gender roles

H.F.J.Bligh at H.F.J.Bligh at
Fri Jan 21 05:16:23 EST 1994

I tried to reply to Sarahs original posting using the reply command which
usually sends messages to the whole group but somehow something went wrong
(I dont know what) and only Sarah got the message. Any way, as Sarah thought
it was interesting I'll have another go.
My basic point was that I think that some of the problem, probably more
with older women is that
a) they've been conditioned to believe that motherhood is the only way to
true fulfillment as a woman and that this can lead to frustration if they
really want to do other things with their lives but are powerless to do
anything about it.
This leads to the them feeling that the only area where they have any power
is in the home while men get to go out and have power everywhere else.
So when they see men coming into the home and interfering (as they see it!)
there they feel that their only power base is being eroded and they resent
I suspect that women in this position also resent the fact that they see
their daughters going out  and doing all the things that they would like to
have done and react by criticising them. The problem is also that those of
us that are going out and doing things are still breaking out of the 
conditioning and are made to feel guilty really easily (at least I am)
about the fact that their *real* role should be as mothers and that they
are neglecting their children by working.
On the subject of men as primary caregivers, when are daughter was born
neither my husband or I had any previous experience of looking after a
baby and suprise suprise we both managed to learn on the job equally
well. So there's obviously more nurture than nature involved in this
as I would say we both love and care for our daughter equally, being
femalr does'nt give me an edge in any way. But that might be due to 
his upbringing not being too macho. No offence meant to any men out
there who feel that their conditioning has been harder to break, I'm
just trying to say that given the opportunity you *can * do it!

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