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Rejecting Assigned Gender Roles October 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.
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Frog-CircusNo one can “have it all.”

Every choice we make precludes other choices. We cannot be both “full time high powered executive” and “stay at home care giver.”

I don’t see that as “society’s problem.”

Life is full of individual choices that everyone, male or female, must make.

We must decide where our priorities lie ~ whether it’s in the boardroom or the nursery ~ without blind adherence to archaic notions passed down from generation to generation.

Betty-BoopIn The Rise of Sexist Nostalgia, Renee relies on witty satire  to decry TV shows  which glorify sexism and gender inequality using stewardesses, Playboy bunnies, and tiny toddlers with tits (!) as plastic pawns and bait.

Renee’s telling look at TV’s recent offerings is terrific.

But TV isn’t the only mass marketer of outdated stereotypes.

Religion accounts for much of the brainwashing we receive.  The Bible is full of archaic nonsense and anti-feminist propaganda encouraging women to honor and OBEY the male figures in their lives ~ causing some “believers” to espouse the antiquated notion that women should be submissive to men since that’s what “God” intended when “he” wrote the Bible.  See, e.g., The Journey to Reclaim Godly Femininity ~ Part I.

I see no reason for men or women to rely on a 2000-year-old document as a framework for defining “gender roles” in the 21st Century.

Times have changed.  Thank God!

For an eye-opening history of how early Judeo-Christian leaders brought about a radical gender role transformation, I recommend When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone.

Merlin Stone’s insight-filled book recounts the subjugation of women by churches, mosques, and synagogues.  As one reviewer put it:

As a Christian woman I felt a void in my soul that couldn’t be answered through the Biblical scriptures. Why were the teachings so vile and violent towards women? Why was society demeaning and oppressive to the mothers of humanity? How did our culture develop into such a divided state that men were dominate and women submissive? Why weren’t women revered for their life giving nature and soul healing abilities?

The first book I read that brought some understanding was G. James Stewart’s Immorality of Christianity. This opened the door for me to challenge social and theological beliefs that have devalued women (and men) as well as Western civilization as a whole. I read Jean M. Auel’s Earth Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear) and was given a glimpse of pre-historical beliefs and customs. This caused me to ask the question: When did it all change? When did the Mother Goddess get replaced by the Judeo-Christian God?

This book by Merlin Stone leapt off the shelf with her all encompassing  title. From page one to the end she develops a sound scientific histography of the age before God worship and the powerful influence of women in a culture which honored fertility, prosperity, and peace for thousands of years.   My identity as a women has found peace and comfort in the knowing that womanhood was once revered ~ and can be again ~ as the source of life. 

My beliefs have changed dramatically and never will I see the patriarchial Judeo-Christian dogma as anything but usurpation of woman as divine . . . Helen (Tacoma, Washington).

Gender roles in the 21st Century should  be based on personal preferences and proclivities . . .  not on rigid adherence to antiquated notions of inequality  which proclaim women to be second-class citizens, or on the out-dated sexist stereotypes depicted in Pan Am, The Playboy Club, and Toddler and Tiaras.

As Desmond Tutu recently shared, in his Message on Child Marriage, harmful traditions MUST be challenged:

Child marriage occurs because we men allow it. Fathers, village chiefs, religious leaders, decision-makers – most are male. In order for this harmful practice to end, we need to enlist the support of all the men who know this is wrong, and work together to persuade all those who don’t.   

I want to encourage boys to stand up for their sisters, and say that girls have the same rights to go to school, to develop and be everything they can be.

Child marriage is not a religious practice – it is a tradition. There are many good traditions that bind communities together. But traditions are also not static – they evolve. Traditions that are harmful, that have outlived their purpose, must be challenged.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What say you?

Do you feel that men and women should be on equal footing in relationships?  Or should one gender lead while the other meekly follows?

If you favor playing “follow the leader” . . . watch out for tall bridges, steep ledges, religious zealots, and poisoned Kool-Aid:

Related posts:  What IS Women’s Work? * Where Have All The Women Gone? (Random Thoughts From Midlife) * Tween Costumes for Halloween (ACK!) * Multi-Tasking (Vix) * Desmond Tutu’s Message on Child Marriage (Creating Reciprocity) * Justice Begins With Seeds ~ Vandana Shiva (Upcycled Love) * Marketing Gender (Woman Wielding Words)

Comments»

1. Chad - October 5, 2011

Women have always had exactly the same amount of power as men. The study of history simply shows us what each sex decided to do with its power.
-=Chad=-

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

I disagree.

Cindy - October 5, 2011

So do I!

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

We may have the same “innate power” but the “might makes right” mentality of the few have subjugated the many.

Time for a change, eh?

2. TheIdiotSpeaketh - October 5, 2011

I believe Men and Women should be equals in EVERYTHING. WIth no exceptions.

I added your award to my original post, and added you to my blogroll, which…… means that you are now an OFFICIAL MEMBER OF THE IDIOT HAREM…… Congrats! Have a great day! 🙂

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Thanks, Mark!

Joining a harem, even of divine idiots, seems a rather ironic twist of fate . . . in light of this particular post. 😆

3. TheIdiotSpeaketh - October 5, 2011

Leave it to me to twist everything up…. 🙂

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Aah, the ironies of life . . . your comment on THIS post made me laugh out loud.

4. BrainRants - October 5, 2011

I agree with you, and I personally find “Toddlers in Tiaras” to be distasteful… nothing but pedophile baiting.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

The photos that Renee included in her post are nasty ~ a 3 yr. old dressed as a prostitute? WTF!

The parents of those children should have their license to procreate taken away. Oh, wait . . . we don’t need a license to procreate. More’s the pity.

5. suzicate - October 5, 2011

We’ve come a long way but still have far to go…while equality in the work place is getting better, there are still many religions that do not allow women to serve as clergy.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Or drive cars. Or go to school. Or say “no” to men. Or . . . the list is endless.

Those in power tend to stay in power unless and until they perceive some benefit of sharing the reins OR the marginalized class decides to overthrow them for their abuse of power.

Maybe we are getting to that point, eh?

6. SidevieW - October 5, 2011

different economic systems dictate other issues like gender responsibilities. we can’t impose our way of life on an economic environmenty not ready for it. however we can open discussions for people on what is fair

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

I’m not trying to “impose” our way of life on anyone. But I do want to keep “our way of life” from descending back into the dark ages due to mass marketing and religious traditions that no longer serve any useful purpose.

I want people to open their eyes and THINK about what we need to do to get from where we are to where we want to be.

Hopefully that does NOT include continuing to encourage 2-year-olds to sashay down the runway with tiny pointed tits . . . or applaud 3-year-olds dressed as prostitutes and dominatrixes.

SidevieW - October 6, 2011

We have found ways to be more fair to all. We have a level of economic freedom, so that we could explore ways to do so.

The very poor in rural communities often don’t have such luxury. For many the economics of female oppression are so inbuilt to the survival of the group. Male risk in terms of maurading bands leads them to impose what we see as impossibly-to-accept conditions.

Then these become entrenched and taken to environments where they no longer serve any purpose.

That’s where we have to really fight them!

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Excellent point, Sidey. I loved the message that Desmond Tutu shared . . . those who know that it is wrong, need to work to make it right. 😀

Debra - October 6, 2011

Toddlers & tiaras – We are doing our children a disservice. I could go on about this but I will not. It makes me ill. No amount of money is worth losing a childhood.

As to who should ‘lead’ in a relationship? There is no ‘set’ leader. there are times when I am good at this…and someone is good at that. Why put myself or them in a situation where one person has to be ‘it’? As you say Nancy, no one is ever able to always be ‘on’ (on is my term).

Flowing back and forward works for me. Balance works for me.

I usually always wash the dishes…not because I am less than anyone…but because i use that time to collect my thoughts. It is like a Zen moment for me:)

Namaste _/|\_

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Good for you grabbing a Zen moment while washing dishes. Reminds me of the book . . . Chop Wood, Carry Water.

And I agree completely . . . balance and equilibrium while flowing through life is key for me. Neither of us is in charge of the other. Both of us look out for each other. We flow back and forth without worrying about labels like “leader” and “follower.”

Thanks, Debra.

7. johnell74 - October 5, 2011

I can see exactly what you are saying Nancy, and in many ways I agree with you. But where Judaeo / Christianity has failed is because of the failings not so much of the institutions, but because of the members. Christian Love has to be the heart of relationships, and love strives to give the loved one the opportunity to be free – free to be themselves fully. That creates equality. Sexism sprang from fear and the thirst for power.
Not very clear, but that is as far as I can go without writing a book!
John

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Thanks, John. Good points.

Maybe it’s time for the Judeo-Christian religions to rewrite the Bible to clarify what has been mis-interpreted and mis-translated through the ages? To clarify that love conditioned on submission by women is NOT what God intends.

Because, as it stands, there are way too many people who take the Bible as “gospel truth.”

8. kateshrewsday - October 5, 2011

Nancy, you are a woman after my own heart.
I love this because sometimes it is hard to see the place women have unless one has been in that situation. I can tell you right now that I am voiceless in my church. I do not matter. I’m allowed to look after the children because we do it well and keep them quiet. But if I ever speak out, I am merely a nuisance and, as I get older, less beautiful and probably more strident, I pose a threat. This is not about power. It is about according respect and a full part to each and every member of a community, regardless of gender. Defensiveness has been the first reaction I get in the only church I know: the one whose walls I live within.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Reading comments such as yours boggles my mind.

It is 2011, isn’t it? Why does it still feel like the dark ages in certain venues? Particularly those dominated by men?

I’m sure you have your reasons for staying despite the less than stellar welcome, but maybe you should make a real nuisance of yourself and “go on strike” . . . stage a sit in in front of the staid steeple . . . and stridently demand R~E~S~P~E~C~T for worshipers with and without a Y chromosome. 😀

Maybe Chad is right . . . we do have power but we aren’t using it effectively to “grab them by the balls.”

If you do “go on strike” . . . please film it for youtube. I’ll help publicize it here on SLTW.

kateshrewsday - October 6, 2011

😀 I am indeed doing the above, Nancy…heading towards launching a national initiative to meet a pet aim of ours so we all work together….but the church seems to give ‘Immoveable’ a new meaning. I’d just like it to be simple, is all. I don’t feel that years after the sixties are over that we should have to fight like a suffragette all over again.

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Good for you. I agree. At this point, we shouldn’t need to burn our bras and parade up and down the streets with banners . . . we should be able to “whisper” a friendly reminder that it is 2011 and women and men should be playing on an even field.

Good luck, Kate. Keep us posted and we’ll help you spread a Whisper Wave through cyberspace.

9. creatingreciprocity - October 5, 2011

Excellent post, Nancy.

We need to see each other as people first and foremost – gender is another way we focus on our differences instead of learning how to use these differences to our advantage. We also need to be careful not to accept male standards as objective human standards and decide that we have achieved equality when women are like men. Instead we need to be be willing to totally look at our structures and not just change the personnel in power.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Well put, Patricia. The other day, in response to someone advocating that men should LEAD and women should FOLLOW submissively, I countered with:

The world would be a far better place if WOMEN, not MEN, were in charge.

Definitely a knee jerk reaction on my part to the rather archaic notions she espoused.

In truth, the world would be a far better place if women and men grew in compassion and kindness . . . allowing their spiritual nature to expand and their misguided egos to contract.

At the moment, I don’t expect to see that paradigm shift in my lifetime. I hold out little hope for the future of the world. We’ve had an awful lot of time to get things “right” . . . and they are still so “wrong.” 😦

10. katherine - October 5, 2011

I definitely follow Greg meekly! OK, you’re so not gonna buy that. On a random note, good to see Liv Tyler again and there’s another movie coming out with a guy on a ledge. On a related note there was a great article on Slate you’d like and I can’t find. It was on a woman blogger who followed the bible literally, oh man. She had to separate herself from her family when she was menstruating. Anyway, great post.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Yes, I thought as much. 😀

As for your biblical blogger . . . OMG! That’s so depressingly sad. How does someone like that live so deeply in the dark ages in 2011?

Then again . . . maybe “she’s” not really a woman.

Maybe “she’s” a he masquerading in cyberspace as “a woman who cares so deeply for her family that she will NOT soil them by menstruating in their presence.”

Or maybe she is a woman who has been brainwashed until she is no longer able to see reason.

Either way. Disturbing news for the 21st Century.

11. bluebee - October 5, 2011

Very well said, Nancy –

In this country we have Bill Herffernan who accused our PM of being unfit to run the country because she is “deliberately barren” (an oxymoron uttered by a moron if ever there was one).

And we have the moth-eaten patriarchs of the church trying to put a spanner in the works as far as schools ethics classes go here (which are currently offered as an alternative to religious education) They are afraid people might learn some critical thinking skills and we can’t have that now, can we? Don’t get me started!!

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

Oh, bluebee. You are so right!

That’s what standardized testing is all about . . . preventing kids from learning critical thinking skills. Teachers are too busy shoving and shoveling useless facts and figures into students at the speed of light that they don’t have time to teach them HOW TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

It makes them susceptible to oxymorons uttered by morons like your Bill Herferman. “Deliberately moronic” Yes. Yes, he is!

12. Maggie - October 5, 2011

I definitely think that men and women should be treated equally and should have the same rights and opportunities, but I also think that there are certain things men are better equipped for (mentally and physically) than women, and vice versa. The male brain and body are wired a certain way and the female brain and body are wired a certain way, but that doesn’t mean that one sex/gender should be “above” the other. Not all men are created one way and not all women are created one way either. Society just likes to put us all into nice little boxes in order to “simplify” things.

I’m glad that the world is a lot more tolerant of gender differences and women’s rights than it has been in the past – although there is still quite a long way to go.

nrhatch - October 5, 2011

You’re right, Maggie. Men and Women aren’t identical with each other or with other members of their gender.

Whenever we rely on stereotypes to define men and women we are encouraging people to become homogenous rather than to develop their own unique skills, talents, and abilities. It makes it easier for society to herd us around like sheep.

B~A~A!

Some people think that men are more “logical” than women and they used that as an excuse to keep women out of law schools for years. Despite the absence of a Y chromosome, I excel at logic, graduated cum laude, and kicked butt in court.

Some people believe that women shouldn’t take jobs from men because they are just going to get pregnant, have babies, and stay home to care for their offspring. Despite having the necessary anatomy, I have never been interested in having a “baby.”

There is no reason to apply stereotypes to gender roles in the 21st Century, but some people encourage the perpetuation of outdated and archaic stereotypes because they are afraid to see what happens on a level playing field.

Every individual, male or female, should be able to decide for him or herself where their strengths and interests lie. And they should be encouraged to develop their talents to the fullest extent for the good of ALL of us.

13. Nancy Curteman - October 6, 2011

This may be a bit of a stray from the topic, but I see this as a good forum for sharing my pet peeve regarding the treatment of mothers and mother in-laws in the media. They are continually being made the butt of jokes and put downs and not just by men. Even women who will some day be mother in-laws make rude, cutting comments about their own mothers. Of course, this is all meant to be humorous. Why do mothers merit such poor treatment in our country?

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

That’s NOT off topic at all, Nancy.

TV shapes and molds the minds of the next generation. When there is blatant racism, sexism or any other stereotypical response to INDIVIDUALS, its sends a message saying it’s OK to put women down or to look down on blacks because “they are not as good as us.”

That’s why shows like Tiny Tits and Tiaras is so troublesome to me . . . it sends a message that women as young as 2 and 3 should be viewed as sexual objects. And that is SICK!

But we can set our radars to focus solely on our “pet peeves” and MISS that the show is really making FUN of everyone under the sun . . .

Because, face it, people are silly rabbits. 😀

An example ~ Everyone Loves Raymond. Yes, the writers made Marie (the interfering mother and MIL) the butt of many jokes BUT the show also made fun of Raymond, and Robert, and Amy and Frank, and all their friends, and the school system, and . . .
everything and everybody.

So we need to be careful that we aren’t magnifying our “pet peeves” while overlooking the rest of the mix.

14. Sandra Bell Kirchman - October 6, 2011

Men have no concept of how women have been put down over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that, being separated from my first husband, I still had to get his permission to get a bank loan to buy a car.

I submitted a sci/fi story (before Star Trek) to a NY agent who admitted that the writing was excellent but he didn’t want to take it because it had a woman on the space ship in the role of an officer and that just didn’t fit the day’s standards.

My current husband, a great guy, still doesn’t understand – today men’s clothing is made much better than women’s, seams reinforced, cutting and sewing better, etc. Men still get higher pay for equal work. It used to be people thought that was right because men were supporting a family. That’s no longer true. Look at all the single moms or the women with husbands who can’t or won’t work.

Nancy, don’t get me started. This is a particular pet peeve that I have been struggling with for years, even back to the days when I was a cub reporter covering magistrate’s court. The case coming up was a Mountie’s testimony on a bawdy house case. The magistrate looked at me and decided to have the testimony heard in chambers, much to the relief of the Mountie and to the disgust of the male reporter from a competing newspaper.

Sheesh!

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

I disagree with your first sentence. Many men do KNOW.

They know it, they see it, they disapprove of it and . . . then they have a choice to make.

They can speak and act on behalf of woman about what is RIGHT, and JUST, and FAIR (in the way Desmond Tutu urges), or they can give lip service to the idea of equality and turn their back on the injustices they see.

Sadly, many men pretend NOT to see and NOT to know because then they don’t have to DO anything.

But it’s not just men. And it’s not just an issue of women’s rights.

It’s every time any of us don’t act to remedy the injustices we see by PRETENDING we didn’t see them.

The abuse of animals.
The exploitation of children.
The marginalization of minorities.

We ALL need to keep our eyes and ears open and stop acting like f*cking ostriches.

Sandra Bell Kirchman - October 6, 2011

You got me started.

You’re right, many men do know. However, they don’t have much clue as to how it feels. They think, what the heck, it’s way better here than, say, some Arab countries. Well, goodness gracious, it doesn’t take much to surpass some of their women’s rights.

Yes, equality, justice, etc. I am so against the three things you mentioned. However, apart from making sure I keep MY eyes open, the only one I can actively participate in every day is the rights and welfare of women. I want to cry every time I see women who are trying to make something of themselves, raise themselves up the ladder, stopped by some snot of a man WHO IS OFTEN SUPPORTED BY WOMEN, because, get this, he feels threatened.

This happened to my lovely, talented, intelligent daughter. Fortunately, she didn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself. She went back to university, got a meaningful degree (all the while working to support herself), and then opened up her own consulting firm. She is very successful. That’s the kind of action that will make men (and women) sit up and take notice. And I do believe living well is the best revenge.

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

When I practiced law, a “snot of a man” tried to intimidate me before a trial by calling me “little lady” and talking about his extensive experience and my meagre experience and didn’t I want to give up and settle the case before I humiliated myself in court.

I took GREAT PLEASURE in kicking his ass in court. 😀

15. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) - October 6, 2011

I believe that men and women should be equal and that in any relationship the one who is stronger at a specific task should be the one who takes on that role. For example, Nathan loves cooking and is a better cook then I, so he cooks. I seem to be more organized at keeping the finances straight, so I pay bills. I am not saying that women can do everything men can do, or vice versa. I can’t grow a beard (yet, but with the change right around the corner, who knows?) men can’t have a baby. We have physical differences. But, we don’t have any difference in our abilities to learn, to grow, and to become experts at what we need–except the differences that come from who we are not our gender.

Long ago I wrote this post called Marketing Gender which you might find interesting. http://lkramer14.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/marketing-gender/

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Thanks for the link. I knew you had posted some things pertinent to this discussion but I didn’t have links handy.

The subliminal messages girls receive are everywhere . . . look pretty and shut the f*uck up.

It is up to the more enlightened members of society to remind fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons that WOMEN ROCK!

We do not have to be defined by our tits, ass or vaginas. We do not need to look pretty or be seductive or play dumb in order to entice men into our lives. We are FREE to be who we want to be without manicures and pedicures and a “shop til you drop” wardrobe.

Women Rock!

Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) - October 6, 2011

Although I do have to say that getting my first pedicure during the drive out here was an invigorating experience. I had confident toes for a while, plus my feet felt really good. 😉

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

I have the following philosophy:

Do it to FEEL GOOD.
Do it to LOOK GOOD for yourself so that you FEEL GOOD.

But do NOT do it for THEM.
Do NOT do it to “trap a man” or “keep a man.”

A real man loves us for WHO we are inside . . . they know that a “pretty book” won’t hold their attention for long if there is NOTHING between the covers.

And who wants to trap a knuckle dragging neanderthal? 😀

16. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) - October 6, 2011

Oops, sorry Nancy. I just realized you had read it before.

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

No apologies necessary.

TO ALL MY READERS:

If any of my posts ever spark a memory of an earlier post you wrote on the same or closely related subject . . . PLEASE share the link in the comment thread.

If the post you wrote is relevant to the discussion, I will add a link above under the Related Posts section.

In short . . . I want you to help me create cyber webs of resources and information. So feel free to PROMOTE YOUR WORK.

That is all.

17. Booksphotographsandartwork - October 6, 2011

I would be interested in reading When God was a Woman. I completely agree with what you said about each doing what suits them best and not just because of gender. I have also made a nuisance of myself in just about every church or bible study that I have attended. I have always been willing to ask questions until I found answers and not just silly answers to make me shut up. I don’t think for one minute that Jesus expected women to be treated as less than equal or unworthy.

nrhatch - October 6, 2011

Good for you, Linda. Ask.

There are NO stupid questions . . . only stupid answers. 😀

18. souldipper - October 7, 2011

Nancy, this will teach me for getting so far behind! This is another fabulous blog.

Judeo Christians: The abbesses were so wise (leaders sought their counsel), so powerful (leaders listened to their counsel) and so threatening (success prevailed as a result of their counsel) to the church, they were cut down, cut off and discounted. One of the ways it was started was to take away rights. Suddenly they could not offer Communion to anyone. Not even us lowly sinners.

I have such a long story about being a woman in a man’s world during two different career streams – even thinking about it causes me to steam! When I had the great pleasure of making certain that women had the same career opportunities as men in a major Canadian financial institution, I had to suss out the creeps who were actually taking performance tools and using them to take the women hostage for sexual favours. You damned right I roared! I let everyone know that I was for “People Liberation” – not just women’s lib and that the men damned well better catch up. The president stood behind me every time I had to shine the spotlight.

Just like I don’t what it’s like to be black, I found men do not understand or “get” the subtle ways in which women are left out, looked over, or deemed invisible.

Today, after 25 years of mentoring women who have chosen recovery from substance abuse, a man who doesn’t like me and I don’t have any idea why (I honestly don’t care.) said, “I have respected you for the way that you deflected all the misogynists that stood in your path.” I did not have a chance to say, “Then why did you not support me.”

I decided I would wait for the right time. Perhaps he did! I’ll give him a fair shake. By not liking me, he may have been able to appear unbiased to those who hate women. I know he does not – but he’s certainly a Judeo-Christian who loves playing the role of “God’s good little bad boy” around all the church women.

And before I go…you have me going, too!…re the church? The paternalistic permutations and combinations are so ingrained that I have to laugh every time I hear a Church council (local and national) wonder why numbers are plummeting. You should hear the rationalizations from the men on that one. They delude themselves. Meanwhile, the churches stand on the backs and bankbooks of women.

Amen!

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

I’ve been fortunate to be around many open-minded and supportive males in my life ~ most notably my husband.

I had prejudice and subtle sexism to deal with on occasion . . . from potential clients, judges, opposing counsel, etc., but never from those who “held my future in their hands.” It was easy enough to ignore most of the subtle digs and snubs . . . while demonstrating my abilities in court.

But it almost seems like we are taking a step backwards . . . especially with shows like Toddlers and Tiarras. And a resurgence of the biblical admonition for women to obey their husbands. That concerns me.

When I grew up . . . I never tried to dumb it down in order to attract a guy. I see lots of girls doing that now. They seemed to have picked up on the inherent insecurities in the men they date and they want to bolster them up by pretending to be less than they are.

And then the culture of materialism . . . and looking good . . . and the excess for proms and weddings. It all just seems like a giant leap backwards.

Sandra Bell Kirchman - October 7, 2011

Wow, souldipper, you have quite the story to tell. It’s extremely interesting. There are quite a few women who frequent this forum who are, in my opinion, outstanding representatives of the female side of the population. You might consider writing your memoirs (if you can – maybe the subject matter is too sensitive). I bet quite a few people would be interested in reading them.

There are a number of other women here whose memoirs I would be interested in reading. I think that is another way to promote the cause of equality and justice for women. *looks at Nancy and Paula and a few others*

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

We are a fascinating bunch, eh?

Paula is working on a memoir. Christine just finished one. Not sure about Amy’s plans.

I know that I won’t be writing a memoir . . . this blog serves that purpose for me. I take what happened, share it in bits and pieces, AND enjoy the immediate give and take from regular readers and occasional visitors.

19. Christine Grote - October 7, 2011

I blame it on the Romans and their sky gods.

Women’s roles in society is one of my favorite topics. I did a concentration of this subject in college.

And, unlike you, I do partially blame a society whose “rules” of operation often preclude the possibility of flexibility (altho I think things are getting better).

My options as a new mother and working engineer in 1982? Go back to work fuul time at six weeks or stay home. A different society formed by different priorities and assumptions might have offered me more choice.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

In 1982, women had fewer options than many do today. Several of the law firms I worked for, allowed flex time, shared work schedules, part time, and other alternatives. Now ,of course, many people (men and women) work from home in their pj’s.

I assumed that we could continue a “forward march” to explore and expand career options for both genders. Instead, TV and marketing seems to be regressing back into the dark ages. That’s very troubling to me. I don’t want my nieces to have to fight the same battles “we” did.

20. ElizOF - October 9, 2011

You got me at Toddlers with Tits! 😆 That aside, there are communities of believers that treat gender equality as a given; choosing to not follow literal translations of the big book… That being said, I find that secular religion is politicized and those in power (religious leadership) redefine the teachings to suit their needs…
Sadly, all the great religions suffer from this problem and, ironically, all teach that we should treat each other with dignity and respect – love thy neighbor as thyself ( not love only thy neighbor’s hubby and disrespect the wife by treating her like a nonentity). Go figure. 😉

nrhatch - October 9, 2011

We’ve come a long way . . . but we’ve got a long way to go before we sleep.

People fear things they do not understand. And people are hard to understand. So we live in a constant state of fear.

Which can only be put to rest with love.

21. ElizOF - October 9, 2011

Sadly, all the great religions suffer from this problem at varying degrees… I wanted to add that adjustment. I’m still catching up on blog comments…TY! 😦 🙂

nrhatch - October 9, 2011

The subjugation of women is widespread, for sure.


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