Gender is simply defined as the cultural and social construction of masculinity or feminity (Perry 8). This definition is not only enough when talking about gender as the term encompasses several factors like sexual orientation, common appearance and even forms of communication. However, this being a very wide term has led to formation of stereotype implying that men and women have to adhere to some gender roles for them to be seen socially as fit and hence some recognition in the society. In opposition to this stereotype which I believe it intends to impose and force some roles basing on gender hence favoring one gender or another.
The topic of women gender norms in the society is very instrumental in shaping up the society which is a building block to the nation. Therefore, when talking about gender roles there are various ideologies that arise hence emergency of stereotypes. This influences the way a group of people will behave and act in order to be accepted in a given gender group. For example, there has been a stereotype on how a perfect woman and man should look like.
One who does not subscribe to these activities is seen as an outcast and thus not accepted in the society. Not that this attributes are from the holy book of God but just by man as observed from televisions, magazines and advertisements. In other words, for a woman to be considered perfect, it involves beauty in shape, dependent, caretaker, housewife, respectful, loving and nurturing. This is not true as one cannot possess all these characteristics at ago. Depending on the outcome the society will either reject or hold an individual. On the other hand, a perfect man is considered to be strong, masculine and a provider.
According to Vaughan in the book The Last Man (Vaughan 22), he dwells on the positive ideology concerning women where he represents women as being strong physically as opposed to the stereotype of them being weaker sex. This is clearly brought out when Yorick is beaten almost to death by a woman who fights impressively disabling them. In addition, to this we are informed that women show the ability of leading armies and nations.
They also demonstrate intelligence in the biological research where they lead from the front. In this case the stereotype of women being cooperative is not true as they turn out to have more convincing power than men hence outdoing them. An example of this from the last man is when Women like Rep Brown and Rose are concerned for the common good (Vaughan 66).
Chauvinistic stereotype of men is also demonstrated when Yorick who is a staunch traditionalist believes that there is nothing a woman can do but instead he ends up being held by a supermodel lady with a gun. Instead of fearing for his life he thinks the woman is after raping him as he assumes she is a weaker sex (Vaughan 47). This is not true as the supermodel is not interested sexually but she is after killing him.
Another stereotype disapproved in the comic book is the one of women being peace loving and cooperative than men. On contrary Yorick becomes surprised to learn that the militias of republican wives are demanding for their husbands. This just shows that whenever women want something that they believe is rightfully theirs they will push very hard to get it.
Despite of several criticisms the book still holds on traditional and artistic norms which reinforce stereotypes concerning gender. The relationship between Yorick and Beth is related to dating norms of medieval operation. Yorick here is portrayed as a knight who has to endure so many things in order to reach his beloved one. This tells us man is meant to be the seeker and provider which is not the case any longer as presently it is either way.
Another gender norm that surfaces is feminism. This comes out in this comic book when all the women including Agent 355 having colored lips, which not even a single man in the story dares to have. Literary in the current situations which kind of man will have time for lipsticks; hence signifying this character is meant for women. The comic medium here is based on paint differentiating between men and women. (Vaughan 105).
The ideology in the book continues to suppress the gendered norms of tradition. This is because from the book we learn that oppositional ideologies will still be persisting at least in one way or another. Even though there is evolution in the way society perceives gender some norms cannot completely be eliminated.
Ironically there is a justification of women being perceived as subjects for sex. When we are told that the truck super model posed with her gaze to right, nipples protruding towards the observers. This simply justifies that it is women who have to attract to their side by showing what they have and not the other way round.
This being a very intriguing topic needs a sober approach during the discussion depending on one’s experience and information from the available literature.