Warning: Politics, Sex and Gender Roles, Feminism and "The Economy" Up Ahead

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Warning: Politics, Sex and Gender Roles, Feminism and "The Economy" Up Ahead

Ansley Ansley
My husband and I often discuss things of a political nature, which we should know by now is not really the best sort of conversation to sustain that lovey-dovey feeling we have for each other. Yet, we do it anyway.

We were, naturally, discussing the economy and the real reasons why things are going to hell in a handbasket. You know, besides the fact that America is being run by a bunch of greedy, corporations. As usual, the discussion took several wrong turns with both of us having to declare "I agree to disagree".

One point that I hit on that he did seem to think plausible is that there are simply too many people in the workforce and the jobs market was never designed to sustain that many people.

Traditionally speaking, unless the men were at war or when the feminist movement demanded women be allowed equal responsibilities and pay in the workforce, women stayed at home to raise the family and the men went to work. This knocked out half the population.

When women and men started competing together and a two income family became the norm, the markets were able to take advantage of those two incomes and charge more for their products. This also allowed for more disposable income in general for the family, so things like going to the movies and week-long family roadtrips to amusement parks were the norm.

The bubble burst a couple of times, but new technology was on the rise and we were able to produce more, faster and better than ever before. Personal computers were booming and the internet was rapidly coming into play in the early 90's. There was more than enough room for everyone who wanted a job to get a job.

Then the dotcoms burst, mom and pop operations started disappearing because they couldn't compete with the big box stores, natural and man-made catatrophes devastated lands, crops...the list just goes on and on.

All of these things that kept people in their jobs were no longer there. And thinking on all of this, I really had to wonder just what kind of an impact the feminist movement had on America's jobs market.

I think it's fabulous that women can choose to be who they want and do what they want and work in the fields that they desire. If it weren't for the feminist movement, I doubt I'd be sitting here on this website day after day expressing my opinions on sex and the world I live in. I'll be forever thankful for what those women (and men) did for women's rights.

But, I can't help but think that at least one spouse should stay home. It doesn't have to be the woman, unless she wants it to be. Dad/Husband could stay home with the kids while mom becomes a success in whatever she chooses.

It just seems like in the old days that the children turned out better, behaved better, and did better in school than what's going on in today's generation. Those kids of yesteryear had someone at home with them to make sure they followed the fules and did their homework. (From personal experience growing up in a single parent home, a total stranger would have been more interested in what I was doing than my mother.)

What do you think? Do you think the market can handle both spouses/partners working or should at least one of them stay home to handle the family (if there is one, household if nothing else)?
10/20/2011
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Kindred Kindred
You're talking about two completely different issues here.

1. Can the market handle both spouses working?
2. Are children better raised by a parent vs. daycare?

1. Yes, I believe the market can handle both spouses working. The way I look at it, regardless of what job you are doing (be it paid or a stay at home spouse), you are a consumer and contributing to the economy. You just contribute in different ways based on your occupation. The ways you contribute to the economy change, but it is there nonetheless. For example, someone at home will consume energy, food, potentially add wear and tear to household items (for example, using a light bulb at home will make you have to purchase a replacement sooner) versus if you work outside of the home, you may need to pay for gas for a car, presumably you consume energy at your work place, etc. Basically, you are a consumer regardless of your occupation. The ways you contribute simply change, and being a consumer is what drives job production.

2. Should one parent stay home to raise a child is a totally different question and I don't think there is one simple correct answer. The answer is really "it depends." It depends on the family, it depends on the child, it depends on the financial situation. I tell clients who are guilty about leaving pets at home for long periods of time because of work that it's not how long you spend with them, it's what you do during that time. It's the old quality over quantity argument. I also believe there are both pros and cons to each scenario.
10/20/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
You're talking about two completely different issues here.

1. Can the market handle both spouses working?
2. Are children better raised by a parent vs. daycare?

1. Yes, I believe the market can handle both spouses working. The ...
Very good points, all of them. Not having the entire picture complicates the logic, obviously. It just sometimes seems like everything went to hell when both parents were out of the house and working. But, I suppose it's a little bit of everything snowballing in the end. Maybe I idealize the times before 1960 a little more than I should.
10/20/2011
wetone123 wetone123
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Very good points, all of them. Not having the entire picture complicates the logic, obviously. It just sometimes seems like everything went to hell when both parents were out of the house and working. But, I suppose it's a little bit of ...
I miss the good old days as well Stormy. Not sure myself what happened in the job markets, but I'm thinking it's a LOT more than both spouses working. However, I agree that the children benefit more from a stay at home parent.
10/20/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
This is a hot button issue!

I don't think anybody except the very poor and the very rich financially benefitted from women's "entry" into the workforce in large numbers. (And I'm not so sure about the very poor, to be honest.)

What happened, in essence, is that the prices of things went up so that two incomes were nearly always necessary to live a lifestyle that one income used to provide! I don't think children much benefit from "day care" (they can socialize when they get to preschool, as most studies have shown) and in many studies most women want to be home, but many, due to the market (even before the recent economic shit storm) cannot, even if they want to very badly.

The 2nd wave feminists promised us our men would do more work "around the house" our kids would be better off, and we'd have more disposable income. NONE of those have come true, but we're both working only to live a more meager lifestyle than a lot of our parents did.

And, heaven help single parents. I don't know how they do it!

I've given this a lot of thought, and having once been a strong "feminist" I now consider myself living "post feminism." We didn't get what we were promised, our kids are being raised by strangers, we're exhausted as HELL, most men do no more "housework" than they did 50 years ago, and we're in MORE debt, not less.

It sucks.

This is MY opinion only. Your mileage may vary.
10/20/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by wetone123
I miss the good old days as well Stormy. Not sure myself what happened in the job markets, but I'm thinking it's a LOT more than both spouses working. However, I agree that the children benefit more from a stay at home parent.
I don't think we'll ever have all of the answers or even the most important ones.
10/20/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
This is a hot button issue!

I don't think anybody except the very poor and the very rich financially benefitted from women's "entry" into the workforce in large numbers. (And I'm not so sure about the very poor, to be ...
I've always felt that "they" took advantage of two income families, especially in the housing market. And of course things like miminum wage, standard of living and all of that factor into it. It's almost unheard of these days for a family to live comfortably on one income. And if they don't get you coming, they get you going with the gas prices. It's a freakin' mess.
10/20/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Okay. Wow. Ummmm.

We live in scary times politically and economically speaking. I think there are too many factors involved in how our country became the way it is to pinpoint it on any one thing (i.e., feminism, war, whatever). History is basically made up of a lot of different people making decisions for themselves and not really thinking of the consequences and how they'll impact other peoples' decisions. While I think it's good to have a good understanding on how our country came to be the way it is, our focus should be on how to fix it.

Frankly, none of the candidates (incl. POTUS) have a good solution to how to fix whatever's wrong. I certainly don't have a better way. I think it starts with figuring out how to make it so the lower and middle class don't get any poorer and how they can start finding ways to get ahead.

I think one of the biggest problems in our country right now is that we have very little to offer. We boomed when we had cutting-edge and affordable technology, vehicles, etc. Now other countries, like China and Japan, blow us out of the water as far as both quality AND affordability. Until we have something that other people want (aside from freedom), this is going to continue. Find that, we'll create jobs, we'll be able to come back from this.

I also think that lowering the cost of living would help. Lowering prices on food, goods, homes, cars, services. All the companies nickel and dime us, then wonder why we can't pay when many homes bring home under $1500/month. HOW can we purchase, HOW can we live, if the cost is always greater than the income?

I don't want handouts. I just want it to be so everyone has a chance. I don't think that we should give everything away for free, but it should be affordable. I'm not talking about luxuries. I'm talking about the basics. Shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, electricity, water. The basics.

(I'm a little sick and fuzzy-headed.. I apologize if my thoughts seem scattered)
10/20/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
Okay. Wow. Ummmm.

We live in scary times politically and economically speaking. I think there are too many factors involved in how our country became the way it is to pinpoint it on any one thing (i.e., feminism, war, whatever). History is ...
Not scattered at all. And I agree with you 100%. The cost of living is freakin' outrageous. But, that just kind of makes me feel like two income families are "more important" to corporations than single income homes, if that makes any sense.
10/20/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Not scattered at all. And I agree with you 100%. The cost of living is freakin' outrageous. But, that just kind of makes me feel like two income families are "more important" to corporations than single income homes, if that makes any sense.
I agree. It has less to do with gender and traditional roles than it does with corporate greed. And it's a wonder that American government doesn't abide its own country's revolution, though we advocate highly for other countries to do it.
10/20/2011
starklover starklover
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I don't think we'll ever have all of the answers or even the most important ones.
I agree
10/26/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
I agree. It has less to do with gender and traditional roles than it does with corporate greed. And it's a wonder that American government doesn't abide its own country's revolution, though we advocate highly for other countries to do it.
In the eyes of our government we have less reason to rise up against the machine (or the man, whichever you prefer) because we are so much more priviliged than most of the warring nations in the world. It's pathetic and ridiculous, in my opinion. We should be listened to, not shoved under the rug. The Vietnam War would not have ended without the major rallying and protest efforts across the country and I think we're headed in that direction at an increasingly rapid rate. SOMETHING has to be done and I applaud everyone who is standing up and making their voices heard, regardless of the outcome. It takes nerve to make a stand like the OWS movement is.
10/26/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
Okay. Wow. Ummmm.

We live in scary times politically and economically speaking. I think there are too many factors involved in how our country became the way it is to pinpoint it on any one thing (i.e., feminism, war, whatever). History is ...
I'm sorry you're sick.

But, you made a hell of a lot of sense!
10/26/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
I agree. It has less to do with gender and traditional roles than it does with corporate greed. And it's a wonder that American government doesn't abide its own country's revolution, though we advocate highly for other countries to do it.
The Take Back Wall Street Movement needs to get more press. The press (who is made up of very privileged people) seems to treat this movement like a bunch of outdated stinky hippies. They say "There were several hundred protestors..." when people I know were there say it was more like thousands at each demonstration. Then they move on to 15 minutes about some ditzy celebrity's arrest.

The corporate media has a reason to keep these people (and thus the rest of the middle class) marginalized.
10/26/2011
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 6