Wednesday, February 21, 2007

just for something different

Okay, not different after all. Nothing to post, so guess we'll return to my endless rambling about gender issues.

On another blog, a commenter said "...the idea that it is a woman’s job to take care of husband and children has got to go. That is a cornerstone of patriarchy, and it is patriarchy that could cause the demise of the human race with its focus on domination."

I think:
it's true that women-as-nurturers/homemakers has been a cornerstone of "patriarchy", and in general people shouldn't be forced to do what they don't want to do.
but i think it's important to acknowledge that patriarchy is NOT an evil construct devised to subjugate women. (not sure that was actually said here, but i've heard it enough to now hear its echo even when it's not being said.)

anyway, the "patriarchal" pattern of traditional roles is a natural development, stemming from
a) the tremendous effectiveness of biology-based role specialization, and
b) the connection between leadership roles and relative physical strength / tendency toward aggression.

as for destroying the world, that might be right -- but that's a recent development; up till now, male competitiveness/aggression is one of the things that has kept the human race from disappearing, because
a) weeding out weak men aids natural selection for survivability,
b) aggressive men push for sex, increasing the birth rate, and
c) aggressive men fight off the wild giraffes or frogs or whatever it is that threatens the tribe.

IOW, we may be ready to leave patriarchy behind, but that idea is like Disneyland; it will only be around as long as we can maintain our current standard of living/civilization -- when life becomes physically difficult/dangerous (like it was thru most of human history), we're back to traditional "patriarchal" roles before you can spit...


At Wed Feb 21, 07:36:00 AM PST, Blogger Lisa said...

This probably isn't going to be a popular response, but so much of it is how we are made. It's simply biological that women have the instinct to care for children.

It's not that men can't do it, and in today's modern world there are many accomodations for women to work and be in charge. I know some great stay at home dads too.

But I do think that it's the biological "setpoint" for men to go "hunt" and women to "caretake".

At Wed Feb 21, 09:22:00 AM PST, Blogger unca said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Wed Feb 21, 09:29:00 AM PST, Blogger unca said...

I agree, Lisa. The notion that male and female nurturing and defending behaviors are mere societal and cultural constructs is absurd.

At Wed Feb 21, 12:29:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

Good post and comments.

This post would not go over too well with many feminist organizations. When you think about it I’m sure when man was trying to survive there were no feminist organizations because we were to busy just trying to survive. I believe we survived through the traditional rolls Bryan pointed out.

Would we all be here if women at the critical point of survival got together and said we want the right to hunt and to {Warning Controversial statement ahead} have complete control over our reproductive system.

Why not just celebrate our differences. We should also celebrate that we have the freedom to decide what works best for each individual couple now. However as Bryan pointed out the only reason we do have that choice is because of the current “standard of living/civilization”

At Wed Feb 21, 01:50:00 PM PST, Blogger jay aitch said...

Yeah, like who is going to kill the snakes and bears? Not many of the lady-folk.

At Wed Feb 21, 06:07:00 PM PST, Blogger Alan said...

I've killed snakes on occassion, but usually I just push them aside (baby rattlers are kinda cute). I've not tackled bears yet. Good post and comments.


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