What are you saying - direction in life shouldn't be provided by parents who should want whats best in their eyes for their children? Who chooses a begining direction - the child? Perhaps, but not properly. Children as they evolve will begin to make their own choices and a parents task is to support or explain why not from their viewpoint [ as it's the only one they may have comfort in and there is much at stake - isn't there].
Lets coldly take the children thing a bit further. A child wanted is a valuable investment. A commodity which furthers more than a parents satisfaction. A child assures purpose and the reason for continuation of what is expected - cumlatively for all peoples - they will shape life and the world as we will know it. Without children - the reason and purpose to continue - life and the world would founder.
The problems however begin when children aren't closely cared for, managed or don't know clearly the expectations of themselves. Children, like people to a lessor degree, respond more to example than words as the little absorptive sponges they are. They are the product of those most around them early in their lives for better or worse. Parents who don't invest management time in them early deserve what results later as children truly never leave your caring or responsibility.
Like a marriage that isn't cultivated and managed consistantly, the results are predictable. Neither can grow in a vacuum.
Now to the true issue - the value of children. They are the entrustment of the future - your future - our future. If you had cared, shaped and invested - they probably will also - not just about you but your world around them - they will shape it as well as they shape your grandchildren - an endless process if you will.
Years ago things were different weren't they. Society was closer - smaller - more shared values and more communicative - families were geographicly closer - more supportive and available - neighbors were more involved and cared. Parents didn't live as long. In short, more people cared more for a shorter timeframe. Expectations were communicated and shared in most part. And MOM's were the conduit - the constant - 24/7. An invaluable resource that had incalculable value has gone into another (todays) mode.
It is said you can't go home, but one must selfishly manage one's expectations and the foreseeable predictable future shouldn't one? To paraphrase Dr. Phil - How is what you are doing working so far? Do longer living parents really understand how the world is shaped and by whom? Is it any wonder why the values today are different than our grandmothers?
Who will make the investment in our future if we won't?
As a metrosexual, Thank you so much for making it all clear!
Read Michel Foucault's Histor of Sexuality. That's a must for forming a perspective. It might help with background perspective also. Then get back to us.
Please read The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Women, Sex and Feminism, by Carrie L. Lukas
She is a women who was raised on that line of thinking, and did a little research. Please read it.
Sorry, but I have to disagree with your basic premise. A great many "gender" roles don't come from societal constructs, they come from real physiological differences between the sexes. Anyone who has observed little boys and girls, even raised with the most fascistic "gender-neutral" methods, sees considerable differences in how they relate to others and their environment. And, sorry, but no, the occasional exception does not disprove the general rule.
With colleges, political parties and traditionally "male-dominated" professional groups like law enforcement, firefighting companies and the military spending millions of dollars recruiting women over the past couple of decades, it might be time to look a little further than doctrinaire feminist rhetoric for why women don't have anything close to parity in numbers in these pursuits.
When women CHOOSE what they will study or what jobs they will pursue, statistics show they opt in large numbers for the"soft" sciences, and they try to seek out positions that give them more time and flexibility to nurture a family. Concurrently, they also don't tend to go into professions that involve nearly as much physical risk or travel as men do.
Pay gaps, the differences in the awarding of promotions, and the different amounts of energy that the sexes bring to work "in the home" can, for the most part, be adequately explained by this phenomenon.
In the end, someone is going to have to provide the largest part of the financial support for the family, and it's a little absurd to make that person equally responsible for the family's emotional and developmental well-being, as well. And this "division of labor" is something families have to work out in homes, not courtrooms or legislative committees.
Equality before the law is a generally achievable concept. A total sexual egalitarianism, with everyone carefully dividing up every responsiblity in their diverse and complex lives is a utopian fantasy that could devolve our society into a farce, if government tries to enforce it.
having an impact on choices. That said, you can have the entire spectrum of results with children. Most societies gear women to child-rearing and focus their training and enculturation on being nurturing and maintaining relationships. Deborah Tannen has done some remarkable work regarding the differences in how men and women communicate. Many things come to play in just setting things into motion with a child. Genetics, parental education and health, wealth (which can have a huge impact on nutrition and vocational/professional opportunities), technology, and then we get to the child itself. Talents, how the child organizes, processes and retrieves information. Is their focus visual, audial, kinethestic, tactile? Are they linear or global, meaning do they need to see the big picture before they can proceed or can they work with just pieces of the pie? How are they on the concrete/abstract and sequential/random tables? (Gregorc's work there.) What are their predispositions on the various intelligence scords? (Howard Gardner). I even allow for personality modifiers from both western and Chinese astrology. And still there is place in the birthing pool -- are they an only child, and if not, where on the ladder are they: eldest, second, middle, baby of the family? Tendencies and strengths can be inherited - which brings us back to genetics. But there is also is reeling all that in so that the personality can make choices. Does the child choose homework tonight? Or sneak in some computer games? Read a book? Be obedient or take it on the lam and play hookey. Names mean things, too, so picking a name is another reason to consider things before they get out of hand. In between it all - religious or secular focus for upbringing? Public school or private? And with all the things at play, the child still has their own preferences. Climbing trees, playing with dolls, whatever. Gender is a social construct and it is becoming less static. More freedom and choice I think leads to happier people, which I believe is a good thing.
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