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stayathomeFEMINIST

I was sooo annoyed at zan's ironic ignorance that I HAD to post this (even though this is obviously an old thread). I am really tired of this men and women are just biologically different and that's why there are different expectations for their roles in public and private life bullcrap. Zan, one minute you're saying traditional gender expectations are there because they are natural roles, and the next minute you say your son does traditionally feminine roles and you don't discourage him. Wake up, you have proof that traditional gender roles are not inherent to sex yet you continue to stay true to the very false idea that men and women are "born" to like and value different things. You say your son just loves cars for no reason, it must be male. Whatever! I am a woman, was a girl, and LOVED LOVED cars growing up. I gave up the hobby when adults that I adored discouraged the activity and obsession constantly by NEVER praising me for the hobby. I never did receive toy cars as presents and remember moments of asking for them and getting discouraged. I also loved riding my bike fast and wanted a motorbike badly - but I never got to hear praise for these activities in the form of "oh well, he's a boy". In fact, I got scolded for these things A LOT, to the point where I was CONDITIONED to be afraid of them. I did however get tremendous praise and attention for other hobbies of mine - dancing, playing house, and carrying baby dolls around. And by the way, Zan, WAKE UP!!! cooking, gardening, and washing dishes are not traditionally "gender neutral" - they are traditionally feminine roles (domestic) that have been socially constructed as feminine throughout history and various cultures. As a sidenote, by saying these are traditional female roles I am not saying they have not been important or hard work (but there is a wrong societal idea that they are meaningless, BECAUSE of their association with femininity). Males have only done these activities in the public sphere when pay, social status, and career status praise were involved. Parental observation of children is also VERY biased and anecdotal "evidence" is not scientific facts - parents see EVERYTHING through their own gender biased lenses but are in denial of this. Hello!!!???? It's called subjectivity. Zan, you even tried to make excuses for your son's interest in traditional female roles - why, is it a sore spot for you? Why is this of note to you that he likes these things? Earth to Zan, if you continually show surprise and make note of his behaviour as though it is odd, he will pick up on that. Kids are sponges from their first breath. Let's say he was a boy who liked to play kitchen and washing dishes in 1950s America AND he has an inherent conformity streak in his personality - you better believe he would have dropped that bad and embarrassing habit by now. I am willing to bet that If he was a girl, you would be writing about how his interest in playing house is evidence that your little girl is just '"naturally" interested in keeping house.
You should read up on how gender is socially constructed. Trust me, there is PLENTY of evidence on this, but it is not stressed by gender dichotomists like yourself because it does not fit with our myths about masculinity and femininity. I wonder why some people are so afraid of admitting that gender roles and expectations are not "inherent" in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. Gender roles are taught with informal social control - people don't even notice they are participating in behaviour modification when they are doing it.
And by the way, these "studies" gender dichotomists just love to say prove men and women are naturally different, were not done on babies born in a vacuum. From day one they are wired to be aware of social approval and disapproval - they learn from you and everyone else how to survive. This should be an obvious fact to you, a parent, a daily observer of babies and children - children learn mostly from role playing, not direct teaching. I bet when you give them a direct teaching they call you on it and rebel, testing your reaction, not thinking "oh, mom's absolutely right, this is a black and white thing, playing house is bad for a boy".
You know, newborn babies are so smart that they can discern between different languages, and language has been socially constructed. Language is taught, AND THEN the brain forms connections. As long as it is taught at the crucial time (young ages), they will have the brain structure to effectively use language. Also, as just one example, there are studies that PROVE that adults treat babies very different based on the PERCEIVED gender. They dressed baby girls as boys, and vice versa, and guess what? the "boys" got more action attention (ie. bouncing, etc.) and less cuddling, eye contact, and verbal stimulation than the "girls", who did get more eye to eye contact and verbal stimulation. When they dressed the babies in their "proper" gender they were treated by the adults differently than they were before. We also have undeniable evidence that your experiences in life influence your physical brain structure. I wish people who are faithful to men are from mars, women are from venus ideas would spend their time asking themselves why they are stubbornly sticking to ideas about male and female behaviour that are even various throughout cultures and history. I think it would be a better use of your time, you might learn something REAL.

Austin Nedved

If the ultimate goal of feminism is to make you and other women happy, and it is failing in this regard, I don't see why you would be a feminist yourself or recommend it to someone else...

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i think they have made them happier. why would it not.

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