Gender roles

A comment from Olave d’Estienne got me thinking about gender roles.

Prior to the birth of our kid, my wife and I didn’t really have distinct gender roles.

We both work, we both do housework, etc. We were the close to the progressive ideal of how work should be divided among husband and wife. Then we had a kid . . .

Post-kid, the gender roles moved to something straight of the stereotypical 1950s. I still do a fair amount of cleaning (I like things to be orderly), but otherwise it’s remarkable how much things have changed.

Family changes the way you think about these sorts of things.

Finally, I’m sure why I feel this is related, but the hardest part about having a kid has been when my wife had to go back to work. It’s a very sad process. I’d like her to quit, but I think she’s feels like she needs to work. Thanks again feminism.

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9 Responses to Gender roles

  1. jz says:

    It is sad, but by quitting, your wife would lose continuing education, networking, retirement benefits, momentum in earnings and future promotions. By quitting, she’d be very vulnerable in providing for herself without you….forever.

  2. We have felt much more traditional since having the baby. Madame d’Estienne says that she has taken to the role of mother much more naturally than to any job she has ever had, and she would quit in heartbeat if we could afford it. Prior to that she was as career-oriented as I am, which is to say, moderately.

    It’s true what they say about feeling blissfully happy and frenetic at the same time. I am typing this with him pinning one of my arms down, fast asleep in one of those uncomfortable-looking positions that the rest of us find so silly and charming.

    One gender role my family has not stuck to is – I do not spare my wife the gorey details of American cultural breakdown. She bore me a son, suffered the pain of pregnancy and delivery (albeit with more verbal sharing than say, a Victorian husband would be exposed to), and I am still prattling on about It Hitting the Fan, the Cleveland Atrocity, the Patriot Act, etc., in ways that worry her greatly.

    Traditionally, woman wasn’t expected to bear the burden of political turmoil; the men talked about that when the women were in the other room. Being serious about threat assessment (as opposed to recounting tales of horror) was not really a woman’s place. In a lot of ways, that hasn’t changed. Angry, mannish feminists are still too ladylike to note the violent proclivities of NAMs. Some say that is leftism, not womanliness, and that’s true too, but I can’t help noticing the similarities.

    Oh well. I suppose as the civilization decays, we will achieve a very practical hybrid between The Liberated Woman and The Victorian Lady. The household will neither be an egalitarian collective nor a medieval castle. The husband will evolve into a guardian who is neither a sort of ultra-dominant household dictator or a servile rent-a-cop. My wife will learn to shoot, but not military rifles. I will continue to cuddle and feed the baby but not do laundry, and I will probably never learn to iron a shirt properly.

  3. Handle says:

    This fits in perfectly with my theory of “Class Experience Segregation”.

    Healthy families no longer exist and are basically extinct among poor blacks, which is the ultimate tragedy, because strong and extended families which help and support each other, while important and useful for everyone, are most critical for the lower classes.

    The highest social classes, on the other hand, after having gone through their own chaotic period during the baby-boomer mid-life crisis years, but because they are clever, pragmatic, and adaptable, finally settled in their “New Equilibrium” which looks, surprise, *exactly* like a decade-delayed form of the “Old Equilibrium” from the 1950’s. Almost ubiquitous traditional nuclear families, forming after graduate education and in people’s late-20’s / early-30’s.

    Elites don’t need to be told which forms and institutions will work best for them, they’ll figure it out for themselves and settle into their new (old) gender roles. They don’t need to have religious-like, faith-and-morality-based feelings about the special and sacred nature of the traditional family structure. But not everyone is elite. That’s the problem.

  4. Jeff Singer says:

    I thank God that my wife wasn’t thrilled with her job and was willing to quit once the kids came along. We did sacrifice some material goods living on just one salary (I’ve always made in the $60-$90K range) but we did very well in real estate which enabled us to move into a good neighborhood here in Chicago, which in turn enabled us to send the kids (we now have two school-aged girls) to one of the best elementary schools. So I would say we live a comfortable, but not particularly exciting, middle-class life — and I love it! After about ten years my wife was finally ready to go back to work and was lucky to find a couple of great part-time jobs which work with the kids school schedule.

    I wouldn’t trade her being at home for those ten years for anything — kids need their mothers!

  5. I’d like her to quit, but I think she’s feels like she needs to work. Thanks again feminism.

    Have you told her what you’d “like”? Has she actually communicated what you “think” she “feels”?

    • Foseti says:

      I’ve told her what I’d like. She thinks she needs to keep working to justify all the time (and money) she spent in (and on) school. She also thinks that if she works another 1-2 years, it’ll be easier to start again after taking time off.

      I’ve also told that – whether she likes it or not – she’s quitting after we have another kid.

  6. Jehu says:

    Foseti,
    Encourage her to homeschool your kids. After all, a good fraction of what they’re learning now they’re learning from her.

  7. RS says:

    I’m not sure it’s only feminist blather that has made the modal woman a worker.

    I have a draft but it’s too long. The gist was that women, being socially more adpet and less competitive, used to be very important in creating a local community out of a largely random group of people pushed together by proximity, as well as obtaining status in this community and ‘cashing it in’ for desired benefits – say, a first job for a son, or the inside gossip about a child’s potential fiance. This kind of work or activity is less necessary in elective community where we electively spend all our time with people very similar to ourselves. Activity in the elective community is also disjoint with domestic activity/work, whereas in the community of proximity women might do more chores together, be much more likely to creche their kids with one another for a few hours, etc.

    Of course, there still is a community of proximity where we find sets of people with diverse and perhaps clashing personality traits – but that is of course the workplace.

    Meanwhile the neighborhood as a social unit is basically dead, unless you live in a little town in the Midwest. Most of us live near a lot of people and see only people above the 90th %ile of similarity to ourselves, by driving there. If women’s drive for extra-domicile activity is largely intended for acting in a community of proximity, as I suggest, it will be frustrated in this natural course and may be diverted into a desire to work ‘a job’.

    Of course, having only 1.7 kids also leaves women with a lot of pent up activity drive, since they used to have more like four kids present at one time (of course they often bore more like nine in their life, but most of those would die very young, so the number four is reasonable).

    And further, they didn’t just do housework – there used to be a lot of cottage industry for women, certainly in the old farming times, and even still today, but less so after 1900. Plus of course mega vegetable gardening and canning.

    It is hard to test what I’m saying because those still living in a community of proximity today have all kinds of different psychological traits relative to those who don’t. We therefore cannot obtain a ceteris paribus comparison.

  8. […] – “Who is Free in 21st Century America?“, “Gender Roles“, “On Regulators from the Left and Right“, “Game, Set, Match: HBD“, […]

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