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What roles does each gender play in society?

CriticalThought

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I've asked this question before in a different way, and I was met with pretty much no rational response. However, given the recent Prop 8 decision in which Walker concluded that the state had no interest in mandating gender roles in marriage, I wanted to give people one more shot. This thread is not about sexual orientation or gay marriage. Once you get through all the rhetoric and fallacies, the question of those issues ultimately comes down to the roles that each gender is suppose to play in society.

This thread is simply to ask what roles men serve that women can't serve and what roles that women serve that men can't serve? You can extend the question to the family. What can a mother offer a child that a father cannot and what can a father offer a child that a mother cannot?
 

liblady

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I've asked this question before in a different way, and I was met with pretty much no rational response. However, given the recent Prop 8 decision in which Walker concluded that the state had no interest in mandating gender roles in marriage, I wanted to give people one more shot. This thread is not about sexual orientation or gay marriage. Once you get through all the rhetoric and fallacies, the question of those issues ultimately comes down to the roles that each gender is suppose to play in society.

This thread is simply to ask what roles men serve that women can't serve and what roles that women serve that men can't serve? You can extend the question to the family. What can a mother offer a child that a father cannot and what can a father offer a child that a mother cannot?
once the child is born, there are no roles that men or women can't serve. how well those roles would be realized is a different question.
 

rathi

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You need a man to serve up some sperm, and a woman to donate some eggs, and a woman (normally the same woman) to carry the embryo for roughly 9 months. Beyond that, any gender can do pretty much anything. You get different average physical and mental difference between genders if you look at the population as a whole, but no hard limits beyond what I just outlined.
 

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Aside from giving birth (and breastfeeding), there aren't any roles that can't be played by either gender.
 

CriticalThought

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Okay, since the evangelists and conservatives are going to stay a mile away from this thread, I guess I'll have to ask the obvious questions.

The Bible argues that a woman's role in society is to be the submissive helper to her husband, and the man's role in society is to be the leader of his household. Is there merit to this view outside of religion? Does marriage and family crumble if these roles are not upheld?

Evolutionarily speaking, human males went off to hunt and human females stayed behind to look after the children. Are these roles of the male provider and female nurturer now obsolete or are they based in our very biology?
 

rathi

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Evolutionarily speaking, human males went off to hunt and human females stayed behind to look after the children. Are these roles of the male provider and female nurturer now obsolete or are they based in our very biology?
It was a stupid system even back then. Logically, the most capable hunter should hunt and the best with children should look after them. Even assuming your average person of one gender is better at a certain task than another, that is no reason to exclude the exceptions. You would be an idiot to declare that everyone over 6 foot must play basketball and everyone under 6 feet must be a jockey, even if they have physical advantages in each sport.
 

rathi

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Except breastfeed.
I considered that, but it isn't nearly as intrinsic. You can satisfactorily feed a baby with formula, even if it is somewhat inferior to breastfeeding. Eggs, sperm and wombs have no such substitute.
 

CriticalThought

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It was a stupid system even back then. Logically, the most capable hunter should hunt and the best with children should look after them. Even assuming your average person of one gender is better at a certain task than another, that is no reason to exclude the exceptions. You would be an idiot to declare that everyone over 6 foot must play basketball and everyone under 6 feet must be a jockey, even if they have physical advantages in each sport.
Perhaps gender roles are inefficient to society. I'm struggling to find a decent rational as to why they should be mandated by the state, and I was realy hoping some conservative scholar could provide some decent rational.
 

Tucker Case

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I considered that, but it isn't nearly as intrinsic. You can satisfactorily feed a baby with formula, even if it is somewhat inferior to breastfeeding. Eggs, sperm and wombs have no such substitute.
Yes, but nobody ever got a job as a wetnurse by bottle feeding. :2razz:
 

iangb

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Woo, heteronormativity!

...no, wait, I take it back.
 

Your Star

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Gender roles= stupid.

There is nothing a man can do that a woman can't, and vis versa.
 

1069

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I don't believe in gender roles.
Neither does my husband.
We consider them completely invalid and detrimental.
 

Tucker Case

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My wife doesn't believe in gender roles, either....

Well, except for the ones about taking out the garbage, fixing things that break around the house and/or car, mowing the lawn, moving heavy stuff, remodeling, and whatnot.

But she firmly believes all the other gender roles she thinks are BS.


:mrgreen:
 

Winston Smith

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This thread is simply to ask what roles men serve that women can't serve and what roles that women serve that men can't serve? You can extend the question to the family. What can a mother offer a child that a father cannot and what can a father offer a child that a mother cannot?
The Bible argues that a woman's role in society is to be the submissive helper to her husband, and the man's role in society is to be the leader of his household. Is there merit to this view outside of religion? Does marriage and family crumble if these roles are not upheld?

Evolutionarily speaking, human males went off to hunt and human females stayed behind to look after the children. Are these roles of the male provider and female nurturer now obsolete or are they based in our very biology?
I think there is merit to the idea of different roles. An opposite-sex parent is uniquely suited to provide a child with a healthy image of what his or her future mate should be. I'm sure there are other things, too. In a very general sense, the different sexes tend to have different perspectives, and it's good for a child to grow up with both.

My wife and I both see marriage as a cooperative endeavor or partnership, but we also realize that disagreements are inevitable and that someone has to make a final decision when they can't be resolved. When that happens, she's agreed to follow my lead. We both see this as a net benefit, though for her it's obviously a benefit with some sacrifice involved.

I think we both see ourselves as nurturers and providers. My wife would like to spend pretty much all her time with the kids if she could. I love spending time with them, but I'd never want to do it 24/7. I think that's a difference between the sexes, which would make a single-income family ideal.
 
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CriticalThought

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I think there is merit to the idea of different roles. An opposite-sex parent is uniquely suited to provide a child with a healthy image of what his or her future mate should be. I'm sure there are other things, too. In a very general sense, the different sexes tend to have different perspectives, and it's good for a child to grow up with both.
That is the first legitimate sounding argument I have heard as far as needing both genders in the home.

My wife and I both see marriage as a cooperative endeavor or partnership, but we also realize that disagreements are inevitable and that someone has to make a final decision when they can't be resolved. When that happens, she's agreed to follow my lead. We both see this as a net benefit, though for her it's obviously a benefit with some sacrifice involved.
I've seen it work either way. Is there an inherent flaw that I am missing in relationships where the wife takes the leadership role instead of the husband?

I think we both see ourselves as nurturers and providers. My wife would like to spend pretty much all her time with the kids if she could. I love spending time with them, but I'd never want to do it 24/7. I think that's a difference between the sexes, which would make a single-income family ideal.
I've also seen fathers who prefer to spend time with the kids and mothers who prefer to work. Is there an inherent flaw in that situatoin or are the gender roles switchable as long as both partners agree?
 

Winston Smith

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That is the first legitimate sounding argument I have heard as far as needing both genders in the home.



I've seen it work either way. Is there an inherent flaw that I am missing in relationships where the wife takes the leadership role instead of the husband?



I've also seen fathers who prefer to spend time with the kids and mothers who prefer to work. Is there an inherent flaw in that situatoin or are the gender roles switchable as long as both partners agree?
My working hypothesis is that, all things being equal, men tend to be more rational than women. I know I may draw some disapproval with this remark. It's not something I would hold to dogmatically, nor would I expect it to apply in every case. But assuming that both are mature, fully functioning adults, preferably with some education, I think that men generally are less distracted by extraneous issues and are able, if not to make better decisions, then at least to make good decisions quicker.

Just speaking anecdotally, I find that I'm slower to anger or panic than my wife. On the other hand, my reaction can be more extreme once I do reach that point, so I sometimes need her to calm me down. I've seen a couple of relationships where the wife was in charge, one of which was a very close family relationship, and in my opinion there was a lot of wasted energy and frustration resulting from the husband's having to deal with the wife's impulsive decisions after the fact. Again, this is not to say that many men aren't irrational; they are. Mature men, though, are probably more rational more of the time than women.

As to work and career, I think the importance of breastfeeding cannot be overestimated. My wife currently works full-time while I take care of kids and work part-time. She has a position with good benefits and flexibility, so it works and we don't have much of a problem with the feeding issue. Women who aren't so lucky have to rely on formula, which I don't think is an adequate substitute at all. The more studies are done, the more it seems that formula-fed babies are missing out. There may be other inherent problems, but I suppose they're not intractable if both partners agree.

In my family the attitudes are complicated. My wife has always been extremely independent, but she sees her independence as a necessary coping mechanism rather than an end in itself. She'd prefer to be taken care of and is probably less content than I am with the current arrangement. For my part, I'd be happy never to leave the house as long as I could write. I'd prefer to make money at it, but I'd be happy making next to nothing as long as I was published. The plan is for me to take over the provider role eventually, which she thinks will make us both happier. I suspect she'll turn out to be right. Now that I think about it, maybe she's more active in making decisions than I realize. Regardless of who's in what role, there has to be a lot of give and take.
 
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MaggieD

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My working hypothesis is that, all things being equal, men tend to be more rational than women. I know I may draw some disapproval with this remark. It's not something I would hold to dogmatically, nor would I expect it to apply in every case. But assuming that both are mature, fully functioning adults, preferably with some education, I think that men generally are less distracted by extraneous issues and are able, if not to make better decisions, then at least to make good decisions quicker.
I think you should qualify your statement as follows: "In MY experience....." Your generalization is wrong, IMO. Men don't tend to be more rational than women. I might go for "Some men....some women," but not all-encompassing. That's just been your personal experience.

Just speaking anecdotally, I find that I'm slower to anger or panic than my wife. On the other hand, my reaction can be more extreme once I do reach that point, so I sometimes need her to calm me down. I've seen a couple of relationships where the wife was in charge, one of which was a very close family relationship, and in my opinion there was a lot of wasted energy and frustration resulting from the husband's having to deal with the wife's impulsive decisions after the fact. Again, this is not to say that many men aren't irrational; they are. Mature men, though, are probably more rational more of the time than women.
I really have to smile, because I know darned well you're coming from a really good place. But you are showing a gender bias that's, well, kind of comical. I don't doubt this is the way your marriage is, nor that it works wonderfully that way, but....
 

Winston Smith

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I think you should qualify your statement as follows: "In MY experience....." Your generalization is wrong, IMO. Men don't tend to be more rational than women. I might go for "Some men....some women," but not all-encompassing. That's just been your personal experience.



I really have to smile, because I know darned well you're coming from a really good place. But you are showing a gender bias that's, well, kind of comical. I don't doubt this is the way your marriage is, nor that it works wonderfully that way, but....
If by a really good place you mean a lucky situation with my marriage, I certainly agree. I'm very blessed to have someone so kind and supportive. You may be right about the comical aspect, too. I could sense that as I wrote it. These things are complex and somewhat mysterious. But I think there's a lot of truth to it.

There is another practical reason, too, for not letting women be in charge. We know from studies that women talk more, which suggests that they have more to say. In my own experience, few things happen in the course of a day that my wife doesn't have an opinion about. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just that she has a hard time not weighing in. I feel like things would get kind of insane if we had to act on all those opinions all the time.
 

JohnLocke

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That was old Testament, it doesnt apply to us
 

MaggieD

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If by a really good place you mean a lucky situation with my marriage, I certainly agree. I'm very blessed to have someone so kind and supportive. You may be right about the comical aspect, too. I could sense that as I wrote it. These things are complex and somewhat mysterious. But I think there's a lot of truth to it.

There is another practical reason, too, for not letting women be in charge. We know from studies that women talk more, which suggests that they have more to say. In my own experience, few things happen in the course of a day that my wife doesn't have an opinion about. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just that she has a hard time not weighing in. I feel like things would get kind of insane if we had to act on all those opinions all the time.
*Smilin' again* Hahaha!!!! And, yes, I did mean you sound as though you have a very good marriage. "Not letting a woman be in charge," I absolutely love it! Are you sure she's not in charge?? Me thinks you might be surprised. ;-) You sound like too nice a guy to be the kind of authoritarian personality that would be needed to "keep a woman in her place." Hahahaha!!! You made my evening. Bless your heart.
 

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That was old Testament, it doesnt apply to us
Hello, John Locke. Welcome to DP. If you click Forums, there's a forum at the bottom where you can introduce yourself. Just if you want to. But nonetheless, welcome!!
 

JohnLocke

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Thanks, its always nice to receive a warm welcome
 

1069

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There is another practical reason, too, for not letting women be in charge.

Nobody has to "let" me be in charge.
I'd like to see someone try and prevent me from being in charge.
I'm an adult, and I'm the captain of my own destiny.

/ breaks into song and dance

"Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan, soy capitan."

Anyone who doesn't like that idea is free to remove themselves from my circle of influence.
 

Johnny

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Women make the sandwiches and men eat them?

:):):)
 
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