of women, it is important to note the role that patriarchy and the society as a whole plays in it.


We still have quite a lot of people who believe that a woman being financially independent will chase suitors away, as men would rather provide for their women because of their egos. Whereas for men, financial stability is supposed to be what will cause them to be attractive to ladies, because males are supposed to be ‘providers’. This mentality of males providing goes as far as men taking credit for even the financial achievements of their partners, simply because they are men. For example, a woman giving her husband money to pay bills instead of paying it herself, because she does not want people to know he’s not financially capable at the moment, or a woman buying herself a car, meanwhile people praise her husband for buying her the car, because they expect her husband to be the one providing for her. Things like this are the reasons why some female can defend their financial status with their gender as an excuse. I mean, it’s okay to be broke, but what is not okay is to be conveniently broke and dependent on other people because you’re a woman, at least in my opinion.


The downsides of having more financially dependent women are countless, ranging from the pressure it puts on men to make money, causing them to go into a lot of fraudulent activities just to meet up with the standards the society has set before them, even at tender ages. We also have the problems of young females becoming financial liabilities, due to fact that they’ll rather tolerate emotional abuse and all other sorts of things from their male counterparts just because of money.
It is true that does not apply to all women, as there are women who are financially stable, and do not feel entitled to their partners money, but a large number of ladies are, due to the system our society operates by.


Eradicating this mindset will not only relieve men of financial pressure, but also empower women, and help them grow in various career fields, as women will now be seen as contenders in their career fields, and be respected as such. Also, issues of females remaining in emotionally abusive relationships because of money will reduce to a great level. The simple step to doing this is by simply eradicating gender roles. We cannot continue to expect women to be independent financially if we keep teaching them that ‘the man is the head of the house and his job is to provide financially’, or that their job is to clean the house. Of course there will be couples who will rather stick with gender roles, but it is important to not impose it or make into a strict role. Females should not be taught that men can’t handle financially independent women, they should not be taught to shrink themselves, or to kill their dreams just to end up catering to a man. They should be raised to have career dreams and goals from when they are little, without needing to consider shrinking themselves so they wouldn’t could cause suitors to feel emasculated.


Financial independence shouldn’t not be a thing of gender, but an individual thing, because every adult should be capable of providing for themselves financially and otherwise. Everyone, regardless of their gender, or the fact that they may end up in marriages where gender roles will be the other of the day, should learn to be self sufficient.


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