Anna Gregoline | April 18, 2005
Do you believe that our society allow women to assume masculine roles more readily than it allows males to assume roles traditionally called feminine?

Scott Hardie | April 18, 2005
Ideology time. Try to stay awake.

My answer: Absolutely. And I think it stems not from the belief that the roles are feminine, but the belief that the roles are undesirable and miserable, which is why women have been forced into them since time began.

Being a nurse is unglamorous, uncelebrated, lacking in authority, and lacking in responsibility. When women wanted to practice medicine, that's the role they got stuck with. Society can fathom a woman wanting to rise up to the comparatively dignified role of doctor, but not a man wanting to lower himself to the level of a nurse.

We can say the same things about teachers and maids and nannies and other female-dominated roles, but it's one ultimate role, the housewife and stay-at-home mom, that we're really getting at. The song is the same for her: Being the family breadwinner has always commanded more respect than staying home to raise said family, so men got the glory while women got the apron. Today in our progressive society, a woman may choose to keep her role or ascend to breadwinner herself, while a man is still expected never to deviate from his role as provider.

Were women supposed to be grateful to have their bread won for them? The fact that women now get to choose their path is proof of an improved society; the same choice for men has nearly arrived as well. I also know that we are beginning to hold these "lowly" roles in higher esteem than we have historically, such as celebrating the full-time mom for her hard work instead of, well, ignoring her. And while I believe that's a good thing to do (moms deserve all the thanks they get), I do suspect it's only a gesture to boost moms' self-esteem and make the role easier to fulfill, rather than a real change in how society perceives the role.

Lori Lancaster | April 18, 2005
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | April 19, 2005
I was a little worried about my brother-in-law for a while there - he is a stay at home dad while my sister works. I thought at one point he was going insane. I've spent lots of time with my niece, but after about 4 or 5 hours on a GOOD day, I'm exhausted with the whole affair, so I can't even imagine. Parenting has got to be hardest job on the face of the planet, and I highly respect anyone who has undertaken the affair. I hope I get to do it someday though!

Michael Paul Cote | April 20, 2005
I find it difficult to believe that any family can afford to have a "stay at home" parent these days. My wife and I would love to have that opportunity, but the money's got to come from somewhere.
It is not easy being a stay at home even for short periods such as illnesses, but now, take everything that a stay at home parent would do during the day ie. laundry, cleaning, basic household chores, giving attention to the child(ren) and try to squeeze that in after both parents have worked all day.
Parenting is and should be a "Team Sport". I can't believe that single parents survive. More power to them.

Anna Gregoline | April 20, 2005
Well, to be totally truthful, my brother-in-law does try to do some work at home (computer consulting with his own business) but honestly, he doesn't get much work done at all. It's a slight supplemental income at best. My sister makes the big bucks.

But yeah, single parents - much love.

Steve Dunn | April 21, 2005
My wife and I have what we consider a "modern" relationship. I sometimes joke that this means I have to do all the man stuff (like mowing the lawn) PLUS a share of the woman stuff (like cooking and laundry). I'm not complaining though, because my wife has a great job.


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