Gender identity and feminism

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by jameslyons, Nov 15, 2008.

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  1. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Did anyone read Joan Acocella's article in the New Yorker titled ," The Child Trap?" She reviews a few recently published books discussing the dangers and methods of over-parenting children.

    One book in particular stood out to me: Gary Cross's" Men to boys: Making of modern immaturity." Cross suggested that contemporary American males are behaving more immaturely than ever before: they marry later, get jobs later, leave home later, and are more dependent on their parents longer. He credited this shift from the responsible male in both the pop-psychology of the sixties and more specifically, the feminist impact on dismantling patriarchal role models and power structures.

    Cross ,summed up by Acocella, declares that men no longer are rewarded for behaving as a "man". No longer is the eight to six professional granted authority over his house, no more is the man given credit for protecting his family (the duty now shared between partners), no more are male traits tied to duties like military service, career, and disciplining children. As such contemporary males are happy to stay home, play video games and stick out of relationships.

    The perceived power shift between men and women in American relationships helps men stay under their maternal shift where they are given a level of authority (the parental sacrifice to a child's well being.).

    What's your opinion? Valid point or hog wash similar to poor southern whites blaming freed slaves for their economic troubles in the 1870's?
  2. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Interesting topic, jameslyons, and I may frame a response, but before I do I honestly don't understand what is meant by the "gender identity" part of the title here. Is it something akin to the ideas of sociobiology that we have certain traits "hardwired" into our systems? Something from the ideological end of the feminist spectrum, where feminism becomes a religion every bit as dogmatic as Catholicism?

    It just seems rather silly for me to yark up a giant hairball of text that potentially misses your point.
  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    We're living longer than ever before.

    We're expected to have more education than ever before.

    Women want their own careers and don't want to settle down quite so fast.

    These things seem like they might cause immature males. If we try to grow up quickly, we'll find that there's no females available... And we can't grow up quickly, since we're stuck in university limbo... And what's the rush, anyhow? We're going to live forever!
  4. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    I can agree with it in general but I think it's more a case of under parenting than over parenting, I wouldn't say it's exactly immaturity either. Of course it depends on what you consider the responsibilities of a parent. It's only thought of as over parenting to the extent that there is still lingering financial dependence and responsibility. I think it's better described as extended parenting.

    In my view parenting is the process of preparing someone for independence, giving them a solid foundation to build a life upon. The problem with modern parenting is that it only considers itself valid up to the point of adolescence, after a child reaches a certain age parents no longer raise their children and consider them independent. What this leads to is an extended adolescence, as the growth from adolescence to adulthood is left up to the individual and there are not many other sources to influence that transition, as well as little perceived benefit.

    I agree that there is little to no reward for behaving like a the traditional view of a responsible man. Jobs are not as secure as they once were, relationships tend to both start and fall apart over nothing, marriage is increasingly seen as the set up for future financial destruction, divorce or the demands of work can cripple your relationship with your children etc. I think it's more to do with pessimism (bordering on realism), than immaturity. There's nothing wrong in opting out of a system that you don't think will benefit you and might, in the long run, leave you worse off.
  5. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Hi Gmork,

    In this context, Gender Identity is the sociological belief that societies create a series of cultural roles that are to be emphasized and reinforced in gender image, which we then use to judge an individual according to their gender. A woman who isn't maternal and a man who isn't financially supporting his family both fail in living up to their gender image and their identity as a woman or man is suspect. Physiologically they remain men and women but our critical judgment such as shrew and bum are direct responses to their failure at maintaining their social role. Some of these roles being pushed because they're more "natural" or instinctual.

    Gender Identity may be better replaced with Gender Image, come to think of it.

    Cross doesn't discuss that feminism is more dogmatic as much as he embraces it as a sub-culture that has affected the manner of how we look at gender image and identity.
  6. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    David Reimer would definitely support that theorem
  7. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    my personal opinion is that the world is no longer so closed and small as it used to be, now any tom dick and harry can explore the world and many people want to see whats around them before they settle down. i havent seen the articles as i live in north yorkshire in the uk and i dont even read the papers here! although i can see feminism has had an effect, its naive to think it hasnt but there are countless other points effecting society, the main problem in my view is political correctness. the fact parents aint allowed to smack a child too is ridiculous. when i was growing up i would get a smack from any adult in my village if i was rude or if i was caught up to mischief, then i had to go home knowing my mother would know before i got there and i'd get another clip! it kept me in line and i was always polite and respectful to everyone in the village (obviously with odd hiccups:biggrin:) it was only when i got to college that teachers were so relaxed i could get away with murder and i started to act up.
    to me punishment and the idea of 'shaming' your family name is whats missing now. even the smallest forms of punishment work, when i was about 10 i got caught stealing a load of chickens eggs so my mother made me take them back and i had to work cleaning the chickens out and general work for the owner of the chickens for over a did the trick and i regretted it a lot!
    feminism's effect though i think is not so much about destroying the male role as i think as long as there is a solid authoritarian figure in each household there is not necessarily a need for a male figure.
    another effect on society is violent games and movies and although i enjoy them myself i do understand that although you consciously know they are not real your brain cannot seperate the reality from the virtual which is why although you know a scary movie isnt real you will still jump. this can be dangerous for children especially as some games now even shock me with their blatant glorification of violence!
    womens roles have not necessarily changed, its just that they now have the choice, my partner is happy to be a house-wife (house-partner for now) while i bring home the bacon. some women would hate that though and its all down to choice and now we have some free will it does seem weird that we criticise peoples choices when its free will people have always wanted and a part of free will is always going to be crime and the ability to be immature and disrespectful to everyone else.
  8. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I don't like that either. They may not be linked but it comes from similar reasoning. Which is the idea that entirely autonomous individuals are what is best for society, even if the end result is divided and broken communities. It wont be long before raising your voice or criticizing a child becomes unlawful too.

    Maybe, but it's hard to deny that removing one biological parent from the equation reduces the chance of having an authoritarian figurehead in a family.

    I believe that the damage they do to society, if at all, is enhanced by the poor level of modern parenting.
    People criticize it because they are only just beginning to realise that there are consequences for allowing freedom of choice. I believe that they legitimately thought that only good things would come of it. Also, often what they really wanted is freedom for themselves, with zero consequences, and expected others to fill the same traditional roles they always did.
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