Should Gender Roles Exist in 2021?
I have a possibly unpopular opinion that gender roles should not exist. I'm sure someone is reading this and immediately thought, "But why shouldn't they exist? Men and women are not the same?".
That's true. We are not the same. However, most of our differences are generalizations. For example, men are typically physically stronger than women, but that doesn't mean that every single man is stronger than every single woman. There are cases where a woman may be stronger than the man. The gender role is that it should be the man who carries heavy things. In a scenario where the woman is stronger, does it really make sense for him to be the one to carry the heavy item? Or are people sticking to that norm simply because "that's what a man is supposed to".
The rules and roles that we have are based on generalizations and often also based on a state of society that doesn't necessarily match our current state. There was a time where men worked and women stayed at home. If women did work, they didn't usually earn much. In that environment, of course the man should take on the vast majority of the financial burden. Today, many women work and often earn just as much or more than what men earn. If both a man and a woman earn similar amounts or the woman earns more, does it really make sense for a man to pay for all of the dates and pay all the bills?
In addition, many relationships now are not monogamous, heterosexual relationships. If there are two men, or two women, or one or more non-binary people or a polyamorous relationship, then what do you do? You can't really fall back onto these pre-defined roles in those scenarios.
I think that people need to spend more time thinking about what kind of relationship they personally want and what characteristics they specifically seek from a partner. That may or may not align with traditional gender roles. If it does, then that's great for you. If not, then that's also great for you. The important thing is that all parties in a relationship are on the same page about the relationship dynamics. As long as people are doing what works for them, nobody should be shamed for going outside of the "norm".
So in summary, do what works for you and your relationship and don't worry too much about what role society says each person should play :)