comment of the month – conservative gender roles

The conservative anti-feminist man would prefer for their wife to take up the role of their mother in washing their laundry and tending to kids, and the conservative anti-feminist woman would like their husband to take the role of their father as the sole provider for the family, so that they do not have to. In my opinion these people should have the right to live their lives as they choose, but I get a bit aggravated when they also try to impose their values on the rest of the society. (rautakyy)

Human beings are pattern-seeking, simplistic creatures. We grow up watching role-models and many of us want to live our lives in the ‘ideal’ fashion we think we viewed in the golden age of childhood. For some people, this entailed the father of the family being the sole bread-winner and the mother taking care of the home and family. What is the rationale for wanting to continue this stereotypical set-up? Let’s look at some of the facts about this seemingly basic arrangement:

  1. Women have always worked! In fields, in factories, in classrooms, as businesswomen, as nurses. Why on earth in the day of modern electric conveniences and family planning would they choose to live up to the lie that a woman’s place is in a home?
  2. Men can work part-time too! Is there a quiet revolution of changing attitudes where men are realising that full-time work till you hit your 60s isn’t really that great an option for life? Men want to spend quality time with their families too, men like to cook and clean and make their home beautiful too. Men, like women, like having time to do things other than working.

I’m ever hopeful that Big Change is coming. We’re not talking about women ‘having it all’. We’re talking about people having it all – the opportunity for every individual and every family to shape their life the way it suits their circumstances and aspirations. And if the conservatives want to rigidly follow fictitious roles that generally lead straight to home-life depression and work-life hypertension, we should let them make those decisions. Maybe the next generation will have a proper look around and come to their senses.