Friday, March 14, 2008

for time

time asked me to take a look at a particular post by dennis prager. yes- that dennis prager. i don't read the rightwing bullcrap as a general rule- but time was curious as to what i thought about the article. i am guessing because i have had such a big fit about the hypocrisy and stupidity from high profile women in the media this week. or not. anyhoo- this particular gem was part one of why women are depressed in america. yep. can't wait for part 2- because dennis ties up the first part in a neat bow- with the conclusion that it's the feminist movement's fault that women are unhappy because the feminists encouraged women to have expectations. it is not being able to live up to those expectations that cause women to be depressed.

"Feminism raised women's expectations beyond what life can deliver to the vast majority of them. It was hard enough for women in the past to realize their far fewer expectations of marrying a good man and making a happy family. But feminism told a generation of women that they can not only expect to have that but, perhaps even more important to feminism, they could also expect to have a fulfilling, financially rewarding, society-honoring career.

I wish all Americans could hear the women who call my radio show who tell of how they were raised to believe this feminist promise, and therefore pursued often successful careers while delaying marriage. And now at 35, 40, 45 years of age, they wonder why that career is so unfulfilling and now yearn for a man and family they put off having."

oh- there's more- prager skillfully makes the argument that women are more into relationship building than men- and men depend more on their jobs for their identities- so jobs aren't as fulfilling for women. if that isn't the gist- please correct me in the comments. i don't happen to agree- natch.

it's the old- let's manipulate facts to fit our end conclusion- which since this happens to be a right leaning white man- is that women should be staying at home and minding hearth and family while hubby goes out to work. i can't even get completely bent out of shape because so very many women adhere to this too. i am trying to think of one off the top of my head- oh- right. one only has to listen to the callers for these radio shows- or any of the rightwing hate media crowd and hear this kind of crap spewed forth- i mean- the msm would never promote such idiotic ideologies.

let's face it- this kind of small minded, bigoted thinking wouldn't stand a chance in the progressive movement. and yet, somehow, it survives in the 21st century. here's my thoughts (yeah, yeah finally after the sarcasm): i have a feeling many folks are depressed- whether it be man or woman- not because of feminism but because of consumerism. we have attempted to buy happiness and have neglected our relationships- with each other and this planet. we have lost touch with how to interact with our fellow human beings and we have taken each other for granted- and that's not a gender issue- it's a human issue. women may well be more depressed than men- simply because they do carry much of the household load- but that doesn't mean that men don't feel pressure too. i would like to think that most marriages- or relationships- are partnerships with each partner sharing the burdens of life and carrying out the tasks of living. i have seen men with diaper bags and i have seen chicks checking the oil in the car. my husband and i came to an agreement- he works outside the home and earns the paycheck- because i am antisocial- and i do the rest. that means household management- including the garbage and yardwork. i shovel the walks and take care of my mom. i shop and do laundry- he balances the finances and worries about vehicle upkeep. it works. and some days both of us are depressed.

the issue is not gender roles- it's respecting the other person and people in your life. my guess is- people don't feel respected or feel taken for granted in our consumeristic fast paced society- and that has nothing to do with gender roles or religion- although i am sure that's where prager will end up in the upcoming parts. there's a reason that conservatism is dying- why there is currently only 19% of the folks polled in this country still carrying the torch for this line of thinking- because it's wrong. it has nothing to do with the feminist movement- and everything to do with white male supremacy- and insecurity. most ordinary people get that. most ordinary folks are looking to move forward in the 21st century and wanting to change our thinking and change the way we do things. it is the simplistic, black and white thinking- the nostalgia for a time when women and minorities knew their place and everyone went to church- that has led us down the garden path. we can only move forward- and as scary as that can be- perhaps we are learning that we can do this together. as couples. as a country. as humans sharing this planet.

not that we have much choice- but that's a different post.


Time said...

I felt Dennis was taking the conservative line that the world (and women) would be better off if women were where they should be-in the kitchen, and he was.

The sad point is, how wrong it is to seek the past for happiness in the future.

I have a traditional role in society and my relationship. I would give it up in a second to do something else. I'm depressed living the role I was brought up by society to do.

My mate is truly fulfilled in her "traditional" role as homemaker. I'm happy for her and would not do anything to change that, but she keeps telling me I can quit if I want.

That's a sincere offer by her, and scary to me. So, here I am, and will probably stay.

Maybe if I was a millionaire (like Prager) I would feel comfortable dumping a 20 year career, and still not worry about finances.

I would urge others to seek out options other than what society (and parents) might think you are best for.

I think it's great that gender no longer dictates careers (getting better) and with all the usual problems, is healthy for women and society.

Bottom line, most of us are not rich like Prager, so we must do what we have to, to get by.

Yes, that often means sacrificing our original dreams of doing what we wanted to do, in deference to what's best for the family.

If Mr. Prager wants to live in the past, maybe his party can supply an economy that would make it possible for only one worker in each family, to earn enough to pay the bills.

betmo said...

i really think that it boils down to the communication gap between people. this culture, especially, relies on tradition instead of honest communication- because it is easier and safer. probably why we are a 'christian nation'- but again- that's a different post :) i doubt that there is a mother on this planet who wouldn't rather spend time with her children that work outside of the home- but i think that the same could be said about fathers. we stuff men into these compartments- and proclaim to the world that they like them.

the truth is- i can't even imagine the amount of stress that must have fallen on men who were the sole breadwinners of bigger families. knowing that you had to work long hours and never be a real part of your family's life because you were either working or tired. i am amazed that marriages worked out as well as they did. i don't think hierarchies in relationships work and i don't think that the traditionalist model should be a one size fits all. that's what the feminists of yesteryear fought against- and it is what is taken for granted by these talking heads we see today.

they get to have their careers in media- while extolling and badgering regular women into staying home as suzie homemaker. bit of a disconnect there. men have traditionally been 'the head of household' and as unfair as i think it is for women- it is just as unfair for them. if and when we ever start seeing people as people- human being to human being- instead of race, gender and/or sexual orientation- maybe we'll finally realize that we are all equal.

as for prager- yeah. i knew where he would go before i read the article. he certainly aims to please :)

The Future Was Yesterday said...

Another man telling "the little woman" why she gets pissed off or whatever. We're sure a cocky bunch, aren't we?..(: I could only read two lines. Sorry.

I wish so bad we could have a female President with some balls, but apparently, they all have to be neutered in order to run..(

betmo said...

it makes absolutely no sense that women buy into this bullshit. men- well, it's understandable as ya'll are a lazy lot and want to be taken care of ;) but women agreeing in the media with being called 'the weaker sex' and 'stupid' and whatnot- what message does that send? oh- i know why they are sending it- but i don't know how they can. i still am baffled that women can't see when they are being used. are we so very grateful to just be a part of things- that we will do whatever to belong? seems that's what clinton is doing. pelosi, coulter, hasslebitch, et al.

the ones who really bother me- the ones who genuinely believe women are inferior to men. drives me out of my goddamned mind! and there's no end to that in site.