Are women and men happy with their current role in society?

It’s been a long time since Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer books (The second sex and The eunuch woman) caused a revolution in the cultural scene. They are considered one of the symbols of feminism and gender equity. But in some aspects they were really controversial too.

Beginning with a quote from her book The Second Sex, de Beauvoir explained the meaning of her oft-quoted line, “One is not born a woman, one becomes one,”

“...being a woman is not a natural fact. It’s the result of a certain history. There is no biological or psychological destiny that defines a woman as such. She’s a product of a history of civilization, first of all, which has resulted in her current status, and secondly for each individual woman, of her personal history, in particular, that of her childhood. This determines her as a woman, creates in her something which is not at all innate, or an essence, something which has been called the ‘eternal feminine,’ or femininity. The more we study the psychology of children, the deeper we delve, the more evident it becomes that baby girls are manufactured to become women.”

So, and taking into account this question is still in process (and probably will always be), a question arises, not only for women but for men too: are we men and women happy with our current role in society? Is it better women and men’s lives (from a gender perspective) nowadays that it was decades ago? Are we totally comfortable with the role assigned to us? And in that case, what is that role about? Is the gender equity topic still necessary?

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi people!
    Just wanted to leave my humble comment..., it's a bit longer than 1000 characters, so I'll post 3 or 4 parts...

    Haven’t we all had enough? What more do we need to see happening before we individually start understanding that power struggle is precisely why the east and the west sides of the world particularly are the way they are today? And there are no signs that is going to stop! Let alone to start mending back what we are leaving behind, on the physical level, but also on the behavioural level...

    October 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      External power in itself is aseptic, it is not a bad thing, is only how it is handled what matters. And many many people are not ready to handle power. Still, power is stolen, sucked, transferred, given from 1 individual to another all the time and many of the times abused. I see this Power as something that when it prevails, it does not leave space for Love. Think about it... Is like oil and water, they do not mix, power-oil says “it’s you or me here”, while love-water says “it’s you AND me here”. But the way we live does not allow one moment in our lives to have a real opportunity to experience our own vulnerability. We prefer not to talk about it. Why? Really, WHY? Address this question honestly and we’ll start liberating ourselves from the ties of patriarchy.

      October 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It’s also clear to me that the most sensitive souls are the first noticing this dynamics, because they -generally- never lost connection with the real source of their inner power, which resides on the strength to be open to real connection, empathy, and the courage to accept one’s own vulnerability and bear it. At this point I do not want to say something like “and this is what we can do to transform ourselves in order to...”, no, I say that this is WHAT WE ARE, AND ALLWAYS WERE, BUT EXTERNAL FORMS OF POWER SEEMED TO BE BETTER. The consequences only show...
      This is what I wanted to say at the meeting, but had the feeling that I needed to compose it properly. So that’s why I was a bit silent all the way...
      Hope yous are ALL good.

      October 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I don't see any point in attending..the freethinking society is another boys cub where men agree with each other. It would hurt the group too much to actually think!

    October 2, 2013

    • Eoin B.

      To be honest I didn't attend because I thought it was going to be dominated by angry people looking to blame others for whatever is wrong in their lives. How did it go anyways?

      October 3, 2013

    • Dex

      Sorry I missed you Pedro got disuaded by rain but attracted by lecture on the enlightenment ;)

      October 4, 2013

  • liz c.

    Couldn't make it for the discussion yesterday. Have a nasty cold. Will change RSVP in future. Hope it went well.

    October 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi. Which bar are we meeting in?

    October 2, 2013

  • Ide

    Stuck in work. Hope to see u at next one even if I have to Book a bloody day off!!

    October 2, 2013

  • Emer H.

    ..........I would argue that the challenge that modern male roles present in Ireland are evident in the high numbers of young male suicide. Gender roles in society often seem paradoxical in my opinion and are certainly valid topics for debate, in terms of both equity and the construction of gender-norms. Optimistically though I think this topic is generally more open for discussion and viable for change than ever before.

    Hope the discussion is vibrant, and I hope to join in next time

    1 · October 2, 2013

  • Emer H.

    ...................Factually based, solution-focused feminism remains a necessity in Ireland as there glass-ceilings for women in employment, an under-representation of women in government and a constitution that has clearly outdated patriarchal objectives. However this shouldn't be a female-centric debate as men face challenges in our contemporary society too. Men have a residual expectation to be romantic, to provide, to be in employment placed on them but they also have a newly emphasized demand placed on them to be sensitive, emotionally available and submissive.

    October 2, 2013

  • Emer H.

    I unfortunately can't attend tonight as events are clashing but I am certain I'll be attending in the future. I'm heartened by the strong opinions and arguments just reading through the comments. For the record my opinion on the matter would begin with a belief that gender is a social construct and is constantly beginning learned, performed and changing across time and place. I agree with De Beauvoir's assertion that woman 'is a product of a history of civilisation'. A modern example of this is clear simply back looking down the aisles in a Smyths toy store and seeing how early gender differentiation begins. If this debate were to be grounded in western society, or Ireland specifically I believe that both men and women still have socially defined roles in our society and face gender-based challenges when they step outside norms.

    October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Men being forced to be hard and women being forced to be soft....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcNOapwgw6I

    October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I won't make it to the discussion on Wednesday but I thought it was relevant and worth saying that I'm marching for women's reproductive rights in Dublin today. Women's role in society is still rooted in the past - women are still prohibited by the state from choosing whether it is best for them to carry to term and give birth to a child or not. Would this be the case if men were the ones who gave birth?

    1 · September 28, 2013

    • Patricia

      Is there any person in the world that doesn't know that? (...) In fact, that´s what makes the real difference... and where the problem (most of the "gender problems") begins... At least in a Western devoloped society

      September 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      But Eoin....is ignoring women a fundamental part of mens biology? Is being unfair part of being a man???? That is what we are discussing!

      October 2, 2013

  • chris

    The topic has potential for baseless generalisations like workplace pay to be thrown about at the meet up. some interesting videos here that may generate some discussion

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp8tToFv-bA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_sGn6PdmIo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow

    September 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Chris, you obviously have not watched the video I posted if you are assuming there will be "baseless assumptions" (obviously on the women-who-want-more-righ­ts side). Do you see that your language is already deciding your idea of the outcome. It seems you are already closed off to the idea that women (and men with inverse men's rights) feel their rights are unfilled. It would be helpful if you addressed this and perhaps watched the video I posted before coming to the discussion with your own assumptions....baseless or not.

      September 25, 2013

    • Eoin B.

      The second video on workplace pay is quite interesting. I wonder what the ecomomic analysis of single mothers looks like? It's the only point not addressed to my satisfaction in that video. Of course we do not have to hand many of the statistics that were quoted so that could change things.

      The third video is FASCINATING! Thank you so much for the link Chris!! Learn Liberty is the first conservative source that doesn't make my blood boil when I watch/read it!! The first video on 'disposable males' seems pretty irrefutable to me. I do not recall a culture or point in Western history when 'Women and children first' was not the rule. Facts like 93% workplace death disparity not to mention the numbers of men dying violent deaths in war etc has me thoroughly convinced.

      September 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very interesting topic ... it will be nice to see what people have to say about this. I have kind of an issue with the question 'are we men and women happy with our current role in society' ... who decides what men or women should do or not? why should we have different roles? is the notion of role for a woman or a man something that is driven by society and its education, religion in some instances? I dont think men and women are necessarily equal, definitely not from a genetic point of view, but that is also the case when comparing any two human beings.
    I recently came accross the following two articles after talking to a friend of mine from Spain who mentioned that the current government over there is starting to try to adopt laws regarding gender education.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/09/opinion/kimmel-single-sex-classes/index.html
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/gaza-education-law-gender-segregation.html

    Well, really looking forward to the discussion anyways

    September 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looking forward to discussing with you Marie-Christine :)

      September 18, 2013

    • Eoin B.

      I agree that seggregation leads to greater stereotyping and is not in the best interest of children or society. Some equality enthusiats seem to think that there should be no difference between the way each gender is treated. Some think that that men and women should be 50% each of every job or that there is no difference in how our minds work.

      September 29, 2013

  • jim g.

    Thanks Pedro and Robert, I really enjoyed last nights discussion.I think the gender equity topic will allways be with us. We even managed to touch on it last night. I look forward to another interesting evening, Jim

    September 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yea I managed to touch on it like a 5 year old jumping on a bouncy castle!

      2 · September 12, 2013

    • Eoin B.

      Very true Jean. This is an immensely emotional topic. I honestly think the discussion could do with a dedicated 'Respect Moderator'!!

      September 29, 2013

  • oisin

    I can't wait

    September 29, 2013

  • Eoin B.

    I fear this will degenerate quite quickly into the usual name calling, gross over-generalisation and gripe-listing without some very skilled moderation.

    September 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Also there is incredibly jealousy among some men when women are able to compete. They tend to feel they have a right to be better, earn more, get more respect. The problem is that boys are raised to value themselves based on these aspects and not as much on kindness, fairness or respect for all despite short comings. This has forced some women to become hard and where a man would have seen the benefit in being a gentleman, the more cowardly man will now act disingenuous whereas the more intelligent man will accept that feminism has been a long time coming and is for the greater good.

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The topic of discussion came from my questioning of Pedros generalisation that "we are equal now". It makes me wonder does his thinking this mean that its now ok to go back to discriminating again???? And what about men's rights to show so-called feminine emotions....which leads us to gay and transgender rights. In the first video below an army guy whose job it was to focus a drone lazer speaks about how horrible it was to kill so many people. In the past he would have been laughed at for admitting any concern with "the enemy".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU5c-Nqe1Ho

    http://www.upworthy.com/and-the-winner-for-biggest-hint-that-hollywood-is-twisted-is?c=ufb1

    http://www.upworthy.com/miley-cyrus-points-out-something-wrong-with-america-and-shes-absolutely-right?c=ufb1

    September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good program comparing studies in Norway, US and UK. Please ignore the title (Not the actual name of the program and it does not represent all feminists) ...but interesting that the researchers do not agree, shows more studies needed. Mostly I think women just want respect! Half of all men respecting us is not good enough when the other half are complete pigs. I also DO see the need for mens rights AND don't think they clash with women's rights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOFXLl7eh4

    September 12, 2013

    • Robert

      http://www.youtube.co...­

      Had to be done.

      September 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Can you explain your feelings in words Robert? ...and Pedro also ....

      September 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm gonna bring a booby prize (excuse the pun) for the first man that TELLS me that I am happy with my current role in society!

    September 12, 2013

  • Andrew

    This should be very interesting topic, a great follow on from last night, if Jean is there promises to be a lively exchange,

    September 12, 2013

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