gender roles

Karen Kroslowitz kroz at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org
Mon Jan 24 16:00:17 EST 1994


On 21 Jan 1994 H.F.J.Bligh at vme.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk wrote:

> 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
> it.

I'm not so sure I agree with all of this. *I* certainly don't believe that
motherhood is the only way to *true fulfillment as a woman* (whatever that
means!). Talk about promoting gender roles! I prefer to strive for *true
fulfillment* as a PERSON, and if that means the difference between being a
great scientist and an okay mommy or vice versa, then that's my life and
I'll do with it what I please. 
I think gender roles can't be so easily broken down though... even I am
realistic. Ricardo Azipiroz made a comment about how children are
conditioned by their parents to follow the *traditional* roles because
that's the way they were raised and so on.... It's like
asking the question Which came first... the Neanderthal man who dragged
his wife around by the hair or the Neanderthal woman who allowed him to do
it? 
I have been reading "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan (having missed the
movie) and I think there's a passage that sums this up well:
"And even though I taught my daughter the opposite, still she came out the
same way! Maybe it is because she was born to me and she was born a girl.
And I was born to my mother and I was born a girl. All of us are like
stairs, one step after another, going up and down, but all going the same
way."
And then there's another:
"I think this to myself even though I love my daughter. She and I have
shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is part of mine.
But when she was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has
been swimming away ever since."
Nature vs. nurture anyone??

Karen Kroslowitz
kroz at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org





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