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Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


50 posted 04-12-2008 10:46 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad


quote:
BTW, when my last child was born I spent a full year playing the full-time-daddy role. Maternal nature, Stephen? If more men tried it, I suspect we'd start calling it human nature. It was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life.


Lucky dog!
Seoulair
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since 03-27-2008
Posts 776
Seoul S.Korea


51 posted 04-13-2008 01:28 AM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

? Lucky Dog---this is name calling. I would use lucky bear.--the grizzly kind.
Can you imagine what a man would do to his child when his faith was on ""Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy." ?

I can't. Probably the child cooked his first year dinners for his father.  

[This message has been edited by Seoulair (04-13-2008 05:04 PM).]

Ron
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52 posted 04-13-2008 12:24 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But exceptions do not eradicate rules.  And so, I don't think the successes of any instances involving a switch of traditional gender roles, should imply that we are to chalk the old views up to mere bias, and render gender as superfluous in society or the home

Actually, Stephen, the exceptions do eradicate the rules. Unless you really intend to make rules that don't (and shouldn't) apply to everyone equally? Basically, you're saying that most people are right-handed, most men are heterosexual, and most women are nurturing. Yet, people still use their left hands, men apparently experiment with homosexuality, and women neglect their children. Are you sure you're describing rules?

Ever do any bird watching, Stephen?

Male hummingbirds perform one and only one function in raising a family. And, uh, they'll perform that sole function with just as many females as they can. Barn swallows, on the other hand, mate for life and the male does just about everything the female does, from sitting on the eggs to feeding the voracious nestlings when they hatch. Both hummers and swallows are hard wired, as you say, with genetic predispositions. You certainly won't find me arguing against a role for genetics. What you will find me arguing, however, is "the" role for genetics. I think humans are barn swallows, not hummingbirds.

I will readily grant you the differences between men and women. I just don't think either you or I, or anyone else, really knows which of those differences are shaped by genetics and which are shaped by society. I would be an utter fool, I think, to claim that genetics plays no part in those differences. Are you, perhaps, suggesting that society has played no part in those differences?


Essorant
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53 posted 04-13-2008 03:41 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Think about how some cultures/traditions are predominated by certain races and not others.  "Chinese" (the culture) is predominated by "Chinese" (the physical race).  "Canadian" however, is not the same.   "Canadian" (the culture) is not predominated by "Canadian" (a physical race).  Canadian is only a cultural "race" so to speak, not a physical race.   We are predominately "Canadians" because of our  our culture , not because we are also some kind of physical "Canadian".  But may we say the same for "Chinese"?  By all means, a white man may be wellversed in Chinese and perhaps lived in China all his life, but, who thinks of white men when they hear "Chinese", in any sense?  And who won't respect when Chinese people are the only ones working at a Chinese restaurant?  Is this racism?  I don't believe so.  It may be called racial, but not racism in this respect alone.  And it should be able to be respected, not rejected just because it involves one race more than another.  By no means should other "races" whether physical or cultural, stand back and think "We should've been equally part of the Chinese culture!".  It is mistaken if we do and it doesn't make sense.

The exact same thing happened with gender.    Every specially different group of people has some special traditions in which they predominated in, and the gender-groups are no exception. There are traditions that men predominated in and there are traditions that women predominated in.   There is nothing wrong with this.  There is nothing wrong with women doing something more than men, or men doing something more than women.  And women shouldn't be ashamed for doing less politics than men, nor men for doing less mothering than women.  It is like one country trying to say it should be equally part of another country's traditions, that is how strong the "borders" were set between men and women.  The borders may have changed and the countries called "men" and "women" may have become more merrged and even,  but there are still borders, and we should be able to respect them, without always pretending these two landscapes should be equally mountainous or equally full of lakes, etc to match one exactly with the other!  It doesn't make sense.  Respect and be proud of the good traditions that are within your own "borders"  They don't need to be the same as every other "countries"!

Ron
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54 posted 04-13-2008 05:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

All I can do, Ess, is sit here and shake my head. For that to make any sense at all, you're going to have to explain to me from which part of your Chinese culture you intend to exclude me? And I'll warn you ahead of time: Try to take away my rice and you're going to have a real fight on your hands.  

When it comes to what I can and cannot do, sorry, but I'm not going to respect any borders imposed from without. You shouldn't either.


Bob K
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55 posted 04-13-2008 06:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Essorant,

          You stretch your use of analogy here beyond my poor ability to follow.  I'm not particularly certain that the concept of "race" is currently accepted anthropology, for example.  

     You restate your belief that men have one set of roles and women another; and that there is no problem with each gender taking pride and pleasure in doing what its gender seems to specialize in, and in doing it well.  I think your position here needs to be addressed.

     I believe the pride and pleasure that one takes in doing "a man thing" or "a woman thing" well—say multitasking for a women or toughing something out for a man—is not of prime importance.  You apparently think it is.

     If everything were a matter of simple division of what everyone thought was best for everybody, then, historically women would have had a well established right to own property, to vote, and to make their own decision as to whom they were to marry.  Once married, historically their rights would not have devolved upon their husbands, their husbands would not have had the right to beat them either on whim or to "keep them in line."  Nor would legislation have been necessary to limit the size of the stick that a husband could use to do so.  Nor would it have been possible as late as the 19th century in some areas of the British Isles, for women to be kidnapped and married by force, against their will, in a legally binding marriage.  (Wilkie Collins used this particular piece of the Scottish law to advantage in a few of his novels, but it is certainly more than fiction.  Those of you who haven't read Collins, especially women—my wife tells me—are in for a serious treat.)  "Husbands" who did so would have had no access to the estates of their "wives."

     Should the situation have been as genial as you present it, none of these circumstances would have been possible.  Women would have had access to work to enable them to earn money outside the home; birth control would have been simple and legal, and divorce would have been much easier to get, to keep women from being trapped in dangerous situations.

     The division of roles that you portray as being a division between equals with more or less equal rights and responsibilities on either side was at best a polite fiction maintained only with stern legal sanctions pointed almost completely in one direction. . .  The full force and majesty of the law was directed against the women.

     I imagine there will be counter-examples.  There are in almost every case.  In this case, however, I believe that the women seriously get the short and soiled end of the stick.

     And which of these gains that women have made, slowly and incompletely over the past 200 years, would any fair-minded person wish to give back?  And what would the results be of doing so?

     That women or men should take pride and pleasure in what they do seems a very good thing.  That they should be limited to doing only what the other gender believes are the proper things for them to be doing: That seems an abomination, a substitution of power for joy.      

[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-13-2008 07:06 PM).]

hush
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Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


56 posted 04-14-2008 12:36 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Head... hurts.... so... badly....

What do I find annoying about this thread? Well, since it didn't go away, let me peruse the past few pages and point a few things out.

Essorant:

"My problem is when people treat the past as if women were somehow imprisoned by masculine hands into not being politicians, tyrants, and warriors.  The reason women were less involved in what men were doing is simply because they were more involved in what women were doing."

Apparently it's not good enough to let asinine comments stand on their own, so I'll explain. You see, as Ed rightly observed... it's self explanatory why this comment is ridiculous... if you're a woman. Women were, and still are, "imprisoned by masculine hands" and women who defy that imprisonment were, and still are, punished. What country was it that sentenced the unwed mother to death by stoning? Foolish woman- she should have remembered her womanly manners and happily entered into a marriage arranged for her by her father.    

Stephen:

"But I also believe that when women try to be exactly the same as men (as far as their roles go, particularly in the family) leads to trouble.  I think that there is a maternal nature that makes the woman primarily responsible for rearing her children, and not placing her career first.  That doesn't mean that husbands don't have an important role.  (though sadly many of them don't practice it)  It does mean that when society accepts that both parents work full time, and wives are not primarily dedicated to personally rearing children first and foremost (though no one is saying a woman should never work outside the home, my own wife is also a Registered Nurse who works part time) , we will reap the bad results.  And I believe we have begun to see this bad outcome since this social experiment of the 60s - 70s."

Stephen, you know I love ya, I really do... but this just makes me so irritated. The "traditional" family with the "maternal" mother home most or all of the time is not the only succesful model, and you're smart enough to know that. Furthermore, I doknow people who think women should never work outside the home. And, back to the roots of feminism... you have the right to practice your own idea of family... but how dare you tell me that mine will breed "bad outcomes"? I am a product of a 60's child who chose an unconventional path, and I am just fine thank you.

"The single mother who is forced to fill in for an absentee Father (whether present in the home or not) is a remarkable and noble exception to the rule."

What about the single mother who chooses to do so herself? Any less noble Stephan?

Ron:

"I will readily grant you the differences between men and women. I just don't think either you or I, or anyone else, really knows which of those differences are shaped by genetics and which are shaped by society. I would be an utter fool, I think, to claim that genetics plays no part in those differences. Are you, perhaps, suggesting that society has played no part in those differences?"

You're so smart. When I reply in annoyance, Ron replies with reason...

Ess:

"Think about how some cultures/traditions are predominated by certain races and not others.  "Chinese" (the culture) is predominated by "Chinese" (the physical race).  "Canadian" however, is not the same.   "Canadian" (the culture) is not predominated by "Canadian" (a physical race).  Canadian is only a cultural "race" so to speak, not a physical race.   We are predominately "Canadians" because of our  our culture , not because we are also some kind of physical "Canadian"."

So, can't Chinese people be Canadians? Your analogy... once again... hurts my head. First of all, why you feel it's necessary to divide people by physical races, I'll never know... perhaps you think that since men and women should behave and remain in their roles, black people should keep shuckin and jivin, saying "yes suh" like their ancestors? Just as you apparently think women loved churining butter and mending socks? Just as men probably love working crazy overtime hours so their wives can be stay-at-home moms? And the Chinese should keep to their traditions, and everyone should just stay separate but equal?

But since you did bring race up... there's a very good reason that Americans and Canadians are not easily distinguishable by our race... both a beautiful and horrifying reason... after our european ancestors came and decimated the native populations that now live on sad little parcels we call reservations... after the Spanish raped enough native women to create the race we call Hispanic now, and after we imported enough Africans to grow our crops, after the Chinese built the railroads and after the Japanese suffered in American internment camps... we are starting, trying to evolve, and while some traditionalists here seem to think that change is bad, and scary, and we should all just mind our manners and remain quiet and virtuous, despite all that, instead of exploiting each other's differences in order to denigrate the other and take their human rights away... we are celebrating differences and allowing different people to all have access to the same choices men have had, and the same choices whites have had, in our western society for centuries. And how anybody can think that's a bad thing I'll never understand.
Seoulair
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since 03-27-2008
Posts 776
Seoul S.Korea


57 posted 04-14-2008 01:24 AM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

sir Essorant, all you wanted to express, by the example of Chinese or the country boarder was that you had your own definition of woman and man and you had your firmed opinion on what they were good at. (by using the word: predominance)
Do you want to tell your concept of woman and man?
Man..masculine
What is masculine?  

Woman...demure
What is demure?

What is man good at
what is woman good at?

Woman and man make up the human society and contribute equal importance to the development and "civilization" of this species. But do woman get equal respect? Do woman get equal chances to do bi-gender job?
Stephanos
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58 posted 04-14-2008 06:15 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Amy:
quote:
Stephen, you know I love ya, I really do... but this just makes me so irritated.


Amy, you know I love ya right back.  And you also know that I already knew that my expressed view would probably rub somebody the wrong way.         Not my intention, however, to irritate.

quote:
The "traditional" family with the "maternal" mother home most or all of the time is not the only succesful model, and you're smart enough to know that.


I guess that would depend upon your definition of "success".  I do know it has helped to produce more of the both-parents-working situations, with excessive day care, not enough time together, and a generally arid home situation.


quote:
Furthermore, I doknow people who think women should never work outside the home.


Then you would have to argue that point with them.  For that is not my position.  Mine is rather that wives and mothers shouldn't place career and ideas of personal fulfillment before the vocation of being a homemaker.  This does not rule out working outside the home, or even a career, though it does make it secondary.


quote:
And, back to the roots of feminism... you have the right to practice your own idea of family... but how dare you tell me that mine will breed "bad outcomes"? I am a product of a 60's child who chose an unconventional path, and I am just fine thank you.


All I'm telling you Amy is that an agenda which intentionally portrayed the homemaker as a second-rate, oppressive, and stifling enterprise, has not yielded the best outcome for families as a whole.  It's nothing personal.

quote:
What about the single mother who chooses to do so herself? Any less noble Stephan?


I think choosing single motherhood (or Fatherhood), beforehand, and not merely as a response to a failed relationship, is essentially selfish.  You asked.


Ron:
quote:
"I will readily grant you the differences between men and women. I just don't think either you or I, or anyone else, really knows which of those differences are shaped by genetics and which are shaped by society. I would be an utter fool, I think, to claim that genetics plays no part in those differences. Are you, perhaps, suggesting that society has played no part in those differences?


Not at all.  I just think that society can accept and encourage outlooks that are either contrary or complementary to nature.  To use an older idea, one view may be more in "harmony" with the telos of nature than another.  And I think that this is one of those instances.  

An example of the kind of approach I'm talking about, (interestingly enough, coming up in my lay study of Theology) is when feminist theologians tried to argue that the maleness of Christ was a "contingent element of his historical reality, not an essential aspect of his identity".  When Gender is trivialized in such a way, I feel that an imabalance has occured, perhaps out of offense from sexist abuse in the past.  And this kind of imbalance is occurring not only in Theology, but in every area of life.  That's not to say that this kind of imbalance defines Feminism, which has yielded many good changes.

Stephen
Stephanos
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59 posted 04-14-2008 06:16 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

excuse:  Double post.
Bob K
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60 posted 04-14-2008 09:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Approximately 50,000 years of humanity on the earth in more or less its current biological form and all but 6-7,000 years of this has been spent in the form of hunter-gatherers.  Call it 10,000 years, if you want.  Best evidence we have at this point, as I understand it, is that hunter-gatherers were not families as we know them today:  Mom, Dad, two kids or more.  They were tribal structures with aunts, uncles, cousins and others still in one wandering group structure.  50 to 100 people in a band perhaps, depending on what the environment could support.

     I hate it when people think that recent adaptations are the way things always were.  Looking at the way our current model of family seems to be working, I can't say it's very successful or stable; and the folks who seem to think it is seem to be making reference to biblical models which were not even remotely nuclear families—multiple wives, concubines, marriage obligations that include forced marriage of a widow to her husband's brother and so on would cause many of these biblical marriages today to have members arrested for incest or child abuse or both.

     Four fifths of of human history as hunter-gatherers, who did not have nuclear families.  THAT is by far the most successful adaptation.  Our current little experiment may work out or not.  I hope so, but experiment it is by historical standards.  And the early data isn't looking so hot.  

[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-14-2008 10:08 PM).]

Stephanos
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61 posted 04-14-2008 11:15 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob,

Is all that to say that there is no standard seen in all this variety?  From a Biblical perspective, polygamy was a later innovation, that didn't lead to stability.  And though it was not outright forbidden, there was a later reform and return to committed monogamy in the teachings of Jesus.  So while you are correct to point out that family structure wasn't homogenous, even in the bible (written in a time frame which spans about 1500 years), that doesn't mean that such practices (including gender roles) were simply up for grabs.  There is still a rebellion of nature that occurs when you try and stretch things too far.  

Even if your speculation about hunter-gatherers happens to be correct (though to say that definitive information about their practices is sparse would be an understatement), I'll wager that there were still committed bonds within the group, and therefore gender roles would have had to be considered.

Stephen
Bob K
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62 posted 04-15-2008 07:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Stephanos,

     But what was the nature of the commitments in these  relationships?

     It's reasonable to make assumptions that the way our ancestors thought and felt and acted is the same way the we do now; but Joan of Arc may have gotten her Ford serviced at the DEALER because dealers were the only folks selling warrantees at the time.  It simply made more sense.  We may know better now; but that's now.

     In some families, Egyptian Royal Families, for example, incest wasn't all yucky the way it is today; it was the way things were supposed to be.  In royal families up till today, it's not considered a good idea to marry outside a fairly limited genetic range of royal families.  Want to bet on how intermarried that group of folks is?

     Monogamy the way we practice it (more or less) in the west is not necessarily the gold standard of marriage practices (though, I confess, it works out that way for me).
Everybody in the Islamic world doesn't belong to extended families, but The Prophet allows for up to four wives if economics permit, and four concubines as well.  Not widely practiced any more, but certainly allowed.  Chinese and Japanese marriage customs have altered only within the last hundred years or so—perhaps the last hundred and fifty.

     We do a lot of talking about the wonders of monogamy
but must ignore a lot of its difficulties as well.  As a system, it's one that seems to be held together as much by force and violence as by love and affection.  We are talking about feminism because the current system really doesn't work all that well for a great number of the people involved in it.

     You won't find me saying that makes it bad.  Not by itself.

     You will find me saying that we need to hear people's difficulties with anything they want to talk about, including gender problems and marriage issues.  It's through deeper and more compassionate listening that understanding emerges.  About gender and marriage issues, about whatever.

     There's no reason, after all, that Joan of Arc, or even Jesus, needs to buy a marriage at the same Ford dealer I bought mine.  My wife may be the sole love of my life, but Joan and Jesus can pass the savings on to you.

     A little attempt at religious humor, there.

     You see, Jesus was this savior...  and Joan, she was this
Oddball french woman who was ... never mind.  
Stephanos
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63 posted 04-16-2008 02:42 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob:
quote:
We do a lot of talking about the wonders of monogamy, but must ignore a lot of its difficulties as well.  As a system, it's one that seems to be held together as much by force and violence as by love and affection.


Why must difficulties be ignored?  Let's talk about em (if that were the subject of the thread I suspect we would be doing just that)  I never suggested that the best way meant the easiest way.  

But could you describe to me how monogamy in our culture is "held together by force and violence"?  It seems to me that a system involving polygamy and concubinage would fit that description better.  Case in point, the recent scandals of a mormon cult which clearly has involved oppression.  Our biggest problem with monogamous marriage is being able to love each other and stay together, not of being forced by arms to stay together.  And if we're having trouble with staying with one wife, imagine what a harem might be like.      

quote:
We are talking about feminism because the current system really doesn't work all that well for a great number of the people involved in it.


Perhaps, but I feel that I'm speaking of the excesses of feminism which denies the sanctity of gender and the purposes behind it.  I can appreciate a desire for change, a critique of methods, exceptional cases, and a focus on personal freedom.  But the particular ideology I'm speaking of has gone well into extremism.  You will of course point out that there are reasons for this, and that the "system" isn't perfect.  That's well and good.  But when traditional views are eschewed wholesale, you have to ask when it is appropriate to talk about whether the fault lies in the traditional outlook, or in the feminist reaction to it.  It is doubtless some of both.


quote:
You will find me saying that we need to hear people's difficulties with anything they want to talk about, including gender problems and marriage issues.  It's through deeper and more compassionate listening that understanding emerges.  About gender and marriage issues, about whatever.


Am I somehow limiting what people talk about?  And are you inferring that a firm stance for traditional views of gender, marriage, or whatever, necessitates a lack of compassion?  I've got friends whose marriage is on the rocks.  My wife and I have both heard them out, on both sides, and have offered nothing but support.  The wife has been edging toward adultery, and the husband has issues as well that he seems to be skirting.  Both will tell you that their approach is justified.  Is the problem with monogamous marriage itself, or is it a deeper moral / spiritual problem?  My point in bringing this up is not to shame them (this is confidential and I know that they will never frequent this forum), or to parade their problems, but to suggest that the excesses of feminism (like the excesses of chauvinism) have to do with similar self issues, not necessarily problems inherent in traditional views.  And I know at this point you will try to state the historical minority of monogamy, and therefore cast doubt on whether there is any best "way".  But on that point we'll just have to disagree.  The original practice and prescription for humanity (in the book of Genesis) was committed monogamy, and polygamy only a later innovation.  And therefore a return to monogamy in history represents a restoration or reform.  Whether we are able to fully appreciate or practice such a standard is another question.  (I know I have my problems with it, and yet difficulty should never tempt me to doubt whether marriage itself is divinely ordained)  At least I've raised the question of whether the problems lie with us, or with the institution itself.  And you can extend the same question to the feminist critique of gender roles.  


Stephen
  
Essorant
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


64 posted 04-16-2008 02:51 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The point I tried to make earlier was simply that a particular group or kind of people predominating isn't a problem.  (And I pointed out the same thing about religions in different thread).  I used Chinese culture to tell that the predominance of the Chinese race in Chinese culture doesn't make the culture better or worse.  White people were never parrticipants or rulers in China and Chinese culture in anyway as much as the Chinese race.  Even if this were due to racism, the predominance of a race would still not be the problem.  The racism would be.

No one should fault Chinese culture for being ruled far more by racially chinese people, nor should people criticize a tradition for being ruled more by men than women.  A faulty tradition was never faulty because it lacked white men or lacked women (or any other race/kind/group of people) but it was faulty because it lacked wisdom and helpfulness.  The predominance of men in politics was never the problem in politics. But the predominance of unwisdom often was and often still is.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (04-16-2008 03:23 AM).]

Bob K
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65 posted 04-16-2008 09:46 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Essorant,

          I am sure you have slipped a response to my post number 55 in there someplace, which explained I didn't understand your analogies with the Chinese.  I couldn't find it.  You shouldn't have to, of course.

     Except, as I said, it's not at all clear race is a currently widely accepted topic in physical anthropology.

     And that it seems that historically women have been confined by legal measures controlled by men to certain roles and activities and the division hasn't been terribly voluntary at all.  One has a difficult time talking about the utter respect he has for somebody he refuses to allow to vote or own property or keep any money she earns for herself, I would say.

     Just to throw myself a change-up about this business, as I am wont on occasion to do, let me try another perspective:

     I'm a guy too, Essorant.  I'd be thrilled to be off the hook not so much for the behavior of my ancestors, but for the little ways in which I find myself willing to go along with it.  Some of these thing, and I'm not sure I can even name them, to tell you the truth, just seem to come right along with me.  

     Here's one.  I have a high tolerance for mess.  My wife does not.
Instead of having the ongoing courage to fight with her for the presence of mess in our home, I give lip-service to her wish for the decline of the dust bunny population.  I know darn well that I will never be motivated to kill dust bunnies.  I don't care about them, but the net effect is that I have turned over something to my wife.

     I'd be happy to try to hire somebody or to live with a little more dirt, but this runs awry of another piece of programming.

     Thoughts?
    
hush
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66 posted 04-16-2008 12:02 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephen-

I guess at the end of the day it does all boil down to personal freedom. It doesn't bother me that some people choose to be stay-at-home moms and go to church every Sunday, so why should it bother you if some people decide to be working moms and utilize things like day-care? You mention day-care like we should instantly recognize it as a bad thing, but why? It gives toddlers and pre-schoolers a chance to interact with other children. I never had any problems from having gone to day-care.

So, I think what a lot of feminism strives for is equality, and live-and-let-live. Sometimes that does mean some changes- like women making the same amount as men so that they can support a child, affordable and available day-care, things like that. I don't see how that's a bad thing. And if some poeple don't accept your lifestyle, Stephen, I don't see how that's a bad thing eiter so long as they don't infringe on your right to live how you want. The problem is that there have been historical infringements on how women want to live for... as long as history has been recorded.

Ess....

I still don't get it. So we shouldn't criticise things like the Chinese's oppression of Tibet, or the cultural value placed on male babies, which leads to high rates of femal infaticide in China? Just let the Chinese be Chinese? Leave it alone? I'm not getting your analogy, and like Bob, I still don't see what it has to do with feminism?
Stephanos
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67 posted 04-16-2008 12:17 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
so why should it bother you if some people decide to be working moms and utilize things like day-care?


It doesn't if that's what they must do.  It does bother me when there's not even a pause in saying that full time daycare is just as good as a parent, or to view single motherhood as an equal ideal to having a mother and father.

quote:
The problem is that there have been historical infringements on how women want to live for... as long as history has been recorded.


And that's where feminism has been a good thing.  But there is such a thing as overcorrection, especially in the area of gender roles.  Women on the frontline just for the sake of "equality" illustrates my point.  I'm not even talking about laws, I'm talking about what is the right way to think about these issues.  Half the battle of feminism has not been to change laws or "force", but to change minds.  And I'm simply saying that the pendulum has swung too far, and there has been a loss of balance.


Stephen
  
Ron
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quote:
It does bother me when there's not even a pause in saying that full time daycare is just as good as a parent, or to view single motherhood as an equal ideal to having a mother and father.
And how much pause, Stephen, did you give to the thought that it would be far better if both parents stayed home full-time to devote themselves to their children? How much pause did you give to the thought that grandparents, living directly in the home, would be better than two inexperienced parents doing it alone? Perhaps people shouldn't be allowed to have children unless they can and will do it the "right way."

There's always going to be ideas of what is better. And that's fine as long no one dictates their own choices on anyone else. Life is always going to be a series of compromises, and the ones you choose likely won't be the ones I choose.

quote:
Half the battle of feminism has not been to change laws or "force", but to change minds. And I'm simply saying that the pendulum has swung too far, and there has been a loss of balance.

The responses in this thread, Stephen, including your own attitude toward "right" and "wrong" gender roles, would suggest to me the pendulum hasn't swung near far enough yet. There's clearly a whole lot of minds out there waiting to be changed.
Seoulair
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69 posted 04-16-2008 12:59 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

quote:
The point I tried to make earlier was simply that a particular group or kind of people predominating isn't a problem

Very clear. But the people in that particular group think that there are problems. then, shall they handle them or not? Or wait for man to handle it? What if they all think that everyone should be content with "what" they have and "who" they are?
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70 posted 04-16-2008 01:44 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     One of the things about hunter-gatherers is that kids could be looked after the rest of the group while either or both parents were busy doing things essential for the tribe.  Grandparents or cousins were an important part of the extended acre structure.  The group was intimate and small enough so that the child felt comfortable being cared for by almost any other person in the group.

     No one in the sixties that I remember actually spoke about hunter-gatherers or even very much about anthropology, but really a lot of the basic thinking felt tribal..

    Dear Hush, you seem to have an interesting and level head on your shoulders.  A pleasure to hear your voice here.  And Ron, you are a constant surprise.  I seem to be finding out new and fascinating things about everybody the longer we keep talking.  Including here, Essorant and Stephanos.  

     Stephanos, I don't know how to say this with the respect that you deserve, but the presence of monogamy in the first book of the Bible only proves it is the original form of marriage to a very limited number of folks.  I am not among their number, nor are most of the people I know.  I have been reading some interesting stuff on the nature of revelation in early Greek culture which I think might interest you and which we should talk about elsewhere, but that's a special case.  I don't think that most reasoning would allow that here.  I don't think you can ask the rest of us to take that leap with you without what is probably a conversion experience first.

     For those of us who feel that is not necessary, you will have to find another way to make your point, I'm afraid.  For those of us who agree with you already, you will have wasted your breath in the first place by making it at all.

quote:


All I'm telling you Amy is that an agenda which intentionally portrayed the homemaker as a second-rate, oppressive, and stifling enterprise, has not yielded the best outcome for families as a whole.  It's nothing personal.




     I am not familiar with this as a Feminist agenda.  I have heard right wing distortions of Feminist thinking characterize it in this fashion.  In fact, I can't say that I recall any Feminists characterize their thinking as "an agenda" at all.  

     Feminists who talk about women who are mothers and home-makers talk about the tradition choice as a decent honest and honorable one, near as I recall.  Their objections to the role is when it is forced upon women and they have no choice but to accept it.
I have heard nothing but decent things and praise for those who have chosen to live that role.  A guy with the sophistication to look at theology with the depth and insight that you have certainly has the understanding to understand the difference.

     Being forced to do something without a choice, even something decent such as being a doctor, a mother or a lawyer may not be so hot.  Being forced to be a mother against your will, in fact, is most places these days, illegal.  Though if you look at marriage law you will notice that it has not always been so, and that marriages could be forced without consent as late as the 19th century.  The sexual consequences would have been as predicted.  That is also part of the good old traditional marriage.

     The "agenda" of the Feminists is that the role be chosen and not forced.

     Is there something about this "agenda" that you would actually quarrel with?  As you can see from the above, I start to get a bit upset when folks that I respect suggest that Feminists don't respect mothers or homemakers when the role is one that is freely chosen.  Were you unaware of this piece of Feminist thinking?  

quote:


But could you describe to me how monogamy in our culture is "held together by force and violence"?  It seems to me that a system involving polygamy and concubinage would fit that description better.  Case in point, the recent scandals of a mormon cult which clearly has involved oppression.  Our biggest problem with monogamous marriage is being able to love each other and stay together, not of being forced by arms to stay together.  And if we're having trouble with staying with one wife, imagine what a harem might be like.  
  



     I talk a bit about the history of gender relations in this society in post 55 above.  These are laws that are directed at the subjugation of women in this culture and at the continuation of the power of men over women in social relations in general and marriage specifically.  We have most experience with this in our monogamous marriages, but in polygamous marriages, this probably is the same way.  Power of men over women. Polyandrous marriages, who knows?  I suspect they are another example of gender power relationships with the genders revised, but I can't tell you.  In this culture, though, the balance of power is tilted against women.  Economic power tends to push against them, and so does violence within relationships and marriages to ensure the power that the guys have tends to stay there.

     Battles have been fought on issues of conception control and abortion in recent years, women's rights to decide whether or not to have children and whose children those children will be.

     Feeling runs very high on each side of either debate.  At one point it seemed reasonably clear to me that women had won the right to choose to use contraception, should they wish to do so.
I may have been premature in my understanding on this matter.
The battle about choice (or abortion, if you'd rather) is one that continues.  

     While to my mind the issues around violence in marriage and in relationships are very much about gender roles, you should have a right to have a look at a more considered and widespread look at the problem.  Wikipedia is excellent.  My own favorite authors are Straus and Geddes, both of whom you should find listed in that article.  I'm trying to offer information here, not win a point.  Look, think and maybe the two of us can have a better discussion together than we could going at things hammer and tongs.  I'd rather work with than against.

quote:


But there is such a thing as overcorrection, especially in the area of gender roles.  Women on the frontline just for the sake of "equality" illustrates my point.  I'm not even talking about laws, I'm talking about what is the right way to think about these issues.  Half the battle of feminism has not been to change laws or "force", but to change minds.  And I'm simply saying that the pendulum has swung too far, and there has been a loss of balance.




    Gonna ask me the same thing about Catholics or Jews or Blacks?
White men?  Republicans?  Churches?  Old Folks?  The Poor?  The Starving?  The Military?  The wounded military?  Why women in particular?
    

[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-16-2008 03:17 PM).]

Stephanos
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71 posted 04-16-2008 07:50 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
There's always going to be ideas of what is better. And that's fine as long no one dictates their own choices on anyone else. Life is always going to be a series of compromises, and the ones you choose likely won't be the ones I choose.


First of all why does "dictate" keep coming up in this talk?  I certainly don't think that even the most militant feminism "dictates" anything.

But still your point about flexibility and variation has little to do with my point ... that extreme forms of feminism have prescribed that we scrap traditional gender roles, because they were soley based upon male domination rather than anything in nature.  I'm not drawing the line for anyone, but rather suggesting that those who feel it is best to erase it are erring, and that any homogenizing philosophy applied to gender is bound to do so.


Bob:  
quote:
Stephanos, I don't know how to say this with the respect that you deserve


Firstly, I don't consider disagreement as a lack of respect.  I respect you very much despite our different angles on this subject, and many others.


quote:
the presence of monogamy in the first book of the Bible only proves it is the original form of marriage to a very limited number of folks.  I am not among their number, nor are most of the people I know.


But if it is prescriptive, it proves no such thing.  And as a matter of fact it is the idea now embraced by Western Civilization (and much Eastern), regardless of whether we are able to practice it as well as we should (as I mentioned above).  So regardless of whether you were personally among the earliest civilizations that practiced monogamy, it still applies in a myriad of ways.


quote:
I have been reading some interesting stuff on the nature of revelation in early Greek culture which I think might interest you and which we should talk about elsewhere, but that's a special case.  I don't think that most reasoning would allow that here.


We could talk via email if you would like.  I think I would enjoy the company.  


quote:
I don't think you can ask the rest of us to take that leap with you without what is probably a conversion experience first.


I don't think a conversion experience is required for the degree of consideration or acceptance I'm talking about, Just like the ethics of Jesus have been greatly embraced by many who could (at this point) care less about the distinctly historical and religious aspects of Christianity.  A question you might ask yourself is why monogamy was embraced by Western Civilization to start with.  And while I'm sure you would cite economic and sociological conditions which made it simply more practical, you would be only looking at half the picture if you didn't take into account our tendency to consider monogamous matrimony to be the ideal expression of romantic love, and the reasons that most of the world has done so.  You can cite history, but to me a return to monogamy was a reformation and progressive.  You seem to espouse a merely descriptive view of history (probably postmodernism here), rather than a view which is critical.  Accompanying critique, there of course can be a definite lack of compassion and rigidity that you have mentioned several times.  But it need not be so, any more than a postmodernist need feel "superior" to those who do not view all cultural expressions as leveled.      
  

quote:
For those of us who feel that is not necessary, you will have to find another way to make your point, I'm afraid.  For those of us who agree with you already, you will have wasted your breath in the first place by making it at all.


Though Divine authority is an argument worth exploring, I've never made that argument in isolation from this-world-considerations.  Would you feel I have done you justice if I said:  

"For those of us who feel that cultural relativism does not rule out a real distinction inherent in gender, you'll have to find another way to make your point.  For those of us who agree with you already, you will have wasted your breath in the first place by making it at all."  


I said that for your consideration, but I usually shy from such statements because they are intended to reduce, and therefore marginalize someone's views.  Why not let others determine for themselves what is sound in our respective positions here?  I know that despite our differences, we still have common ground.


quote:
I am not familiar with this as a Feminist agenda.  I have heard right wing distortions of Feminist thinking characterize it in this fashion.  In fact, I can't say that I recall any Feminists characterize their thinking as "an agenda" at all. ... Feminists who talk about women who are mothers and home-makers talk about the tradition choice as a decent honest and honorable one, near as I recall.


Again, my criticism is not of Feminism per se, but of a certain expression, or extension of it.  There are many statements in the writings of feminists that initially painted the homemaker in a poor light:


A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism...the housewife's labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable.... Woman's work within the home is not directly useful to society, produces nothing. The housewife is subordinate, secondary, and parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a 'career' for woman." ('The Second Sex' by Simone de Beauvoir)


""As long as the family and the myth of the family and the myth of maternity and the maternal instinct are not destroyed, women will still be oppressed.... No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction." ('Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma' Saturday Review, June 14, 1975., Simone de Beauvoir)


""Housewives are mindless and thing-hungry... They are trapped in trivial domestic routine and meaningless busywork within a community that does not challenge their intelligence. Housework is peculiarly suited to the capabilities of feeble-minded girls; it can hardly use the abilities of a woman of average or normal human intelligence." (The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan)


"Housewives are dependent creatures who are still children ... parasites." ('What It Would Be Like If Women Win' Time, August 31, 1970, Gloria Steinem)


"Feminism was profoundly opposed to traditional conceptions of how families should be organized, since the very existence of full-time homemakers was incompatible with the women's movement.... If even ten percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are very young.... If women disproportionately take time off from their careers to have children, or if they work less hard than men at their careers while their children are young, this will put them at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis men, particularly men whose wives do all the homemaking and child care.... This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about child care and housework, the movement as a whole had reasons to discourage full-time homemaking." ('Why We Lost the ERA' Jane J. Mansbridge)


There are more, but that should be enough to convince you that what I'm saying is a real reaction to a real strain in feminism, and not merely a right-wing caricature.


quote:
A guy with the sophistication to look at theology with the depth and insight that you have certainly has the understanding to understand the difference.


Yes, I hope I can.  But you also have the understanding to know that I am not referring to the aspects of feminism which rightly dealt with issues of human rights.


quote:
Being forced to be a mother against your will, in fact, is most places these days, illegal.  Though if you look at marriage law you will notice that it has not always been so, and that marriages could be forced without consent as late as the 19th century.  The sexual consequences would have been as predicted.  That is also part of the good old traditional marriage.


Again, not once have I mentioned law, only ideology, though it keeps coming up.  Legislatively, I would be against a law that forces women to have children.  Personally (and ideologically) I think that a spouse who refuses to have children in a marriage while their partner desires children (for other than health reasons), doesn't yet understand what marriage is about, being still caught up in individualism.  Of course we all do this in a number of ways, but this is pretty significant I think, which would explain (though not justify) the existence of such laws.


quote:
The "agenda" of the Feminists is that the role be chosen and not forced.


And my argument is that there has been more to it than that, at least in some circles.  There is a definite shape which some feminist minds want women to become, certainly not including the freedom to be "more traditional if one wants to".


quote:
Is there something about this "agenda" that you would actually quarrel with?


As you have stated it, legislatively, to ensure the human rights of women ... no.  But again, I was speaking of something different.


quote:
These are laws that are directed at the subjugation of women in this culture and at the continuation of the power of men over women in social relations in general and marriage specifically.


Are these present laws?  Or laws dealing with human rights which have already been overturned?  I am not for laws which would violate basic human rights.  We're still talking around each other aren't we?


quote:
The battle about choice (or abortion, if you'd rather) is one that continues.


Yes it does continue, and since I would oppose it even if men had babies, I cannot view this as even remotely having to do with feminism.  The fact that women have babies is somewhat incidental to the debate which at its heart has to do (at least on the side of most anti-abortionists) with the human rights of the unborn human being.  To say that pro-lifers are sexist is anachronistic and unconvincing.  Though I recognize that you're not really saying this is the case, you're just mentioning it as a part of the historical unfolding of the feminist dialogue.


quote:
While to my mind the issues around violence in marriage and in relationships are very much about gender roles


Yes, often involving the abuse of traditional gender roles.


quote:
I'm trying to offer information here, not win a point.  Look, think and maybe the two of us can have a better discussion together than we could going at things hammer and tongs.  I'd rather work with than against.


I appreciate your sentiment here.  I share it more than you might think.  Though I don't think the discussion is going badly or anything.  Intensity is not a counterproductive thing always.  I consider what things those who disagree with me say, even though I probably come across as abrasive at times.  We are learning from each other.    


quote:
Gonna ask me the same thing about Catholics or Jews or Blacks?
White men?  Republicans?  Churches?  Old Folks?  The Poor?  The Starving?  The Military?  The wounded military?  Why women in particular?


Because the thread is about feminism?


Stephen
Bob K
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72 posted 04-16-2008 08:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Stephanos,

          I haven't had a chance to look at what promices to be a return to a meaty dialogue.  I do look forward to it.  But I did promise a link on revelation and the authority of revelation in Greek culture and I did want to supply that simply because it seems to fit into an area of mutual interest and also because I think that it adds considerably to appreciation of how Greek culture may have added depth and substance to the original Judaic messages in the New T.  Paul may have been influenced in some way perhaps, though I can only speculate.  Check it out yourself and let me know what your reaction is:
[URL=http://www.foucault.info/documents/parrhesia/foucault.DT5.techniquesParrhesia.en.html]http://www.foucault.info/documents/parrhesia/foucault.DT5.techniquesParrhesia.en.html[/UR L]

     Best from here to you and your folk there.   BobK.
Bob K
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73 posted 04-16-2008 08:55 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


I had a chance to have a quick look at your posting and am impressed once again.  I'll need time and though to offer the decent response you deserve, of course.  I particularly enjoyed your quotes from Simone de

All this double posting feels like I'm having an attack of stuttering.

Sorry.  I'll master this stuff yet.

[This message has been edited by Bob K (04-16-2008 09:41 PM).]

Bob K
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74 posted 04-16-2008 09:39 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



I had a chance to have a quick look at your posting and am impressed once again.  I'll need time and though to offer the decent response you deserve, of course.  I particularly enjoyed your quotes from Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Freidan and Gloria Steinem.  All these ladies were very tough minded intellectuals.  Ms Steinem still is.  I don't think she'd agree with her forty year old statement now.  I don't know about Betty Freidan; her concern was to issue a cry to arms to women who were to her mind pretty much suffering under the yoke of servitude, and her rhetoric tended to reflect this.

     Simone de Beauvoir was a red-hot French Mama, an old-fashioned marxist, an existentialist philosopher in her own right, and Jean-Paul Sartre's on-and-off main squeeze.  Putting anything past her would be a terrible miscalculation and she would probably be able to make it sound reasonable to boot.  I don't agree with her her, but by golly wouldn't it have been something to have had a chance to talk to her face to face for a while?

     I think the movement left that particular position behind a while ago.  O. Hobart Maurer, if I have his name correctly, reminds us that the church originally held confession in front of the whole congregation.  The idea has some merit to it, I would think,  by the way, but it's not practiced in most churches today.  Positions and thought changes about these things. You won't find many Feminists who would hold that position today, nor would you have for the last 20-25 years.  

quote:

Stephanos:
Again, not once have I mentioned law, only ideology, though it keeps coming up.  Legislatively, I would be against a law that forces women to have children.  Personally (and ideologically) I think that a spouse who refuses to have children in a marriage while their partner desires children (for other than health reasons), doesn't yet understand what marriage is about, being still caught up in individualism.  Of course we all do this in a number of ways, but this is pretty significant I think, which would explain (though not justify) the existence of such laws.




     Part of the tradition in traditional gender roles in marriage is that these roles have been enforced by the law, Stephanos.  The part you may wish to deal with may only encompass the ideology.  But part of the tradition is that these gender roles have not been freely chosen but have been enforced by the law with legal sanction directed against women.  I make reference to this in my post number 55 in this thread and I don't think I should try again here what I think I said fairly well there.

     Not only were many of the marriage laws unpleasant, but many of them did not require the consent of the woman for a binding marriage to be performed.  Only her presence and presence of a groom and a witness and a clergyman empowered to do the ceremony.  Kidnappings were common in Elizabethan England using just this scheme and continued into the 19th Century in Scotland.

     The woman was obligated to give the man control of her estate and to have children with the guy.  They were married.

     Much about traditional marriage marriage may be wonderful.  Clearly you see these wonders when you look into the eyes of your wife.  I do when I see mine.  That doesn't mean these other things aren't true as well, Stephanos.  It is this dimension of power within traditional marriage that accounts for many of its difficulties.

     Do other forms of marriage have problems as well.  Yes they do.  Many of them have problems with power as well.
It's one of the nice things about women that they think about these things, and sometimes it's one of the nice things about us men that we try talking with them about the issues as well.

     Looking forward to taking this up with you again later.  Wonderful discussion so far.

 
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