View Poll Results: What is the reason that we see less and less Traditional Family Structure?

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Thread: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

  1. #61
    The Bodhisattva

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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    1069
    Thank you, Willow; please know that this malarky doesn't really bother me.
    I'm awfully content with my life, and people like you and I do comprise, of course, the majority; it's not like anyone outside this weird, fringy minority (which happens to be a bit over-represented here on DebatePolitics.com) really believes that either children or society in general would benefit, either individually or collectively, if women were to retreat en masse from the public sector and return to being housewives.
    You are missing the point...again.

    Aren't you over the little spat that you started yet? Grow up already... I tried to balance things out with you recently with some humor and understanding, but if you are just going to continue to act moronic...again, this will get boring really fast...again.

    1069
    We must try to be tolerant of BodiSatva's occasionally odd and broken syntax; I believe English is his second language. He does awfully well with it, though, all things considered, and only occasionally sounds as if he's filtering his posts through Babelfish or some other free (ie, "substandard") translation program.
    What does "broken syntax" have to do with anything? Please, feel free to point out my "broken syntax" at any time though, so that I might be able to learn something about "syntax" for posting quickly at an Internet site...
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  2. #62
    The Bodhisattva

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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    Willow
    No choosing to raise your child alone or with whatever kind of family you have is no one's business. Harming a child is a different story, sad that you can't see that.
    If you did not make a contradiction and you think that I am wrong, that is fine. I am sorry if it felt like an attack...it wasn't. It simply seemed like a contradiction. I was tired and we had just put our two daughters down for bed. It seemed like a contradiction when I first read it, but now I see the difference that you felt is obvious in the first place. That "raising a child" is nobody's business but that society is able to regulate certain aspects in order to "protect a child from harm" since "harming" a child is not related to "raising" a child.

    I just made a statement without judgement. I have never talked to you before, at least that I can remember. How in the world to you make an assumption that I think that harming children is acceptable? I am interested now...please indicate how you came to the conclusion that I think that harming a child is fine. Anything less than proof or an apology will be simply ridiculous. Misunderstandings happen. The floor is yours...
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  3. #63
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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

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    Why does Society Hate Families?  Part II Must I be the heavy again, in a 'Why Does Society Hate Families thread? This thread seems to be going very well...except the last few posts are littered with some personal attacks and innuendo. Please stop and get back on topic...it's a good one.
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  4. #64
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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    I've located a post I wrote months ago in which I outlined my feelings about gender roles and why I believe they are now obsolete, and specifically about traditional women's roles and why I believe parents who are gainfully employed make more positive role models for children than parents who are unemployed.
    That is not to say I think unemployed-by-choice folks should be forced to work; everybody has the right to make their own choices and live their lives the way they want, as far as I'm concerned, as long as they aren't doing anything criminal. But I do not feel parents who are unemployed by choice provide their children with positive examples, and the post I've pasted below explains why; particularly, the latter half of it addresses the topics we've been discussing in this thread.
    It is quite long and rambly, but that's just me. If you want to read it and respond to it, please do. However, if you don't want to read it because it's too long and boring and pendantic, please do not respond to it. It's silly to respond to something you haven't read, although i see quite a lot of that, of this forum.

    Here's the post:

    Well, here's my take on it.

    I believe at one time gender roles and gender distinctions served a somewhat useful purpose.
    Until this century, women had no way to control their fertility (other than, say, refusing to marry and joining a convent, which was in fact considered a valid option, one which many females throughout history have availed themselves of).

    Remaining single was not an option for the majority of women; society (all societies; in this post, I'm primarily addressing Western society, however) was patriarchal.
    Women in general were not allowed to be self-supporting.
    They were denied the means and the opportunity to support themselves.
    Thus their only options were to live under the auspices of some man (father, brother, husband; and later in life, son or son-in-law) or to rely upon the patronage of the Church (a popular option for women who did not want any man, or who were not wanted by any; also for women who feared risking their lives in childbirth; until the mid-1800s, one in every four to seven childbirths resulted in maternal death by puerperal fever; by the 20th century, it was still one in nine).

    Protestantism denied women this escape route, the option of a celibate life of religious servitude, since it did not maintain colonies of nuns, and relied upon married female parishioners to handle the charitable (ie "unpaid") work that nuns performed in the Catholic Church.

    Okay, so the point of all that is throughout history, right up to this century, the vast majority of Catholic women had a choice only between marriage or a convent, and the vast majority of protestant women had no choice at all. Marriage.

    Eastern women, in countries where polygamy flourished, fared no better, of course... but for the purpose of this thread I'm only addressing the purpose of gender roles in Western civilization (and why they now serve no purpose, and ought to be dispensed with).

    In a marriage, as I mentioned, the average woman was likely to have upwards of ten pregnancies.
    Not all of those would result in a live birth, however.
    Malnourishment (specifically iron deficiency and lack of folic acid in the diet), hard physical labor, and other factors such as lack of modern-day health care made miscarriage more common than it is today.
    Infant mortality was high as well. Many children died before age five.
    In the 1800s, the average woman raised seven children to adulthood.

    Pregnancy was dangerous; maternal mortality was an ever-present threat in the pre-antibiotic days before WWII.

    Children, however, once past infancy, made life easier; most families before the 20th century were rural, and children served as farm laborers from the time they could walk.

    A family with many children tended to be more prosperous, rather than less so (as today), because many children meant many free laborers.
    No less so in cities, where children as young as five or six entered the workforce and earned a few pennies a day laboring in factories (the conditions of which, today, would qualify them as 'sweat shops") alongside their parents.

    In the 20th century, however, our society became more industrialized and prosperous and our culture a little gentler and more humane, changing the way we viewed children (and parenthood).
    Laws were passed against child labor.
    Laws were passed that children had to be educated.
    Laws were passed and social programs established to protect the children of the poor from malnourishment and/or outright starvation, and from other deprivations.
    We entered a new era where society placed a premium on protecting children's innocence and acknowledging their vulnerability.
    Children were no longer understood to be free or low-cost laborers, contributing to the financial security and material welfare of their families from a young age.
    Children were now non-contributing dependents to be protected and sheltered.

    Needless to say, it no longer availed the poorest of families to have the most children.
    Previously, they had needed them just to get by.
    In this new, child-centric culture, they couldn't afford to support them all.

    Antibiotics became widely available after WWII, vaccines were developed for many common illnesses that had previously claimed the lives of small children, and the rates of both infant and maternal mortality declined.
    It was no longer necessary to endure ten pregnancies in hopes of raising two children to adulthood.
    Now, it was reasonably likely that all offspring born would survive, and families were able to stop thinking in terms of having "spares".

    In due time, along came contraception; eventually, by the mid-to-late 20th century, it was widely available at low cost. Yippee.
    Abortion was legalized in the early 70s.
    Now women had the means to limit the size of their families.

    Women's liberation:
    Throughout the 20th century, it was becoming more and more feasible for women to choose to remain single... or to support themselves and their children in the event that a spouse died or deserted them.
    After the women's liberation movement of the late 60s, however, the goal became not just subsistence-level survival, but equality for females.

    Anyway, that's my condensed version of women's recent history; if you think it's wrong, feel free to speak up.
    I don't have any formal education to speak of, so I could well be mistaken about one thing or another, although I have read a lot of books and listened to many smart people.

    All of the points I just touched on address why I believe that gender roles are obsolete today; no longer necessary and no longer even desirable.
    I believe they are merely useless remnants of a less worthwhile era, therefore without any inherent value themselves.

    I understand that some people like gender roles, and I would never stand in the way of their playing a particular role... but I think it's important to recognize that this is merely fun and games today. It's a role-playing game. It's a choice you can make at will, to adopt a particular role, and to shed it when you get tired of playing.

    And I think it's important to realize that gender roles were not always- were not, until recently- a game or a "choice".
    They were an imperative. They were a survival mechanism.
    And many women got the shaft because of them. They got the short end of the stick, because biology literally forced them to assume cultural roles that placed them second to men. There was no choice about it.

    Now that women control their biology and society has become less patriarchal and has opened to admit women beyond the confines of the home and into the public sphere, there is no longer any inherent benefit to voluntarily adopting a particular "gender role", unless one just wants to because one thinks it's fun, for whatever unfathomable reason.

    Women stayed home in the past because they could do nothing else.
    Housework, cooking, farm work, and child-rearing, in the age before running water and electricity, was a full-time job; more than that, in fact. It was a job at which women labored 16 to 18 hours a day.

    In the present time, however, keeping a house no longer takes more than minutes a day. If you cook fancy meals, perhaps an hour a day.
    There is nothing about it that should prevent women from pursuing fulfilling opportunities and gainful endeavors outside the home, in the larger world.

    Children are no longer workers. They are now non-contributing dependents for the first two decades of their lives.
    There is no reason to have a lot of them.
    Every family has limited resources (some more limited than others), and the fewer children a family has, the greater share of the family's resources can be allotted to each.

    This is by no means criticizing those who choose to have large families or to invent work for themselves which keeps them in the home, isolated from the outside world.

    But to claim that this choice is necessary- or desirable for everyone, or even most- is just laughable.

    It requires a complete denial of the (mostly quite positive) changes the world has undergone in the past century.

    Thanks for letting me ramble, and please feel free to jump in with opinions.


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  5. #65
    The Bodhisattva

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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    1069

    Formal education has nothing to do with insight. Some of the most perceptive people that I have known, my wife for one, have had no formal education beyond "specialized (Herbal, Midwifery, Ayurvedic, etc.) and your commentary is no exception. You point out some great insights, but I feel that this is just part of how it is. I feel that you are not addressing the "Choice" that people are making in not spending as much time together, or with their kids. You might be more correct than I give you credit for, but thus far, I don't see an compelling reason as to why people can't revert back to a simpler time and be more involved with their kids.

    parents who are gainfully employed make more positive role models for children than parents who are unemployed
    A role model for working is all well and good, but if the child's core is not whole because the parents were not with the child enough to guide them through the minor lessons of every day, then the child will grow up and be as lost as everybody else. See, I kow lots of people that think that they have it together because they have a good job and all that, but they are so messed up and they don't have a clue about it, or as to why if they have a minor clue. I would rather see a parent doing the best they can though, all things being equal.

    It requires a complete denial of the (mostly quite positive) changes the world has undergone in the past century.
    I disagree. These changes have no bearing on how parents COULD be rasing their kids. Antio-biotics and successful childbirth and such do not mean that there should be more break-ups, less committment, two-income familes...all that last one does is drive up prices since people can afford more, but the yare then setting themselves and society up for higher costs and no choice in having two-income families. Surely this must be obvious.

    I understand that some people like gender roles, and I would never stand in the way of their playing a particular role... but I think it's important to recognize that this is merely fun and games today. It's a role-playing game. It's a choice you can make at will, to adopt a particular role, and to shed it when you get tired of playing.
    That is an extremely negative way to look at it IMO, and it is insulting to those that feel that roles are, in fact, important.

    But to claim that this choice is necessary- or desirable for everyone, or even most- is just laughable.
    ...or necessary, desirable, or even an option at all (due to low-income or divorce, etc.). I agree.

    This is by no means criticizing those who choose to have large families or to invent work for themselves which keeps them in the home, isolated from the outside world.
    But this is the deal, you describe it as an "invention" of work. As if people could just do or want to do "whatever"... For us, we don't have much money, so we do without a LOT of things that most people take for granted. We "Choose" to play with our kids instead of even having a TV. We "Choose" to have one of us work odd hours that affects our sleep so that we can spend quality, and I mean quality, time with our kids.

    We don't invent anything. We do without a lot that most people would not so that we can actively raise our kids, so that WE can educate them...

    Though I don't like to give terms to too many things, what we do is essentially called "Attachment Parenting".

    Those that can't do this, simply can't. That is just how it is. But many people could do this and choose to NOT. They "choose" to do things that they want to do and many times that means prioritizing things in front of spending time with their kids. That is just a fact and we see many many many parents that do this. In fact I would say that MOST parents do this and they think that this is just how it is done and how it has always been done. It is NOT how it has always been done.

    People used to have more connectedness with family, the tribe, the village, their circles. They don't anymore. People move apart from family, families break up now more than ever, their are no more tribes or village concepts, and circles are a far cry from what they were.

    People created a society that has everything spread apart and that disconnects people. That is just a fact. Are we better than those that look at us as if we are crazy when we tell them how much time we spend with our kids and that my wife Tandem Nursed and that we carry them everywhere instead of tossing them in baskets even though it makes it harder in a sense...Nope. But we do make an effort to minimalize so that it is easier for us to spend more time at the store than those that have to rush about.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing how you see things. I am just trying to impart how I wish things could be and I don't expect that it will ever go back. Things change and I am trying to plant a seed in peoples mind, that is all. I am hoping that if people can make one teeny weeny little change that will help kids connect better, they will choose to do so.

    I taught for a while and I have been involved in Early Childhood Education for a long time....I see how disconnected the average kid is. It sucks.
    Last edited by BodiSatva; 02-11-07 at 03:10 PM.
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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    Thank you for sharing your views, and listening to mine.
    While my views are valid as pertains to my family, yours are equally valid- I'm sure- as pertains to your family.
    People have different values, and try to impart these to their children as best they can.
    I'm sure the stay-at-home parents on this thread don't defend their views because they feel "guilty" for not having a job.
    Likewise, it would be nice if they'd acknowledge that my views on how best to raise a family are the result of a lifetime of accumulated wisdom and experience (as are theirs), rather than merely an elaborate construct to disguise the fact that I supposedly feel "guilty" for working outside my home.
    I don't work because I hate families, or because I am anti-child.
    I'm sure Doughgirl and other stay-at-home parents don't stay home because they hate working, or because they oppose gainful employment in general.
    All of us have obligations to ourselves, our children, our partners, our communities, and our society in general.
    I perceive that being a whole person involves fulfilling your obligations to all of these people and entities, not merely focusing all of your energies on one or another.
    It's definitely a balancing act.

  7. #67
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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by BodiSatva View Post
    but thus far, I don't see an compelling reason as to why people can't revert back to a simpler time and be more involved with their kids.
    There never has been a really "simpler" time. Even with both parents holding jobs they probably have more time to spend with their kids than parents did 100 years ago.



    That is an extremely negative way to look at it IMO, and it is insulting to those that feel that roles are, in fact, important.
    Unfortunately, many of those who feel the that gender roles are important also feel the need to force others to conform to their ideals. Many of us are comfortable with traditional gender roles, others prefer to break out of the mold. No one should be forced into a mold that is uncomfortable.



    Though I don't like to give terms to too many things, what we do is essentially called "Attachment Parenting".
    Moderation in all things is a good guide. Parents can become "over"attached to their kids and fail to allow the kids to develop independence at the proper time. Kids can fail to develop self-reliance. Kids also NEED to know that other people besides their parents can provide care for them. Many things in "attachment parenting" are just common sense, but I disapprove of long-term breast feeding, children sleeping with parents on a regular basis, and home-schooling.


    People used to have more connectedness with family, the tribe, the village, their circles. They don't anymore. People move apart from family, families break up now more than ever, their are no more tribes or village concepts, and circles are a far cry from what they were.
    People created a society that has everything spread apart and that disconnects people.
    People also travel much more easily, and communicate via e-mail, telephone, etc. much more easily. Family connections are easier to maintain in some ways than they were 100 years ago. People who immigrated to this country probably never saw again the families they left behind in the old world. Even people who moved as far as a couple of states away from home may not have seen their families again. I don't know where you live, but I do know that there is lot of "connectedness" with the village when you live in a small town and kids attend a small school.

  8. #68
    The Bodhisattva

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    idea Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    1069
    Thank you for sharing your views, and listening to mine.
    While my views are valid as pertains to my family, yours are equally valid- I'm sure- as pertains to your family.
    People have different values, and try to impart these to their children as best they can.
    I'm sure the stay-at-home parents on this thread don't defend their views because they feel "guilty" for not having a job.
    Likewise, it would be nice if they'd acknowledge that my views on how best to raise a family are the result of a lifetime of accumulated wisdom and experience (as are theirs), rather than merely an elaborate construct to disguise the fact that I supposedly feel "guilty" for working outside my home.
    I don't work because I hate families, or because I am anti-child.
    I'm sure Doughgirl and other stay-at-home parents don't stay home because they hate working, or because they oppose gainful employment in general.
    All of us have obligations to ourselves, our children, our partners, our communities, and our society in general.
    I perceive that being a whole person involves fulfilling your obligations to all of these people and entities, not merely focusing all of your energies on one or another.
    It's definitely a balancing act.
    I hate working...why can't life be a 24/7 Yosemite vactation?!

    I probably should have pointed out more of your positive points in that last post, but I am glad that we are hearing each other. More later, I have to take care of the bunnies now with the kids!
    My teachings are easy to understand
    and easy to put into practice.
    Yet your intellect will never grasp them,
    and if you try to practice them, you'll fail.

  9. #69
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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by BodiSatva View Post
    I hate working...why can't life be a 24/7 Yosemite vactation?!

    I probably should have pointed out more of your positive points in that last post, but I am glad that we are hearing each other. More later, I have to take care of the bunnies now with the kids!
    Well, this is certainly an interesting topic, and one I'd probably never tire of discussing.
    But surely you're aware that presenting the issue as "Why does society hate families?" is an extremely combative and- frankly- trollish tactic.
    The fact that society now allows females to work outside the home is not indicative that it "hates families", nor that it "hates children", nor that anything is wrong.
    Quite the contrary.
    Don't forget that half of all children are female.
    If today's women don't continue to forge a place for themselves in society, then these children will have no future.
    And male children won't have much of a future, either, because who wants to live in a world without social equity?
    It wouldn't be a place worth living in, for anyone.

  10. #70
    The Bodhisattva

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    Re: Why does Society Hate Families? Part II

    1069
    But surely you're aware that presenting the issue as "Why does society hate families?" is an extremely combative and- frankly- trollish tactic
    I do, and that is why I presented it in that fashion...to get people's ire up!

    Unfortunately, like with the last thread about this, many people could not get out of "Trash Bodi the Troll" mode.

    This one is much better. I want people's passion to flare, their hopes and dreams for kids and society to be on the forefront. That is just me...tackle **** head on and I don't mince words. I also play "Devil's Advoicate" just to get people to really think about what they are saying...but again, that is just me and what I do in RL as well, bugs the crap out of my wife. The "Debate" nature of it all. But she is a good sport...turns out some others here might be as well...
    My teachings are easy to understand
    and easy to put into practice.
    Yet your intellect will never grasp them,
    and if you try to practice them, you'll fail.

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