Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday Review: A Strange Stirring

Do not adjust your screens. I realize this is not the normal "strange stirrings" we talk about on this ship. Heck, this is a downright SERIOUS book, and I want to talk about this book on our ship! But why not? I came by the book honestly. I'd been bugged by the latest political gaffes in press, glaring reminders that women's rights aren't free and they're not that old. I was born in 1975, and by the time I came of age in the 80s, women doing things were so commonplace I had no understanding that just five years before I was born, it was rather commonplace to have married teachers QUIT if they got pregnant. Seriously? I mean, now they only quit if they happened to get pregnant by one of the students.

I remember studying about women's right to vote in high school; and we probably had the most basic gloss over of women's rights in the 60s and the ERA. Of course, back home with my mother the original homemaker, I remember being almost embarrassed that she didn't want another life. She was so smart--she could have been anything--but now, especially after reading this book, I realize, that's so not the case. SO.NOT.THE.CASE. Of course, in high school and college, looking back 20-30 years, and that was a long time ago. Now I look back and realize it's ONLY been 40 years or so and I'm appalled. My goodness, haven't women been on the planet at least as long as men and only in the last five decades or so, we're starting to get some credit for having a brain and that wanting to exert it doesn't make us unwomanly? It's so silly...and it's so insidious.

A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s is immensely readable and jawdropping. I think the part that gets me is the damned if you do, damned if you don't messages women would get during the 1950s. If you wanted a career, you neglected them and ruined your children; if you stayed home, you smothered them and ruined your children. Women literally couldn't win. Nothing they did was right...or enough. No wonder everyone was batshit crazy.

Of course, most of the time I can mute the political ads, so really this little journey about women of the 1960s, which I took for granted was just a bunch of women who rebelled because they knew what was right all along--but now I see, they really were making a big deal. They were picked and belittled much of the time for their assertions. I didn't know. Watching all those June Cleaver and Lucy reruns really does warp your mind about how things were.

I recently read a women's fiction book--and I'm sorry if this is repeat, but it was so good it was worth repeating: The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. Women in the late 1960s who are all "homemakers" of a sort, some with kids and some without, and they meet regularly, become a clique of sorts, and start writing. The writing part is so hilarious and fascinating because it's like any critique group. If you've been a part of a critique group, you KNOW--so hilarious. But the other half is like a history book of 1968-1973, and it boggled my little head. Just the women not sure they want to admit they have an ambition to write a book, let alone publish it, because they're not really allowed to want more, to have dreams beyond being the wife of Mr. Perfect. And the one character, a brilliant scientist who can never be an astronaut because she's a woman. Mind you, she's smarter than her brother--and HE got to be an astronaut (or something like that.) They're not even really doctors then, or anything that has a science or math background.... You can be a secretary. At least until you marry and you stop working. It blows my mind. Only 40 years ago. (Now I understand why my mom was so proud to have her own checking account. I thought she was nuts because she couldn't have had more than a couple hundred dollars in it at a time. What was the big deal--NOW I know what the big deal was. Married women didn't have separate accounts until the mid 1970s. They literally weren't allowed. WHAT?)

I wish my Mama were here so I should share the books with her. I bet she'd have some stories.

Have you ever been tempted to read more non-fiction about history you discovered or enjoyed in a fiction book? Ever realize something that just blew your mind because you took it for granted all this time? What do you think of the Women's Movement and ERA era?

46 comments:

Maureen said...

I'm not that much older than you, but for some reason I was pretty aware of the women's movement, for someone born in 1959. In fact, I believe the 60's and all of the 'right's movements' shaped me more than my sibs. It's sorta a 50's/60's thing...

But I've never read the books about the subject. My mom had definate opinions and there were plenty of discussions around the dinner table...

I remember watching "Little Shop of Horrors" with a girl 15 years younger than I...who was flabbergasted by the song Audry sings about her ideal life in the suburbs. I told it was based on reality and she thought I was kidding... Made me very aware of a generation that seemed totally unaware of what the women's movement was all about...

For me, reading historical fiction got me reading real history...be it Irish, European, Native America... Not as much anymore, but when I was younger...hand me a topic and I dove into the deep end with it.

TerriOsburn said...

I don't think I got it until I watched the interview Oprah did with Gloria Steinem. I was born in '71 so most of the major progress in the lives of Women has come in my lifetime. HOW is this possible?? HOW is it possible that we've yet to see a female president of the US. That one really bothers me.

Things have come a long way, but we have to keep fighting. We owe it to all those women in the 50s, 60s, 70s and before who made our lives possible. Who fought so we would have choices. That fight isn't even close to being over.

MsHellion said...

Mo, you're the same age as my sister, and she doesn't seem very women's lib anyway. If anything, she would have gladly done the housewife thing except she is notorious for picking a man who couldn't possibly support her to be the housewife. (Which I suspect happened more often than not BEFORE the 1950s as well, where you just happened to pick a lemon and you got stuck supporting everyone. Only the husband probably drank or something.) My sister is not very much a libber. She's independent and capable, but I figured that was more due to her circumstances than any sort of philosophy she picked up. *LOL*

I love old movies that make references to that, and I'm very much in the boat of they're being tongue in cheek rather than serious. But it is serious! Like all the Lucy shows where she wants a career like Ricky, but every time it gets shown she should do as her husband says and stay home and be a wife. It's done in a funny way, but it's not a very funny message really.

One of my favorite movies is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and the main hero goes to town to "pick a bride" like buying off the rack, and he picks this woman who can chop her own wood, handle about 15 men to feed them, and cook like a dream--all the while looking like Malibu barbie dressed for Halloween as a frontier woman. He brings her home after some cock and bull courting--and then bothers to tell her, "Oh, by the way, I have 6 brothers and you'll be taking care of them too." It's funny...and yet it's a 1955 movie and there's also that undercurrent where women need to marry, marry young, and take care of man. That's your career. Mind boggling. No wonder Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven.

MsHellion said...

Things have come a long way, but we have to keep fighting. We owe it to all those women in the 50s, 60s, 70s and before who made our lives possible. Who fought so we would have choices. That fight isn't even close to being over.

Exactly. Oh, and there was information about Sandra Day O'Connor--who graduated from STANDFORD and couldn't get a job because she was a woman. "We don't hire women." WHAT? And ended up being a typist in a law office for a time until they eventually let her be the lawyer she got the degree for. I really didn't get how impressive her supreme court appointment was--now I'm just like clapping for her. Well done, Ms. O'Conner!

There was an Anderson Cooper segment I saw yesterday that I thought was brilliant:

http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

About women in other parts of the world, about making their lives with more choices. Definitely worth checking out.

Janga said...

I don't have the energy to pull out my soap box, although I'm tempted. I belong to the generation for whom "I Am Woman" was an anthem, not a parody. I had friends who risked their health, and in some cases their lives, to get illegal abortions. I worked with women who became teachers by default because career choices for ordinary women were so limited. The comments that I've seen in the news these past months make me furious, but they also frighten me. I know the slide down a hill is always faster and easier than the climb.

Haleigh said...

I'd love to read this book. The amount of fighting women in the 50s/60s/70s did just blows my mind. And earlier than that too. Has anyone seen the HBO movie "Iron-Jawed Angles" about the suffragettes in the 20s? I end up crying every time I see it :)

As a woman who tried staying at home and went bat-shit crazy in a matter of months, I have so much appreciation for the women who made my career and education possible. But even better, they made choices possible. Women who want to be at home with their children can, and women who want to drop off the kiddos at daycare and go to work can. I love that we can each choose what works best for our family and ourselves, and do so accordingly, without having to fight an entire society to do so.

By the way, any Mad Men fans? I actually can't stand to watch it - I get SO uncomfortable with the society they represent, and the fact that it was reality so recently. It's terrifying.

Haleigh said...

I know the slide down a hill is always faster and easier than the climb.

Janga, so true, and so terrifying.

TerriOsburn said...

You tell it, Janga. I'm amazed that my mother lived through that period and doesn't have a feminist bone in her body. Not that she ever told her daughters they couldn't do anything they wanted, but it just never occurred to her to push the boundaries. Ever.

Hal, I can't watch Mad Men either. Everyone raved about it so I tried once but was pissed within a minute. And I know they're not portraying anything that wasn't really happening, but I still don't want to watch it.

I've seen that suffragette movie. Amazing women who endured horrific acts for the cause. We owe them such a debt. I think the recently "war on women" so to speak is because my generation took the progress for granted. We never knew it any differently so we didn't think about having to keep up the fight.

People like that...well, I won't lower myself to name calling. I'll just say it all makes me furious.

Haleigh said...

I think it's also easy for younger women (myself included - I was born in 81) to take birth control for granted, and all the opportunities that gives us. My generation has had easy access to all sorts of birth control measures since we hit puberty, without having to fight for them. It's hard to conceive of a society where the number and spacing of my children is out of my hands. And I think it's also VERY easy to forget exactly how much our lives would change if we no longer had that control.

P. Kirby said...

Well, I was raised by a feminist mom and my grandmother was a suffragette. Some of my favorite blogs are pretty hard core feminist. So, yes, I know about the struggles for equality. And while we've come a long way baby, we've got a long way to go. The ease with which a certain political party accepts and embraces misogyny, (and with which corresponding portion of the electorate endorses it with their vote), continues to appall me.

One of the feminist bloggers I read watches Mad Men and really seems to enjoy it. Since it doesn't have zombies, swords, vampires, magic, or anything spec fic, it hasn't yet wandered on to our Netflix queue.

I confess, I'm not much of a history buff, although I enjoy a well produced documentary. But I don't read that much history.

irisheyes said...

I was born in 1964 and had a little bit of both worlds floating around me as I grew up. My mother was a quiet feminist. She didn't go out and ralley for the cause but spoke her mind whenever she could and taught her 3 daughters that they could achieve anything. So, I kind of took for granted that I had choices but as I grew older I learned how few choices women, especially my mother, had available to them.

She was 1 of 10 and her mother worked because her father had TB and was in a TB sanitarium. My mom became a nurse and moved out on her own. She didn't marry until she was 26. But... my father's brother told him not to marry her because she was a loose woman - had a job, lived on her own! And... she married and had 7 children (and 2 miscarriages) because when she went to her priest for birth control advise he told her no birth control and she needed to obey her husband and see to her family. She rebelled again and went back to work. Looking back it seems to me she was caught between 2 worlds - trying to do what was right for her and being held back by society and her church. I remember her being depressed a lot when I was a teen.

Being a mom of 2 now I can't even fathom having to have all those kids. I would blow my brains out! The funny thing is that my 2 older sisters both got college educations, one even got her masters degree, but I decided to go the stay at home mom route. And when I felt bad or inferior because I chose not to go to college my mother was the first one on my side saying it was my decision and I was to do what I wanted!

MsHellion said...

Janga, the things women went through for healthcare (family planning, abortions) makes me cry. It infuriates me that single women weren't allowed access to it; and married women could only get it if they pestered long enough. No wonder families were so large! And there is so much oddness tied up in that mentality because if you were a good little patriot wife, you'd have a dozen patriotic kids to combat communism. Makes me crazy.

The movie REVOLUTIONARY ROAD I think highlights a lot of this; and it makes me cry. You can see how hopeless the man feels too, but really see how crazy it is for her. It's like there are victims on both sides, but damnit, I think women were the bigger victims.

MsHellion said...

Hal, I have watched that movie--it's great! And I have looked up some stuff about Alice Paul after that too. They were considered the radicals--the married suffragettes who'd "play nice" just weren't making headway. Both are peaceful, but damn, the iron-jawed angels could definitely make a statement. Just to vote! And why was it a problem? Because men thought we'd vote out alcohol? (Okay, we did...but it's back now.) But consider why women WANTED to voted out alcohol--their husbands were drinking away their paychecks. They're not allowed to have jobs. There is no safety net to provide for them...

MsHellion said...

P.S. Hal, no I haven't watched MAD MEN, but I think it would make me feel uncomfortable too, making something commonplace that was very real to people...making it seem nostalgic. (Then again, we have Leave It to Beaver, which is nostalgic and creepy at the same time.)

Thank God, we have choice now. We just have to remember what it took to get it.

MsHellion said...

Terri, my mother didn't push boundaries either--but I think that comes from the same sort of thing like why people in other countries don't push their boundaries for democracy...or things of that nature. You just don't believe those boundaries exist for you. You've learned to be content with your lot and you don't ask for more. There's something to be said for being content, but Ambition is not usually an acceptable thing for a woman/girl. The minute you start asserting yourself as someone who knows how to handle things that are supposed to be handled by a man--you either start getting patronized or put back in your place. You'd get tired. You'd just stop. It's easier to float than to fight the current. And even if you saw someone else fight to no avail, it can make it where you never bother either. THEY couldn't do it and they're smarter and braver than I--why would I succeed? It's a mental game.

But we've been conditioned by society to try for things. That we SHOULD try, that we DESERVE to try--and that's why it's more taken for granted for us.

MsHellion said...

Hal, birth control! Yes! Planned Parenthood has always been there for me; multiple forms of birth control available whether I was having sex or not (mostly not, but it was AVAILABLE!)--and I didn't have to worry. The lack of birth control frightens me--and by the way certain aspects of the Republican platform attacks birth control (as well as abortion) bothers me in a big way.

One of the things in the STIRRING book was that the decade of the 1950s was WEIRD. Flat out weird. It didn't go with the normal ebbs and flows that decades before and decades after followed with behaviors, childbirth rates, marriage rate ages, etc. It's an anomaly decade, but it's treated as if it's the ideal decade. And it's NOT! *LOL* Good things came out of the 50s, but so did the Red Scare, the Cold War, a bunch of teenage brides, and the Edsel. No one wants a repeat of that.

MsHellion said...

P.Kirby, I love it that your mom was a feminist and your grandma was a suffragette! (My Aunt Helen who was born in 1924 said women shouldn't have ever been given the right to vote. However, oddly enough, she and my aunt Brooksie both became nurses later on in their marriages. They had careers after their kids. Good careers. But granted it was in one of the few acceptable fields for a woman.)

MsHellion said...

Irish, I love your mom. What a great story. It does sound like she was very much caught between two worlds and was trying to make the best of it. (I love that she was a "loose" woman. Please. They wish.) And exactly--they fought so we could have a CHOICE. It's choice we want more than anything. But it seems the world is terrified of giving women a choice; they might vote for their own self-interest rather than be sacrificing martyrs. *LOL*

TerriOsburn said...

I'm pretty sure my grandmother never worked outside the home after she married my grandfather but I always thought it was because she didn't want to. Now I need to ask my mom if that was really the case.

irisheyes said...

It’s really funny how things change - my DH’s father told his 2 daughters he wasn’t going to pay good money to send them to college just so they could find a husband, get married and never use their degrees! My one sister-in-law was so infuriated she moved away and became an engineer and now is the sole bread winner in their family making more than my FIL could ever dream of making.

When my daughter hears that story of her beloved grandpa she cringes. According to him his granddaughters could be president if they wanted. He mellowed a lot over the years! Now I’m looking at college for my 17 year old daughter who wants to major in chemical engineering and minor in business. It is amazing when you think of it – for my daughter it is basically just 1 generation on her father’s side and 2 on her mother’s where it went from no choice to the world is your oyster.

I remember her coming home from school last year after seeing “Iron-Jawed Angels” and she was enraged! She asked if I had ever seen it and I had to admit that I hadn’t. She went on about it for a week at least.

TerriOsburn said...

When I was reading your comment I thought he meant that he'd only pay for the education if they intended to use it for more than finding a husband. But I see that was not the case. Kudos to the SIL of yours.

My dad always said I could be and do anything I wanted. I have no idea where this progressive stance came from but maybe it had to do with growing up without a religious influence. Hmmm....

Janga said...

Hellie, I know Lucy never got those jobs, but the fact that she was out there trying repeatedly rather than in the kitchen in her high heels says something. Then there was that pregnancy when showing a pregnant woman on TV was still taboo. And Lucy herself was the first woman to head a major studio. Plus Desi was the first Hispanic to be invited into the living rooms of white-bread America. It was a groundbreaking show in a number of ways--despite twin beds in the master bedroom. :)

Irish, yes for choice. I have no patience for those who think feminism should force all women into one mold. Freedom is about being able to choose what's right for you, given who you are and what your situation is--and choices are sometimes different at different stages of life. My youngest aunt scandalized her family and friends by joining the Navy and seeing the world when the "normal" pattern was stay-at-home wife and mother, and then she married and had six kids and stayed at home with them when women were entering the workforce in record numbers. When her husband had a stroke and could no longer write his fishing/hunting guide column, she took it over and wrote it for years. I admire her tremendously--not least because when her husband was sent to Vietnam, she, by herself, brought six kids under eight from California to Georgia on trains. LOL

Maureen said...

Hels, yeah, I'm a bit odd for my generation, but I was born in California. And I do think we tend to be a step ahead when it comes to trends, etc.

My Mom was a stay at home woman, but her best friend worked and I don't think either saw the other as having it better or worse. It was what it was!

I couldn't watch Mad Men, it glorifies one of my monsters, Madison Avenue and advertising. Not to mention how the women were treated!

I remember an episode of Quantum Leap where Sam lept into a woman, married, with kids, just as the Feminine Mystique was sweeping the country...and changing her marriage. Watching a man from the future dealing with the situation was amazing...

Janga said...

Terri, my dad was a social conservative in most things, but he too thought his daughters could do whatever we made up our minds to do. He vehemently defended my sister to disapproving church friends when she went back to school for three degrees after she had four children and a husband who was ably supporting them. And he was very devout, so I don't think it was the church influence--or lack thereof--that made the difference.

I have an untested theory that, although they would never have admitted it, a lot of working class men had feminist sympathies when it came to education and jobs because often their mothers, sisters, and wives worked and struggled to get ahead. My dad had a totally different standard for us and my brother when it came to things like where we could go, who we could date, what time we had to be home, etc. But when it came to how much education we wanted and what we wanted to accomplish with our lives, he was totally supportive. Even if he never trusted my driving.

MsHellion said...

Irish, I remember my dad telling me I wasn't going to go to college because there was no money...and mom sorta saying the same thing, but I think mom wanted me to go secretly and encouraged the testing and the good grades to the point that if I got a scholarship, Dad could probably be convinced to go. I'm sure she's the reason he thought I was going to be a teacher. Mom probably reminded him I played teacher for years as a kid and could go to school for that.

Oh, how they were disappointed.

Well, mom was probably happy regardless that I got a degree, but dad would have rested a little easier if I'd gotten a degree that came with a job. And then I became a "secretary". *LOL*

Fine with me. I loved my education...and I like my job.

MsHellion said...

Janga, that's true. Those shows did manage to break other barriers. One show can't do everything. You break the barriers you can and keep working. Sorta like voting in a president, then being mad if he didn't do everything his first term (even if that was impossible) and refusing to vote for him again, even if you'd end up voting against your interests. Chris Rock said something that made me laugh. "It's like saying he didn't cure cancer, therefore I'm going to go vote for cancer." *LOL*

You crumble walls a bit at a time.

MsHellion said...

Mo, I loved Quantam Leap! *LOL* That'd be a fun rerun to watch!

MsHellion said...

I think as a people we're supportive of things beyond our comfort zone if it's people we KNOW. If we know them, love them, understand them--then that's one thing, but letting a whole group (most all of which you won't know), my God chaos will ensue! But Janga, your dad knows you...so it's okay if you get an education. It won't be wasted on you; you know the value of a dollar and you're smart. But let ALL girls get an education? Chaos.

I'm guessing this is why change generally takes a grassroots approach to accomplishment, yes?

TerriOsburn said...

Part of me wonders how we keep the progress going and not let things go backwards. Shouldn't it be easier today with the internet? But then this is really a battle against ignorance and history has proven that's the most insidious element of all. Nearly impossible to defeat or even contain.

P. Kirby said...

"I think as a people we're supportive of things beyond our comfort zone if it's people we KNOW. If we know them, love them, understand them--then that's one thing, but letting a whole group (most all of which you won't know), my God chaos will ensue!"

Well, this seems to be part and parcel of a certain, cough, mindset overall. For instance, it's okay if you (universal you) or someone in your family, receives unemployment benefits, social security, welfare, student loans, etc. But, "those" other people shouldn't because they don't deserve it; didn't work for it, etc. I find it rather psychotic, but the "it's okay for me, but not anyone else" mindset is pervasive.

MsHellion said...

the "it's okay for me, but not anyone else" mindset is pervasive.

It's morally ambiguous at best, yes. *LOL* It's okay if I live in the gray, but everything else is black and white.

I notice this with people who are not for same-sex marriages or same-sex anything. If you KNOW someone, well, they're not bad. They're GOOD people, so they should be allowed.

I'm guilty of it--or have been--I'm just more aware of it now and try not to let it affect my future.

Marnee Bailey said...

I'm sorry I'm late to this party, ladies. I'm fighting off some annoying head cold. Thinking + cold meds is complicated.

I agree with what others have said about the slippery slope of taking things for granted. And I'm also one who's taken birth control for granted. Thank you, creator of birth control.

I do think that we've come a LONG way but I see so much more that still has to be done. I have a college degree and could work if I wanted to, but have chosen to stay home with my children. While some days I am batshit crazy (I'm using Hal's phrasing because it's apt), it fits my life goals and our family's needs right now.

I wish, though, that our culture was open to more work/family flexibility. I find it frustrating that women worry about their job security when they have children. "I have to get back as soon as I can or I'll lose my position/seniority/etc." I would love to see longer maternity leave (or paternity leave, which is something very few companies allow, but there are more men than ever who want to be primary caretakers for their family) without concern for job security. I'd love to see more work/family flexibility, like job sharing, for when women (or men) want to work less so they can be home with their children more. I know plenty of women who would love to work part time doing satisfying work, even their old jobs, but are forced to choose between their entire career or no job at all.

Marnee Bailey said...

And I also think it's crazy and frustrating that things like childcare and family/life/work balance is still seen as a primarily female issue.

MsHellion said...

Marn, great to see you! I hope you get to feeling better!

Good point about the maternity leave! In other comparable countries to us, the maternity leave is much longer! And it's NORMAL! And they also allow maternity leave for the fathers too, which seems to only be a recent development here, and still not nearly as long as it's allowed in other countries!

Job flexibility is hard. There is a whole office culture thing, where a lot of the work can be done from home, etc. There should be more flexibility.

MsHellion said...

Don't forget Marn, birth control is also our primary responsibility too!

Did any of you guys see 9-to-5 the movie? It was made in 1980, and it had a daycare, job sharing, etc, all these women flexibility things that most places still don't have now. 30 years later. I remember when the boss comes back and realizes what happened and freaks out. *LOL*

TerriOsburn said...

Sorry you're still sick, Marn. Zicam. Seriously.

I think the philosophy in some countries is that we work to live so there is more flexibility. The family comes first along with more vacation time. In our country you're supposed to live to work and everything else be damned. Drives me nuts.

Don't even get me started on the price of day care. NOT that this isn't hard work, but many places are way overcharging just because they can. (I've taught at a day care and helped run one so I'm not talking out my ass here.)

I've never worked for or seen a company that allows paternity leave. I'm sure they're out there, but RARE.

TerriOsburn said...

9 to 5 was also a movie by women for women. Which is still a rarity 30 years later.

Marnee Bailey said...

The company my DH worked for when my oldest was born gave 3 weeks paternity leave. It was awesome, especially because I had a c-section. And, since it was my first, I was happy not to be home by myself right off the bat.

With the second (another c-section), the DH took a week off, but then I was on my own with two kids, recovering from surgery. That's the norm. And it sucks.

Marnee Bailey said...

As to people working from home.... Frankly, I think it should be allowed much more often. If work was production based and not time based, it could be easily done. The problem is that a lot of managers don't know how to manage without micro-managing. If managers were taught how to delegate better and let their trained professionals do the jobs they pay them to do....

Marnee Bailey said...

PS, I'm not saying every manager is incompetent and I'm not saying that every job could be done from home. I just do that a lot more jobs, if managed properly, could be done effectively through tele-work.

Just to clarify.

TerriOsburn said...

Forget it, Marn. You done killed the blog now.

I'd love to work from home. And I think a lot more people do it now than ever in the past.

MsHellion said...

It's Marn's fault! Marn's a communist!

MsHellion said...

Kidding aside, I agree with Marn. (Esp about that c-section and need people at home to help thing. Not everyone has a mother who can help. Some of us have dead mothers. Whatcha gonna do then? And daddies need bonding time too; and mommy needs a nap!)

And yes, I agree about the managers--some don't know how to delegate and a lot of this would work better if it was based off results rather than time.

Marnee Bailey said...

I did kill the blog!

LOL!!

Sorry 'bout that.

Maureen said...

Ah, the work at home dilemma... When I was an operator and a member of the CWA, it was all about how corporate would take advantage of the work at home people by cutting their health benefits. You'd be a contract worker instead of a regular worker and lose a lot of the benefits of working at the office. Also liabilities issues.

We are such a litigeous society!

I have a nephew who is the stay-at home dad and he is doing a fabulous job. But he feels like he isn't being the 'man' of the family. It's insidious, the subtle ways gender roles are enforced by society.

Janga said...

The more work at home would also be a boon to the environment. Just think about all those cars that would stay parked.

I have to defend my dad and say that he was not against women having an education or working. He did think women were weaker physically and more vulnerable to predators and that he needed to protect the women in hid family. But he also helped my mother with housework and childcare at at time when very few men did.