Creatures of Habit
Human beings are needful creatures. The diversity of needs range from the basic needs to eat, dress, and clothe to more sophisticated ones involving desire to love, to be loved and the general socialization. The question that one ponders as regards to needs satisfaction is the manner in which human beings manage to satisfy the variety of needs facing them on a daily basis. The answer to the question is drawn from the habits aspect of human beings. Habits are great tools that enable human beings to overcome various challenges within any particular day with extreme ease. Human beings are creatures of habits as can be illustrated through a cab driver who is used to driving for a long time. Watching the driver engage the gears and propel the car in various directions seems so easy. He does it so effortlessly because it has become a habit over time. However, watching a woman drive a cab regardless of whether she drives it with ease or clumsily seems absurd. This is because cab driving has been stereotyped to be with masculinity and would be expected to be a man’s activity and not be carried out by women. Why? This brings in the aspect of misconceptions about gender. It is a creation of habit that has persisted for a long time that has become ingrained into human mind that cab driving is a male role. There is no valid justification as to why female cab driving creates insinuations of an evil act or lesser beings that are not up to the challenge.
The aspect of misconceptions in the context of gender roles is substantiated through McCorkle (107) in her book Creatures of Habit. The book is witty and rib crackling for a starter and instills a great deal of wisdom for a keen reader. Truly, as the book demonstrates, human beings are indeed creatures of habit as I had earlier introduced. The writer takes the reader through the 240 pages fictional stories supposed to have happened in a fictional town within the city of North Carolina in the years bating back to 1970. The major theme of the story is habit creation within the confines of misconceived gender roles. As can be seen in the book, women are supposed to be homemakers and are perceived to be lesser beings than men. Women are meant to be left at home to take care of the children, to feed the animals that human beings have developed kinship with and to take of the man who is the breadwinner of the family. This has gone on for a very long time to the extent that it has become a habit that is hard to change. This has brought a lot of challenges in the marriages leading to infidelity and home breakups. The same is replicated in children as boys are expected to take up roles different from those taken by girls. This has led to major childhood fears as children are afraid of going against the parental role expectations. The story illuminates the dangers of stereotyping as it configures the societies into patterns of beliefs that are so hard to change despite being hindrances to human development. The fact is that these are gender role misconceptions born out of habit that have persisted for a long time.
The River Reader
Trimmer (189) through the book The River Reader presents another episode of misconceptions within the contexts of gender roles and the different modes of child-parent relationships. The story illustrates the emotional turmoil that culminates from strained parent-child relationships occasioned by misconceptions about the expected gender roles and the form that parent-child relationships should assume. Through the story, it becomes clear that there have been misconceptions about the father and the daughter not supposed to be close to each other. This is depicted in the scenarios where the father and the daughter are out for a holiday but as it is the custom, the daughter does not come close to the father. Throughout the entire holidaying period, the father and the son engage in flying activities with the son but the mother remains close to the daughter and engage in other activities in the field. The father would occasionally come close to the mother but despite that the mother would not indulge in flying as it is perceived to be a male thing. The fact that the mother and the daughter do not engage in the activities of flying depicts misconceptions along gender roles as it is considered to be a male thing to engage in flying activities. This is as destructive as the parent-child relationship misconception is. The father having taken the family for a holiday to relax and have peace would not attain the full benefit of the holiday as she cannot get close to her daughter as it would be deemed to be wrong doing so. Besides, the mother cannot as well experience a healthy time with the son and this would have a psychological torment to the parent though in a hidden way.
McCorkle, Jill. Creatures of habit stories. Chapel Hill, N.C: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003. Print.
Trimmer, Joseph F. The River reader. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. Print