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Gingersnap
05-06-2009, 11:07 AM
What If Pregnancy Came With a Pink Slip?
Critics Say Law Againat Firing Expectant Moms Makes Job Market Tougher for Women

By JOHN STOSSEL and RUTH CHENETZ
May 5, 2009

Carrie Lukas, like many working moms, has had to deal with being pregnant at work. Lukas, a vice president at the Independent Women's Forum, often writes and speaks out about social issues. This past summer, Lukas became pregnant with her third child.

"This will be my third maternity leave in four years, and it does mean that I have to take time off," said Lukas.

Pregnancy leave is an ingrained feature of the American workplace, ensuring that women won't face termination for starting families. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says it is illegal to fire, or not hire, a woman because she is pregnant.

But moms like Lukas say the law has unintended consequences.

"If my employer decides they no longer want me as an employee, then it should be their right to fire me," said Lukas. "I understand the desire for people to have the government step in and try to protect women, but there's real costs to government intervention."

These costs are rarely talked about publicly. But it is just a fact that some employers avoid hiring people who fall into special, Congress-protected groups. After the Americans With Disabilities Act became law, it was assumed many more disabled people would enter the workplace, but a study by MIT economists found that employment actually "dropped sharply."

(snip)

Most people agree with that, but not everyone. Lukas said laws like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act may actually create problems for women.

"Sometimes the laws that are intended to help women like me actually end up hurting women like me. All of a sudden, a potential employer is looking at me and thinking, she just might turn around and sue us. That makes it less likely that I'm going to get hired," said Lukas.


And let's face it, she said, pregnant women can be costly for an employer.

"A lot of responsibilities are shifted each time I go to a doctor's appointment. That means I'm unavailable to do whatever work needs to be done during that time, which means one of my colleagues is often picking up the slack. It's an economic reality that there are costs for businesses for having pregnant women as employees," said Lukas.

Lukas said laws that deny that economic reality don't help working women.

Sanford doesn't deny that there may be costs involved with employing pregnant workers, but that doesn't give companies the right to not hire or fire a woman because she may become costly, he said.

This is interesting on a couple of fronts. Childless workers are naturally well aware of the disruption caused by maternity leave and child care. They are more or less okay with it. Increasingly, though, women are focusing on the wage disparity between a childless employee who works 100% of the time and women with children who may only work 70% of the time over a given period.

The other interesting thing this article brings to mind is the unintended consequences of protected classes. Rather than being a protective feature, special status is increasingly becoming a red flag and is starting to result in marginalization and soft exclusion. Why buddy-up with someone who may turn around and accuse you of a hate crime or of discrimination of one kind or another? Maybe it's better to be polite and distant.

ABC news (http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Business/Story?id=7479662&page=2)

noonwitch
05-06-2009, 11:50 AM
As a childless coworker, I don't get irritated by maternity leaves. The workers plan those, they get there work done ahead of time, and we end up just covering a few things for them while they are gone.

What bugs me is the constant covering for sick kids, school closings, and so on. I used to forgo taking time at the holidays, in deference to coworkers with kids who wanted to spend time with their kids, but no more. I take the whole two weeks off-I have more seniority than all of those with little kids, anyways, so I always get the time off. It's the only real satisfaction I have-listening to them whine about how unfair it is that I get the holiday off, even though I don't have kids. I got the time in.

Gingersnap
05-06-2009, 12:34 PM
As a childless coworker, I don't get irritated by maternity leaves. The workers plan those, they get there work done ahead of time, and we end up just covering a few things for them while they are gone.

What bugs me is the constant covering for sick kids, school closings, and so on. I used to forgo taking time at the holidays, in deference to coworkers with kids who wanted to spend time with their kids, but no more. I take the whole two weeks off-I have more seniority than all of those with little kids, anyways, so I always get the time off. It's the only real satisfaction I have-listening to them whine about how unfair it is that I get the holiday off, even though I don't have kids. I got the time in.

I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?

stsinner
05-06-2009, 12:53 PM
I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?

I disagree.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 12:57 PM
I don't think Ginger is wrong to value her time and her "work/life balance".

stsinner
05-06-2009, 01:10 PM
I don't think Ginger is wrong to value her time and her "work/life balance".

If you're addressing my comments, then I'll simply say this-A collie doesn't have to be raised to have self-esteem and confidence in order to one day be sent out into the world on his own with the life's lessons and education and self-respect and courtesy and respect for others that a child needs to have nurtured into them. Family is what life is about-it's what keeps humanity going, and it should be valued above all. That's not to say that people who either choose not to or cannot have children have a less valuable existence, but the fact that the actions of the parents will shape the future for the children of today, and those children are the future means that it's very important to take every measure necessary to guarantee success. Employers are more and more understanding this and I say rightfully so. The protections that are put in place for parents are necessary because as our society gets ever more greedy and selfish, money and productivity are all that some employers take into account at the cost of the jobs for parents who need to take time off for their familial obligations. It's possible to walk the dog or do other recreational activities at any time outside of work, but childrens' colds, school cancellations, school performances, Little League games, etc., don't wait until it's convenient for parents, and they have no control over them.

Ideally, as far as I'm concerned, society should work toward getting mothers back in the home to raise their children if this is their choice (before you start with the sexist bullshit), because I know many mothers who only work because it's so damned expensive to survive today that they HAVE TO (my wife included). Any woman who would choose to have a baby and desire to put them in day care and work for a living should not be a mother, IMO. I hope that the vast majority of mothers who work only do so because it's nearly impossible to survive today on a single income. The days of the silly feminism movement should be behind us now that we've proven that women can be a very valuable part of the work force and the disparities have been largely overcome. We should now work toward making it affordable to have a single bread winner and have mothers raise the children they bring into this world, not paid strangers.

Unfortunately, many men are finding themselves out of jobs these days, so the ratio of women to men in the workplace is skewed because of the recession. This makes it hard for women to raise their children, but the fathers should step up and take the reigns as long as they're out of work.

Gingersnap
05-06-2009, 01:22 PM
I'm not arguing that throwing a ball for a Collie is factually as important as feeding a child (watching sports is not a necessary element of child rearing) but that without any common set of values or traditions in our society, it's not possible for your or anyone to evaluate my free time or paid vacation time.

Because my time can't be seen as less important than another employee's time (who happens to have a child), I'm under no obligation to change my schedule, pull extra work, cover weekend duties, show up on holidays, or stay late on behalf of a parent.

Now, as a matter of fact, I have done all those things for parents but that's because I have wider moral sense and a lot of common courtesy. As people come up who have little moral sense outside of situational ethics and who have virtually no idea about how courtesy works, there will be no compelling reason to get them to cut parents any slack in the workplace.

That's my point.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 01:29 PM
I hope stsinner is wrong, that "most" women only work because they "have" to. I'm sorry he doesn't make enough to allow his wife to stay home, if that's important to them. I also think there is a difference in attitudes between those who have jobs and those who have careers. I think the days when staying home is seen as the standard are long gone, though.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 01:41 PM
I hope stsinner is wrong, that "most" women only work because they "have" to. I'm sorry he doesn't make enough to allow his wife to stay home, if that's important to them. I also think there is a difference in attitudes between those who have jobs and those who have careers. I think the days when staying home is seen as the standard are long gone, though.

First of all, I said mothers, not women, only work because they have to. If you're a mother and you don't want to stay home and raise your kids and would rather put that job off on someone else in order to work a job when you don't have to, I think that's a sickness. The desire to get back home for mothers these days is growing due to the sheer numbers of mothers who are forced to work due to the price of everything increasing. In fact, if you do a search for SAHM, you'll find many groups and advocates for Stay At Home Moms, simply because it's such a rarity these days, and it's been proven that a child benefits more from having their mother raise them than strangers.


More and more with the increasing popularity and prevalence of the homosexual rights movements and girl power movements, families are being attacked, and it's a sick situation. We have people who choose to be childless, and they ever wage campaigns attacking families and saying that they're no more important than the childless people, and I simply disagree. What's makes these people look even more ridiculous is that it's almost like they know they're the oddity and choosing a strange path in life because only they have these bitter attitudes toward the family men and women.. The ones who are childless because they are barren don't usually attack the people who have families, even though they can't.

The decline of morals and the secular shift in this country has given rise to all sorts of sick attitudes.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 01:56 PM
(watching sports is not a necessary element of child rearing) .

No? Do you have any idea what it does to a kid's self-esteem when their parents don't go to their games? If a child's games aren't important to a parent, then they have some very, very messed up priorities.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 01:59 PM
We have people who choose to be childless, and they ever wage campaigns attacking families and saying that they're no more important than the childless people, and I simply disagree.
The decline of morals that match mine and the secular shift in this country has given rise to all sorts of sick attitudes.

I'm voluntarily childless, and no, you are not "more important" than I am, whatever that means. I've edited your second statement slightly to make your meaning more clear. :p

Shannon
05-06-2009, 02:09 PM
No? Do you have any idea what it does to a kid's self-esteem when their parents don't go to their games? If a child's games aren't important to a parent, then they have some very, very messed up priorities.

I think I messed my kid up more by going to his games. I didn't exactly congratulate him when he lost.:p

Gingersnap
05-06-2009, 02:56 PM
No? Do you have any idea what it does to a kid's self-esteem when their parents don't go to their games? If a child's games aren't important to a parent, then they have some very, very messed up priorities.

Uh, yeah, I do. I competed in high school sports (swimming) and I competed in music and speech from the 6th grade through college.

My folks only turned up for state or regional events and I was fine with it - as were the majority of my friends. We were there for ourselves.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 02:59 PM
Uh, yeah, I do. I competed in high school sports (swimming) and I competed in music and speech from the 6th grade through college.

My folks only turned up for state or regional events and I was fine with it - as were the majority of my friends. We were there for ourselves.

Remember, "The decline of morals and the secular shift in this country has given rise to all sorts of sick attitudes." This is likely one of them. :p

stsinner
05-06-2009, 03:09 PM
I'm voluntarily childless, and no, you are not "more important" than I am, whatever that means. I've edited your second statement slightly to make your meaning more clear. :p

You can stop editing my posts ... I say exactly what I mean and very succinctly. I'm am the foremost authority on my opinion, so don't edit my posts trying to be clever.

You have my condolences that you're so selfish, but society is pretty accepting of people like you these days. It's probably best that you didn't put your views on children, anyway, so childless is a wise choice.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 03:10 PM
I think I messed my kid up more by going to his games. I didn't exactly congratulate him when he lost.:p

Yeah, me, either, especially if I didn't see a good effort.. They have their good days and their bad days, that's for sure.

noonwitch
05-06-2009, 03:34 PM
I guess I'm voluntarily childless, mainly because I'm not married and I would never bring a child of my own into the world without being married to the father. I never thought that that attitude indicated a decline of morals, I always thought I was holding to a higher moral standard.

I'm not bitter toward families, I just get sick of having to cover for the mom coworkers constantly. I have one coworker who will even bring her child in if she can't find day care, and expect one of us to watch the kid while she does her work.

My mom worked when I was a kid, part time, as a nurse. My dad made good enough money that she didn't have to, and they fought about it a lot. She used to tell him "I didn't go to nursing school so that I could stay at home while the kids are in school all day.". I could see her point. Her mistake was in not hiring a babysitter to watch us, and letting us be at home alone all day when my older brother was 10. She wasn't wrong to get a job, which she was educated to do and which she enjoyed.

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 03:38 PM
I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?

My cat's more "important" than your collie and just oozes self-esteem even though I rarely take time to watch him wash himself! :D

Moreover, his morals, while secular, do not seem to have declined much and, as to being "sick" he throws up hairballs only rarely.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 03:42 PM
You have my condolences that you're so selfish, but society is pretty accepting of people like you these days. It's probably best that you didn't put your views on children, anyway, so childless is a wise choice.

Why do people insist on feeling superior just because they pushed out a baby?? Some people like to think that if you didn't fulfill the biological destiny THEY ascribe to you, you have failed in some way. Why is it selfish not to have children? That's a serious question.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 03:46 PM
Moreover, his morals, while secular, do not seem to have declined much

Wasn't some of his moral "focus" left at the veterinarian's? ;)

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 03:46 PM
Why do people insist on feeling superior just because they pushed out a baby?? Some people like to think that if you didn't fulfill the biological destiny THEY ascribe to you, you have failed in some way. Why is it selfish not to have children? That's a serious question.

And I would answer it, but I'm working at staying around at least another week. :D

linda22003
05-06-2009, 03:47 PM
And I would answer it, but I'm working at staying around at least another week. :D

As you know, this has come up before, and people seem to be actively indignant that I made more use of my brain than my uterus. Why the hell would they care?

Shannon
05-06-2009, 03:49 PM
Why do people insist on feeling superior just because they pushed out a baby?? Some people like to think that if you didn't fulfill the biological destiny THEY ascribe to you, you have failed in some way. Why is it selfish not to have children? That's a serious question.

I've often wondered this myself. I don't care if someone has 0 kids or 16 kids. It's not my problem. (well, as long as they can take care of the brats). I was never considered a "real" mom to the other pre school moms because I only had one!

linda22003
05-06-2009, 03:50 PM
I've often wondered this myself. I don't care if someone has 0 kids or 16 kids. It's not my problem. (well, as long as they can take care of the brats). I was never considered a "real" mom to the other pre school moms because I only had one!

I do notice that when these judgments are made, it's usually by men. :rolleyes:

stsinner
05-06-2009, 03:52 PM
I guess I'm voluntarily childless, mainly because I'm not married and I would never bring a child of my own into the world without being married to the father. I never thought that that attitude indicated a decline of morals, I always thought I was holding to a higher moral standard.

I'm not bitter toward families, I just get sick of having to cover for the mom coworkers constantly. I have one coworker who will even bring her child in if she can't find day care, and expect one of us to watch the kid while she does her work.

My mom worked when I was a kid, part time, as a nurse. My dad made good enough money that she didn't have to, and they fought about it a lot. She used to tell him "I didn't go to nursing school so that I could stay at home while the kids are in school all day.". I could see her point. Her mistake was in not hiring a babysitter to watch us, and letting us be at home alone all day when my older brother was 10. She wasn't wrong to get a job, which she was educated to do and which she enjoyed.

I agree with most of what you said, and I commend you for having the morals and ethical stance that you don't want to bring ant bastards into the world.. So few people even consider that fact these days and, again, I'd attribute this to the secular shift of society and kicking God out of the mainstream. It's so important for children to have both parents in the home.

As for your mother working, once the kids start school it's a whole different story. There really isn't a valid reason to argue that a mother shouldn't work at that point because our kids are off at the liberal indoctrination centers, anyway.

But I don't think that it's asking too much to make a valiant effort to be a SAHM through age 5 until kids start first grade in order to nurture a strong bond, even if it means sacrificing things like downsizing your fancy car or moving into a cheaper home so that you can pay the bills with one income. And before it's asked, yes, we did both of those things for your baby-downsized both cars and sold a pop-up camper, as well as moving into a cheaper home so that we didn't have to work the long hours we were and had time for our family.

linda22003
05-06-2009, 03:54 PM
But I don't think that it's asking too much to make a valiant effort to be a SAHM through age 5

As long as you realize you can't ask it of anyone outside your own home. :)

marinejcksn
05-06-2009, 03:59 PM
I can definitely attest to the irritation of women I've worked with in the Marine Corps who've had several children in a short time period. We had one female who had 3 kids in 3 years, she pretty much was out of pocket her whole enlistment. It definitely hurt the people around her because she couldn't deploy which meant someone else had to. Not to mention she was still getting promoted over her peers who struggled trying to get high physical fitness scores while she was 20-30 pounds overweight because they're given a long time to lose the baby weight and can't be forced to do the PFT while pregnant so I know that pissed off a lot of her coworkers.

I dunno. Sometimes its a real pain in the ass when your coworkers are constantly leaving because they're on maternity leave (or their wife is pregnant, guys get leave too) or they have to pick up their kids and you get stuck picking up their slack.

cat714
05-06-2009, 04:03 PM
I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?




I disagree.

Why do you disagree? A working parent being able to take time off to watch their child's little league game brings personal satisfaction to them. This feeling is no different than a childless employee wanting to take some time off to go fishing or do something for themselves. Just because someone has kids, doesn't make them more special than a person who doesn't. We can all use some extra time off.

Odysseus
05-06-2009, 04:03 PM
Ah, another unintended consequence of changing family structures. I'm not advocating a return to this, but it should be understood that at one time, it was accepted that a married male employee was the primary breadwinner for a family and that married women were suspect if they worked before their children were old enough to do without them. By the same token, single women were assumed to be temporary, in that they would leave after getting married, or at least after they had children once married, but that single men would become more stable and responsible with marriage and children. Thus, the priority for hiring in corporate America was married men for responsible positions, single women for temporary ones, and single men on the assumption that they'd eventually become good husbands and fathers. Married older women were rarely hired, and when they were, it was usually for administrative or senior secretarial positions. The army had a similar policy, in that officers were expected to be married by the time that they were company commanders, enlisted Soldiers were expected to be single until they reached a rank that would support a family and as a result, the army could maintain an expeditionary standing. This changed during WWII, with the influx of married draftees.

What changed everything was changes to marriage laws. Divorced or single moms needed to be able to support themselves and their children, while divorced men found that they had more time to spend on work, so liberalized divorce laws created an unintended consequence of changing the dynamics of the workplace (divorced men became more productive, single women became more desirable as employees, especially younger and more attractive women, who found that divorced men made great trophy husbands). Meanwhile, changes to the tax code and economic downturns during the 70s and women's liberation combined to create the necessity for dual-income families in urban areas. In short, what seemed like minor social changes created massive economic changes. Anyone still think that same-sex marriage, polygamy or any other alternatives won't have any effects?

marinejcksn
05-06-2009, 04:03 PM
Why do people insist on feeling superior just because they pushed out a baby??

"I call it pumping out a unit."-George Carlin:D

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 04:13 PM
Well, the Saudis certainly have solved this problem, even with polygamy as Saudi women traditionally can't work. Ah, to be more like the Saudis -- a goal America should strive towards!

linda22003
05-06-2009, 04:16 PM
What changed everything was changes to marriage laws.

That changed everything? Women wanting more choices for themselves had nothing at all to do with it? I sure missed something back in the 1970s, then.

Molon Labe
05-06-2009, 04:42 PM
Well, the Saudis certainly have solved this problem, even with polygamy as Saudi women traditionally can't work. Ah, to be more like the Saudis -- a goal America should strive towards!

Sounds good to me. I try to dress my wife in Arab wear regularly. :D

stsinner
05-06-2009, 04:42 PM
Why do you disagree? A working parent being able to take time off to watch their child's little league game brings personal satisfaction to them. This feeling is no different than a childless employee wanting to take some time off to go fishing or do something for themselves. Just because someone has kids, doesn't make them more special than a person who doesn't. We can all use some extra time off.

The difference is that children need their parents at their games and plays and band concerts for their self-esteem and encouragement. When you're a parent, not only is it your enjoyment, just like a childless person, to leave work early or take time off, but there is the child to think about and the nurturing and parenting that's absolutely required of you. What's next-hiring contracts that state that you're not allowed to get pregnant while working for X company because your extra required time off will offend the childless people? Believe me, the few days of early releases parents get from the workplace are greatly offset by the challenges and difficulties of raising their child, especially during the teenage years when your kids just know that they know more than you. To say that the person who has the responsibility of a life in their hands has no more important obligations than the person whose mountain bike calls or whose buddies want to make a Red Sox game is so ludicrous that I wouldn't know where to begin.. This argument can only be made by the childless, because any responsible and loving parent knows that your children come first, before job and before fun.. To attack those people who have children for the small extra amount they are required to take off of work is childish and disgusting.

Instead of resenting us or being jealous, whatever would even trigger this conversation, maybe you should pity us for all the times with our children that are the exact opposite of enjoyable or fun, like not getting a good night's sleep for the first 6 months... .:)

Anyway, before Linda launches another ridiculous rebuttal that makes my eyes hurt, I'm going to excuse myself from this thread. I guess this can be added to politics and religion for topics that you don't discuss in polite conversation. There's nothing I could say that would sway her, and her, likewise. It always seems to boil down to an insult-fest with her, and I'm not interested. Oh, and Linda, I've perused my post and proofread it several times, and nothing needs changing to account for intent. It's pretty straightforward.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 04:45 PM
Ah, another unintended consequence of changing family structures. I'm not advocating a return to this, but it should be understood that at one time, it was accepted that a married male employee was the primary breadwinner for a family and that married women were suspect if they worked before their children were old enough to do without them. By the same token, single women were assumed to be temporary, in that they would leave after getting married, or at least after they had children once married, but that single men would become more stable and responsible with marriage and children. Thus, the priority for hiring in corporate America was married men for responsible positions, single women for temporary ones, and single men on the assumption that they'd eventually become good husbands and fathers. Married older women were rarely hired, and when they were, it was usually for administrative or senior secretarial positions. The army had a similar policy, in that officers were expected to be married by the time that they were company commanders, enlisted Soldiers were expected to be single until they reached a rank that would support a family and as a result, the army could maintain an expeditionary standing. This changed during WWII, with the influx of married draftees.

What changed everything was changes to marriage laws. Divorced or single moms needed to be able to support themselves and their children, while divorced men found that they had more time to spend on work, so liberalized divorce laws created an unintended consequence of changing the dynamics of the workplace (divorced men became more productive, single women became more desirable as employees, especially younger and more attractive women, who found that divorced men made great trophy husbands). Meanwhile, changes to the tax code and economic downturns during the 70s and women's liberation combined to create the necessity for dual-income families in urban areas. In short, what seemed like minor social changes created massive economic changes. Anyone still think that same-sex marriage, polygamy or any other alternatives won't have any effects?

Again, very well said.

Shannon
05-06-2009, 04:46 PM
like not getting a good night's sleep for the first 6 months... .:)



Rice cereal. I don't care what they tell ya. I had that kid sleeping through the night at 2 weeks.:D

stsinner
05-06-2009, 04:52 PM
That changed everything? Women wanting more choices for themselves had nothing at all to do with it? I sure missed something back in the 1970s, then.

Are you seriously too stupid to see the negative effects of women leaving the home? Maybe you should read a book or two on statistics and how crime and drug use of children has skyrocketed in urban areas where both parents work or a single mother works two jobs to "raise" her kids.. Look at any black community where the rates of single mothers is over 70% and you'll see the result of the breakup of the family unit and women being forced into the workplace.. High dropout rates, high illiteracy rates, high crime rates, high rates of drug use and recidivism once released from jail, lack of respect for human life, lack of the ability to coexist in society peacefully, and on and on.. You say you used your brain more than your uterus, but to argue that women either being forced into the workplace in the 60's and 70 or voluntarily abandoning family life hasn't been a bad net-negative on society is plain stupidity. You really should read more and stop giving your uninformed opinion, no matter how many posters on this board give you verbal fellatio for your witty, albeit misguided responses...

Mothers belong home raising their children if AT ALL possible. There is no valid argument you can wage against this statement that doesn't involve irresponsibility or selfishness..

Odysseus
05-06-2009, 04:56 PM
Well, the Saudis certainly have solved this problem, even with polygamy as Saudi women traditionally can't work. Ah, to be more like the Saudis -- a goal America should strive towards!
The Saudis have pretty much solved every problem that accompanies modern society, at the expense of being left behind by the cultures that they claim to hold in contempt but secretly envy. Personally, I'd like my daughters to have as wide a range of choices as possible, but you have to recognize that every policy change over the last fifty years carried unintended consequences which were probably greeted with the same disdain that our more enlightened :rolleyes: members treat those of us who are concerned about same-sex marriage. It's more of a call for a bit less hubris on the part of those who think that the world can turn on a dime without any upheaval.

That changed everything? Women wanting more choices for themselves had nothing at all to do with it? I sure missed something back in the 1970s, then.
Again, not advocating anything. I mentioned women's liberation, but it was one of a number of factors, not the only one. If tax rates and inflation hadn't made two-income families the norm, if WWII hadn't taken men out of the workforce in unprecedented numbers, if increased divorce rates hadn't impacted on the entire workforce, would we see the changes in the workplace that we have seen? And would women's liberation have come about without the WWII influx of women into the job market?

People tend to see events in isolation, and rarely look at the bigger picture. Changes in the makeup of the employment pool came because of changes to the basic institutions of society. Continue to change those institutions and we'll see more changes, some positive, some very much not, but nobody can deny that change happens in the context of what goes on around it.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 04:56 PM
Rice cereal. I don't care what they tell ya. I had that kid sleeping through the night at 2 weeks.:D

Really? So cognac was a bad idea? :eek:

linda22003
05-06-2009, 05:00 PM
Are you seriously too stupid to see the negative effects of women leaving the home? Maybe you should read a book or two on statistics and how crime and drug use of children has skyrocketed in urban areas where both parents work or a single mother works two jobs to "raise" her kids.. Look at any black community where the rates of single mothers is over 70% and you'll see the result of the breakup of the family unit and women being forced into the workplace.. High dropout rates, high illiteracy rates, high crime rates, high rates of drug use and recidivism once released from jail, lack of respect for human life, lack of the ability to coexist in society peacefully, and on and on.. You say you used your brain more than your uterus, but to argue that women either being forced into the workplace in the 60's and 70 or voluntarily abandoning family life hasn't been a bad net-negative on society is plain stupidity. You really should read more and stop giving your uninformed opinion, no matter how many posters on this board give you verbal fellatio for your witty, albeit misguided responses...

Mothers belong home raising their children if AT ALL possible. There is no valid argument you can wage against this statement that doesn't involve irresponsibility or selfishness..

Why the hell did you post this AFTER you made your dramatic statement about leaving the thread? :o Why don't you keep your promises? :D
I'm sorry that you don't want women to work outside the home and they insist on flouting Your Will and doing it anyway. Get used to it. :cool:

stsinner
05-06-2009, 05:03 PM
Why the hell did you post this AFTER you made your dramatic statement about leaving the thread? :o Why don't you keep your promises? :D
I'm sorry that you don't want women to work outside the home and they insist on flouting Your Will and doing it anyway. Get used to it. :cool:

What is it that keeps you from differentiating women from mothers even after I made that point abundantly clear-your lack of a valid argument? Or did you edit my post again to reflect what you wish I would have said so that you could attack me? Either way, lame.

stsinner
05-06-2009, 05:08 PM
Why the hell did you post this AFTER you made your dramatic statement about leaving the thread? :o Why don't you keep your promises? :D

Obama is my inspiration.

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 05:14 PM
The Saudis have pretty much solved every problem that accompanies modern society, at the expense of being left behind by the cultures that they claim to hold in contempt but secretly envy. Personally, I'd like my daughters to have as wide a range of choices as possible, but you have to recognize that every policy change over the last fifty years carried unintended consequences which were probably greeted with the same disdain that our more enlightened :rolleyes: members treat those of us who are concerned about same-sex marriage. It's more of a call for a bit less hubris on the part of those who think that the world can turn on a dime without any upheaval. ...

Of course there are consequences to changes in societal structures, some intended, some unintended and unanticipated. However, that's not a valid argument against implementing those changes that are required to maximize individual liberty and freedom. Take the transformation of women's roles from stay-at-home-mommies to careers, for example. Would you (generic) surpress the aspirations of an entire class simply because you are afraid of the consequences of the change? Or because your morals tell you that such changes are "sick," as so eloquently expressed herein. I don't think so.

My comparison to the Saudis wasn't all frivilous. They have tried that option and (1) it's not working as Saudi women are demanding more and more rights and (2) the success they've had has, as you noted, caused them to be "left behind by the cultures that they claim to hold in contempt."

stsinner
05-06-2009, 05:21 PM
Would you (generic) surpress the aspirations of an entire class simply because you are afraid of the consequences of the change? "

If you're referring to women in the workplace here, I'd say that any woman who decides to bring a baby into the world should be pressured by society to raise that child. If your child is at daycare 8 or 9 hours a day and you see them for three hours before it's bedtime, you can't really say you're raising that child.. That child is being raised by someone who is doing it for money, and they're, by default, inheriting that person's morals and ethics and behaviors.. The decision to bring a child into the world has far too little weight put on it today, and people act like it's not big deal.. The most unfit people can become parents, and you can't say anything about it. It's the children who suffer when the mother is gone 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day in order to feed and clothe that baby, but what should be important is nurturing that baby and bonding.

We make children wait until they're 16 to drive and 21 to drink, but they can take on the responsibility of providing for and caring for a human life at 15 if they wish... See anything wrong with that?

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 05:27 PM
If you're referring to women in the workplace here, I'd say that any woman who decides to bring a baby into the world should be pressured by society to raise that child. If your child is at daycare 8 or 9 hours a day and you see them for three hours before it's bedtime, you can't really say you're raising that child.. That child is being raised by someone who is doing it for money, and they're, by default, inheriting that person's morals and ethics and behaviors.. The decision to bring a child into the world has far too little weight put on it today, and people act like it's not big deal.. The most unfit people can become parents, and you can't say anything about it. It's the children who suffer when the mother is gone 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day in order to feed and clothe that baby, but what should be important is nurturing that baby and bonding.

We make children wait until they're 16 to drive and 21 to drink, but they can take on the responsibility of providing for and caring for a human life at 15 if they wish... See anything wrong with that?

Can you tell me exactly how you would go about doing that? Allow employers to fire women in that situation "for the good of society?" Legislate it? Close down or severely limit day care facilities?

You see, I view it as none of my business if a woman wants to have a kid and put him in day care or leave her job and raise the kid. I don't think most people in our society do (that pesky secularism strikes again). So clearly there will be no more scarlet letter sorts of approaches where such women are shunned.

So, how do you do it?

Space Gravy
05-06-2009, 05:43 PM
Why do people insist on feeling superior just because they pushed out a baby?? Some people like to think that if you didn't fulfill the biological destiny THEY ascribe to you, you have failed in some way. Why is it selfish not to have children? That's a serious question.

Good question.

How about some who pushes out a future welfare recipient or criminal?

Are they superior to someone who refuses to have children?

Gingersnap
05-06-2009, 05:58 PM
Wandering back to the point of this thread, all these various concerns that have been raised only illustrate the idea that when women are seen as a protected class reproductively, it brings out a good deal of suspicion, backlash, and irritation from all sides.

Women naturally want to retain the seniority and authority they derive from their jobs even though they are absent for a significant length of time due to childbirth. Childless people are fairly uninterested in seeing women with children treated equally in terms of advancement if those women have not put in the same amount of time and acquired the same level of experience and number of network contacts as their childless peers. Many women with children would actually prefer to stay home if they could afford it but they can't and so their thoughts are obviously preoccupied at work. Other women just feel the need to litigate their issues (real or imagined) and this Pregnancy Protection Act (or whatever it's called) will offer the perfect opportunity to anger everybody.

So what's an employer to do? Maybe shift his or her higher sights from potentially reproductive women to older women and men? Could be.

cat714
05-06-2009, 06:00 PM
The difference is that children need their parents at their games and plays and band concerts for their self-esteem and encouragement. When you're a parent, not only is it your enjoyment, just like a childless person, to leave work early or take time off, but there is the child to think about and the nurturing and parenting that's absolutely required of you. What's next-hiring contracts that state that you're not allowed to get pregnant while working for X company because your extra required time off will offend the childless people? Believe me, the few days of early releases parents get from the workplace are greatly offset by the challenges and difficulties of raising their child, especially during the teenage years when your kids just know that they know more than you. To say that the person who has the responsibility of a life in their hands has no more important obligations than the person whose mountain bike calls or whose buddies want to make a Red Sox game is so ludicrous that I wouldn't know where to begin.. This argument can only be made by the childless, because any responsible and loving parent knows that your children come first, before job and before fun.. To attack those people who have children for the small extra amount they are required to take off of work is childish and disgusting.

Instead of resenting us or being jealous, whatever would even trigger this conversation, maybe you should pity us for all the times with our children that are the exact opposite of enjoyable or fun, like not getting a good night's sleep for the first 6 months... .:)

Anyway, before Linda launches another ridiculous rebuttal that makes my eyes hurt, I'm going to excuse myself from this thread. I guess this can be added to politics and religion for topics that you don't discuss in polite conversation. There's nothing I could say that would sway her, and her, likewise. It always seems to boil down to an insult-fest with her, and I'm not interested. Oh, and Linda, I've perused my post and proofread it several times, and nothing needs changing to account for intent. It's pretty straightforward.

You are way too emotional here and a bit narrow minded. I do have a child and on top of that I am a single parent. I love my daughter very much...she is a priorty and there is nothing I wouldn't do for her. I work full-time and attend school, but I make sure I balance everything and expect no help from anyone. How does my disagreement with you, make me a less loving and irresponsible parent?

With the exception of certain cultures, no one forces you to have children and certainly, no one forces you to put them in little league or any other activities that conflict with a work schedule. Seriously, if a child's piano lesson starts at 5pm, 3 days a week and you don't get off until 6pm, you shouldn't expect your employer to allow you to leave work early each time. The childless workers I have worked with had no problem with parents needing to take time off. The problem was the feeling of entitlement and the expectation that just because a worker has children, they should be allowed to attend every event or they shouldn't have to work weekends or holidays or an undesirable shift. There are parents who take advantage of this and it's unfair to everyone else.

I personally don't have a problem with maternity or a co-worker having to leave early for a personal commitment. I just don't think it's right for working parents to put themselves above their co-workers who don't have children. On this issue, everyone should be able to take a little time off for themselves or their families.

PS - If you are going to dish it out, you should be able to take it back.

cat714
05-06-2009, 06:05 PM
If you're referring to women in the workplace here, I'd say that any woman who decides to bring a baby into the world should be pressured by society to raise that child. If your child is at daycare 8 or 9 hours a day and you see them for three hours before it's bedtime, you can't really say you're raising that child.. That child is being raised by someone who is doing it for money, and they're, by default, inheriting that person's morals and ethics and behaviors.. The decision to bring a child into the world has far too little weight put on it today, and people act like it's not big deal.. The most unfit people can become parents, and you can't say anything about it. It's the children who suffer when the mother is gone 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day in order to feed and clothe that baby, but what should be important is nurturing that baby and bonding.

We make children wait until they're 16 to drive and 21 to drink, but they can take on the responsibility of providing for and caring for a human life at 15 if they wish... See anything wrong with that?

What about the dad (if there is one) staying home and raising the kiddies???

I thought you were leaving the board.

cat714
05-06-2009, 06:30 PM
Wandering back to the point of this thread, all these various concerns that have been raised only illustrate the idea that when women are seen as a protected class reproductively, it brings out a good deal of suspicion, backlash, and irritation from all sides.

Women naturally want to retain the seniority and authority they derive from their jobs even though they are absent for a significant length of time due to childbirth. Childless people are fairly uninterested in seeing women with children treated equally in terms of advancement if those women have not put in the same amount of time and acquired the same level of experience and number of network contacts as their childless peers. Many women with children would actually prefer to stay home if they could afford it but they can't and so their thoughts are obviously preoccupied at work. Other women just feel the need to litigate their issues (real or imagined) and this Pregnancy Protection Act (or whatever it's called) will offer the perfect opportunity to anger everybody.

So what's an employer to do? Maybe shift his or her higher sights from potentially reproductive women to older women and men? Could be.

I wonder what the statistics are for women who don't come back after maternity leave. In my experience, most don't return to work...just one that I know of.

In my opinion, I think these type of protections were good at the beginning as more women were starting to enter the workplace, but as we evolve as a society, they aren't as necessary. There was a time when the unions were needed...that is no longer the case in today's workplace.

Space Gravy
05-06-2009, 07:02 PM
..... To attack those people who have children for the small extra amount they are required to take off of work is childish and disgusting.


Wow. I really can't believe someone really thinks like this.

Your wife and you make a personal decision to have a child and you think you should be entitled to special privileges? You think it's okay to inconvenience your co-workers because you all decided to have a child? You should have your own set of rules because you all decided to have a child?

Odysseus
05-06-2009, 07:02 PM
Sounds good to me. I try to dress my wife in Arab wear regularly. :D
The harem outfit from I Dream of Jeannie doesn't count. Or maybe it does. Hmmmmm....

Again, very well said.
Thanks.

Really? So cognac was a bad idea? :eek:
Of course not. Good taste in all things starts young. Cognac, single malt scotch or a really dry martini is an introduction to quality drinking habits in later life, just make sure that you don't overdo it, clean the nipples on the bottle regularly and remember that rice cereal is not a good mixer. :D

Of course there are consequences to changes in societal structures, some intended, some unintended and unanticipated. However, that's not a valid argument against implementing those changes that are required to maximize individual liberty and freedom.
Except that you are assuming that every change made is "required to maximize individual liberty and freedom." My five-year-old daughter considers parental oversight, regular bedtimes and getting up for pre-K to be impositions on her individual liberty and freedom, and in the short term, they are. But, those impositions will enhance her liberty when she is an adult. Similarly, the redefinition of marriage may look like a maximization of liberty, but if it results in a general erosion of family structure and a weakening of our civil society, in the long term it can be one of several factors in the collapse of western civilization in the face of pressures that you have a hard time acknowledging. Certainly you agree that families as a whole are less stable now than they were a century ago, and that some of those changes have been negative?


Take the transformation of women's roles from stay-at-home-mommies to careers, for example. Would you (generic) surpress the aspirations of an entire class simply because you are afraid of the consequences of the change? Or because your morals tell you that such changes are "sick," as so eloquently expressed herein. I don't think so.
It depends on their aspirations, obviously. The right to abort offspring because they are inconvenient strikes me as barbaric, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. By the same token, the German people expressed their aspiration to lebensraum and racial purity quite emphatically prior to WWII, and I'd have no problem suppressing those aspirations.


My comparison to the Saudis wasn't all frivolous. They have tried that option and (1) it's not working as Saudi women are demanding more and more rights and (2) the success they've had has, as you noted, caused them to be "left behind by the cultures that they claim to hold in contempt."
I've not seen much in the way of the results of Saudi feminist thought and demands for equality, unless you count the bloodstains left after the stonings, but I agree with you on their cultural weaknesses, but unless we are prepared to confront them, we will ultimately end up subservient to that culture. The Arab raiders of the seventh century were technologically inferior to the Byzantine and Roman Empires and their provinces in Asia and Africa, but that didn't stop them from conquering them. Dhimmitude is real and it is coming.

Water Closet
05-06-2009, 11:42 PM
...
Except that you are assuming that every change made is "required to maximize individual liberty and freedom." My five-year-old daughter considers parental oversight, regular bedtimes and getting up for pre-K to be impositions on her individual liberty and freedom, and in the short term, they are. But, those impositions will enhance her liberty when she is an adult. Similarly, the redefinition of marriage may look like a maximization of liberty, but if it results in a general erosion of family structure and a weakening of our civil society, in the long term it can be one of several factors in the collapse of western civilization in the face of pressures that you have a hard time acknowledging. Certainly you agree that families as a whole are less stable now than they were a century ago, and that some of those changes have been negative?

Yes, indeed. Wives now, along with blacks, have the right to vote. They have complete control over their property. Their young children are prohibited from working 60 hours a week in manufacturing. Ah, longing for the good old days is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to go back to the familial and societal structures of 1909. And those were all corrected by the crusades and efforts of those family-value social conservatives, right? Oh, wait. Maybe not.



...It depends on their aspirations, obviously. The right to abort offspring because they are inconvenient strikes me as barbaric, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. By the same token, the German people expressed their aspiration to lebensraum and racial purity quite emphatically prior to WWII, and I'd have no problem suppressing those aspirations.

Let me get this straight. You're comparing the women's rights movement in the US which has allowed women to enter the marketplace and realize careers equal to men to the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland? Okiley, dokiley.



...I've not seen much in the way of the results of Saudi feminist thought and demands for equality, unless you count the bloodstains left after the stonings, but I agree with you on their cultural weaknesses, but unless we are prepared to confront them, we will ultimately end up subservient to that culture. The Arab raiders of the seventh century were technologically inferior to the Byzantine and Roman Empires and their provinces in Asia and Africa, but that didn't stop them from conquering them. Dhimmitude is real and it is coming.

I haven't been back to Saudi in 12 years, but I do read the papers from that area (online) and it appears that women are being allowed into some professions. With the advent of satellite communications, the system is doomed. It's just a matter of how long.

Gingersnap
05-07-2009, 12:02 AM
Odysseus has made some valid points here. Sadly for the gender feminists, women stubbornly seem to find a degree of fulfillment and satisfaction in family matters that is not always eclipsed by career success. Children who are nurtured (but not coddled) by stay-at-home Moms do seem to do better in a number of measurements than their pre-schooled peers. Men do still derive a great deal of their self-esteem from being providers.

For a lot of women, the "choices" offered by the second-wave feminists have become mandates. There is no choice for many women: they feel they have to work at whatever job or career to make the mortgage or to pay for the lessons, vacations, toys, or accessories that make up their slice of middle-class life.

The truth is that gender is not a construct. Fewer women than men find fulfillment in jobs or careers which why so many are drawn to relatively noncompetitive jobs in government. Women do genuinely like interacting with children (up to a point) and in presenting a likable home environment (when they have time). Many women do prefer a man who is somewhat more decisive and more forward-thinking than they are in a relationship.

The pendulum continues to swing.

Water Closet
05-07-2009, 12:11 AM
Yes, in those glory years, a century ago, all was right with the American family until those evil suffragettes came along and screwed everything up. Women getting the right to vote was clearly the first step in the secularzation of American morals and the decline into our current sick society. Opposition to women's suffrage took on a hauntingly familiar form...


Anti-suffragists did not rely on one vague, all-encompassing rationale in their protest. Rather, they appealed to society's already solid conceptions of women, men and the relationship between the two sexes. Woman suffrage would violate the cherished cult of domesticity dominant in both Europe and America during this period. It would also give power to "undesirable" portions of society, a complaint stemming from the bourgeois tone of the movement. Besides simply existing beyong the scope of womanly intelligence, "antis" asserted suffrage would also sever the chivalric ties between men and women, as well as go against the word of God, as written in the Bible. ...
http://www.tcr.org/tcr/essays/CB_Female_Suffrage.pdf


Sound familiar, anyone?

Water Closet
05-07-2009, 12:33 AM
Odysseus has made some valid points here. Sadly for the gender feminists, women stubbornly seem to find a degree of fulfillment and satisfaction in family matters that is not always eclipsed by career success. Children who are nurtured (but not coddled) by stay-at-home Moms do seem to do better in a number of measurements than their pre-schooled peers. Men do still derive a great deal of their self-esteem from being providers.

For a lot of women, the "choices" offered by the second-wave feminists have become mandates. There is no choice for many women: they feel they have to work at whatever job or career to make the mortgage or to pay for the lessons, vacations, toys, or accessories that make up their slice of middle-class life.

The truth is that gender is not a construct. Fewer women than men find fulfillment in jobs or careers which why so many are drawn to relatively noncompetitive jobs in government. Women do genuinely like interacting with children (up to a point) and in presenting a likable home environment (when they have time). Many women do prefer a man who is somewhat more decisive and more forward-thinking than they are in a relationship.

The pendulum continues to swing.

I hope you're not suggesting the societal pressure to be middle class and acquire all of those material items associated with the middle class is somehow "forcing" women to give up their maternal values and instincts. It's very, very easy to walk away from the house in the suburbs, the 2.1 brats, the 2 SUVs, the dog and the cat, the Pleasant Valley Sundays. The door's always open to those with the imagination and the courage. Society doesn't force anyone to do anything. People make those choices and those compromises.

linda22003
05-07-2009, 05:37 AM
Having read through the rest of this thread, I'd say the Good Ship "Pressure Women to Stay Home When They Become Mommies" has SAILED. Bon Voyage! :p

linda22003
05-07-2009, 08:13 AM
Yes, in those glory years, a century ago, all was right with the American family until those evil suffragettes came along and screwed everything up. Women getting the right to vote was clearly the first step in the secularzation of American morals and the decline into our current sick society.

My husband says the problem began even earlier than that, with the advent of the self-starting automobile. :p

Water Closet
05-07-2009, 08:15 AM
Having read through the rest of this thread, I'd say the Good Ship "Pressure Women to Stay Home When They Become Mommies" has SAILED. Bon Voyage! :p

You know what's most amusing? People here, particularly when speaking of gay marriage or of abortion, often hearken back to the days when the American family was so wonderful (Ward and June style). I had always assumed they were referring to that brief period after WWII depicted here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKu2QaytmrM

But, according to Odysseus, that's not right at all; this "perfect family unit" existed prior to WWII. So, I'm just wondering when. During the Great Depression when men were abandoning their families to seek work elsewhere? During the "immoral" age of F.Scott Fitzgerald and the flappers? Prior to that when women were denied the right to vote, did not have control of their own property, watched their children toil in manufacturing factories? Just when did this ideal family (and concept of marriage) exist?

linda22003
05-07-2009, 08:19 AM
I think it's been long since proven that in terms of the "Ward and June" type of family, the postwar period was the one time in American life that model has existed. Before the war, it was a more agrarian society, and after the 1960s we began the model we have now. I think the postwar period seems like a "standard" because so many people grew up in it that to a broad base of the population, it was their normality. It's a common failing of people to think that what they regard as normal is The Way It's Always Been.

Gingersnap
05-07-2009, 10:15 AM
I hope you're not suggesting the societal pressure to be middle class and acquire all of those material items associated with the middle class is somehow "forcing" women to give up their maternal values and instincts. It's very, very easy to walk away from the house in the suburbs, the 2.1 brats, the 2 SUVs, the dog and the cat, the Pleasant Valley Sundays. The door's always open to those with the imagination and the courage. Society doesn't force anyone to do anything. People make those choices and those compromises.

I guess I am, up to a point. I've certainly talked with a lot of women who have enough insight to make that connection in their own lives. They are well aware that if they were willing to trade down materially, they could trade up in terms of emotional satisfaction. They think about it and it troubles them but they also want to provide the best they possibly can for their kids. They don't always make the leap that a materially average childhood with emotionally above-average parents is worth the risk.

Women do not find it very, very easy to walk away from their home and family. That's simply a fact. Nor do most of them want to do that. What they want (some of them anyway) is to take care of their families in a hands-on way without being either a Domestic Goddess or a Gender Traitor.

stsinner
05-07-2009, 11:38 AM
Having read through the rest of this thread, I'd say the Good Ship "Pressure Women to Stay Home When They Become Mommies" has SAILED. Bon Voyage! :p

Women shouldn't need to be pressured into raising their children.

Odysseus
05-07-2009, 12:36 PM
Yes, indeed. Wives now, along with blacks, have the right to vote. They have complete control over their property. Their young children are prohibited from working 60 hours a week in manufacturing. Ah, longing for the good old days is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to go back to the familial and societal structures of 1909. And those were all corrected by the crusades and efforts of those family-value social conservatives, right? Oh, wait. Maybe not.
It never fails. Mention one good thing about the past and you're accused of wanting a return to segregation, female subjugation and every other evil of that past. This is such an obvious straw man argument that I'm amazed that it didn't start belting out "If I Only Had A Brain." My point, which you've distorted beyond recognition, was that the family of today is less stable than the families of the previous century. Every benefit comes with a cost, and the cost of the changes in society has been that families no longer have the same cohesion that they used to. Like it or not, that's a fact, and with that lack of cohesion come problems. For one thing, children are often raised by single parents, which corelates with increases in child poverty and abuse. These, I would think, are negatives. The point is not to turn back the clock to a mythical golden age, but to make an intelligent assessment of the costs and benefits, something that liberals are loathe to do since it invariably exposes their agenda.

Let me get this straight. You're comparing the women's rights movement in the US which has allowed women to enter the marketplace and realize careers equal to men to the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland? Okiley, dokiley.
The term is reductio ad absurtium, reducing an argument to it's logical and absurd conclusion. In your case, we were to stop questioning the agenda of the activists because it supposedly impacted on their "aspirations" (a much more high sounding word than "demands"). I simply pointed out that not all aspirations are valid, which should have brought you back to debating the merits of that particular argument. I should have known better.

I haven't been back to Saudi in 12 years, but I do read the papers from that area (online) and it appears that women are being allowed into some professions. With the advent of satellite communications, the system is doomed. It's just a matter of how long.
And between now and then, expect a lot of very bloody upheaval. Societal change is nasty, even when the results are ultimately beneficial. The emancipation of Saudi women will be a long time coming, and it will be accompanied by vicious, panicked reactions from the Wahhabi, who see women as the repository of their family honor. You know what Saudis will do to avoid or avenge shame. Now, do I oppose the emancipation of Saudi women? Hardly, but it goes back to that whole cost/benefit thing. What costs will accompany the obvious benefits of that upheaval and what can we do to ensure that the death throes of Saudi male supremacy don't cause us significant grief.

Yes, in those glory years, a century ago, all was right with the American family until those evil suffragettes came along and screwed everything up. Women getting the right to vote was clearly the first step in the secularzation of American morals and the decline into our current sick society. Opposition to women's suffrage took on a hauntingly familiar form...
Sound familiar, anyone?
You're quoting high school term papers?

I hope you're not suggesting the societal pressure to be middle class and acquire all of those material items associated with the middle class is somehow "forcing" women to give up their maternal values and instincts. It's very, very easy to walk away from the house in the suburbs, the 2.1 brats, the 2 SUVs, the dog and the cat, the Pleasant Valley Sundays. The door's always open to those with the imagination and the courage. Society doesn't force anyone to do anything. People make those choices and those compromises.
People do make choices, but the cultural and economic pressures on women to leave the home in the last forty years have been immense. Feminists told them that they weren't fulfilled without being the equal of men in all areas, the economic pressures forced them to work and the complexity of our economy created demands for more skills, which take time to acquire. Many woment delay marriage and childbirth for years while they establish themselves professionally, often getting advanced degrees and competing with men who are not subject to the same pressure to be tied to the home. Women have gone from a minority of degree holders to a majority within a couple of generations, and there are those who have achieved success are certainly going to be conflicted about giving it up to raise kids, and who can blame them? But pretending that those pressures don't exist is more dishonest than demanding that every woman give in to them.

Having read through the rest of this thread, I'd say the Good Ship "Pressure Women to Stay Home When They Become Mommies" has SAILED. Bon Voyage! :p
Once again, the arguments get oversimplified to the point of incomprehensibility. Whether or not you think that women are better prepared by nature to nurture children, certainly someone has to raise them. The best results generally come from a two-parent home in which both parents are biologically connected to their children. The worst involves dropping them off in the woods and hoping that a wandering wolfpack will take them in. Between those two extremes, there are lots of variables, but ultimately, I think that you'll agree that a child is going to get more focused attention from a parent than from a stranger in a room full of kids. Whether that parent is the father or mother is probably best left to them to decide, but ultimately, it comes down to this: Women have babies. Men don't. The plumbing goes one way and that's not open to debate. If a woman is going to have children, then, as the abortion advocates love to point out, she has a choice, or actually, lots of choices. First, she can choose to raise the child or put him/her up for adoption. If she chooses to raise the child, then she has a responsibility to make sure that either she or the person with whom she is having the child are prepared to devote the time and effort that this will take. Having children changes everything in your life, and anyone who isn't prepared to make those changes and accept the responsibility is part of the problem, not part of the solution. If that means that she doesn't advance at work at the same speed as her coworkers, well just remember that those coworkers are picking up the slack at that office while she's on maternity leave. Every benefit has its associated cost, and one of the requirements of adulthood is that you examine them before you choose.

You know what's most amusing? People here, particularly when speaking of gay marriage or of abortion, often hearken back to the days when the American family was so wonderful (Ward and June style). I had always assumed they were referring to that brief period after WWII depicted here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKu2QaytmrM

But, according to Odysseus, that's not right at all; this "perfect family unit" existed prior to WWII. So, I'm just wondering when. During the Great Depression when men were abandoning their families to seek work elsewhere? During the "immoral" age of F.Scott Fitzgerald and the flappers? Prior to that when women were denied the right to vote, did not have control of their own property, watched their children toil in manufacturing factories? Just when did this ideal family (and concept of marriage) exist?
Once again, not what I said, nor my intent. I realize that it's far easier to respond to points that I haven't made, but you really should try to read what I write and actually think about it.

Women shouldn't need to be pressured into raising their children.
Agreed. Perhaps the one good thing about abortion is that those women who are too self-centered to have children end up not having them. Of course, the cost is morally and ethically outrageous, but there is that benefit.

Water Closet
05-07-2009, 02:29 PM
It never fails. Mention one good thing about the past and you're accused of wanting a return to segregation, female subjugation and every other evil of that past. This is such an obvious straw man argument that I'm amazed that it didn't start belting out "If I Only Had A Brain." My point, which you've distorted beyond recognition, was that the family of today is less stable than the families of the previous century. Every benefit comes with a cost, and the cost of the changes in society has been that families no longer have the same cohesion that they used to. Like it or not, that's a fact, and with that lack of cohesion come problems. For one thing, children are often raised by single parents, which corelates with increases in child poverty and abuse. These, I would think, are negatives. The point is not to turn back the clock to a mythical golden age, but to make an intelligent assessment of the costs and benefits, something that liberals are loathe to do since it invariably exposes their agenda.

What you fail to recognize is cause and effect. The primary reason the family of 1909 was more "stable" than that of 2009 is that there was a single point of authority, the man. Women and children were, effectively, his property over which he had sole control. Any situation like this will, of course, lead to a short-term version of stability. It is not a sustainable model, however. As soon as women had choices, the model began to break down. I did not pick the suffrage movement by accident, as this really signalled the advent of the breakdown of what you term stability, but what was, in fact, single person control.


The term is reductio ad absurtium, reducing an argument to it's logical and absurd conclusion. In your case, we were to stop questioning the agenda of the activists because it supposedly impacted on their "aspirations" (a much more high sounding word than "demands"). I simply pointed out that not all aspirations are valid, which should have brought you back to debating the merits of that particular argument. I should have known better.

Aspirations of individual choice and freedom equate to aspirations to be free to dominate others? There's a significant qualitative difference which makes your rambling about lebensraum nonsense.


And between now and then, expect a lot of very bloody upheaval. Societal change is nasty, even when the results are ultimately beneficial. The emancipation of Saudi women will be a long time coming, and it will be accompanied by vicious, panicked reactions from the Wahhabi, who see women as the repository of their family honor. You know what Saudis will do to avoid or avenge shame. Now, do I oppose the emancipation of Saudi women? Hardly, but it goes back to that whole cost/benefit thing. What costs will accompany the obvious benefits of that upheaval and what can we do to ensure that the death throes of Saudi male supremacy don't cause us significant grief.

Possibly, possibly not. There's a whole class of Saudi men who are educated, international, and do not regard women in the same light as the traditionalists. Moreover, unless a saviour arises from its ranks, the House of Saud is dying. Are you suggesting that a whole class of people shouldn't seek their own freedom simply becuase of the inconvenience it might do to others?


You're quoting high school term papers?

Are you disputing the research or simply attacking the author. It's better written and researched than 75% of the posters here could accomplish.


Once again, not what I said, nor my intent. I realize that it's far easier to respond to points that I haven't made, but you really should try to read what I write and actually think about it.

Once again, I ask you to point to the time period wherein this "stable" family existed. When you do, look at the other societal frameworks that provided for such and, I think you'll find, that they were all based upon denying the rights of large classes of people.

Odysseus
05-07-2009, 04:07 PM
What you fail to recognize is cause and effect. The primary reason the family of 1909 was more "stable" than that of 2009 is that there was a single point of authority, the man. Women and children were, effectively, his property over which he had sole control. Any situation like this will, of course, lead to a short-term version of stability. It is not a sustainable model, however. As soon as women had choices, the model began to break down. I did not pick the suffrage movement by accident, as this really signalled the advent of the breakdown of what you term stability, but what was, in fact, single person control.
Or not. My wife and I have a very stable family. Of course, the single person in control is her, but that's beside the point. In fact, I do understand cause and effect, but it is you who is reversing the two. The destabilization of familiies actually began with the urbanization of industrial societies as well as the mass immigration of the late 19th/early 20th centuries. The rise of factories meant that physical labor became subordinate to skilled labor, and women were able to work outside of the home for the first time in history, while mass migration to cities broke up extended families. The advent of cheaper and faster transportation (railroads, cars, airplanes) accelerated this trend, with the result being a radically different society in terms of female autonomy and independence that preceded the suffrage movement, in fact causing it, rather than being an effect of it. It was the independent, urban Gibson Girl of the 1890s and 1900s who demanded suffrage, rather than a subservient housefrau, dependent upon her husband for all of her decisions. Regardless, the issue, which you keep skirting (no pun intended), is that these changes had consequences, specifically how these changes impact relations between the sexes at home and in the workplace, and most importantly, how they effect child rearing.

Aspirations of individual choice and freedom equate to aspirations to be free to dominate others? There's a significant qualitative difference which makes your rambling about lebensraum nonsense.
Au contrair. If there's one thing that the last hundred years have taught us, it's that every movement eventually becomes a power grab. The feminists weren't content to open up the workplace and have legal and civil equality, they have come to demand equality of result, regardless of common sense and reasonable physical standards to the contrary (my favorite example being the physical test for the NY Fire Department that had to be made far easier in order for women to be accepted). The Civil Rights movement began as a legitimate demand by African-Americans for the rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution, but after the 1964 Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, it devolved into a racial spoils campaign in which the major issues are no longer equality of opportunity, but quotas and set asides that do little to alleviate the economic conditions of the ghetto, but have done a lot for the middle class children of black professionals. As for gay activists, we've gone from a demand for tolerance of a lifestyle that was once referred to as "the love that dare not speak its name," but is now "the love that just won't shut up for a second," especially if you decline to pay sufficient obeisance to its latest cause celebre, gay marriage.


Possibly, possibly not. There's a whole class of Saudi men who are educated, international, and do not regard women in the same light as the traditionalists. Moreover, unless a saviour arises from its ranks, the House of Saud is dying. Are you suggesting that a whole class of people shouldn't seek their own freedom simply becuase of the inconvenience it might do to others?
I would have thought that my comment, which explicitly stated that I favored the emancipation of Saudi women, would have been sufficient answer to that, but since it wasn't, allow me to highlight it:


The emancipation of Saudi women will be a long time coming, and it will be accompanied by vicious, panicked reactions from the Wahhabi, who see women as the repository of their family honor. You know what Saudis will do to avoid or avenge shame. Now, do I oppose the emancipation of Saudi women? Hardly, but it goes back to that whole cost/benefit thing. What costs will accompany the obvious benefits of that upheaval and what can we do to ensure that the death throes of Saudi male supremacy don't cause us significant grief.

In other words, I support the emancipation of Saudi women, but I also know that it will be accompanied by some serious turmoil. And while you are correct that the House of Saud is dying, you have to look at what will fill the power vaccuum when it goes. The strongest hand in Saudi Arabia right now is the fundamentalist Wahhabi clerical community, which has the capacity to provoke tremendous violence, and has shown a desire to do so outside of the kingdom. It is unlikely that they will forego the opportunity to take power if the royal family loses it, espcially in view of their cooperation with Iran. And before you say it, yes, I know that Shia and Sunni don't care much for each other, especially the Wahhabi (who consider the Shia little more than idolaters, but the fact is that Al Qaeda has had no problem working with the Iranian mullahs to defeat common enemies. Remember that Hamas is a Sunni group and Iran has been assisting them with training and munitions for years. A collapse of the Saud dynasty will not likely usher in a more liberal regime as a more fundamentalist and repressive one. And yes, there are some Saudi men who don't see women as chattel, but those men pay homage to the mullahs who do, at least in public. One doesn't hear much from them in the debates on women's rights, at least not in the western media. If I seem more cautious than you, remember that I'm not paid to be optimistic.


Are you disputing the research or simply attacking the author. It's better written and researched than 75% of the posters here could accomplish.
I had intended to read the entire paper, but when I saw that it was a collection of high school term papers, I was momentarily surprised. Still, if you vouch for it, I'll read it and respond.


Once again, I ask you to point to the time period wherein this "stable" family existed. When you do, look at the other societal frameworks that provided for such and, I think you'll find, that they were all based upon denying the rights of large classes of people.

First, understand that I said that families were "more stable," not that there was a golden age when the family was everything. In fact, that's pretty much what you have in clan/tribal societies where there is no authority above the tribes and clans and disputes cannot be resolved except through satisfaction of clan honor. My point was that families on the whole were more stable, that is, less likely to collapse into their component parts, a century ago. You've made lots of points about why you don't care for the period, but you've never answered my one question, which is, "Do you acknowledge that families were more stable a century ago than they are now?" Without hemming, hawing or accusing me of wanting to turn back the clock to a time when men were men and sheep were nervious, just answer that question and we can address the underlying causes after the fact.

MrsSmith
05-08-2009, 08:21 PM
Interestingly, the best way to build a stable family is outlined very clearly in the Bible. The man is the authority in the house, and both wife and children are to respect him. In return, he is commanded to love his wife as his own flesh, treat her as a co-heir to salvation, and lay his life down for her at need, as Christ did with His church. Upon the man rests all the responsibility to build and maintain a happy family...or die trying.