Monday, March 21, 2011

Feminism shaping the family unit

My husband and I had a chat today. He was telling me about something he heard on the radio. He was telling me that the person on the radio was discussing how feminism has changed so much about our family unit and culture. For hundreds of years it was the job of the man to be the hunter-gather/breadwinner, it was the job of his partner to keep house, raise the children, and feed him. The way my husband put it "Basically, the woman gives the man a reason to come home". I thought that the way he said that was interesting. I honestly didn't ask if those were his words or the person on the radio.

That comment led the conversation to adultery and cheating. The idea that if a woman is not home and taking care of her husband and family the man feels less like he needs to fulfill his role. That if his wife can take on the responsibilities of hunter-gather as well, the man needs to look elsewhere for someone to make him want to come home. Interesting!?!

We also spent some time talking about how there was a time that if you got a woman pregnant you took responsibility for the child by marrying the woman. You may not have liked it, but you (the man) realized that taking care of this child and the mother of your child was your job. Today, that just isn't the case.

I wish that I could put this conversation into words a little more "gracefully". I feel like I'm spewing out parts of it and not getting to the heart of the conversation.

I found this whole thing interesting, because I have always been a work horse! I started working when I was 15 and never stopped. I always went above and beyond what I was asked to do, because I take pride in what I do. I grew up in a family where my Dad was always working. My Mom was almost always working. There were a couple summers that she was not working. I can remember those summers that she did work. It was LONG and BORING! We lived in the middle of nowhere and the nearest pool or park was about 5-8 miles away and not a path that would be safe for a 'tween'.

I remember when I was about 11 or 12, that was the summer that I started watching "Days of our Lives". I was so bored! It was "Price is Right", "Family Feud", Spaghetti for lunch, and then "Days". I remember thinking that the kids that got to go to the pool, parks, waterparks, etc with their parents all summer were so lucky.

As a grew up, summers became much more awesome! I could drive and I had friends that could drive! We found lots to do! In those days, I knew that I wanted children, but I wanted them to be birthed by someone else, because I was afraid of the idea of labor. I planned to work as a teacher and always thought it would be great to have the summers off. I assumed the children would go to daycare like I did. I learned a lot there and had a lot of fun!

Today, I feel differently. I do not gawk at moms that have to work. That is your business, but for me personally, my job is at home. I did not have my son so that I could take him off to someone else and let them raise him. Granted there are bad days and days when I take him to something like a daycare for an hour or two so that I can go to dinner or exercise or visit someone without the constant interruption. Overall though, I feel that the work that I am meant to do is right here with my son.

I hope that it can always be like this.

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