Gender roles set in stone

One could argue that old-fashioned attitudes regarding gender and “traditional” gender roles are becoming obsolete.  In many parts of the world women head major corporations and hold high positions of power—positions historically seen as being of the male domain.  In turn, many men freely choose to be “stay-at-home-dads” or enter professions that were once considered to be “feminine.”  Naturally, our contemporary views of gender and gender roles illustrate the social progress we have made as one human culture. 

Yet, prehistoric and ancient works of art tell a different story—one that reinforces old-fashioned gender roles (and maybe for good reason).  Prehistoric and ancient representations of gender illustrate the social norms of their periods.  Naturally, these works of art were produced by people whose lives and values were quite different from ours.  Yet, the views of gender presented by these works of art are, despite our contemporary sensibilities, are still very recognizable.

Write an essay that analyzes the representation of gender and gender roles as seen in Woman of Willendorf (prehistoric: c. 25,000–20,000 B.C.E.) and Kouros/Statue of Standing Youth (ancient Greece: c. 580 B.C.E.). 

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