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Caretaking and "Women's Roles"

Old 05-11-2011, 01:55 PM
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I'm just fascinated to discover some of the feelings I had that made it hard to leave were probably ingrained in me as beliefs at a very young age.
Absolutely. It's amazing that it took me 45 years to find out how strongly something affected me that happened before I turned 4. Good thing I didn't find out earlier, though, or I would have been scared to have kids, given how things you have little or no influence over as a parent can scar a child.

And I agree also that it's not about assigning blame to parents or society or something -- it's more about understanding myself the same way I've spent countless hours trying to understand others, so that I can accept my behavior even when it's far from perfect.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:21 PM
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Yeah, for me it goes waaaaaay deeper than who does what around the house or who does what for a living.

I have always been good at fixing things. (maybe that led me to believe I could "fix" and alcoholic, lol) I can change a tire, replace a sprinkler head, install a dimmer switch. I can also sew and cook. I've excelled for the last 20 years in a male-dominated field. (IT). So it really threw me for a loop when I started digging in to my own head and discovered that all those gender things had latched onto my psyche like a parasite.

I somehow internalized the belief that my needs were less important, my passions were not as necessary, my talents were secondary--all because I didn't have anything dangling between my legs, lol.

L
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Yeah, for me it goes waaaaaay deeper than who does what around the house or who does what for a living.

I have always been good at fixing things. (maybe that led me to believe I could "fix" and alcoholic, lol) I can change a tire, replace a sprinkler head, install a dimmer switch. I can also sew and cook. I've excelled for the last 20 years in a male-dominated field. (IT). So it really threw me for a loop when I started digging in to my own head and discovered that all those gender things had latched onto my psyche like a parasite.

I somehow internalized the belief that my needs were less important, my passions were not as necessary, my talents were secondary--all because I didn't have anything dangling between my legs, lol.

L
Originally Posted by jds0401 View Post
Exactly!! LOL.

EXACTLY!!!! Women can and do things just as well as a man. But there are still gender stereotypes that exist...even in 2011 for crying out loud. Especially in the business arena. It is, however, changing....although slowly. More women than men now attend and graduate college. So things are beginning to equalize. However, men still make .30c more per dollar on average than a woman doing the exact same job. Still don't get that one...especially since something like 50% of households with children are headed by single mothers.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BuffaloGal View Post
I replied: "I do love him unconditionally. But I won't live with him unconditionally."
Reading this at work, I had to stop myself from standing up and cheering out loud.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:07 PM
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By

Anton Dolinsky (Henderson, NV)

This review is from: The Second Sex (Paperback)

I, a young white man, read Second Sex last week. It somehow made the position of woman as the Other imaginable by me. Reading it, I imagined what it would be like for me to live in a society that had been dominated by women for more than three thousand years, a society where almost all the most renowned people, heroes, and religious icons were women. A society where the United States of America had had nothing but women presidents and every state was predominantly represented by women, though males account for half the population. Where the predominant forms of music for the last fifty years have all treated men as an interesting and occasionally useful, but often annoying or even maddening objects, and us men run around in skimpy calvin klein-style underwear on MTV while hip-hop women constantly call us "dogs" in their raps and the classic rock section of the local used music store overflows with female lyrics that question what is more important in life, men, cars, or booze? and blame us men for breaking their poor girl hearts and for being warlocks, (...), or idiots (while the woman rock stars collect millions of dollars and boy groupies run around ready to have sex with any security guard to get a shot to have sex with the famous women).



A society where families are dominated by mothers and their husbands live in fear of having their allowance terminated, and have to do menial chores around the house to try to feel, or at least look, useful. Where a boy child realizes before he is 10 that he is a failure and, at best, a second-rate human being (if not an object)(...) A society that is obsessed by the symbol of the womb--in which musical instruments, spaceships, means of transportation, weapons, religious ornaments, political regalia, and thousands of other things are designed to resemble the shape of a womb. A society in which men are scared, brutally scared, of walking around alone at night because almost any woman can physically overpower them and rape them. In which the most famous and influential philosophers of all time, the ones that get taught in university classes and whose books are actually bought and read and that influence the intelligensia, are all women, mostly women who loathe and/or misunderstand men and write things such as "What is the cure for all of a man's problems? Impregnating a woman" but despite such stupidities are adored by females.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:23 PM
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Give that man a medal!!!!!!!! Like I said previously, it's so sad things haven't progressed so much by now.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:01 AM
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I am starting to notice how there are no women heroines in the history lessons I learned at school. No history book that I recall, speaks of a SINGLE WOMAN that made something commendable for my country AND all by herself, not "the partner of" who happened to be around.

WTF.

I recently read how our troops put women to walk infront of the soldiers so the enemies would "waste" their ammunition on them, first. The horses were of course given to men so women had to travel LONG distances by foot. And carrying utensils, food, water for the soldiers. But no, NONE of that is mentioned in the official books. WHY??
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:09 AM
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Well, at least one male gets it.

Tonight I met some new friends. Started talking to one and for some reason machism came to the picture. I mentioned this word and the guy got all defensive saying that "women take part in this".... just by his body language I was able to notice how uncomfortable he was I dared mention this..... so I decided to back off and talk about the weather instead....... I already knew he was not going to listen to me with respect or genuine interest.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:18 AM
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That is another one I identify with jds, how they can be talking about stupid things like that, with women present around them, and its like you are invisible.

Another thing that bugs me is media and posters / often its only a part of a woman, without the head, or only the boobs, or only the legs... tearing her apart over and over.



Hail Naomi Wolf and her book "the Beauty Myth". An eye-opener.

I was thinking in my free time, instead of getting depressed I should start translating wikipedia articles about equality in Spanish- I don't even think "Gender Studies" exist as any major like the others or a legitimate field of study here.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:40 AM
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A new male coworker made a "your husband" comment last week, I laughed and said "I don't have one." He's happily married and he wasn't fishing - he simply assumed that I was married and was genuinely taken aback. He apologised immediately and then said "you just seem like a person who would be married." I thanked him for what I'm sure was meant as a compliment, and chuckled.

I suppose I do seem like "the sort" of person who would be married. But I think he meant, even if he didn't realise it, that I'm the sort of person who by now should have had the opportunity to be married. I have.

But what I didn't realise until recently is ... I have actually chosen not to be. Not out of fear, or shame or being broken - or even because I haven't met someone I can imagine being married to.

I simply don't "get" marriage. I take my promises seriously - and I can't imagine promising to spend the entire rest of my days waking up with the same person no matter what. I know, for sure, that there are circumstances in which I would divorce a spouse - so what try to make a promise I know ahead of time I'm not sure I can keep? Also - I've seen friends gallop down the aisle with their future spouses without having had any kind of discussion about what marriage means to each of them and then gallop to divorce court when they realize too late that in fact it meant very, very different things to each of them.

I would love to find a companion. But I know for sure that I don't want kids - and marriage just doesn't (totally personal opinion) make any sense to me. It seems to me to be about the only legal agreement where you sign on the dotted line first, then work out the terms and conditions afterwards.

Someone once joked to me that I must be afraid of commitment because I'd hit 35 and never been married. Actually, I take commitment really, really seriously - that's why I've never been married.

I could feel differently about this in a year, five years, 10 years - who knows. But up until now I haven't married - and it's been a choice. I'm profoundly grateful that I have that choice and it doesn't matter to me at all what anyone thinks of it.

Great topic,

SL.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:42 AM
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TC-

You should read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It captures many of the ancient myths and legends about strong women and their power. Great book.

L
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:42 PM
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I don't dispute this at all...

...but parenting a 15-year old girl, having taught high school for seven years, having five sisters, and having been raised by a single mother who was an active member of NOW, I am amazed at how complicit women are in supporting and perpetuating the dynamics you describe.

I have been fighting against it for the entirety of my daughter's life, and women have fought me on it FAR MORE than men. When I tell a guy to STFU because he's stereotyping or disrespecting my daughter he does. When I tell a woman the same she tells me she knows better than I do, I don't understand, or that I'm overreacting. Believe me, as a 45-year old man I know when my daughter is being objectified, and I know by whom.

Collectively, as a gender, women's silence on these issues is deafening. Maybe even more-so than 30 years ago.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak


Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
That is another one I identify with jds, how they can be talking about stupid things like that, with women present around them, and its like you are invisible.

Another thing that bugs me is media and posters / often its only a part of a woman, without the head, or only the boobs, or only the legs... tearing her apart over and over.



Hail Naomi Wolf and her book "the Beauty Myth". An eye-opener.

I was thinking in my free time, instead of getting depressed I should start translating wikipedia articles about equality in Spanish- I don't even think "Gender Studies" exist as any major like the others or a legitimate field of study here.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:00 PM
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I agree Cy.

Think about it, we are the women raising these men. Yes I'm sure other male influences are there but as women, we need to teach our sons to value, respect and see women as equals.

Things are slowly changing. But we still put so much pressure on young girls to look and act a certain way. I see 6 year olds dressed in these hoochy outfits because their moms think those outfits are cute?! What messages are we sending to the kids?

I don't have a daughter but lord I'd be scared to have one in this day and age. They seem to want to grow up too fast. They face so much pressure from peers, and yes, their moms.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
TC-

You should read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It captures many of the ancient myths and legends about strong women and their power. Great book.

L
Thanks I have heard of it, bought it then lent it to my best friend and she never gave it back to me!! I will buy another copy.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
Think about it, we are the women raising these men.
Probably its due to my background, but I am tired of hearing some men saying "ok well I will help my wife with the baby"

Its YOUR kid, too. Its not a toy you can play with when you feel like it!

And before when women stayed home, OK, I get it, but still this attitude when the woman also works and when according to the studies works more hours (for less money) and THEN at home, hours that amount to weeks and months and years.

In my country women do 13 years-worth of housework more than men....


So I have issues with women going to the men's "side" while they can't move to "ours".

Thanks for letting me talk about this frustration I have...
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post

Collectively, as a gender, women's silence on these issues is deafening. Maybe even more-so than 30 years ago.
I agree... and that is also the thing... where do they (we) learn to talk? who is going to teach us...?

I mean even while you are in the womb parents can go "oh, girl.. we wanted a boy" just look at China and the thousands of women missing because they were aborted (often with the women's participation of course...)

I have wondered about this because in my pics (I have an older sister) my sister has long hair and dresses and I always had the hair cut short, and wearing jeans or shorts and played with cars and eventually chose a field where everyone else is a man. My parents swear they wanted a girl but hmmmmmm I think they lie... those kind of feelings/rejection, you get since you are born...

So if women are told "you look prettier with your mouth shut" (a VERY common comment) since, ever, and the male (The One Allowed To Have Opinions) in the household is: working, watching soccer, playing Xbox, drinking, with lovers, or just plain absent, where will women learn to speak?

I get it is a sad dance but then.. to put an example... I was a victim of rape.. (I am OK talking about it after therapy...) .. but never reported it... too ashamed (and here "the law" is a joke, and they ask females if they wearing a miniskirt, or if they were virgins and stupid things like that).

So just because I did not report it.. does that make it ok? NO, right? Not because I was X or Y, thought X or Y, did X or Y, the actions are less damaging or are somehow justified.


WHEN do males take responsibility of their half instead of projecting back to women?


I have been thinking all the times I see families and I am honest when I say I just don't see dads with their kids... what would happen if they participated in the children's upbringing more actively.. if they themselves stopped living in Evasion mode and start behaving as adults...? would women start speaking..?


I don't know I am just tired of feeling women are alone tackling these issues. Perhaps I have been biased. I am talking from daily anecdotes in my life.

Maybe I need to move to Iceland or somewhere.


Although when I lived in Finland even if society was way more advanced in terms of equality, I read 1 out of 4 women I saw experience domestic violence.


Sad state of affairs.

Just my rambling/opinions here at 4 40 AM with insomnia...

Thanks for letting me share
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:06 AM
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I meant: 1 out of 4 women experience domestic violence...

Ohh I watched the "Black Swan" again the other day
And yes its like Cyranoak mentions

/the mother competing with her daughter and wanting to succeed through her
/the female competing with another female for a man's attention/approval
/the new dancer competing with the older more experienced dancer

Hellish.

And what's up with those small kids using makeup already and stuff. Sexualization of young women makes me sick. Well, of women in general, but its worse with younger ones. TV ads with 18 somethings, and comments as if they are offering this small animal, make me sick. How is that even allowed?


Outside my home there is an ad for a table dance. It has a man around several women and it reads "Exotic skins".
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:03 PM
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It is evident to me that we (women) are our own worst enemy. Just take a look at posts by women who have been cheated on. The hatred and vile names they spew at the OW, when it's the man who cheated, turns my stomach. And, I've seen it the other way around, too. When the OW posts about how misunderstood he (the man) is by his wife/gf/ex-wife. Poor guy was such a victim of that shrew/psycho/crazy woman. Bleh.

As long as women have a competition mindset towards other women, men will take advantage of it.

L
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:57 PM
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Well, I'm not naive enough to believe I can change the world. But, I can change my life in ways that don't perpetuate the problem.

For example, I haven't worn makeup for 6 or 7 years now. Why should women paint their faces just to be presentable? I like myself just they way I am, and if others don't, that's their problem. I refuse to give my hard-earned money to some company for a bottle of goop that supposedly makes me look prettier. My daughter is slowly starting to follow my example, too. Not because I told her to, but because she has better things to spend her money on also. (As a bonus, her acne is starting to clear up as well.)

That's just one small example of something I can do, for myself. I believe if we all resisted the conditioning and stereotypes on a personal level, change would happen on a larger scale.

L

Edit to add: I've been dating someone for almost four years and he isn't the least bit bothered by my non-makeup wearing. In fact, he prefers it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:23 PM
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I remember going to dinner with XABF one night at a rather expensive fancy restaurant in the city. While we were waiting for our table, this other couple walked past us.

The woman had put a lot of effort into her appearance. Looking at her, I could say it probably took her at least two hours to get ready for that dinner. Everything was perfectly in its place, but very modest all at once. (Think movie stars in the days or Alfred Hitchcock). And her hair - I love Victorian curls, although I also do not have the patients to sit still long enough to wear them myself.
The "man" she was with was wearing a backwards baseball cap, a T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off (literally, it looked like he cut them off himself), torn up jean shorts with holes in them, and flip flops without socks. He hadn't even bothered to brush his hair, and it looked like he forgot to shave for the last two days. And to top it off, he hadn't even bothered to make a reservation. We overheard her trying to console him about how it was okay, she didn't mind going to McDonald's for their Anniversary.

We really do get what we settle for.


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