Concerning Gender Roles

January 14th, 2010 by Pelle Billing

Historically speaking, gender roles weren’t determined by people’s wants; they were determined by people’s needs.

11 Responses to “Concerning Gender Roles”

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  2. Chris Marshall Says:

    And the changing of gender roles (women’s integration into the workforce and into higher education) wasn’t driven by how hard and heroically women fought for those changes, but by their economic consequences (doubling the available workforce drove productivity through the roof, and resulted in power and resources flowing from those countries that didn’t integrate women into their workforces to those that did).

    I’m not saying there weren’t heroic women who fought with great imagination and courage to change things; I’m saying there were always women like that. Until the economic consequences make it possible, though, their struggles had limited effect.

    The early 20th century didn’t see a jump in courageous and imaginative women, it saw a decline in farm work and a rise in factory and office work.

    Relaxing the male gender role has no immediate positive economic impact; in fact, productivity may decline as a result. This is one reason the liberation of men is so much harder to pull off.

    If it does happen, it may have to be in spite of the economic consequences.

  3. Betsy Says:

    Pelle,

    Historically speaking…just a generation ago:
    Families relied on one household income…52 weekly paychecks…so they had a cushion…the other parent could take over in the event of a crisis or illness.

    Families did spend MORE on food, clothing, cars, and appliances than they do today.

    Individuals pursuing higher education were able to do so for free(paid by taxes)…even a doctorate degree…they just had to show up.

    Greed/Corruption was largely hidden or able to be kept secret.

    Families had local communities they relied on…and they cared for the elderly.

    Families could afford insurance or health and dental care.

    Families could pay energy costs.

    The markets were regulated.

    Taxes were lower.

    Families had MORE money left over after paying for needs to go into wants.

    Now…
    Families are living paycheck to paycheck with both parents working(104 weekly paychecks)…so if there is a crisis…they are basically screwed.

    Individuals pursuing higher education foot the bill themselves.

    Families are going bankrupt and cannot afford health insurance and medical/dental bills.

    Energy costs have been exploding.

    Daycare is an added expense that was not there historically for families.

    Per car cost has gone down…we keep cars longer…but families now usually have to maintain two vehicles for work…this is very costly.

    Families are so busy…local communities have deteriorated and the elderly are on their own.

    Secret societies, greed, and corruption is rampant…and exposed more and more.

    The markets are unregulated(links below) and the secret derivatives market was recently exposed.

    We spend 70% more on housing!…even on older homes.

    Taxes are higher by 25%

    Families today have LESS money left over after paying for needs to go into wants than just a generation ago!

    These are the facts!!!!! When families are this burdened, our whole society is in deep trouble.
    source:
    The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

    So how does this affect current gender roles?
    Me and my ex-husband are still living together to make ends meet and raise our children…we both have good incomes…but both of us would be dependent on state assistance these days if we lived independently. I know of NO single parent who can survive without TONS of assistance…the burden on middle class FAMILIES IS TOO HIGH THESE DAYS.

    Additionally…I am young, I do see that most people only care about hand outs, power positions, or more legal rights…and could care less to really look at the monopoly of the entire system for the benefit of a few elite families, bankers, and politicians.

    I am talking about a monopoly of public education, health care, mass media, the justice system, oil resources, economy/fiat money, and even science is skewed for private benefit…and we are at war with each other over this. From my perspective this has influenced and caused most gender wars as well. Many individuals who are in prominent power positions world wide are there on purpose…and their families have ruled for CENTURIES. So, no matter what rights or benefits we think we have acquired, it is largely an illusion.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

    I think we need each other more than ever to wade through the sh** that has become society. I personally am sick of oil being our life blood.

    My children are growing up in the collapse…there is no political justice, no free-market, few jobs, and lots of lies.

    also see:
    Reagan, Deregulation and the Slippery Road to Poisoned Assets
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Reagan-Deregulation-and-t-by-Bill-Hare-090311-548.html

    How Deregulation Fueled the Financial Crisis
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article8210.html

    LOVE

  4. Betsy Says:

    A few other facts:

    A generation ago families did not have cellphones, computers, and internet as added expenses.

    Families currently pay property taxes even when they OWN property…that is RENT!

  5. Erik N Says:

    Betsy:

    i think your even went in at the wrong place, i think you meant it as “Families currently even pay property taxes when they OWN property”. as it is now it leads to the question: when else should they pay property taxes? (as in “should they pay property taxes when it is on rent-to-own ? (so it becomes rent + tax)”)

  6. Mark Davenport Says:

    Chris, you said “Relaxing the male gender role has no immediate positive economic impact; in fact, productivity may decline as a result. This is one reason the liberation of men is so much harder to pull off.”

    It occurred to me that maybe men are already beginning to contribute less to the general prosperity and that may actually spur male liberation. For example, women now outnumber men in university enrollment. We may come to see that male liberation is needed to spur on productivity!

  7. Pelle Billing Says:

    Interesting idea Mark. So what you’re saying is that men are rebelling against the combination of old and new demands being placed on men, by not studying or working?

  8. Mark Davenport Says:

    Yes, Pelle,

    It seems that some men who in an earlier time would have pursued the role of breadwinner, for example, are coming to see that there is no valued role for them any more. They’re dropping out as they feel unneeded in a post modern world. To exaggerate just to illustrate the point, if women could impregnate themselves, then men would, by “feminist” standards, be redundant.

    Returning to some past combination of gender roles is not the answer, but finding new roles for men, whether just as an adaptation to the new conditions, or as a true breakthrough to joint exploration with women of gender free roles, is exiting. Failure to move forward will produce a lot of misery and dsyfunction for us all.

  9. hopeless_case Says:

    Mark:

    It occurred to me that maybe men are already beginning to contribute less to the general prosperity and that may actually spur male liberation. For example, women now outnumber men in university enrollment. We may come to see that male liberation is needed to spur on productivity!

    Intriguing thought.

    Witness the growing concern about the declining percentage of male enrollement at universities and how it is playing out. Various groups within universities are starting to take action to raise the enrollement of men. The news media is quick to report on the opposition to those actions, but who knows how well received those actions are in the general population?

    We may already be witnessing an increase in the sympathy for the general plight of men, at least in the educational sphere.

  10. Mark Davenport Says:

    I heard this news piece on National Public Radio, featuring developments where women were choosing mates who were less educated than they, and who also earned less money. Comments?

    You can read or listen:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122612096

  11. Mark Davenport Says:

    Following up on the news item above, I ran across a surprisingly civil video dialogue between a Massachusetts liberal/progressive and a Midwestern who is more conservative. Both women began by discussing the results of the recent defeat of a Democrat in a special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy.

    Here they comment, intelligently but within a definitely contemporary (for the U.S.) context, on this example of changing mating practices:

    http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/25428

    Click on “As wives become the breadwinners, what happens to sex?” for the pertinent piece of the “diavlog.”


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