F*ck the Cleavers: How Shifting Gender Roles Affect Sex, Relationships & the Economy

Marrie Lobel gives her view on the sweeping effects that she sees gender roles having on– oh– just about everything.

Gender roles are changing on a global level; it’s hard to ignore the immense impact shifting gender roles are having on our economy and interpersonal relationships. The sweeping wave of change means tensions turn high and the blame game has begun — no one is safe from the mudslinging and everyone is getting defensive; circling their wagons in order to protect themselves from the muck. I find all this an obscene waste of energy that distracts people from moving forward and constructively dealing with change.

Gender roles and sexual progress has been frozen into a mold formed in the fucking 60’s. For too long people had this absurd idea of what marriage and relationship meant. I’m not sure why or who perpetuated the Leave It to Beaver notion of marriage and relationships but whether people want to admit or not, that era was a brief blip in time. The single male provider paired with his domestic goddess was a new concept born from its mother, the TV and its father, post war prosperity. History has always demanded a dual income family…at a minimum! It wasn’t until the dawn of TV that Suzy Homemaker was born. So, who’s to blame for our current identity crisis; TV, economic prosperity, industrial revolution, the feminists, western culture? Does it matter? No, it doesn’t matter. Let the researchers and academic intellections waste their time and our money in sorting out the blame game, while the rest of us observe and live in the carnage. It’s true that the current transformation has been painful but aren’t they all? Change is hard, but when the change is swift, the G-forces are hard to recover from. As gender roles change, so must the expectations that men and women have in regards to sex, relationships and the household economy.

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Sex

Even what men and women find attractive in our modern society has come under attack. Men are skewered for admitting their attraction to physical beauty and women are flambéed for attempting to meet the demand. I’m not going to delve down into the abyss of self-destruction {i.e. eating disorders, plastic surgery, etc.}. I am talking about the majority of us who live a life of moderation. When did it become a crime for men to be attracted to certain physical features and why do women need to explain their desire to purchase a bombshell bra? In my article on the Good Men Project my opinions on beauty and women’s pursuit of beauty were expressed. I found it interesting that I was considered a man-hater by one commenter and a women-hater by another. How can one article produce such polar perspectives?

I believe that in order to engage in sex with another person, a certain level of physical attraction must be present. Now, what floats my boat may not float yours, but that doesn’t mean that either of us is wrong. Whether fed by the media or an evolutionary genetic hunger pang, the reality is that the desire to have sex to a certain ‘type’ is there. Does it real matter why? Must we really chastise and criminalize individuals for their opinion on what they find sexually appealing? The current shift in the social and moral attitudes of men and women on sex has created such a divide that it’s amazing anyone gets laid anymore. Men express their desire to be with a sexually confident woman but find her promiscuous at 5 partners. Meanwhile, women express their rage at being objectified by men based on physical characteristics but have no problem expressing their desire to sleep with men at a certain socioeconomic level; that typically exceeds her own status.  Sex is a physical act that goes beyond procreation. For those of you who argue differently, than why not avoid the mess of having sex altogether and get invitro. It’s cheaper in the long run; no dating, no wedding, no heartbreak, no divorce plus you get the bonus of choosing a genetic profile. For most of us; sex for pleasure is part of our human condition. No need to apologize or make excuses for it. Luckily the changing tide does come with some moral flexibility. In 1969 68% of people polled felt that premarital sex was wrong while in 2009 only 30% considered it so. For those traversing the single marketplace in the current hook-up culture; my advice is too merely to play it safe, be true to you, and shove double standards. Stop judging others for how they live their life and start focusing on how you live yours. If you have casual sex or a friend with benefit, don’t judge another person for their one-night stand. If you’re a woman who only dates high wage earning men; don’t judge the men who only date large breasted women. For some, sexual attraction has been reduced to a competition full of moral judgments and double standards where women have just as much game as the men. Women need to stop bitching about the game existing, especially since they helped to create its current rulebook. Men need to stop whining about not knowing what move to make next; when they are the ones who created the playing field.

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Relationships

To marry or not to marry, that is the question singles are asking themselves these days. According to recent census stats the decline of marriage in the U.S. is a fact. Not only are less Americans walking down the aisle but those who do decide to say “I Do” are waiting longer. This is not unique to the U.S.; many are beginning to experience a similar phenomenon on a less dramatic level but with far more serious social and economic ramifications. It isn’t that our population doesn’t have gender balance; in fact the U.S. holds a comfortable 50% female and 49% males, it is that men who were traditionally considered ‘marriage material’ are in short supply. More men than women are unemployed and women are more likely than men to attend and graduate from college. You would think that with women securing a more progressive role in society that the occurrence of marriage and committed relationships would increase. However, men find themselves less likely to commit when there are so many fascinating and intellectually vibrant women at their disposal. Is it a matter of being hard to choose the one or not feeling the need to choose at all? The marriage crisis; as some have coined it, also affects views on what composes a family. Americans are more accepting of non-traditional families, with 80% saying an unmarried couple with children is considered a family and 86% consider a single parent with children is a family. Now, I’m not sure if these stats are due to the prevalence of non-traditional family model or if the acceptances of non-traditional family models become more prevalent due to societies acceptance. It really doesn’t matter which came first, the chicken or the egg, the reality is that the omelet is on the menu and more adults are choosing to order it. After reading several articles on this topic and having multiple conversations with some amazing women; I noticed a reoccurring pattern with the single ladies I have met that are in their 30’s and 40’s:

Woman is in a committed relationship in her 20’s

Woman is asked in mid 20’s to get married

Woman says no

Woman turns 30 or 40 something and decides it’s time to get married

Woman has a hard time finding a man to say, “I do

Woman second guesses decision not to marry; complains that there are no men currently worthy of marriage

Note: I am in no way judging these women for their choices nor for their frustration. I am merely stating actual anecdotal data…as I have observed it.

My observations of the single men of a similar age are a little different:

Man is in committed relationship in his 20’s

Man gets married in his mid 20’s-early 30’s

Man gets divorced in mid 30’s-early 40’s

Man, as a new divorcée, dates a variety of women

Man doesn’t regret getting married but the bitter after taste of divorce, alimony, and child support leads him to proclaim that marriage is an experience best experienced once.

Man refuses to marry again.

So there you have it! Now the single woman in her 30’s or 40’s is attempting to date men of a similar age and settle down; however, the man is committed to not being committed. Now, I’m not presenting this as statistical fact, I am sharing my personal observations. Of course your experience or those of your friends may be different. This is the point when most women begin to evaluate their single status. They stop regarding being single as a temporary station in life and realize it may be a permanent position. I think that most women who experience the scenario I just described are more OK with it than most of society cares to admit. These women are not depressing cat hoarders living a life of quiet desperation. These women lead active social lives and are changing the social stigma of being a single woman in her 30′s and 40′s who has never been married. Relationships in the past were partially facilitated by social and economic necessity. It is just what good and proper women and men did. But now, with the economic and social opportunity afforded to women, that necessity to marry in order to ensure survival is nearly nonexistent. Women no longer need to be in a relationship to have children of their own. Now relationships have boiled down to the core…want. Relationships are no longer mandatory, for men or women; it is a matter of want. Wanting to be with a person, wanting to share your life, wanting to commit to one person. Want takes more self-reflection and commitment than need. The want probably explains the high divorce rate; if you don’t want to be in a relationship and you don’t need to be in a relationship, why stay?

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Relationships

Women currently make up the majority of the work force at 52%. Men have burdened most of the job losses from the Great Recession, with little hope for significant recovery in the near future. The current theory is that manufacturing and construction jobs amassed the greatest losses; jobs traditionally held by men. While women still tend to make less money than men; their career paths of education and health care have shielded women from similar jobless rates. For the first time in a non-war era, women dominate the professional landscape. Such a dramatic shift of demographics can’t help but modify the perceived gender roles. After all where would Wally and the Beaver be if June had a job? Who would make breakfast every morning? That’s right! Ward would, because he got laid off. Looking at current society and reflecting on ‘traditional family’ roles using Leave it to Beaver, helps you realize just how archaic and ridiculous ‘traditional’ gender roles are. To further demonstrate my point, the use of the term ‘traditional’. I only used the term traditional in the article due to it being included in political rhetoric; we have an assumption of what the term means. However, what is considered traditional by political conservatives is actually a false ideal, characterized in a brief moment in history, and perpetuated by out-dated stats. Quite absurd when you think about it! The current model of gender and family is a much more inclusive and flexible one. Allowing for room to evolve and grow without fear of alienating family, friends, and financial opportunity. With all the positives that come from flexible ideology comes confusion. The definitions of femininity and masculinity are in flux. This came to my attention when discussing women in the work force with The Quest for 50 blogger. He described ambition {in terms of career} as a masculine trait that men find inherently unattractive in women. For him, a powerful woman becomes less attractive. A man in power is feared yet respected by men, a woman in power may be feared and respected by men but automatically seen as less attractive and no longer qualifies as a potential mate; case in point, Hillary Clinton. This is not about wealth, this about power. If your wife won the lottery you wouldn’t divorce her, you would share the wealth. But if your wife were to become the CEO of Ford, now what role do you play? What about the children? As a male CEO it is assumed your wife would care for your children; however, if she is busy running a multi-billion dollar company, are you willing to take on the responsibility? What would your buddies think? Of course a man man isn’t less of a man if he cares for the children, but does society see him that way? I think often times professional women with high profile careers seek their socioeconomic equal or greater because these are the men who already have enough confidence in themselves to not give a rats ass what their buddies think and/or they have already proven their masculinity. Don’t get me wrong; I think many women also hold men to these archaic perceptions just as much as men. After all, ladies, how many of you would be willing to date a single father, raising his children on his ex-wife’s alimony and child support? Most men don’t have a problem dating a woman with this financial scenario. Shifting perceptions of masculine and feminine traits open up controversial, and, at times, volatile dialogue with no clear answers. Women’s ideals of what makes a good mate are shifting from economic security to intellectual fuel for the soul. The change is encouraging women to no longer see men as a financial lifeboat but as a compatible dance partner to waltz through the everyday. On the flip side of the gender coin; men are looking for companions and not mothers.

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I feared posting this article as people have begun to ignore the middle ground; heaping huge segments of our global population into over-generalized stereotypes; or hyper-focused individuals. Of course each of us experience life differently, but to ignore current trends in the preservation of individual experience is to live a life with blinders. Refusing to acknowledge the massive shifts of masculinity and femininity is akin to denying there is a recession because you still have a job. I wanted to post this article as a springboard for conversation and thought. I do not claim to have all the answers but love asking good questions. I encourage you to comment and let me know your thoughts. Do you see the decline in marriage as a crisis? Do you see the need for marriage? Or is it merely a want? Have your perceptions of what is masculine and feminine changed in recent years?

photo: dvdplain.com 

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About Marrie Lobel

Marrie Lobel blogs at DirtyInPublic.com, where she is self-decribed as "Geekalicious NorCal Betty masquerading opinions about dating, sex & relationships as fact through dirty talk & wicked rants!"

Comments

  1. For men, the 21’st century has been an existential catastrophe. I think a grater reliance on self preservation is more fundamentally necessarily then getting back on the Dating scene. Society has made it safer for Women to become individuals think it’s about time men follow suit.

    I would prefer finding a Male Oprah Winfrey then ever finding a wife.

    • Good point budmin! More successful relationships are formed when to complete individuals come together rather than those looking to fill a ‘missing piece’.

    • Notice how society is described as responsible for making it safer for women to become individuals but men are expected to follow suit in a way that implies it is our responsibility independently of society. The direct implication is that society is obligated to liberate women and men are simply expected to do it ourselves, as our responsibility.

  2. QuantumInc says:

    Certainly a broad range of things covered here. The part about politically incorrect attraction rung true for me lately. I’m a male feminist and videos of glamour model Denise Milani has become a guilty plesure for me. Look up a picture of her and you’ll see how the words: male & feminist explain the words: guilty & pleasure. I also remember reading blogs from sexually submissive female feminists. That might seem like a contradiction, but these women are still being assertive about they want in life, work, and sex. It just happens the last part breaks the stereotype about feminists.

    The belief. is that our attractions are based on our socialization. The hope is that we could alter the socialization process so that people’s sense of attraction is less shallow and more inclusive and less sexist. Fewer people would feel insecure about their bodies, more people could find somebody who likes them, we could have a gender universal ideal of what a person should be, and then say that ideal person is sexy.

    Yes, the part where people used to NEED to get married but now they only do it when they WANT. Very true. People still have a lot of romantic ideals about marriage. I would like to think there’s something to those ideals, but I can see why they fail. I have a lot of examples of successful long term marriages in my life (my parents for one), so I do believe a permanent love is worth striving for. However one needs to remember that it’s different from the more intense short term version, and that HollyWood style romance is toxic nonsense.

    It makes me sad that few women with successful careers find guys who’re attracted to them and whom they are attracted to. As the “Quest for 50″ guy said, ambition is unfeminine. Hopefully we can redefine femininity or else abandon the idea that men and women should have different personalities. The only other alternatives being: Fewer people find love, or trying to put the feminism genie back in the bottle (yeah right).

    • I’m familiar with Denise Milani – I can see why you’re into her.

      For those unfamillar with Milani, she’s a VERY busty model – any man who likes big breasted women will go nuts over her pics!

    • It’s hard to take opinions from guys like the Quest for 50 guy seriously. I just visited his blog and he describes women as hamsters. Really. Most successful women I know are in relationships. It does not seem to be a barrier in my experience, except with guys like Quest for 50, who I’d rather avoid anyway.

      • I know that the terms and presentation used by The Quest for 50 site drips with chauvinism but in our {face to face} conversation he did bring up some very relevant and valid points of the male perspective. After reading several articles and speaking with other men on this topic, I do not think his opinion {at least on a high level} are that unique and worthy of discussing.

    • How do you have a sexist attraction to the opposite sex? I mean you are turned on by something different than yourself, traits you don’t share but still human. They are the female traits and if that guy does not like ambitious women so be it. That does not make him a bad guy in anyway. I can imagine some women say they prefer a man without ambition to avoid the problems it might cause her but I don’t think would call her a sexist. Men should not judge each other in terms of whats good for women, they should be asking themselves what makes them happy. This is the question women are asking themselves. When we see women embrace this level of altruistic forethought perhaps then would be time to return the favor. Much of your statements seem like a subjugated man in a ideological prison. You feel guilty about your sexuality while cheering on the women doing as they please. I think you can do better by yourself.

      I think men being feminist is foolish for many reasons. A midst this sea of change you choose to advocate for women instead of men even though you are a man. Exactly who is looking out for men’s interest? I suppose you think women are so benevolent they will take care of that for you. I am here to tell you they will not and they have not. Men have to look out for themselves and each other because that’s what women have been doing for themselves. Perhaps that’s why they earn 50% more degrees and earn on average more than young men in nearly every city in America. Unlike what you may have been told us men are not out to oppress women. Stop living in fear of men and yourself.

      • ED:
        Or flip it around. I have seen MANY women posting on these threads who w/out the tiniest shred of shame state in your face that they like ambitious men in an in-your-face way.

        Isn’t that strange? Women can brazenly declare they will only date ambitious men, but when men state they will only date non-ambitious women they get dogpiled.

        In other words, it’s okay for women to be selective in mates, but when men do it it’s somehow sexist?

        You just can’t win on this webpage if you’re a man! Man=bad for most feminists.

  3. The auto-refresh wiped out my fairly lenghty comment once again. . .

    I don’t have time to rewrite the whole thing, so suffice to say that a female CEO of Ford probably has kids in college or they’re at least old enough to not need a stay at home mini-van driver.

    In my observation, married with children female executives have nannies and husbands who are also executives or who are at least working professionals. Most women with the potential and aspiration be a Fortune 100 CEO while still young enough to have little children aren’t all that interested in a man whose aspiration is to be supported by his wife.

  4. Do you think that’s an inherent desire to have an “alpha” or cultural pressure to not completely un-conform to your female role. What’s wrong with having a husband who hangs with the kids if you are the one that has the money? I would think that most highly assertive and ambitious people like other assertive and ambitious people, more than the whole gender thing. I mean, a man could be an ambitious and assertive artist or fireman but not get paid much. If I were a CEO, and making bank, I’d want a man who was ambitious too, but I don’t know that I’d care if that manifested in a huge paycheck. I wouldn’t want him to sit on the couch all day though. If he made bank, I’d stay busy too. I don’t like sitting on the couch.

    • I agree with you, I’m a female professional who is financially independent and I don’t care about a guy’s paycheck but I’d want him to be working at something. Maybe he’s a writer or an artist or a dedicated school teacher. That would be fine with me, however, I work hard and I can’t relate to someone who doesn’t also work hard. It really comes down to compatibility of values and interests.

      P.s. Firemen make a ton of money!

  5. “So, who’s to blame for our current identity crisis; TV, economic prosperity, industrial revolution, the feminists, western culture? Does it matter? ”

    Yes it does matter who we blame like it matters what religion you choose or what women you marry. It’s not like these forces are spontenious anomolies spewing from the ether, they are constructed of our own values. We embrace these ideas that have long term conseqeunces sometimes without thinkging them through. We only reconsider those things after some social catostrophe. These days we are hooked on statistics because none of us really know whats going on. Our personal experiences seem inadequate to survey such sweeping change in highly hetergenous enviorment.

    Marraige is not obsolete and no man with any since would cheer on women going to sperm donors. As a man you should be the first one to say a child needs a father. The best way for us to create families is for men and women to come together and raise them. That is not old fashion it’s common sense, it’s natures design along with our pair bonding impulses. Just because women have careers doesn’t mean they can’t pair off with a man.

    Many of these single women who failed to pair off made some mistakes and we should use that to teach the next generation of women what not to do. Men need to remember what it’s like to be a leader in the culture and stop taking a back seat while feminist give them marching orders. We have our own ideas on how things should be, and we should share them. Society needs our input and if you recall we used to be quite influential in the design of this thing. Don’t mistaken men in power with men running the show. That fallacy has left men disengaged for too long.

    You had a long article but you should focus on families more. They should still be the center of our world and the goal of every young person growing up. Keeping birth rates at replacement is harder than you think.

    • Thank you for your comments Ed.

      “We only reconsider those things after some social catastrophe. These days we are hooked on statistics because none of us really know what’s going on”

      I agree with this comment. The importance of ‘why’ does help us better understand [know what’s going on] and can help us avoid similar mistakes in the future. However, as you pointed out, our society’s addiction to statistics leads many dwelling on what happened rather than moving forward and constructively problem solving.

      “Marraige is not obsolete and no man with any since would cheer on women going to sperm donors. As a man you should be the first one to say a child needs a father. The best way for us to create families is for men and women to come together and raise them. That is not old fashion it’s common sense, it’s natures design along with our pair bonding impulses. Just because women have careers doesn’t mean they can’t pair off with a man. ”

      No, Marriage as a social and economic contract still has value in our society. It is not that the institution or the contract is obsolete; it is the romantic ideals associated with marriage that must be reevaluated. As I stated in my article, the role that marriage plays is one where individuals marry because they want to get married…this is very different than the need that was associated with marriage in times past. It is not that women feel like that can’t pair off with a man because she has a career; it is her evaluating her wants and priorities that may or may not accommodate a marriage or family. She now has a choice, rather than it being her duty.

      “Many of these single women who failed to pair off made some mistakes and we should use that to teach the next generation of women what not to do.”

      My only response to this is that not pairing off isn’t in itself a mistake. It is an individual and personal decision, not a social requirement. Maybe a better lesson for the future generations of women is to inform them of all the social and emotional impacts the choice to or not to marry/couple comes with. It is am matter of personal priorities. The previous generations can speak of their personal experiences and share them with the next, but this should not be done to impose our priorities onto them. It is merely more information that can allow the next generation to make a more informed decision.

    • Ed says:
      “Many of these single women who failed to pair off made some mistakes and we should use that to teach the next generation of women what not to do.”

      Also, I don’t feel it’s society’s obligation to subsidize women’s poor choices in mates. Welfare needs to be reformed. We have third generational girls on welfare that think the best way to “cheat the system” is to get pregnant w/out a man to raise the child.

      If we stopped subsidizing women’s poor choices, then they many fewer women would make them.

  6. “History has always demanded a dual income family…at a minimum! It wasn’t until the dawn of TV that Suzy Homemaker was born.”

    I wish you had a better grasp of history pre-media. It’s unfortunate (and understandable) that the TV era came at the same time the country shifted from primarily agricultural to industrial. Survival switched from working off the land/working for your family to working for the factory. This meant that a woman used to help provide for her family by taking care of the home, property, gardens/livestock if it were present. It also aligned closely with the introduction of the birth control pill, which was the primary incident in American history (and world history) that shifted a woman’s focus away from building a family (a focus that has been present for the woman since the dawn of time.)

    “Men express their desire to be with a sexually confident woman but find her promiscuous at 5 partners.”

    Sexually confident either stems from a woman who is insecure in her identity and therefore overcompensates in her sexuality, or is confident in her identity and therefore it carries over into her sexuality. Men are attracted to confident women; sex follows appropriately, and promiscuity is the primary identifier for insecurity.

    “Meanwhile, women express their rage at being objectified by men based on physical characteristics but have no problem expressing their desire to sleep with men at a certain socioeconomic level; that typically exceeds her own status.”

    A good man is attracted to beautiful women. A “bad” man objectifies women by their physical appearance. Good women look for a responsible man they can respect. “Bad” women use men for their money. Stereotyping the extreme characters is always more harmful than beneficial.

  7. I appreciate your comments Lauren I just wanted to be sure to respond.

    “I wish you had a better grasp of history pre-media. It’s unfortunate (and understandable) that the TV era came at the same time the country shifted from primarily agricultural to industrial. Survival switched from working off the land/working for your family to working for the factory.”

    As I openly and freely admit that I am not a historian, I do believe that the Industrial Revolution began in Europe in the mid 18th century spread to America by the late 18th century to mid 19th century, long before the dawn of the Golden Age of TV which began in the mid 1940’s.

    “It also aligned closely with the introduction of the birth control pill, which was the primary incident in American history (and world history) that shifted a woman’s focus away from building a family”

    As for birth control pills, the first FDA approved birth control pill didn’t hit the market until 1960, decades after the dawn of television and a century after the Industrial Revolution.

    “This meant that a woman used to help provide for her family by taking care of the home, property, gardens/livestock if it were present.”

    You and I agree! However; my only comment is that the women, who were caring for the garden, livestock, and gardens, were indeed contributing to the economy. When I say economy, I do not limit the definition to a paycheck. Before receiving paychecks, women played a significant role in making sure their nuclear and extended family received a return for their hard labor.

    “Men are attracted to confident women; sex follows appropriately, and promiscuity is the primary identifier for insecurity.”

    I do agree that both men and women are attracted to confidence. And although promiscuity can be an indicator for insecurity, at what point men and women feel that an individual is promiscuous is partially determined by gender. A recent survey and the responses I have read from individual readers, articles, and commentaries have shown that men do hold women to a different set of standards. A man isn’t considered promiscuous at 5 sexual partners in a lifetime, but a woman is. My comment wasn’t about promiscuity in itself; it is about it’s flexible definition based on gender.

  8. thehermit says:

    These CEO women you’re writing about, often desperately realize later, that they sacrificed their relationships with their children (if they had any) for their carreer. Then realize “traditonal” is not so outdated at all, but it’s all too late, as i said.

    • The CEO men often sacrifice their relationships with their children as well.

      What are your thoughts on that?

      Providing is not a substitute for presence – whether you are a wife, husband, mom, or dad.

  9. thehermit,
    I don’t think your comment is limited to women. Successful men who prioritized career over family also look back with regret; for example, Steve Jobs. He openly shared his regret for not spending more time with his family
    Perhaps it’s society’s expectation that men sacrifice family for successful careers but assumes women do not/will not/should not.

    • thehermit says:

      Mothers presence is more important in the early years, but i agree that the father is also important. I’m a practicing dad myself, but the question remains: while mom is busy with their child(ren) at home, who brings home the beacon? I think fathers can manage it better, while their presence is still significant in their childrens lives.
      Steve Jobs is not a good example, cos he was not an average person. He’s an extreme case… Workaholic i guess.
      But i know someone personally- a lawyerwoman in her sixties- who is suffering badly from her daughter’s ignorance now, but in her busy years she had spent very limited time with her, so “she had it coming”.

      All in all, the traditional model is still the best, because it involves some long term thinking. The sexes- and the roles- are not interchangeable.

      • CEOs are not ‘average” people either…yet you started your reasoning with a statement about “CEO women.”

        I wonder why you assume the mother’s presence is “more important” at any point in the timeline of childhood? Children need both of their parents.

        The traditional model doesn’t work. if it did, many people would still be using it.

        • thehermit says:

          “The traditional model doesn’t work. if it did, many people would still be using it.”

          It never will work with the spoiled and “empowered” (whatever that means) american women, who are too busy chewing the “whatobuttehmenz” question all day. They will never put any effort to it to make it work i guess.

          But you know it is like capitalism: it’s not good. It is horrible, disguisting, but show me something what works better…

  10. Marrie,

    Earlier you ducked the issue raised by another writer about children and families. From the 1946 thru mid 60 time period, at least, kids had Mothers at home. These children had the best of all world,s a Mother and Father who cared for them. Divorce was rare as was crime of any type for most of us. That all disappeared in the mid 60’s with the rise in drug use and other issues. I certainly hope that you do not believe that kids have it as well as those from the time period I mentioned. I should know as I was a kid then and I have had children and grandchildren of my own since then and I can assure you I had it a lot better.

    As far as TV’s most people did not have a TV till the early 50’s. You stated they were around for decades before that. NO WAY! TV might have been invented earlier, but it did not reach most people till the 50’s. Even then it took a number of years before you could see much other than snow.

    I do agree with you that you are not much of an historian.

  11. Thank you for your comment Walker.
    I think there may have been a misunderstanding.
    I actually stated that the Golden Age of TV began in the mid 1940’s. My understanding was that the first TV was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair ;although, it is true that TV’s were not in the majority of homes until the mid 1950’s.

  12. Marrie,

    There is No misunderstanding on my part. The Golden Age of TV began in the early 50’s when TV stations were coming on line in many areas of the country. There were experimental developments in the 30’s and 40’s, but to declare those part of the golden age of TV is a misnomer. The 30’s and 40’s were part of the developmental era of television.

    I notice that again you ducked the issue of children having both a Mother and a Father, as most did in the 50’s. That percentage has now dropped to historic lows and the ones that suffer are the children. Apparently that is of no consequence to you, as you are appear to be only interested in the selfish needs of women first, men second and chiildren do not count. At least that is what I get out of reading your comments. Women and men, men and women—- children–Forget about them! Is that correct Marrie? If not, where do children come into your beliefs?

  13. Nice to see the lively debate going on here. As for my own philosophy on the discussion at hand, it can really be boiled down to this:

    All of our current gender woes as a society (divorce rate, single motherhood, women bemoaning the lack of “good men” these days, etc.) can be traced back to the fact that beginning in the 60s, American capitalism facilitated the masculinization of women. I don’t blame women for this; however I find it ironic that many women live in complete ignorance of what has happened around them. The fact that liberated women meant twice as many workers, tax-payers, and most importantly CONSUMERS incentivized corporations and the media to give a mouthpiece to the most radical feminists, and quickly influence the cultural tide.

    Perhaps it wasn’t done with sinister intentions. However, we find ourselves in our current predicament because women are now raised to be the same as men, while men are still handicapped and subdued. In order for the mass of the male population to remain attractive to the mass of the female population, there would have to be room for men to shift even further toward the masculine end of the spectrum– meaning stronger, more physical, potentially violent. This paradigm is already coming to pass in many inner cities and ghettos.

    There is no easy solution for the problem as is. I don’t expect women to stop working and return to the domestic sphere, since this role is largely obsolete today (due to modern technology and conveniences). I think the best case scenario is to change the tone of the discussion, and reverse the damage that years of propaganda have done to masculinize women and turn them against men.

  14. Dagonet—You made some excellent points. I get my dander up when I read the comments from someone who criticizes the 50’s by sayiny in effect, those times were irrelevant. It just happened to be a period of about 20 years (1946-1965) where crime was rare, drugs for the most part were non-existent until the 60’s, rock and roll began, television came on line, the NFL got popular without fantasy football (gambling), divorce was rare, pregnancy before marriage was rare, a family consisted of a Mother, Father and their children (one on up to —), the boy and girl scouts were popular, gangs other than in parts of NYC (big cities) did not exist, and children were highly thought of and cared for. Yes, a high percentage of Mothers stayed home and worked as homemakers in the 50’s. Could they have gone out and done many if not most or all of the jobs males performed? Probably! Would the Kids have sufferred? Absolutely, just as they have since the mid 60’s. Just depends on how selfish folks want to be. Does anyone think the divorce rate would be what it is now if most women reamined at home as homemakers? If you do, then there is obvioulsy No hope for you.

    • Divorce was rare for a few reasons:

      -Divorce was not socially acceptible
      -Women had few or limitted choices

      There was still adultury (mostly men), LOTS of domestic violence, and other ills whcih people swept under the rug and tolerated.

      How much of the population lived that dream anyway? What was it like for Blacks, Hispanics, non-middle class people?

      Idealizing & fetishizing some fantasy can’t help society now.

  15. LOLingWoman:

    You are absolutely wrong on most of what you stated. For instance, while women had fewer choices, they did have choices if they wanted to work. Most did not want to. My Mother did and therefore she found employment in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Many women took jobs in the 40’s (WW2) that men normally performed.

    You are correct that Divorce was socially unacceptable. However, that was for both males and females, not just females.

    There was far less adultry in the 50’s then there is today. As far as it being mostly men, who knows, I think they were mating with mainly females. If you want to make the case the men were married and the women were not. go ahead. However, the amount of men who participated during the 50’s was minimal compared to decades that followed.

    Sorry, there was NOT a lot of domestic violence. That is often stated, but is stated only by todays feminists who know nothing of what they are talking about. You see men back then actually respected women and placed them on a pedestal. That is certainly NOT true today.

    If you call an ill giving priority to taking care of children and not being selfish and greedy, then I question your sanity.

    Middle Class–What are you talking about? None had money accept for a rare few. Most of the population lived that dream because most were relatively poor. Many did not have cars and it took quite a while for many to purchase TV’s. Kids played outside of the house with their neighbors, most folks knew their neighbors (within blocks not just next door), houses and cars were not locked and families were quite strong. As far as blacks go, back then, black families were strong with males leading them. Now it is hard to find young black men who value families.

    I was born in the early 40’s and I know what I am talking about. I lived it. You appear to be spouting the Feminist line of Crap. “Idealing a fantasy”—Tells me all I need to know about you—You need to go back to the first grade and start all over. You are one dumb Female!

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