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Is the constant quest for equality eroding the archetypal gender differences?

For many years now there has been a move in all walks of life for men and women to be treated as equals in modern western society. By and large this is a very good thing and acceptable to the majority.

But is 100% equality realistically achievable and should this be the ultimate goal? Women and men differ in a vast number of ways, primarily in the ability to reproduce, but also in personality, emotional, behavioural, cognitive and attitudinal measures and whilst the sexes overlap, there will always be inherent differences, and therefore gender stereotyping.

A new report by the Advertising Standards Authority says a “tougher” stance must be taken on negative gender stereotyping. Many adverts are full of gendered messaging but is it all bad? No one seriously thinks that girls can’t eat Yorkie bars or that dads can’t go to Iceland. As time has moved on many adverts feature insidious messages that can slowly shape our perception of the world. In the 60s was anyone worried that Fairy Liquid was great for women, whose hands did the dishes?

Today we seem so concerned about offending people and being politically correct are we are in danger of paralysing society and freedom of speech? Should we be embracing and celebrating the differences between men and women?

What are your views? Do you take offence with gender stereotyping? Is the quest for total gender equality realistic?

Is the constant quest for equality eroding the archetypal gender differences?

130 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Billythequiche
16th Aug 2017
1
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I must be getting old, it seems that the struggle for women's rights has become just another tool for a minority of people who's sole function is to massage their egos by telling everyone who will listen what to think and do. Perhaps they have no other qualities than the ability to criticise others. They should remember that our generation had a standard of behaviour and politeness that was taught from the start. Offering your seat or opening a door was not a sexist act but a learned act that showed a respect that you would expect to be reciprocated to your wife/mother/sister. I behaviour fashions have changed, fine, but it is not a crime to continue your own standards of behaviour.
It is increasingly difficult to keep up with gay, bi, trans, neutral, fluid or whatever names some people which to describe themselves or their life styles and like most others, I have no interest in other people's private lives. However, the current trend for involving small children in gender politics worries me greatly. Asking children to face gender issues when they are hardly old enough to realise that there are physical differences is disturbing and close to abuse. Technology and lifestyle has already robbed older children of a balanced childhood and endangered their health, surely toddlers should be shielded from being used as pawns in gender or any other politics.
I fear that ''political correctness'' will change our lives beyond recognition and allow those with less morals to hold the high ground in our society.
Blacklab47
4th Aug 2017
0
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Is it possible that Darwinian evolution science would suggest we will end up with a heterosexual community if total permissiveness is encouraged?
JohnHerb
27th Jul 2017
2
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Adverts reflect society. Why would a persil advert show an old geezer like me doing the clothes washing. i do not even know how to work the controls. Why would an advert show me drinking Coke light so I could loose weight. These advertising people know who their buyers for the products are and the adverts are aimed at them. Bit simple really
Greenise
21st Jul 2017
4
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Men and women are designed differently and each is better at different things. I expect my man to work and protect me and the children while I am looking after our household. Been like that since the stone age. Why do these silly PC types want to change everything? Go away and do something worthwhile.
JohnHerb
27th Jul 2017
0
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Well said and very sensible comment
jeanmark
20th Jul 2017
2
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Advertisements are not the only culprits, I think society in general stereotypes gender roles without realising they are doing it.
VSOP
19th Jul 2017
3
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With the Dr Who position now filled, will all those who wanted an actress in the role now pressure the creepy-crawly PC BBC to appoint a man to chair Women's Hour and Wild Women programs?
Goose and gander......?
jeanmark
19th Jul 2017
5
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I interesting thought but in relation to Dr Who, is gender really important to the role? As recently noted by a friend, can you remember even one time when Dr Who used his genitals to help save the world?
VSOP
21st Jul 2017
3
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He has his Universal Screwdriver ?...... a very male tool that has saved the world countless times......
jeanmark
21st Jul 2017
2
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Sorry VSOP but Universal Screwdrivers are no longer the domain of man and women have been saving the world since time began, it takes more than muscle to save the world......
Yodama
23rd Jul 2017
2
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Sorry to put a spanner in your works, sorry, statement, the very absent -minded Twelfth Doctor seemed to have lost his Sonic Screwdriver, (very male thing to do) 🙂 he lost it in "The Magician's Apprentice."

He had however substituted the screwdriver with a pair of sonic sunglasses which would have caused mayhem, dark glasses would not have functioned well in the darkened halls of destruction. This would result in a decided dent in his dominance.

For fear that he may lose the sunglasses as well , a female Doctor was given the task of looking after the world.

Bearing in mind the affection most women have for their accessories, it is unlikely she would put her life in jeopardy by losing them so carelessly.
Insurance on the Tardis would be more economical to boot.
Pam1960
19th Jul 2017
8
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Everyone cannot be equal as there are always some who are more equal than others. In the workplace people doing the same work and have the same responsibilities should get the same pay. In day to day life overall women cannot compete with men as regards to strength, women are better multi taskers. If we women expect equality with the exception of childbirth we should not expect men to give up their seats for us or carry heavy things. We cannot expect equality to benefit women. The same benefits should apply to both sexes.
jeanmark
19th Jul 2017
2
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VSOP
19th Jul 2017
6
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Having been involved at various times with publicity/marketing disciplines I tend to view adverts with a very critical eye ......good ones and bad, and there is definitely an increasing trend in reversed gender characteristics....especially were family matters are covered.
Men are generally now shown to be clumsy, foolish, incompetents, clowns, victims of kids pranks, easily manipulated and otherwise quite helpless and hopeless. ....Men are tolerated or not really necessary.
Women, however, are shown as strong-willed, able decision makers, no nonsense pragmatists, sensible and forthright etc. and all softened with a large dollop of "love and caring and glamour."
Publicists know the need to flatter female ego's to buy goods and services with the message that only women have the common sense to be the main family driving force.
Advertising works......
Yodama
27th Jul 2017
1
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Uncomfortable shoes men are wearing now, women have been trying to kick them off for a very long time.
A bit of role reversal is hard for men to watch.
Yodama
8th Aug 2017
0
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And the problem is???
Calinder
19th Jul 2017
1
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I really don't get equality, why would I wish to be equal with something I was born superior to?
Yodama
27th Jul 2017
0
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There you have it Calinder!
NorfolkBroad
19th Jul 2017
8
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The ideal of equality is about getting paid the same money for doing the same job (not a variation of it); not being penalised in the workplace because of your gender; and the right to vote. As with most ideals if you give an inch they want a mile and now the word 'equality' is being used to erode the FACT that there are and always will be differences between the sexes. Men will never be able to get pregnant naturally and give birth; women will never be applauded for the hair on their chest! This argument has nothing to do with holding doors open for someone - that is just good manners - but it has been hijacked by certain women and is now considered 'sexist' (I will continue to practice the good manners however!).
Wilf
19th Jul 2017
4
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The advertising standards people must have time on their hands what a load of rubbish. Why would Fairy Luquid want to run an advert with some old geezer like me in it. My dear wife trusts me to fill the dishwasher but wash up the pans and pots in the basin not a chance. Likewise I could not see her in an advert promoting Porches much as she would like to!!
Marley444
18th Jul 2017
5
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I think it is becoming increasingly challenging for our generation. We were brought up to accept gender stereotypes and didn't have a problem with it. We seemed to be getting along well with making life more fair for both men and women and more equal in terms of job opportunities and pay. However, it seems to me that in recent times we are going that one step too far. We forget that in a time before us, men were the hunter gatherers and women were the home makers. It will be very difficult to totally move away from that stereotype - only when men can give birth to babies will we have true equality, and on the basis that that will never happen need I say more?
MrsPat
18th Jul 2017
7
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It's all a bit silly if you ask me. What's wrong with the current situation. People need to know where they stand in life and I don't want to cut down trees-my husband does that. Does he want to do the ironing? Not on your life he wouldn't be seen dead with an iron. Lets stop all this nonsense now.
Carolineblue
9th Sep 2017
0
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Western societies are moving towards breaking down sexist attitudes and stereotyping gender roles because they do no-one any good. But changes are often hard to accept particularly for the older generation. So Mrs Pat's husband doesn't want to use an iron, or she chop down trees? That's absolutely fine, but I don't want to hear folks making comments about a man who has chosen to be a 'house husband' or a woman working in a traditionally male role.

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