Changing Gender Roles


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Changing Gender Roles

  1. 1. CHANGINGGENDERROLESIn 2012 men and women’sroles have undergonesignificant changes. We’veseen 2 distinct cohortsemerge: Women asGenerals and Invisible men.Women as GeneralsWomen’s ever increasing not diminished. On average, The lack of discretionaryinfluence over household women in Ireland are spend means that womenspending is well- having more babies than are enjoying non-documented, but as more women in any other discretionary spending andmen than women have lost country in the EU. The making an occasion oftheir jobs, women now average number of children everyday purchases and anhave even more per woman in 2009 was 2.1, actual event of larger items.responsibility; they are now meaning the Irish have thecontributing to and running highest fertility rate of the Switching is anotherthe household. The factors 27 EU member states. But resulting behaviour.contributing to this are as families grow, so does Mothers are switchingmale unemployment, the the cost of running the brands in even sensitivebaby boom of the past few household. Mothers are categories that they wouldyears and the sustained affected disproportionately normally avoid, such asdecrease in discretionary by the recession, but older baby care.spending available. Male mothers (34+) have beenunemployment is 2:1 and worse affected by the Invisible Menmore women have had to downturn and they are The converse of thereturn to the workforce out looking to economise every ‘Women as Generals’ trendof necessity. More women element of household is the effect it is having onno longer simply control the expense. men. A group of men arepurse-strings; they now also emerging who have beenhave ‘breadwinner’ particularly affected by theresponsibility. Playing all of these roles recession, losing jobs and takes its toll on women. The staying home: ‘InvisibleHowever despite taking on resulting effects are feelings Men’. Society is recognisingadditional responsibilities of Isolation and the seeking the need to support men asoutside the home women’s of support through social they take on new roles, faceroles within the home has networking and common the brunt ofnot diminished. The birth- interests. unemployment, and feelrates continue to be strong the burden of associatedby international standards anxieties. These new roles for men are leading men For more information on changing gender roles contact: ph (01) 6350030
  2. 2. seek out the type of in which men are looking to CSO 2012). Domesticsupport that is typically figure out these new roles violence against men is onshown to their female are by looking to trusted the increase andcounterparts, for example and admired role models. organisations such as Amenparenting columns written But these role models are provide support andby male homemakers. closer to home than we awareness. might expect. “Male causes are more successful when they target men specifically” Their appearance is also a major source of anxiety for men; more than four in five men (80.7 %) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections, compared with 75% ofIn addition to the struggles When asked who they look women. 29% of men thinkof adapting to their new up to the most, 58% of men about their appearance atrole, men are facing a say their parents, 56% say least five times a day. 35%multitude of other friends, 22% say of men would sacrifice aproblems. The 280,000 men humanitarian workers, 4% year of life to achieve theirwho are currently look up to actors and only ideal body weight or shape.unemployed in Ireland 1% look to politicians as 17.8% of men feel fat everystruggle with their finances, role models. day.daily routine and identity.So how do you talk to the Men face new challenges So, with this in mind, howinvisible man? and receive extra support. do brands effectively talk to Men are less likely to seek men?Firstly, it is important to help for health issues thanrecognise that they have women and have a lower Brands with male causesmoved from the ‘Easy life expectancy. are more successful whenbreadwinner’ stereotype to Academically, girls they target men specifically,a crisis both economically outperform boys in the for example Movemberand personally and are now leaving certificate and are raised awareness andmoving into recognition of more likely to have a 3rd millions in Ireland last year.newer male roles. One way Level Qualification (Source: Equally, this year’s ‘men’ For more information on changing gender roles contact: ph (01) 6350030
  3. 3. health awareness week’ Kathy Troy is Strategicreceived press and achieved Planner at MCCPits goal of raising awareness The Planning Agency whoacross the country. work with some of Ireland’s largest brands to help gameSo what for your brand? change through betterUntapped potential lies consumer insights andwithin this group; if few sharper strategy (brand,people are talking to the communications and‘invisible man’, should your innovation).brand find a way to supportand help him. The lack ofclear role models beyondfamily and friends showsthat men are discerning interms of whom they chooseto admire, but that theyalso may whole-heartedlyget behind those that theydo.Men have slipped into somegaps in society as exhibitedby the male carers andother groups; can yourbrand appeal to these menor does it focus too muchon the male stereotypes?Products, brands andexperiences that target menspecifically are no longerun-pc. Do you tailor yourbrand propositions to maleneeds? For more information on changing gender roles contact: ph (01) 6350030