The entire premise of Prof Erickson's article is a straw man. Who ever
advocated "sameness" for women and men? Not the progressive, liberal
mind. Enlightened people have advocated the opposite -- that every individual
has the right to decide for her/himself what "the pursuit of happiness"
consists of. IF one woman wants to manage a home and another wants to manage a
corporation, it's her choice. The liberal values diversity, not
"sameness." It's the conservative who values sameness--every woman
should fit St Paul's mold -- be silent, submissive, and stay home.
"...the roles of men and women in marriages today look different than they
did in the 1950s. That is perhaps most evident in the increased time fathers
give to housework and child care."A completely false statement -
the most evident change in marriage roles since the '50s is the increased
time mothers are forced to work outside the home to make ends meet. Which
demands that fathers do more around the house.
No two people are the same. But two partners in a lifetime of shared effort,
devoted to their own and each other's welfare should be capable and joyful
in doing whatever is necessary.If it means the wife gets a kick out
of maintaining the bicycles, or the husband can cuff a pair of trousers during
halftime, who cares? Where's the harm?Modern life is
complicated. One of the reasons we developed gender roles "way back
when" had to do with the physical demands of agrarian life. The upper-body
strength of men was needed for certain tasks that many women couldn't
fulfill. Women did their part by doing the other stuff. And the workday was
long and brutal.Today, work and maintaining a home and family is
physically easier but has a million working parts. Both parents need to know
what's going on with their kids, their kids' toys, school, and
friends, know how to work the dozens of appliances and applications, access the
several services that come into the home. And, both need to contribute to
income.Rigid gender roles are selfish and unfulfilling.
"an assumption developed that men and women should do (and want to do)
exactly the same things.You really think women "want to"
scrub toilets and do laundry more than men do? I don't think the author
actually spoke to many women.
I know this doesn't pertain to the main topic of discussion but I just read
a 200+ page dissertation entitled The Experience of Never-married Women in Their
Thirties who Desire Marriage and Children (Marcy L. Cole, Institute for Clinical
social work, 1999). Makes me wonder how many single women in Utah yearn for a
family life of their own but lack of emotionally available men force them to
suffer in silence. Why isn't a similar study being done in Utah? With the
number of return sister missionaries entering the singles and mid-singles scene
such a study would prove very beneficial in the argument for women "having
Another discussion of "sameness" and "happiness" is found in
"The Gay Guide to Wedded Bliss" published by The Atlantic (The DN
frequently cross-publishes with The Atlantic) In the "Gay Guide" we
learn that gay couples do not divide up responsibilities 50/50 and do not view
themselves as "same"s, even though the couples do not have traditional
roles to guide them. Happiness comes by working out the best distribution of
tasks based on the family's needs and the couples' values and
abilities. Not surprisingly, such distributions necessarily morph as life
throws changes at the family.The same principles apply to
heterosexual families. I know of no one, gay or straight, who wants to be 50/50
"the same" in their marriage. As other comments have said, that is a
red-herring. What people want is the same recognition and support for the same
work, regardless of whether that work conforms to traditional gender roles.
Thus, a parent who brings home a pay check should be honored and supported,
regardless of whether they are a father or mother. A parent who nurtures
children at home should be honored and supported, regardless of whether they are
a father or mother.
@Ohio-LDS 9:55 a.m. Aug. 29, 2014"What people want is the same
recognition and support for the same work, regardless of whether that work
conforms to traditional gender roles. Thus, a parent who brings home a pay check
should be honored and supported, regardless of whether they are a father or
mother. A parent who nurtures children at home should be honored and supported,
regardless of whether they are a father or mother."Well said.
The only addition I would make is to say "father or mother, or both" for
each example. People should do what fulfills them, not what gender role
Great article. Thank you, Dr. Erickson. I think there are many young women
growing up who are confused about what they really want out of life. What they
hear from the feminists is that they should strive to be "the same" as
men (same jobs, same pay, same role in the home, etc.). But it is important to
recognize the value of different roles and different skills. That is what really
drives the value of diversity.
In other words, ignore any woman who feels that she should have more than what
men feel she should have? There are a lot of women who feel just fine allowing
their husbands to decide who they are and how they fit in, but it certainly
doesn't mean that the rest of them should also have to agree! Look at some
of the women leaders we have in our country today. Many of them would never have
reached where they are today, if they would have allowed the men to decide how
far they could reach!