Equal, but Different, Part 2 (Finally!)

I’ll just jump straight into it, shall I?

When you start talking about what a woman should and shouldn’t do, and Feminism, and Equality, you’d better be ready to make some people mad.

I’m ready.

This post is not about what I’ve read or what science or statistics tell us.  It’s about what I’ve observed during the course of my life, and what I believe.  I already told you what some statistics suggest and what the various arguments are.  I’ve had some wonderful comments, all of which were honest and adult, and all made excellent points.

First, I’ll start by saying that I think equality is very important.  If I decided to go become, say, a college professor, then if my experience and qualifications are equal to my male counterparts, I should get paid equally.  We should be treated equally.  This seems like common sense to me.  Equal pay for equal work and all of that.

Here’s the thing–equality is great, but just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do something.  I could go to work tomorrow if I wanted to.  But I don’t.  I want to stay home and take care of my family.  Why?  Because–gasp!–I think that is my job.

I said it.

I am a woman.  I don’t think my husband is better than me, but we are different, and I don’t just mean in all of the obvious ways.  Some of the comments suggested that they didn’t want to go back to the little wifey being tethered to the house, but it’s not about that. It’s about responsibility.  When I elected to become pregnant and have babies, it became my responsibility to take care of those babies.  I’m sure someone will say they have ten kids and all ten are by different daddies and they were all raised in daycare and now they are all attending Ivy League schools.  Great.  But the truth is that no one can take care of my kids the way I do.

No one.

Every time I go to the store, I see some little old lady with a little kid.  When Evelyn had her last 24 hour EEG, there was a three-year-old little boy having one in the next room, and it was his grandmother who stayed with him.  Now, I don’t know what the situation might have been, and I guess I’m passing judgement, but the fact remains that if I hadn’t been able to stay with my daughter during that test, well, the test would have been rescheduled until I could have.

I know some people need that second income,  but let’s be honest–sometimes it’s to maintain a lifestyle, not to provide necessities.  And sometimes, it’s just because a woman couldn’t imagine being “tethered” to the home.

That’s what pisses me off the most–the fact that somehow working women are more impressive than me.  They are juggling a career and a family.  But sometimes, I think they are dropping the ball.

Even as a wife, I find myself in support of a more traditional role.  I do most of the cooking and cleaning and laundry.  My husband is a wonderful partner, and all of my teasing is just that–teasing.  He is a wonderful father who has never turned up his nose at a poopy diaper or a vomiting child.  He is an excellent cook, and he enjoys cooking from time to time. We are a team, and I couldn’t function without him.  But ultimately, he’s the provider and I’m the stay at home mom.  And I like it like that.  Know what?  I’m better at being the wife and mom, because for whatever reason you want to believe–divine design, evolution, whatever–women are made for that role.  It fits.  I feel very comfortable and safe with my husband.  It’s silly, but I feel like nothing bad can happen when he’s with us.

For some reason, the family seems to be under attack in our society.  It’s no big deal to get a divorce if things get tough.  It’s perfectly acceptable, even desirable, to have sex with as many people as possible, with no attachments or responsibilities.  If you wait to have sex until you get married, people make fun of you.  Women are constantly lamenting that there are “no good men” to find, but I wonder if they ever stop and realize why.  I would love to know their definition of a good man–it seems like it might be a man with no opinion of his own that cleans, cooks, and expects absolutely nothing in return.  Conversely, I think men are so disillusioned that they want a hot little woman who also has no opinion and waits on them hand and foot and has sex whenever he wants with no physical expectations of her own.  It’s not so hard to figure out why half of all marriages end in divorce, is it?

(There is a whole other topic here, about how in our modern society we are raised to be always right, and how we cannot bend even a little, and so all of our relationships tank.  I’ll just skate on past that for now.)

I see husbands and wives who not only don’t get along, they seem to actually hate each other.  The way they talk to and about each other is mind-boggling.

Then there is this whole other topic of teen pregnancy.  I live in an area where this is a huge problem, and it was even when I was in high school a hundred years ago.  Scroll back up and read about granny taking care of the babies–that’s generally what happens.

I’m not even going to touch on the pressure that is on women to look a certain way.  I wonder what modern Feminists think about that?

This has been quite rambling, and I’m sorry.  Here’s the heart of it all–modern women are supposedly enlightened, empowered, and ready to take over the world.  The crux?  Just about every modern woman I know is unhappy.

Out of all the women I know, I would say 95% of them take some sort of mood stabilizing drug.  That’s a conservative estimate.  Many are unhappy with their relationships, they can’t control their kids, they’ve been divorced, they hate their jobs, they are totally unsatisfied with the way they look–the list goes on forever.  So if we are so empowered, why are we so unhappy?  You’ll have to figure that out for yourself.

I’m not going to kid you–sometimes I get unhappy, too.  I have a naturally dark, moody type of personality.  I always have.  But the things I worry about are different.  I worry about my kids, and if they are going to be okay.  I worry that I won’t be able to protect them forever.  Some people might think I’m overprotective, and that I hover over my kids.  An acquaintance of mine made the comment during a soccer game a couple of months ago that I was a little overprotective.  I bit my tongue and just smiled, but what I wanted to tell her was that I thought she was little too permissive, and that I wasn’t comfortable dumping my kids off somewhere and then heading in the opposite direction as fast as I could go.  But I digress.

So–long, long story a little shorter, I do think women are selling themselves short by trying to do everything.  I think it’s okay for a woman to stay at home and take care of her home and her family, and she should be able to do that without feeling bad about it, or feeling unimportant.  I think it’s okay to embrace being a woman.  I don’t want to do everything that a man does.  I think my job is just as valuable, maybe more so.  I’m better at it.  Sure, it’s hard sometimes, but that’s okay–I was made for it.

What about you?

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Equal, but Different (Part 1)

I’ve been thinking about sex a lot lately.

Hold on now–don’t go all million moms on me or anything.

I meant I’ve been thinking about gender.  Mostly, the differences between men and women (besides the obvious.)

So I’ve been reading and thinking–a dangerous combination for me–and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the things I’ve read.

Basically, I’ve been presented with the idea that feminism is a big contributor to the somewhat depressing state of our society today.  Now, that statement needs some clarification and some qualification.  I shouldn’t have written “feminism.”  I should have written, “Feminism.”  Like, Gloria Steinem Feminism.

The aforementioned state of our society is that kids are raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, whoever, because mom got pregnant when she was fifteen. Teen Dad has no responsibility at all.  Everyone gets divorced, more than once sometimes.  In short, “the family” is in shambles.  Lots of kids are so ill-behaved, you’d like to just pinch their little heads right off.

Before anyone asks me who peed in my Cheerios this morning, let me say I don’t even like Cheerios.

Let’s be honest.  Good, old-fashioned morals like respect (including for oneself) are somewhat decreased.  I’m sure that every generation has said that about the one after them, but maybe that’s because it’s the truth.

I digress.

My point was about feminism.

As a young person who knew absolutely everything about everything, I can assure you marriage and children weren’t top on my list.  I could have a career just like a man.  I didn’t need a man to complete me.  My own grandmother asked me why I wanted to get married–she said it just meant I’d have someone telling me what to do for the next fifty years.  Point taken, Grandmother.

But as time passed and things changed, I began to wonder about my highbrow ideals.  I got married, and a few years later my son was born.  That was the turning point.

I had a job when I got pregnant, but the thought occurred to me that someone would have to take care of my baby.  We talked it over, and I could not tolerate the thought of someone else raising him.  We traded our car for a cheaper one, and became a one-income family.  It was tight.  It was hard.

But it was worth it.

Now, many years later, I’m finally reflecting on my roles as both a mother and a wife.

I’m going to give you a very general summation of the point of my current readings.  Because of the feminist movement, gender roles have become blurred.  Each gender has double the responsibility and can therefore only do half as well.

Another interesting point is that although feminism was meant to “free” women, it has, in fact, only hurt them.  Women have become sexually objectified to the point of complete detachment, and the pressure to look a certain way, do it all and be everything is taking its toll.  Although we women are supposedly “free” and “equal,” we are in fact more unhappy than at any time in history.

Men have also supposedly been hurt.  Because they can sleep with whoever with no emotional attachment, they have no respect for women.  Because the woman works and calls the shots, they have no responsibilities.  They have become apathetic and uninvolved. No one is depending on them for anything.

The things I have read (which I am leaving anonymous for now) cite the sky-rocketing divorce rate, more troubled kids and kids diagnosed with ADHD and similar disorders, and more rampant use of antidepressants.  All of these things can be attributed, at least in part, to the dissolution of gender roles and family values.

I have found all of these topics extremely interesting, and more than that, I am extremely interested to hear some opinions from my beloved readers.  Right now, I’m not going to state my own opinions.  I’m saving that for a follow-up post.  I just wanted to share these things I’ve read and get some feedback.  I have an interesting perspective.  I am a child of divorce, I was raised by someone other than my parents, and my mother was a teen mom.  Now I’m a stay at home mother and have been in my first and only marriage for fifteen years now.  By some standards that may not make our marriage a success yet, but I think we’re on the right road.  So I have lots of thoughts about feminism and gender roles.

I can’t wait to hear yours, too.  What do you think about our current culture? Gender roles?  Feminism? Let it rip!

read to be read at yeahwrite.me


 

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