Women play a changing role in society

Maria Nann

“Unless single, women should not crave personal success but be satisfied with their husbands’ achievements.”

Even during a period of time when women were not regarded with equality, there were still concerns about where they stood in society.

A May 1965, Redbook article titled “How Women See Themselves” took a deeper look into not only the roles of women in society, but also how women themselves saw those roles.

Women’s roles in society, however, have changed drastically through the decades, and the thought of women relying on their husbands’ achievements for a sense of accomplishment doesn’t sit well with music professor M. Tyler Rounds.

“It makes me want to cry,” she said, shaking her head.

Growing up, Rounds watched as her older sisters and other women went to college to be nurses and secretaries, but never seeking education for a “man’s” profession. She said the difference in education for women from the ’60s to now is “just night and day.”

Freshman Brianna Foreman, interior design major, agreed.

“We have the opportunity to make it far, especially in jobs,” she said. “We can hold management positions and things like that.”

Things seem to be changing in the home, as well.

“A lot of times,” Foreman said, “I’ve noticed that a lot of women are the heads of households.”

Freshman communication studies major Miranda Reed agreed, saying, “We’re not portrayed as housewives anymore.”

Not only are women today not limited strictly to housewife positions, but they are also given endless opportunities.

“I think the confidence level is higher,” Rounds said. “Girls are brought up today being told, ‘You can do anything you want.’ The world has just changed so drastically the past 20 years.”

As an ethnomusicologist, Rounds has traveled the world to perform and experience music from countless different countries, and she has seen the differences among women in America and in developing countries.

“In some ways, the women are a little tougher,” she said. “They still deal with male chauvinism more than we do, but they can dish it out too.”

Rounds said women are strong. “I see that wherever I go,” she said. “And they are adaptable. I think in some cases, more so than men. They have to be.”

Contact features correspondent Maria Nann at [email protected].