Equal Rights for Women = The Demise of the "Ideal Family"

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by itmahanh, Nov 16, 2009.

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  1. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    Once women began to obtain more equal rights and were allowed more access to the work force, it seems that the "ideal" family started to die and disappear. It would appear that only women were the real stability in keeping a family together. But now that they are out of that picture more and exploring other options rather than staying home to keep the routines, values and morals of a structured family in play, it seems like being a family is lost in today's society. Did equal rights for women kill off the "Traditional Family"?
  2. Aurora Gory Alice

    Aurora Gory Alice Well-Known Member

    Not at all.
    It's should be a womans choice whether or not she wants to assume the traditional role. A father can and should impart routine, values and morals just as well as a mother can.
    Our jobs are not to be simply 'mothers and wives'. I know in the end it is the children who suffer but it's the choice you make.

    I for one am happy to have a career and then give it up for children but it should be my choice to do so. Not assumed of me.

    Also I'm not sure the 'ideal/traditional' family structure worked as well as we thought anyway.
  3. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    I do not know what you mean by "ideal family". Families have always been unstable. I don't think moms working makes anything any worse
  4. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    The Ideal Family, The All American Family, the type of family where everyone came home for supper, which was on the table and all prepared, homemade, not take out and cardboard boxes. Where everyone took time to eat and share the days events. The family that grew together instead of apart like todays. Where kids were taught morals and ethics and parents knew where their kids were. The type of family where people learned respect for one another. The type of family where one parent (usual Mom) was home full time to look after all the days events and then to take care of the evening ones as well. Dad went out and earned the wages. The type of family where everyone had a place and purpose.

    Sure families have always had their "problems." But now with the Mom's as well as the Dad's exploring job, career and life options the "family" just doesnt seem to exist or seem that important any longer. Women are waiting til much later in life to have children. Marriages are ending in divorce in larger numbers than those that are remaining together. Doesnt it "seem" coincidental that since women were given more equalities in their lifes, more rights, that the "ideal" or "traditional" family has fallen to the wayside on the road to personal success?
  5. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    I don't see that much wrong with the modern family. Kids grow up learning to be more independent, I think that’s a great thing. I guess that's a positive way of looking at it. My mom was a housewife, but in families I knew where both parents worked, the kids took care of things like supper and chores and whatnot.

    I don't know that there are more marriages ending in divorce now, but even if it’s true it does not mean spouses were happier 50-60 years ago. I think divorce is just more socially acceptable now.

    Women waiting till later to have children is a good thing. It's better to wait and be ready to have a child instead of popping them out when you're right out of highschool.
  6. nagisa

    nagisa Staff Alumni

    I agree with all of this. :)
  7. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    I'm not denying women their rights. I'm not assuming any women should choose family over career or vice versa. Just appears that with all the options being given, family has become a second or even third concern, and to sound dated, especially in the last 3 decades.

    There is nothing wrong with women choosing to have a career. But since all the rights we have been given it is almost taboo to be a stay at home Mom now. I am one. And often I am made to feel inferior because I'm not out there utilizing all my rights and options as a woman.

    And from my stand point, I try to instill some basic family morals in my children. Some routine and regular family togetherness. My family may not be perfect but the problems I see in the children and even parents of families that put fulfilling their rights before their family are enormous. And yes it is the children that suffer the most. They have little sense of family which in turn gives them little feeling of worth and purpose.

    Didnt appear to have as many issues regarding ethics and morals when the "traditional" family (atleast one parent home and one at work) were the norm. So much pressure now on all family members, and yes I'm going to say, because Mom is not a strong presence in the family setting any longer.
  8. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    I think in most cases the reason moms work in the first place is to be able to support their children and offer them a good, comfortable life. The lives of parents revolve around their children (at least if they're good parents) so I don't think it's fair to say that just because a woman chooses to work she is putting her family behind other priorities. Women work because their family is the most important thing to them. I think.
  9. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    But because women are choosing a career, families dont seem to exist any longer. It's great to be able to obtain material things for your children. But having quality time as a family is much more important. A family that struggles together seems more bonded than a family that struggles each member alone. A roof over your head and basic necessities are what are needed. Everything else is just goods. Material things are just that and have very little value when you are grown. But the value of a family is priceless and you will carry it with you always.

    It's unfortunate that women feel that they have to have a career or justify themselves now by standing equal to men in the workforce. Women are almost becoming slaves to the very rights that gave them all these freedoms. It's almost as if they are feeling obligated to choose a career now. Made to believe that it will make their lives so much more fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with staying home to create a stable family either. It all comes down to choice. It's just funny that years ago it was almost taboo to have Mom out in the workforce. And now it is almost taboo to stay home. Why does staying home and fulfilling one's rights as a Mom and having a family, have to make others look at you like you're shunning all the hard work to get the rights women have obtained. Keeping a family alive and healthy does not mean that one has become a threat to women rights. But yet time and time again in so many methods (ie media), women are fed the idea that to be a whole women you need to fulfill every second of your time advancing who you are with career and job choices.

    Watch the TV ads. Women are strong, independent, socially accepted if they have a career. The Mom's that are protrayed as stay at home are usually, in image atleast, a far second to women that hold full time careers and have an exceptionally hectic life schedule. Almost implying that being in charge of a family is a physical and emotional let down. But being a top career gal gives you a much more fulfilled and challenging life.
  10. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    There's numerous women I know and stories I've read of women who waited a little too long to start a family or are struggling raising a kid on their own. It is ultimately their choice but there are quite a few who are messed up due to those choices and often the women themselves are worse for wear.

    If you think that the traditional family is fading away now, just wait until a male pill hits the market or if paternity tests become mandatory.
  11. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    How many women that are striving to uphold their rights to equality in the workplace are truly enjoying the opportunity? How many are really equal or just fulfilling a status quo? How many are enjoying coming home and trying to cope with the demands of a family on top of their careers? How many give their career priority over their family? And yes that also includes being able to start a family when you want and not when it is best suited to your career? Sorry but the way I see it, womens rights equal the demise of the "traditonal" family and with it so many important ethics and morals that the children of today are loosing out on.

    To be truly "equal" I dont think one should have to outweigh the other. And the phrase "that's the way it is in today's world" has been used to the point of being sickening. Why do women or anyone have to settle for one or the other. The family should always come first. If not, then there shouldnt be any problem with men and women just going to work and children being clones of their gene donors. And along the way just let the concept of family and all it entails and represents disappear. Can you imagine a conversation in a few more decades from now...... " I remember when people came from families." " Yeah well that's just the way it is in today's world."
  12. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    itmahanh, I completely understand what you mean. The problem with any equal rights movement is that society tends to overcompensate after the fact. Women have equal rights, but due to the fact that women now feel they have to have a career to be worthy completely destroys the whole point of what women were fighting for in the first place. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either parent staying home and taking care of a family.

    Women now have the option to work in any field they want, does that mean they have to? Of course not, but people these days seem to feel that way.

    Although what we are speaking on is a much bigger issue than equal rights. It is the issue of how people value themselves in today's society. If someone comes from a broken family they may be easily swayed by today's media, but it is not the media's job to raise children. People need to learn to love themselves from a young age and have a firm value system that is not built upon a house of cards(money, material objects, sex, physical perfection, etc).

    We see this dysfunction everyday here on the forums, or just by watching the news. Stock broker loses everything in the market and kills himself(value system based on money/career), housewife loses husband or husband loses wife and kills themself(value system based on significant other), famous person loses physical perfection due to disease or accident and kills themself(value system built on physical perfection/career).

    Why did these people do this? They did not love themselves. Until people learn to have a better value system it does not matter what kind of rights people have, the same issues will continue to crop up.
  13. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    You've all made good points, which leaves me little to say :p

    I'll put this out though: who says the traditional way of family life was any better? We have this widespread image of a bygone golden age in which wholesome nuclear families were stable and prosperous. This has been disseminated through popular culture as well as inherited social mores.

    But the reality was that such a family structure was generally flawed. It was often oppressive, with children and wives alike under the thumb of the patriarch. It tended to produce far more children (often without the woman's say), who could not always be properly cared for and were often used to bring much needed income through labor. And it was often contractual, based around arrangement or necessity as opposed to love. We point a lot to high divorce rates nowadays as evidence of the breakdown of family structure, but in reality such divorces would've probably long been the case had women had the right (and had it not been such a near-universal taboo).

    Now of course I'm over generalizing, and this is not to suggest all families of the past were secretly broken and repressive. My point is that the ideal family, itself a construct, never really exist to begin with. Families are simply evolving with the change in ideas, economics, technology, and society.

    For example, more and more fathers - on a scale never really seen in history - are involving themselves more in childcare and in children's lives in general. Traditionally, dads were alpha types, not prone to being tenderly involved.

    Guess I was able to yap on a lot after all ^^
  14. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid in the 60s, the woman's movement was about equal pay for equal work.

    Since then a whole lotta stuff got thrown into the mix and diluted it and women never got their equal pay for equal work.

    The biggest hurdle to disrupt the benefit of the family was the loss of the extended family. This loss occurred during industrialization and the big wars.

    There's always gonna be a "boss" in a family and "toes are gonna get stepped on", there has gotta be a structure in any human arrangement. Sadly, there will always be abuse in the world but with extended family I think the abuse would be less. If someone doesn't like their mom or dad, there were likely other members in the family they could turn to.

    The most fragile family structure is the one parent household. One adult tries to do it all. Sometimes that one adult is the only adult in the household or has a spouse who does nothing. It comes down to having a clean house or getting some sleep to be able to keep going.
  15. Lady Byron

    Lady Byron Well-Known Member

    Thats what my mom does. I do think that equal rights for women are a good thing. Not that I think men and women should be treated exactly the same because there are things that men can do and women can't and vice versa, but to say that since women were able to go out and get jobs and do what they want led to the "demise of the 'ideal family'" is just kind of like a wtf sort of thing for me to think about. My mom can't be a stay at home mom. She has five kids living at home plus a grandbaby and a husband. My dad works 10 hour days and my mom just got a second job. She didn't do that so that she can do what she wants because if she got the chance to do what she wanted she would be a stay at home mom and she would enjoy being with us. But life requires money. We are her first priority and we got lucky to have her as our mom. God that sounds cheesy but its true. And I'm sorry I don't want to start popping out babies and settling down with a husband right now. My brother is 17 and his gf is 18 and they had a baby almost five months ago and they're having a rough time. If I'm older when I have children, it will be because I want to have children when I'm ready. Not because my husband thinks I'm ready. Personally, I think its sad that so many kids my age are already parents just because I know most of them definitely aren't ready. What's even scarier is that they took the sex ed. class out of our school's curriculum. So not only are kids having sex and having kids way too young, but they're not even being taught about sex at all. I know that was kind of off topic but what I got from an earlier post was that it's bad not to have kids at a young age. I'm just going on and on it feels so I'm done with this post. lol.
  16. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    A woman in an "ideal" family belongs to her husband. She has no recourse if he hits her, or hits the kids, or sleeps around. If she leaves him, she and the kids are done, broke. If he leaves her, she and the kids are done, broke.

    What's the matter with your evening meal being take out? Cost: she doesn't cook. Benefit: she's got some control over her fate.

    In my family, anyhow, we still ate as a family, even though both parents worked. My mom survived when she left my (abusive) dad, because she had the right to do so. She raised us well, even though she worked.

    My mom also was without work for a long time, living off her husband like the "ideal" wife would. It was a liveable arrangement, but she hated being completely dependent on him, not being able to do basic things like buy groceries on her own.
  17. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Indeed, I would hope rights for women would not be a zero-sum game with having the ideal family.
  18. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    Aren't all rights a zero sum game? Even when it comes to the end of slavery, you're taking away someone's supposed "right" to keep slaves.
  19. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    Yeah but John, you're trading in someone's 'right' to keep slaves for someone else's right to not be a slave, which is the better option. I don't think anyone should have the right to keep slaves, because they have the obligation to pay their workers.

    The image of the 'ideal family' was purely due to television in my opinion. Shows like Leave it to Beaver in the 50s and 'Everybody loves Raymond' in the 90s preach that the right thing to do is that the man should be out working and the woman should be at home taking care of the kids and cleaning. Where are womens rights? This was the way it was in my family before it split up, and it didn't work, because my mother felt smothered by her so-called duty to stay home and take care of the house. I would rather she could of worked for herself and the whole family put in, instead of it being her job to do all the housework (and not get paid a cent) and the rest of the family to take it easy.

    I agree with Ithamanh that these days it seems that nowadays the wife/mother should be out building her career, but this is only another product of television. Women got tired of being the stay at home mother so the TV industry started creating stories of empowered women who could go out and work, and not have to be trapped in the house every day. I think the system is a lot fairer now that women truly have the option. It doesn't mean she puts her job ahead of her family, far from it, it just means that it isn't down to her to keep the family home life together, it is the whole families job.

    Is there anything wrong with both parents working, and being able to afford a cleaner or a nanny for the house? I don't think so. Just because a woman has kids, doesn't mean her career goes out the window, or that she has the obligation to become a stay at home mother. We still haven't truly reached the day when a mother can go out and earn the money and the father can stay home and keep the house together either. Where's the equality there? The ideology is that the father is the patriarch, and it is his duty to be the bread winner. Besides this, he should want to go out and earn for his family. But the mother should have the right to want that as well, and go out and do it.

    It will only destroy the family if the family isn't a strong enough unit to begin with. Every member of the family should play a role in the family's wellbeing, except for children under 5. It builds character and teaches responsibility to all members. What happens in the 'traditional family' when the mother gets sick, or dies? The rest of the family have to know how to take care of themselves and the family, otherwise it will break down.

    I think Aurora Gory Alice said it best, it is entirely a woman's choice. I think families are evolving and breaking out of outdated ideologies, and that this is a good thing.

    On the subject of divorce, I think it's because a) there are more people in the world, b) there are more people getting married, especially younger individuals, c) some are getting married quickly, without testing their relationship first by being together for a few years or living together first or d) they get pregnant, and feel it's their duty to get married because of it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2009
  20. GabrielConroy

    GabrielConroy Well-Known Member

    I dont believe in positive (rights to have something as opposed to negative rights which are the rights to not have something done to you)

    So no I wouldnt say its zero sum game
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