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Gender Roles Between Women and Men

Updated August 9, 2022

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Gender Roles Between Women and Men essay

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The dominance of men over women is seen as culturally-inclined and long been embedded in the society—even until now. The book entitled Tales from the Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folklore and historical tales for over centuries. However, the book, also famously known as the Arabian Nights, offers massive stories of women who are downplayed in the society for their gender; and even more heightened due to her imperfections. Such representation has continued even decades and centuries after the book was written. I have personally been a witness of such misrepresentations in the present day and in the current society where I came from.

It has been an acknowledged fact that women’s weaknesses are often associated with her gender. Specifically, the story “Three Apples” reminds me of my moms’ friend who was abused in a Middle Eastern country. Working overseas for greener pastures has always been a painful image of several women in my country. Gearing oneself with hope and the potentials of a brighter future, my moms’ friend left her family to work in a foreign land. Months passed, I was stunned by several cries of help. She was filled with fear. She screamed for freedom but remained unheard. Her calls were accompanied by pain and I believe that it was influenced by her gender. Having a possessive foreigner lover, my moms’ friend insisted that she was accused of something she has not done—infidelity. A foreigner and a woman herself, my moms’ friend has received physical and verbal abuses, emotional trauma, and unfair judgment.

In the story, Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph, found a dead woman’s body inside the chest that was discovered by a fisherman in the Tigris River. He ordered his adviser to solve the crime. Later on, the dead woman’s husband and father confessed to having killed her. However, the caliph justified the act and believed her husband’s accusation of infidelity. The husband assumed that his wife had been unfaithful to him after finding out that a slave had one of the three unique apples he bought when his wife was sick. Because of rage, the husband killed his wife. In my case, my mom was lucky to have her friend back.

Moreover, the connection between gender and authority stresses power. In the book, the radical solutions staged by King Shahriyar after finding out his wife’s infidelity represent the powerful combination of gender and authority. To avenge his ego and pride, he used the radical method that involved marrying a virgin a day only to be killed a day after. Such a process repeated every single day. As a masculine who is seen as powerful and dominant in the society, the thought of being betrayed and fooled can indicate the King’s powerlessness and weakness. Such perception can be extremely painful for every man who is culturally-accepted as dominant over females in most societies.

Gender roles served as the cultural construct in the society, which has been adopted as the basis of definite presentation of what is feminine or masculine (El-Naggar, 2017). Gender is always linked with having power or the lack of authority. In this case, women are often perceived to have less power and autonomy than men, where men believed that they are more dynamic. The book Tales from the Thousand and One Nights depicted women as empty beautiful bodies that can be instilled in culture (Kobzošová, 2012). The wise character of Shahrazad might be an exception to how these women are represented. Such implied a feminist imbalance as the male dominance and principle empathized. The culture of male dominance over females has long been embedded in how they continually suffer from discrimination and the idea of gender roles over the years.

Gender Roles Between Women and Men essay

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Gender Roles Between Women and Men. (2022, Aug 09). Retrieved from