Essay on Role of Women

This essay has a total of 895 words and 4 pages.

Role of Women

Different authors have different approaches to the same issue. In this paper I will
contrast and compare how the authors Alexis De Tocqueville, Holly Dover, and Christina
Hoff Sommers, tackle the myth of the role of women in society and what the role of women
should be according to them. De Tocqueville

De Tocqueville was a French aristocrat who came to America to study the American penal
system. Coming from a European society he was struck by the way Americans understood the
equality of the sexes. He published his book Democracy in America in 1835, which is from
where our excerpt came from.

De Tocqueville seems very impressed with the fact that American women are capable of
performing the same duties as men but do not choose to because they rather maintain their
natural place in society. American women are just as capable as men in understanding
politics and other important affairs, but choose not to occupy themselves with such
matter, so they spend more time in preserving their natural beauty and their natural place
in society without being forced to. He also seems pleased by the fact that the women take
pride in "bending themselves to the yoke".

He seems to be very content with American men as well who, unlike European men, do not
flatter their women constantly and boast themselves to be women's slaves but instead, show
the appreciation of their women through their actions. European men on the other hand are
all talk. De Tocquville says in his closing argument that even though American women are
extremely dependent on the men, he has never seen any women occupy a loftier position. He
attributes America's superiority to the superiority of her women.

Another way of looking at the roles we assume in society is that they are "socially
constructed". Holly Devor brings this view to our attention in an essay. Being a professor
of sociology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, she is an expert in the
field. She uses a more scientific approach, as compared to De Tocquville, to the argument
about the role of men and women in society. She believes that we learn how to live our
lives according to our gender at a very young age. According to research, by the age of
five years old, children may be able to accurately recognize their own gender and the
genders of the people around them; however, they will often do that on the basis of role
information, such as hairstyle and clothing, rather than physical attributes such as

So by the time we are five years old, we already have an idea of the role we are to fill
in our society according to our gender simply by observing the older individuals around
us. Therefore our place in society is decided not by us, but rather by the culture we are
grown in. Thus the explanation that so many women accept the role they are given is
simple, they are brainwashed indirectly since childhood. Because individuals who excel in
activities normally attributed to the opposite sex are scorned upon, feminists should not
blame these women for accepting their roles but rather the society they grow up in.
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