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Gender Roles

I just heard a podcast encouraging parents to avoid limiting little girls to pink clothes and fantasies about becoming a princess.

Of course, we can then avoid limiting women to being slender, men to being tall and/or strong, women to being beautiful, men to being handsome, men to being the family provider, women to being the nurturer.  We can embrace and extoll every possible trait, and endorse reversals of traditional roles.

Suppose that we succeed in broadening the roles that girls accept as being feminine.  And we broaden the roles that boys accept as being manly.

What are we left with?  Just being people?  That does not sound like a bad thing, but it could effectively eliminate the terms "masculine" and "feminine" from our vocabulary.  What would it mean to be called "feminine" if there were no limits on being a girl? What would romance novels look like when there are no clearly defined societal goals/norms? Are we all comfortable in a world where anything goes?  Is there any reasonable alternative?


We will meet in the Vista room, on the right at the top of the stairs.  Our next meeting will be June 8th.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Everyone, great meeting yesterday! Loved all the exploration, questions, input from everyone's different perspectives and I too loved the laughter!

    May 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry made alt. plans this AM

    May 18, 2014

  • Elaine Z.

    Unfortunately, while on the wait list, I made plans that cannot be changed. I look forward to comments on this interesting subject.

    May 17, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Elaine, in the future you can change your RSVP if you won't be able to make it. There is a clickable link under the RSVP, that says "change". That way other people can be let in.

      May 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thought I made a post earlier, but don't see it, so here it is again. Jon, this is an awesome topic! While we may be able to flatten out the differences in roles as women continue to enter all areas historically limited to men, female will still be the only gender with a womb from which the entire human race is birthed! There was a time when I was very pro androgyny, but now I think we need complimentary differences that are valued equally. Perhaps we might also wish to consider the differences in male / female [gender] and masculine / feminine [essence-both of which can b expressed by male and female].

    May 8, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      And male will be the only gender with testicles, from which all humans are born. I have never understood the womb/testicle thing, in so much as it seems to be more highly valued than kidneys or livers.

      1 · May 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Testicles don't carry infants, they carry sperm (which are not infants, sperm are only half of the recipe).

      May 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Whatever the paradigm, we are going to have to costume ourselves, both in clothing and other accruements (sp?) and in language and body language. The point of consciousness within each of us has to be manifested through something in order to have a human experience. There will always be some sort of consensual reality, however it's defined. I also have difficulty with "everyone having value". You can only determine value from within a paradigm, a consensual reality.
    From over here, no-one has value, in and of themselves. What's the value of a point of consciousness? People create value by what they do, what they think, how they act. Within a paradigm. In another paradigm, the exact same actions/thoughts might be of negative value.

    May 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      There is no purpose, in the larger sense of the word, to being human. To me, it's the same thing as asking, "What is the purpose of broccoli?" Or, "What is the purpose of a gold fish?" To ascribe purpose, you have to be within a paradigm, made-up as are all paradigms. When you die, it's a light bulb being turned off. No matter how much I want to believe in tooth fairies, they don't exist. Much like the afterlife to me.

      May 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      The value of "unconditional love for all paradigms, is just as made up as any other value in any other paradigm. Judgement (morally right or wrong) is not necessary for survival. Being to discern/discriminate that will kill you and that which won't, that's a good survival skill to have. yes, as to value is value. Seems difficult for most to acknowledge that no set of values is inherently better than another.

      May 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oh, and we've been notified that the BIL is throwing a 50th b-day bash on Sunday down in Boston. The good news is that he is very proud of his wine cellar. The bad news is that I am going to have to pass on this incredibly juicy, low-lying fruit.

    May 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good point Nicole...seems that there is something even more potent behind girls having more permission to enter or copy all things male than there is for boys to enter or copy all things female. Perhaps the historical social construct of gender has placed higher value on all things "male". Is there anything more deprecating for a male / boy than to be referred to as a "sissy" or a multitude of even worse, not fit for print, derogatory "female" labels? Seems enantiodromia might be taking place! I had to look up this word!

    May 9, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      The head of the program says the kid "is simply being 'asked to wear clothing of the gender stated on his registration form, which states male.'" And yet what "male" things would a girl get kicked out for wearing? (hint: nothing).

      The other funny thing is that girls can acceptably girl-ify "boy" things, they can easily wear a sparkly menswear necktie, for example. But there's no way I know of to acceptably boy-ify "girl" things, like a princess dress. Double standards are great.

      May 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Saw someone who was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Question gender." I went up to her/him and asked, "Is is the specific label you're using or just the idea in general?" Got a blank stare. Sigh.
    Anyhow, got me thinking that gender is a cultural/social label used to facilitate things, in bad or good ways. Man/woman, feminine/masculine are constructs. I don't think that "anything goes" is going to do away with the manifestations of what we label masculine/feminine.
    Nother strange thing is that race is much like gender. There is nothing in the biological world that is "race".
    It's another social construct.
    Wonder what the world would look like without that particular one.
    Guess we'll always have to have some way of defining "the other".

    May 8, 2014

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  • jon b.
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