The gender roles

Home Blog Uncategorized The gender roles

The gender roles

The gender roles

Gender roles refers to the cultural and social expectations placed on individuals of different genders. There is a wide range of expectations, including the type of work that people do and how they are expected to behave. The main idea behind gender roles is that society places rules on what type of activities are appropriate for each gender as well as what types or genders should be performing these activities. For example, women typically do more housework, while men typically hold more positions in the workplace. These ideas are often created by societal norms or biases which create these expectations for sexes that may not be part of them.

Society has traditionally viewed the female gender as less capable of working in the work place than males and has been resistant to change regarding women holding more types of jobs. Examples of this are that men are expected to come home and provide financially while women are expected to hold a career while being able to fulfill their domestic duties. Gender roles also affect people in terms of who should be seen as potential relationships or spouses (Wienclaw, 2011). This is especially true when it comes to inter-gender relationships such as a gay relationship or two people of the same gender who want to raise a family together. The main idea behind these gender roles is that things have always been done one way so henceforth, it is the way that it should be continued. This paper is designed to describe the representation of women in Mexican muralist painting, in cinema, and in photography. The article will also analyze the construction of masculinity in the Mexican films watched in our course

The representation of women in Mexican muralist painting

The Mexican muralist painting is an art form born during the Mexican Revolution. I would like to discuss The representation of women in this type of painting. This is a very broad topic, so I will start by giving some general statistics about the Mexican muralist painting. It will also be interesting to see what can be discovered by comparing Mexican muralist paintings with those of other regions. There are case studies about how the representation of women has changed over time.

The gender roles in Mexico were very different for men and women during colonial times. There were two kinds of women during this period: the virago, and the criolla (the Spanish term for a female of Hispanic descent.) For example, there was the virago Maria Felix de la Cruz, who appeared as a heroine to defend her honour against her husband’s mistress. There was also the Criolla Maria Hernandez de la Barrera, who appeared as a pure figure of maternal love that is beautiful in an innocent and innocent way (Anreus et al., 2012). However, due to their different nature, their appearance in paintings by Mexican muralists have been quite different.

Mexico has one of the biggest murals in the world and they have been painted since the 1910s. They were created as propaganda campaigns. It was not until 1939 when women were allowed to participate in these projects but over two decades passed before they were finally given their own space on murals such as “The Goddesses” and “La Virgen de Juarez” where women are portrayed as noble or associated with nature or fertility (Anreus et al., 2012). Mexican women were not allowed to be educated and were therefore locked in the house, the only place they had access to the outdoors was through their beautiful gardens. Because of this, the association between a woman and nature is inevitable. The Marias are shown as goddesses in this mural because they are associated with fertility, nature and Mexico itself. Doña Juana Raquel Sosa de Samper (1730-1823) was a famous woman during Mexican colonial times. She lived her life as a nun and took care of orphans and widows (Anreus et al., 2012).

The portrayal of women in muralist paintings can be divided into three categories, which are: Women as mothers and caregivers, women as supporters or admirers and women portraits. Nevertheless, all three representations are often limited to passive roles, lack depth or complexity and tend to reinforce instead of challenging traditional gender roles.

Another great example of this is the mural “The History of Mexico”, which was painted by Rufino Tamayo. The mural is divided into three different sections, the first of which tells the story of prehispanic people, showing only men. The second section focuses on the Spanish conquest of Mexico and it shows a woman, representing Spain; and a man depicting indigenous people. The last part focuses on the independence movement and it shows women as supporters but they are still not equal to their male counterparts. The way women were portrayed in the Muralist movement will greatly impact Mexican culture throughout history and has made an imprint on today’s society.

The representation of women in Mexican cinema

The representation of women in Mexican cinema has changed drastically over the years. While women were once seen as submissive, they are now seen as equal to men. This can be seen in various films such as “Primer Oriente” (1934) and “Niñas de Aztlán” (2003). However, there have been some films that show traditional gender roles such as “Cotitularinción” (2013), which features a woman who is completely dependent on her husband.” (De la Mora, 2006)

Women in Mexican cinema are underrepresented, and few female roles are subject to any critique of the gender roles. Women in Mexican cinema, like women in other countries’ cinema, are often portrayed as sexual objects who exist for male pleasure or care-taking purposes. An example is the woman whose role is to seduce someone else’s husband. I will describe two cinematic themes that have been shown time and time again: prostitution and marriage. Prostitution is a film story in which the central character is a prostitute or former prostitute. The role of the prostitute can be shown in society and in life many different ways. One way is through Mexican cinema where women are now portrayed as an object to be used for someone else pleasure. Marriages, on the other hand, are stories of some kind of romance. The woman is seen as someone to be protected by a man and kept away from any danger (De la Mora, 2006). This type of portrayal is seen over time and is a reflection of our views on women, especially women trying to get their independence by leaving home and being with other people.

The representation of women in Mexican cinema under the general topic of gender roles reflect a society’s views on women based on their sex. The representations can also be compared to society’s view on them. The whole purpose for me is to look at how women are depicted in Mexican cinema and how their role has changed over time. These depictions can also be a reflection of society’s views on women. Society has a view on women as by their sex they are not educated, are unorganized and mostly at home. While these are their stereotypes of women the representation in Mexican cinema is different. In Mexican cinema it shows that there is more freedom for women compared to other countries. The role of women in Mexican cinema is changing with time. Starting with the representation in the 60’s and 70’s it was very conservative and was seen as being domestic. Then by the 80’s there was a change and it was no longer domestic but rather hyper-sexualized and had less importance to being a housewife (De la Mora, 2006).

The representation of women in Mexican photography

Women in Mexican photography have always been the victim of harsh treatment. A few photographs taken by male photographers in the 1920s and 1930s, especially one taken by Felipe Ehrenberg titled “Mexico City: Women with Flowers,” do allow women as subjects to be celebrated. However, since then, Mexican photography has gone back to its patriarchal roots with photographs of women often being portrayed as sex objects or caricatures.

It is a fact that throughout time and across cultures, art has been used as a reflection of society’s values. Artistic images in Mexico often depict the country as an idyllic paradise to contrast with the dark reality of a nation subject to its drug war and corruption. The Mexican photographer Lisandro Rábago celebrates this beauty in picturesque images of women, at home or among nature, who seem like an extension of their surroundings rather than outsiders or visitors (Legrás, 2016).

Some review this type of photography for its use in presenting a utopian view for those outside Mexico and for ignoring the female perspective – photographed largely from behind with no dialogue or situational context- which can be seen as inherently objectifying to women. The image presentation of Mexican women through photography was seen as revisionist, showing them in a separate category from their male counterparts. However, it is important to note that during the early 19th century, photography was still viewed as a new technology, and it took time for women to be seen as being subject to being photographed.

Mexican photographers were classified as popularizers of art and were particularly active during the Porfirio Díaz presidency because of the modernization of Mexico’s infrastructure (Legrás, 2016). Due to the quick growth and modernization, including the development of telecommunications, there emerged a national fascination with everything modern – including photography.

Analyze the construction of masculinity in the Mexican films watch in our course

The construction of masculinity in the Mexican films watched in our course is not easily reducible to one single definition. The different aspects of Mexican masculinity, from sports and politics to the construction of the male body and its relationship to masculinity. The construction of masculinity in the Mexican film industry is deeply rooted in both history and culture. The making of “Hasta que te conocí” (I only met you), showed how complex this issue is. The director, María Novaro, was challenged by producers and actors because of her decision to portray the upper class families as they truly are, disorganized and dysfunctional (Foster, 2010). This is why she decided to cast the perfect family man; with a handsome figure and an astonishing smile, an actor who plays roles like those all too familiar to male audience members. However she cast Lorena Rojas who was a woman with a slim body which does not fit with the stereotype that most people have about successful women in Mexico.

Masculinity is a complex concept. In a very general sense, it indicates social expectations that men should behave in certain ways. As such, it can include concepts like physical strength and bravery on the battlefield and emotional fortitude at home while resisting desires for visible displays of emotion such as crying or expressing feelings through music or poetry. Masculinity in the Mexican films a is challenged by the influx of ideas and values brought about by globalization, immigration and economic expansion. The changes these concepts bring about seem to be especially appealing to youth, who have some control over the direction in which a film takes place.


The representation of women in Mexico in various aspects of social life has always been a controversial issue. The manifestations of female oppression in Mexico illustrate that sexism and misogyny are deeply rooted cultural issues, not just individual attitudes. The importance of this is to be able to tackle the problem in order to make progress towards equality.

Mexico is a country of enormous diversity, with different factions of society that have their own ways of life. What may seem to be a minor issue in one segment might be very important for another. It is important to remember that the issue at hand is not just about the rights of women, but also others who are being oppressed.


Anreus, A., Folgarait, L., & Greeley, R. A. (Eds.). (2012). Mexican Muralism: a critical history. Univ of California Press.

De la Mora, S. (2006). Cinemachismo: Masculinities and sexuality in Mexican film. University of Texas Press.

Foster, D. W. (2010). Mexico City in contemporary Mexican cinema. University of Texas Press.

Legrás, H. (2016). Seeing Women Photographed in Revolutionary Mexico. Discourse, 38(1), 3-21.

Wienclaw, R. A. (2011). Gender roles. Sociology reference guide: Gender roles and equality, 33-40.

Academic Research Pro