Did you grow up in a home in which females and males had different jobs and responsiblities? how did this affect you view on gender?
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I certainly did grow up in a household like that. My mother was the only female since my three brothers and I were all male, but there was definitely this sense of what was my mother's job and what was my father's (less so for what the kids were supposed to do, though -- we were expected to help my mother whenever she said we should).
It was clear that my mother's role was to wait on my father when he was home. She would always get things and bring them to him instead of having him get them himself, for example. She once told me that someone had to be the boss in any relationship and that she thought it should be the man.
I do not think that this has affected my views. I, myself, have been the stay at home parent for my kids the last 8 years (my last school year as a full-time teacher ended about 2 weeks after my first child was born). For most of that time I have had a part-time job, but I have not made as much money as my wife in any of the last 8 years. I also have done all the cooking ever since I met my wife and all the cleaning since I stopped working full time.
So clearly, my parents' relationship did not determine how I viewed my role as a man.
I was able to experience what it was like to have a mother who worked and a father who was a stay at home dad, for the most part. This helped me experience a different understanding of how gender is constructed in the home setting and in the work place. Having a mother as a bank teller and a father as a physician who stayed at home for a time while I was growing up allowed me to understand a different conception of women who worked and men staying at home. In retrospect, I think that it impacted my view on gender in that I understood more of what could be done by both genders, and not one that was limited by social perception of gender.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom of four kids for my entire life while my father worked. He was in the military until I was in the 4th grade - so we were constantly moving. This would have made it pretty hard for my mom to sustain a full-time non-military job.
Anyway, as a result I always thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I considered it my role as a woman to raise the children and let my husband have the full-time job.
Although I went to college to get my teaching certificate, I assumed I'd only teach until I had children, then I'd take a 5-10 year break and wait for them to all be in school. I also never considered that I would make more money than my husband. Never. It seemed counter-cultural to the way I was brought up, believing the man is the "head of the household" and is financially responsible for the family.
Ironically, for the first 5 years of my marriage (and through 2 children) I worked to put my husband through law school and continued after his graduation because we couldn't afford for me not to work. I've had to seriously adjust my expectations of "family life" as I'd planned it. Now I am staying home (for the first time ever) and I don't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I do not feel immediate satisfaction in working as a mother (I know it takes time), certainly not like I did when I was in a classroom all day. I plan to do this until my children go to school full time, but I am eager to get back to work. My own mother supports me now, but cannot empathize with my desire to have a career. She was satisfied by staying home with us.
So, like Pohnpei - my upbringing is not mirroring how I'm raising my family.
Like post #3, my father stayed at home and my mother worked outside the home. My father had a blood disease which disabled him early in my life and confined him to a wheelchair due to his amputations. He is the one who did all the cooking and laundry, took care of getting us kids to and from our sports and other school activities, and arranged for carpools, etc. He also taught us about caring for animals, all things car maintainence, and so many other things I can't even begin to explain it all. So, in a way the traditional roles were reversed in our household. I like to think that our situation allowed my brothers and me to be more open-minded, more tolerant of all people (my father would never have allowed us to make racial slurs or jokes that were off-color), and much more accepting of people with disabilities. I know for a fact that our household created people who are far less judgemental than most simply because we were taught to put ourselves in other people's positions in order to try to understand their points of view.
Even though my father was the Mr. Mom before all the Disney movies, my father was very much a manly man. My brothers are also very manly men, but like my dad, they are excellent fathers and have great relationships with their wives. I don't think growing up in our household hindered our perceptions of gender, but it made us better humans. My brothers do not take for granted the housework and how hard it is to balance children, housework, food and menus, and all it takes to properly manage the home.
Both of my parents worked although my mother had a part time job while my father always worked full time. It was my mothers responsibility to take care of the children, cook the meals, clean the house, etc. My father took care of the outside chores such as the lawn, snow plowing, etc. They definitely had different roles and I do think that it affected my views on gender. I say this because now that that I have a family of my own, I look back and see what my mother did and I assume that I need to do what she did. While I do the majority of the cooking and cleaning, my husband contributes to these chores as well which is different from how I was raised. I think that I appreciate my husband more for doing things around the house.
I am now 64 years old. I grew up in a family where the roles of my mother and father were very clearly distinct. My father was responsible for earning a living, and for handling most of the matters related to the outside world. My mother's responsibilities were mostly related to the domestic scene including cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. My father was clearly the head of the family. But this did not mean that status of my mother was inferior in any way. She was highly respected by my father and enjoyed the status of number two in the family. There was great harmony between my father and mother. Mother treated father as a king when he was at home, and outside the home Father cared for mother like she was a queen.
The result was that we grew up in a very secure and tension free environment. Both my parents believed in value of morals and character. These values have been passed on to us very effectively by consistency of behavior and advice of our parents.
As a result of this upbringing, I do not see any job as more or less important. Therefore, I fail to understand how specializing in just one set of responsibilities in the family make a man or woman superior or inferior to other. This thought of inequality has been learnt by me only on growing up and being exposed to such vies of others. But my personal emotional response still continues to be that men and women are different, but they make a great pair supplementing the strengths and compensating for weaknesses of each other. In this way they bring happiness and well being to themselves, their family, and the society.
While having grown up in the old "traditional" home in which mother stayed home and father worked, I believe that gender views were formed less on what tasks were allocated to which parent than on the behavioral examples of my parents. Always my mother was ladylike and responsible and exacting; always my father was responsible and exacting that his standards be met with no excuses for not behaving correctly. The main thing that impressed me as a child was how my parents treated each other as equals and let my brother and I know that in school work we could be equal, if not in some other ways. I never felt, even before the advent of the Feminist Movement, that I could not compete with anyone else simply because of my gender. If I could not compete, it was because I lacked the talent or some other reason.
At any rate, it seems that using gender for reasons why something should be some way seems an excuse more than anything else.
Not really. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and I had to do the inside chores like cooking and cleaning. My brothers did not have to do anything in the house, but I had to help with outside chores too. Just not as many as my brothers. As grown-ups, my husband and I do chores when and where they need done. He does, however, leave most of the cooking and laundry to me. Thankfully.
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