Traditional Gender Roles, Romantic Preferences and Feminism

“My son, he wants a classic woman, but every one these days is a feminist.”

So despaired a mother I spoke with over the weekend. Her words confused me because I wasn’t really sure what she meant. My assumption was that he wanted a woman to be a stay-at-home wife, so I told her stories about friends I grew up with who wanted nothing more than to be stay-at-home moms. She didn’t seem convinced and I let the conversation fade.

Her words have stuck with me and I can’t help but wonder how she exactly defines feminist. I have written on feminism before and people have cautioned me from identifying with the movement. It was through one of these conversations that I first heard of Christiana Hoff Sommers. She separated feminism into two categories: Equity feminism and gender feminism. To put these in simply terms, equity feminism is the struggle for equal legal and civil rights between the genders while  gender feminism tries to create privilege for women over men.

Given these two definitions, I clearly am more of an equity feminist than anything else. It has always been my opinion that anyone who thinks women should be held above men, does not believe in gender equality and, as such, is not a feminist. Feminism in its simplest form is simply the fight for gender equality.

That is why, hearing that mother’s words, I was confused. A woman who chooses to be a stay at home mother, who chooses to do most of the cooking, cleaning and child rearing can still be a feminist if she believes the genders should be treated equally. It’s not about what you do, it’s about being able to choose what you do and to be respected as a human being regardless of your choice.

Perhaps the two of us simply had different definitions, or maybe she’s right. I don’t know many women my age who would be happy to doing all the household chores without some assistance nor do I know many who would be happy to deal with the children on their own. Does that make those woman all feminists?

This photo, “Slutwalk London 2011 – 10” is copyright (c) 2014 Garry Knight and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

I identify with a number of groups and each one of those groups has a subgroup I disagree with. There needs to be balance in everything and being too extreme in anything can cause problems. I don’t know how it happens, but the extreme of any opinion seems to want take away choices. That’s what people fear. I honestly don’t think the average person has any problem with another living just as they wish, so long as they don’t try to push their choices onto them.

Perhaps extreme feminism is what Sommers calls gender feminism, but every feminist I know and those I read online match equity feminism. Freedom of choice is paramount. It’s frustrating every time I hear one of those rare voices that look down on a woman who chooses to be at home with her children instead of seeking a career. You want to know why I think someone like that isn’t feminist? It’s because those same voices will be the ones who look down on men who choose to stay home with their children instead of seeking a career. That’s a whole new ball of confusion to me because it’s not the gender being looked down upon as much as the occupation.

I guess my real question here is what people consider to be the opposite of a feminist. What is that woman like? Does she cook, clean and care for the children while her husband sits on the sofa drinking a beer? So long as all parties involved are happy with that arrangement, that hardly seems anti-feminist. To me,  in order to be truly anti, the man would have to think himself superior to the woman and show her no respect for her hard work and contribution to the relationship. Certainly there are few people left in America who think that kind of relationship is tolerable.

I don’t know enough about that woman or her son to reach any conclusions. All I have is assumptions. I’ll tell you my theory. My idea of feminism is partly shaped by growing up in a rural area. I saw strong women who were equal to their husbands and who preferred traditional gender roles. Those woman, they were respected for their efforts and their husbands were more than happy to help out with dishes or children when such assistance was requested.

I’m at a loss and, like most things, I’m probably reading far too much into that mothers comment. My heart just goes out to people who can’t find or who have given up on love. I used to be that person and have since evolved in my mindset. My year working as a self-proclaimed online dating expert has showed me there is someone out there for everyone, no matter how specific your desires are. Dating sites get so specific, there’s just no way you won’t meet the right person.

Well… there is one way. Across all romance preferences, one thing remains the same. Whether a relationship is egalitarian, BDSM or something in between, people these days desire respect. I haven’t seen a healthy relationship yet that can exist without mutual respect between partners.

What do you think the opposite of feminism is? Do you think a woman can choose traditional gender roles and be considered feminist? What’s with all these groups that promote freedom to make certain choices? Is there a blanket term for someone who believes people should be able to live in whatever way they choose? Choicinist? Choiceism? Choician? 


68 thoughts on “Traditional Gender Roles, Romantic Preferences and Feminism”

  1. I found this enlightening, in particular the distinction between equity and gender feminism. Also class and ethnicity tend to get sidelined in the discussion too, in that some feminists appear to be more equal than others. I follow a blog on here the athefist who writes cogently and passionately about feminism and masculinism and he has reached similar conclusions to you.

    1. I have heard the argument that certain minority groups aren’t as represented in modern feminism as they should be. I’m not claiming that feminism is a perfect movement. There’s always room to criticize, but I can hardly see how anyone could be against the basic principle of gender equality. That’s why anti-feminist confuse me. What is the opposite of feminism if the definition of feminism is the struggle for equality between the genders?p

  2. I think I agree completely with Choiceism. People should be allowed to be what they want, whether that be stay-at-home mum, house-husband, gay marriage… anything!

    I understand the need for these groups to allow these freedoms to occur in the first place, but humans should just calm down and let everyone be who they want, and live how they want. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, who cares? 😀

    1. I really don’t understand why that’s so hard. I remember seeing ads in Iowa saying that gay marriage would take away the right for straight people to marry. Where does that idea even come from? Just let people do what they want if it doesn’t effect another person’s human rights. Is that really so hard? How boring would this world be if we were all the same, following the same lifestyle and having the same values?

      1. Not trying to start a fight here, but things do get complicated when we start considering the fact that many choices that are often defended as not ‘effect[ing] another person’s human rights’ actually do just that. There are ludicrous arguments: gay marriage will take away the right for straight folk to marry. Uh, no. But there are intelligent people who point to sociological studies (the most recent of which almost got a man crucified) that children raised in a household by gay parents are set up for many stark developmental hardships (risk-for/proclivity-toward suicide among them) even when compared to extremely dysfunctional straight-parent households. Of course, that ‘s not a slam-dunk case, in that more questions are raised than answered (e.g. Are we going to start having psych evals that prevent persons from allowing to be married?). But my point is that there really isn’t a slam-dunk in the other direction either; the notion of ‘hey man it’s just two people being with who they love’ is a simplistic gloss-over of the fact that we are all a part of a community and society, whether we like it or not. Take that for what it is.

        1. You are right, but then the question becomes whose rights are more important. In the sense of parenting, there are a plethora of different styles. People lament children who had to grow up in this environment or that one. But we, as a society, have decided that the parent’s rights to raise their child as they wish (so long as there is no proven mental, physical or sexual abuse) supersedes a child’s right to live in the environment they wish.

          I haven’t seen any studies linking homosexual families to child suicide, but I’d be surprised if that was a cause and effect relationship. Correlation does not always equal causation. I’d be interested in seeing those studies. Suicide rates also increase in extremely religious households. Divorce is more common in the bible belt and within fundamentalist religions. Since divorce is proven to negatively effect children, should couples who adhere to a fundamentalist Christian religion be prevented from ever raising children? Of course, no one is debating that because religion is widely accepted in our society. It’s just yet another example, though. Unless immediate psychological or physical harm is likely, the parents’s right to raise their kids however they want is above the rights of their child.

          And, for the record, I’m not trying to start a fight either. I just like a friendly discussion ^_^

          1. My disclaimer was not so much for you but for the general public; though I don’t know you that well you seem reasonable enough. 🙂

            The full version of a most recent study can be found in the following link; there are summaries and ‘rebuttals’ that can be easily dug up via search engines (especially the ‘rebuttals’, and I do put that in quotation-marks because although I would like to think there are substantive replies and although I haven’t researched this particular study very deeply, the stuff I’ve read that passes for a reply to it was beyond laughable):

            Of course correlation doesn’t equal causation. The funniest demonstration of this is here: . However, from what I’ve read of/in it, this study did an excellent job establishing controls, covering enough of a timeframe to see a big picture, and making sure there was a broad enough population studied for accurate data. Also, correlation is not a slam-dunk, but when you see truckloads of red-flags across a wide range of subjects in one study group, it does point you toward something (even if that is only further, more pointed research).

            Anyway, we could chase this down, and I’d be up for discussing it in any other forum, but I’ll have neither the time over the next few weeks nor the desire (due to past experiences in this forum) to go much further; and so want to suggest anything other than leaving any reply you may offer hanging in cyberspace. That’s what would happen, if I’m honest. This isn’t meant to curtail any reply you may have, but only to say, basically, that I raised this one point of consideration and that’s about all I can do for right now. 🙂

  3. Sometimes the term feminist can get divisive, because it means different things to different people. If you wanna get technical there are indeed so many versions, different-numbered ‘waves’ and so on, some versions more extreme (and stereotypical that way) than others. But at its core feminism should be a simple thing all fair people support!

    I wonder if the mother who said that is in fact just too old and in fact oblivious to her son’s romantic interests. An excuse for him not settling down; she’s impatient about getting grandkids, blaming society or something like that. Don’t always take what old people say too seriously.

    1. “Don’t always take what old people say too seriously.”

      That made me laugh ^_^. And you may have a point. Maybe she was just making excuses. I can’t imagine a reason to be against equality between the genders.

  4. “Perhaps extreme feminism is what Sommers calls gender feminism, but every feminist I know and those I read online match equity feminism.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment and your post overall. I have never, in my entire life, either online or in physical space, met someone who honestly believed in “gender feminism” as Hoff Sommers describes it.

    Feminism is all about political, social, and economic equality between the sexes and – as I commented on another blog recently – when presented with this bare bones definition, nearly every decent person agrees in its necessity. (Most people seem to object to the term “feminism” itself, for some cultural reason or other.) Like you, I see no conflict between being a housewife and feminist, or virtually any other set of choices, because feminism should be about that freedom of choice.

    I think very few (I would wager to say virtually none) people would believe in the gender feminist system because patriarchy itself is a destructive system: it restricts men (no crying, no ‘sissies’) just as it restricts women. When you can clearly see the damage misogyny creates, I don’t see how any reasonable person would argue that there needs to be a “new” system of discrimination directed at men.

    It seems to me that Sommers is setting up some sort of false dichotomy.

    I’ll admit that I haven’t read her books, largely because the titles alone seem repellent, so I could be wrong on some aspect of her philosophy.

    1. Good words/thoughts here, but I do find it helpful to clarify the ‘patriarchy’ of which you speak in the fourth paragraph of your comment. Patriarchy historically has been expressed in many ways, and generally involved and involves societies that build houses, roads, infrastructure, etc. – as well as sometimes/often devaluing women (though in more cases than are given credit, e.g. Rome in its golden era, this is not the case). The patriarchy you are actually referring to is less about the ‘men in control’ aspect and more about the post-WW2, machismo culture with fathers scarred by the war not emotionally bonding with their sons, and so on. It’s logically unfair to put this completely at the feet of patriarchy as a systemme.

      As a general aside to this whole subject, one of the complications I find in the view of equality (as you and others have expressed it) is that ‘equality’ typically means demaning that things be seen in a way that, generally speaking, women find to be common-sensical; any other detail, complexity, or caveat is promptly squashed. For instance, you speak of men being ‘restricted.’ I think you’re right in the specific way you’ve used the term in your comment, but I’m using the term here as a springboard: oftentimes the descriptor of ‘restrictive’ is used to describe the pressure on men to live up to their duties. Of course this pressure is necessary for both young men and young women – ‘positive stress’, the calling of the fulness of life, the calling to rise to the occasion of life, etc. – but it is expressed differently. It’s been demonstrated in many sociological/psychological studies that pre-modern cultures with ‘rites of passage’ for young men were/are not altogether foolish; there is something inherent to being male that demands self-definition, for the good of himself and all society. Women encounter their womanhood physically, head-on, and especially in their rhythms and motherhood; in one particular sense women are able to figure out what it means to be a woman by being a woman. On the other hand,, men don’t necessarily have to encounter themselves; they can live obliviously, selfishly, chauvinistically – unless they are forced in some way to encounter themselves. The healthy ‘pressures’ put on men arriving at manhood are necessary for him and society, but my point is that this sort of idea is often scoffed at (and then we wonder why men self-destroy, join gangs, engage in anarchist fire-bombings, etc.).

      If we can all agree that a man and a woman are both a human person, a rational being, who should be capable of self-direction and the freedom to self-direct, I’d say we’re all on the same page. I certainly agree with that. The real trouble is that none of us are really ‘free’ in the radical, modern sense; we are meant to be part of a family, a community, and a society, and that means we are not nearly as radically autonomous as we’d like to be.

    2. I have to agree. It has caught me off guard when people tell me to beware calling myself a feminist. Like, what’s so wrong with gender equality? Is it really so threatening. I certainly don’t agree with Sommer’s idea that today’s feminist lean towards gender feminism. If anything, these two terms are a good way at bashing stereotypes. Too many people think feminist are men-haters or anti-motherhood. No one’s trying to be anti anything. Women just deserve as much respect an opportunity as men. Is that really so radical of an idea?
      I always love quotes I see that say something like “feminism is the radical idea that women are people.” To be, that’s the simplest, bare bones definition out there.

  5. Great and informative article. I personally think it’s your best that I’ve read. I greatly enjoyed it. I can’t think of a specific term to use. But I will think on it.

    1. Thanks so much! I think Choicism has a good ring to it, but that’s more like a movement than a person. Being Choisist doesn’t sound as good.

  6. Tk, I think you should be barefoot and pregnant and be submissive to your man……

    God, what is wrong with people? I got into an argument with a friend over the weekend who believes society needs to go back to the way it was in biblical times…. to which I quoted him a verse in the bible that says fathers are allowed to sell their daughters into slavery!!! Sounds like an awful way of life If you ask me!

    The problem I have with feminism is that too much focus is placed on career; its my problem with industrialized nations in general…. we are ALL too focused on careers that aren’t really all that fulfilling…. so for me, feminism is about equality and whether or not a woman works in a career isn’t as relevant to me… cuz let’s be honest, if I didn’t have to work I would quit my job today and bum around the world. Working a career is overrated if you ask me.

    1. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, can we NOT go back to Biblical times? I watched a Louis C.K. stand up special the other night where he was talking about how awesome it is to be a white man. He was saying he could get in a time machine and go back to literally any point in time and enjoy himself. Just about any time period would be good with him. But not women or minorities. No thank you. I’ll take the present.

      I don’t know that the focus on career is a problem so much as women’s equally opportunity to have certain careers is. No one is telling women they can’t be stay-at-home mothers. No one is surprised when a woman decides to raise her kids instead of seeking a professional career. So it’s not mentioned because it’s not really a problem, at least not as big as the other.

      It seems to me the career focus problem is not with feminism but with the society within which feminism exist. I can agree that, as a society, we place a lot of emphasis on growing a career and not a lot focusing on building relationships or enjoying life. No one ever lamented that they didn’t work enough on their deathbed, though. Society could use a few chill pills.

  7. This is very intriguing. I think I’m a choicest! I’m some ways I am almost radical in my feminism, but in others I am the polar opposite of a feminist. Woman are really hard on each other. When I consider how men created this phenomenon of bald being kind of cool/sexy, it amazes and infuriates me. How is it that so many women are still hating the reflection in the mirror despite the fact that we are creating human beings and the natural state of our bodies is not 99 lbs. It makes me insane. We are a long way from achieving equality because so many of us don’t understand our true worth.

    1. I might be considered a radical feminist if that means identifies me as one who thinks there is no area of life, work or play where women shouldn’t have equal opportunity to men. People who are anti feminist seem to think the feminist movement is against traditional gender roles. I think that’s flawed logic. Feminism is against imposing traditional gender roles so that there is no other option. That’s not equal, though and, by definition, not feminist.

      I think the fact that women still put themselves down and obsess over their appearance on a larger scale than men (because men do do that too) is a reflection of the fact that the genders are not equal yet. We’ve come a long away, but we’re not there yet.

      1. Agree. But woman demean themselves over insignificant flaws because we create an unattainable ideal of perfection with no regard to reality, and often blame it on men. Men are not getting fake boobs installed, starving themselves, and injecting their faces at parties at nearly the same rate as women. It’s tragic.

  8. I agree that a woman who chooses to stay home and bring up the children can be a feminst. In my eyes, the home-maker role is equally important in status to an outside occupation. I have to say though it’s not accepted as equal by many individuals. I’ve been married many years and I always looked on our roles as a partnership between my husband and myself. He went out to work to earn the money we needed to live. I did the housework, shopping, cooking, and looked after the children. I couldn’t have shopped, cooked or cleaned without him providing the money to do it, similarly, he couldn’t have easily gone to work without me being there to look after the children and take care of the million and one things a houswife does. We complimented each other. We both also respected the effort the other partner contributed to the smooth running of a family home. In my view, we women who choose to stay at home have it far easier than someoene who has to answer to a superior at work. We make our own choices of what jobs to do and when. Of course, this idyll depends on having an easy going partner who is happy with whatever choices you make, whether it’s what to eat, how to cook it, what housework you choose to do, or whatever.

    1. I do think the home maker role is viewed as somehow below many people. I don’t think this has to do with gender, though. It seems to me that men who choose to be stay-at-home fathers are victims of the same scrutiny. That makes it less of a feminist issue and more of a social or class issue. Being a home maker shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of or looked down on, regardless of gender. Equal respect is necessary in any relationship.

      1. I so agree with what you say. I don’t see why the role should be looked down on when the rearing of children to be good citizens is a hard and important task in itself. As you say it’s probably a class issue. Only one breadwinner means funds are on the low side. However, the fact that people look down on those with a low income makes it a social problem too. We are all equal and the choice to be home to care for our offspring should not make us inferior to someone who chooses to pass that responsibility to others.

  9. To be short, My view? “What he says! ” Sarcastic humor and all. The culture Monk that is. The real question is this, How free is the invividual in their own mind ? Unions of any kind works best when there is limitless impulsive co-operation with few blind spots and that is the beauty of real love; exercising lovingness. O.K. How about pragmatist? Not gender illustrative enough? Oh well!!

    1. The individual is allowed to be as free or un-free within their own mind would be my answer. For example, a lot of people point to the practice of wearing head scarves or burkas as demeaning to woman. It’s not the actual act that is the problem, though. It’s the act of imposing that practice on women who don’t want that. If a woman freely believes that she should wear a burka, you could make the argument she is not free in her mind, but so long as that is her choice, I don’t see it as a problem

  10. I think it’s about looking where power imbalances lie, so that all people can live with choice and dignity, as you say. It isn’t about reversal of hierarchies. But I think a lot of people turn to feminism out of hurt and pain, and the rage of being harmed by an indifferent social world. That pain, when expressed angrily, may scare some people away from the idea of feminism, I think.

    1. This is probably true. There’s a lot of pain because of the number of women who have been physically or mentally violated by men who think they are superior. Every woman has a story about a man who demeaned her, looked down on her or hurt her because they felt her gender was inferior. The only way that rage can change is if we build a world where those stories become rare.

  11. I don’t know if I could peg down any specific opposite for feminism, since everyone seems to sport a unique set of beliefs — sort of a “philosophical fingerprint”; but I guess you could start positing them off by polarity – the extreme feminists with extreme chauvinists, and so on. That’s just a game, though — a parlor trick categorization. I think it’s ultimately more useful to just muddle through the beliefs rather than tacking a generic label to a person, thing, or event.

    As for classifying “pro-choice” types (not referring to the abortion issue alone) you may have heard the motto touted by the Wicca: “do as you wish if it harms no one”. I don’t know how old it is, but I have been given the impression that it’s pretty old. Maybe, maybe not. But while that is not my religion, the motto is most certainly my deepest belief in the interest of the personal freedom for all, and my most ardent wish for the future of society.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to label that definitively, and I’m not certain history going forward is going to give us the chance to find out.

  12. I think the mother may have been referring to her son wanting a women who will cook, clean, and child rear all without her son’s help. Speaking as someone who had been in a relationship with a man who will NOT DO A SINGLE CHORE IN THE HOUSE ON HIS DAYS OFF unless you ask him, text him, call him, and leave a note, I understand her sentiment. I always say that he won’t do these things naturally b/c that’s not the way he was raised. I bet that her son is the same. However, a good side note is that J has AADD and so that may have something to do with it :/ I absolutely hate doing all the chores and cooking by myself so I had to sit him and his brother down and have a talk with them about it.

    1. That’s fine if both parties are happy with that arrangement. However, if she was saying her son wants a woman who will do that and never ever expect help or desire respect for her work, then I think her son will continue to be lonely.

  13. Excellent question, “What is the opposite of feminism?”

    This reminds me of the philosopher Spinoza and his belief that God was everything – so therefore God is nothing, because we could not pin down any demarcation for God’s nature, identity, etc. (Spinoza is jokingly referred to as the God Intoxicated Atheist.)

    You all make good points on this topic. I wish I had something useful to add.

    1. It’s okay. I’m still musing on that question. If feminism is the belief in gender equality, then the opposite is gender inequality. That seems like the logical conclusion, but I can’t imagine that’s what she meant. So I wonder what people really mean when they say they are against feminism.

  14. I had a discussion with a friend not too long ago in which we discussed how human nature tends to crave power over equality. Races looked at other races as being inferior to them because they were different, they wanted power over them, and so they treated them as being less. Same with sexism. Men and women are different, so a lot of people took that as an opportunity to treat one as inferior. Shame, really.

    So while the correct thing to fix these wrongs is equality, sometimes we see it go too far. There’s a difference between the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of equality and children of all races playing side by side, and the ones who get it wrong and demand power over others. And sometimes things get taken too far in response to sexism, right? Like, somebody can have misplaced and mistaken views that crave power over men instead of equality with them? It’s what happens. It’s our nature, it seems, to want to look down on differences. Takes work to fight for actual equality, not a misguided and condescending cause.

    But what do I know? I’m not a woman, and despite my best efforts and interests, I’m still not a black man. I have simply been trying to make sense of these things in my head over the past few weeks and while I’m not any closer to understanding them at all, I’m enjoying posts like yours that are trying to make sense of these things as well. Thanks.

    1. Here’s the thing about sexism and patriarchy… I think some people say the powers working against those social structures mistake how they negatively effect men as the fault of feminism. For example, men are far less likely to report that they’ve been raped even though one out of every six men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. While they don’t attempt suicide as often as women, those that do are far more successful. Part of these issues are about how masculinity is valued under patriarchy. When I look at that system, I don’t see a social structure that holds people with penises above those that don’t. I see a structure that holds those who fit a specific definition of masculinity over all others. So, some may complain and say “women can work in construction but men can’t be babysitters! Look at how feminism hates men!” when really, the reason why society may look down on a man acting as a babysitter because that occupation is not considered masculine – making it inferior under patriarchy.

      I’m not saying there aren’t people out there who honestly believe women are superior to men, but I have never met them and I have a feeling they are few.

      1. Right, sure. I wasn’t necessarily trying to argue that. Mostly just trying to figure out what in human nature makes us want that power or a broken social system in the first place. Can’t say I’ve met anyone who truly believes that sort of thing either. I’m still just trying to learn and think through these things. Figure out a bit more about this silly world.

  15. I absolutely define myself as a feminist and, as per the definitions in your article, I would be an equity feminist. I believe in equal rights for both genders and believe that women still have some way to go to be perceived as and treated equally in society. I am always a little bewildered when a woman tells me she is not a feminist but I think that is because some women think the label “Feminist” applies to the stereotypical feminists that are really reliant on tropes from the 1960s and ’70s. Since women have the vote and at least believe they are equal in terms of employment laws and pay scales, they cannot identify with that “type” of feminist and, therefore, think they are not one. But I digress….

    I am a feminist who chose to get married at the age of 20, chose to “abandon” a successful career in order to pop out a bunch of babies and then stay home rearing those kids for what is now 11 years and counting. I do not see myself as a failed feminist (I reserve that internal debate for every time I find myself annoyed at shaving my legs and wondering why I am actually bothering). I see myself as a woman who has been presented with choices and has made those choices of my own volition. Given that just a generation or two ago women either did not have those same choices or would have been pressurised into conforming by making a choice not necessarily their own means that my current status as a SAHM is an active choice and thus entitles me to claim to be a feminist.

    Before we embarked on having children, my husband and I discussed the merit of one of us staying home with the kids full-time or part-time or both remaining in work and paying for childcare. For various personal reasons we decided that what would work for us was having a full-time stay home parent and that that parent should be the one who was earning less. Well, as a teacher that turned out to be me. It’s the most fulfilling, rewarding, challenging job I have ever held. I do not regret it at all. It’s not for everyone – which is why the freedom to choose should be celebrated – but it is for me. And now I get to spend my time raising my four sons to be feminists. Because, yes, I do believe men can be feminists too. Maybe that is for another discussion some other time.

    1. I have a feeling most people would say they support the definition of feminism or equity feminism if you left the word ‘feminism’ out. There seems to be this idea that feminist are all ugly woman who don’t wear bras and hate men when, in reality, they are just people who demand equality between the genders. Anyone who doesn’t respect a home maker as much as the career driven person shouldn’t consider themselves a feminist. If you don’t believe in equality opportunity and the ability of women to choose what they do with their lives, than how can you believe in gender equality?

      1. I agree 100%. You just expressed it far more succinctly than I did. I have, however, met some women who do not believe women should be treated equally to men. And without the assistance of time travel too.

        1. Oh, I have seen those women too. It’s so sad to me, but they are allowed to have that opinion, so long as they don’t try and shove it down my throat or turn it into law.

          1. Agreed. If I’m all for freedom of choice then I have to support that choice too but I must admit to feeling deeply dismayed each time.

  16. Turns out someone can make a lot of money by being a woman who criticizes feminism, and Christiana Hoff Sommers is one of those women. There is no such thing as a feminist who wants privileges for women.

    Feminism is against against privilege for anyone, and feels everyone should be treated equally.

    The definition of feminism is someone who sees women and men as being of equal worth and dignity and deserving equal opportunity. I should know, I teach women’s studies which is the feminist arm of academia. It’s on the test.

    If you ever find an example of the extra privilege for women that she is referring to, I would love to see it. She has made a career trying to weaken feminism by coming up with ideas like this.

    1. I agree. I used Sommers because people have gotten very defensive when I use the term feminist, as if it’s somehow negative. Since I have never met or read someone who says they are or acts like they are gender feminist, it’s not hard for me to believe that’s more of a myth than a reality.

  17. How about we have a husband and wife who stay at home together and raise their children together while working some kind of home based business.Every one just pitches in and does their business. The whole package of man going into the city on the train while wife stays home9or vice versa)
    to look after the children disappears. Then as the children grow upthey workin the family business and stay on. it sounds likea model that goes way back to tribes and farms.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as all parties involved have a choice in the matter. That’s really what it comes down to. Families don’t have to fit into a box of the perfect family unit. A two people in a relationship work as a unit, balancing their strengths, weaknesses and goals as they see fit. It’s all about freedom of choice.

  18. If you do not have a label today they will give you one! Often as not it will not be a nice one either. Today ‘feminism’ is about like a religion, and not to use oranges as tangerines but feminism has an appearance like Christianity where there are a lot different sects within the whole some good some better some bad some umm we wont go there. Yet in this day the harder we try to make a distinction between people at the same time we see we really are a like as much as we are different. When will individuality be the rule of who we are. The freedom to be me, the freedom to be you the freedom to accept that we are – not a what – we are a person. Not unlike one another, Yet peel back the ugliness (speaking of myself) or the beauty (speaking of all others) that we have a unique position. You can be free to be the measure of who we are and the measure of what we like about one another we can adapt to become better. we progress not evolve. Feminism was a movement to get women out of the darkness of blind men’s pride which their ego’s were as big as their behinds. Good it was in a lot of ways but now it has become a force, and by force they make use of it. Not just for good, but to push an agenda on all, whether it is needed or not. This does not mean that all feminism is bad; however I am not for or against the movement I am against destroying one freedom for another just makes us chained from one form of slavery to another less or greater slavery is still slavery if we move from iron chains to paper chains we still be in chains! The degree matters not how thick the chain or how invisible it may be a chain makes no one free. I hope feminism will become a force to show the world that women has the power to stand just as tall and noble as men and to shoulder freedom is one where we say ‘freedom cannot make chains – it is only when all walks free’.

    1. Feminism gets a bad rap, and while I am sure there are a small amount of feminist who fit the negative stereotype, I have yet to meet one. In terms of the issues being supported, I have yet to find one that I am against. As such, it’s hard for me to have a problem with the movement on any level. If anything, I would criticize the movement for not paying attention to how patriarchy negatively effects men. I’ve seen a little, but not enough. As far as I am considered, feminism has evolved from being about female and male equality, to the right for anyone of any gender to be free and equal regardless of where they lie on the gender spectrum. Our society still values masculine qualities above feminine, regardless of what gender the person is. It’s far overdo for not only men and women to be equal, but for masculine and feminine qualities to be viewed as equal.

  19. I found this post very interesting. I’ve never known if I am a feminist. I’m not one of those hard core ones but neither am I content to allow myself to be in an unequal relationship. You descriptions are great. I am not a gender feminist, I am an equality feminist but I’m all about equality in all senses, not just for women.

    The mother’s comment irritated me because I imagine a classic woman to be like the 50s housewife, with no will of her own, bending to what he husband wants, making herself pretty for him, available for him whenever he wants. Look back at some of the ads from that time and the advice on how to keep a husband and that is how I imagine the definition of a classic woman.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with being a housewife, being a stay a home mum or anything you choose but the key word here is ‘choice’. It is about a relationship on an equal footing and not bending to the will of anybody. There has to be give and take in any relationship but you have to be your own person too, you have to have your own voice and most of all, you have to have choices.

    1. I completely agree. I identify as a feminist after looking at the movement, both now and in the past. All I see is a group of people, both men and women, fighting for gender equality. As I am with them, I consider myself a feminist. I am also many other things, but since no one knows what a Choicest is, I adopt many different labels ^_^

      And I had the same image in my head at that mother’s comment. I couldn’t help thinking “yeah, he’s never going to find a woman who puts up with that.” Who wants to put all that work into a relationship only to be treated like second class? No thank you.

  20. The opposite of feminism, which is equality, is inequality, and we already have that and have had it for some time. lol

    When you are in a position of privilege then to become equal always means at least some loss of privilege. And the privileged group will always feel attacked. The fact that some women are brainwashed into believing that the “poor men” are suffering tells you how unequal thing have been. When we see this in a society it is cause for more concern about inequality, not less. But let me illustrate my point:

    Let’s say there are 9 jobs available, and there are 5 women and 5 men who would like those 9 jobs. In backwards, male-dominated-society-land however, only one of those jobs will allow women to apply. So all 5 women must compete for that one job, all the men not only have all the choice of which job they want, one could actually choose to apply for the one job that might be given to a woman. And so the women might also have to compete with any number of men who want that job, and in this society of the days of old they probably wouldn’t even be given equal consideration. Women fight for equality and lo and behold, they have to be on equal ground when hiring, they have just as much right to all 10 jobs as they did for. Previously those 5 men would have gotten a job for sure. The 5 women, only one might have got a job. Now there will be one person without a job, it could be the man. Moreover, the man has more competition as well. And may simply have to default to a job he doesn’t one and is the only one available.

    So men feel attacked because they lost a privilege they enjoyed. We must always be careful to watch for this argument, because those that are privileged will always tell tales of woe of how hard things are now because things are more equal.

    The journey isn’t over yet either and their will be more whining and QQ’ing from men yet. 🙂 Let them cry, women have had much to cry over for far too long. I’ll buy extra tissues. I don’t mind. 🙂

    1. This is why feminism and other equality movements are still relevant today. People like to claim we are beyond sexism or beyond racism, but there will always be people trying to push back. I know people who long for the 1950s or a return to Biblical times. In order to move forward, we have to fight in the hopes more people are pushing forward than the who push backwards. If every feminist gave up the fight under the idea the genders are now equal, there would be no one pushing forward, leaving only those who want to push us back.

      On another note, I wish our education system would start to discussion privilege when talking about racism and sexism in history class. Sometimes, I think people just don’t understand what a privilege really is. How can they see that they are not losing equality, just privilege, if they don’t know the difference?

      1. Very good idea TK. I think it would be a great thing to talk about in education. I wish my consciousness had been raised about some of these issues a bit earlier in life!

  21. What in the world is a “classic” woman anyway? A woman who wears poodle skirts and blouses? A woman who spends her days ironing, washing, cooking, and cleaning? A woman who has no identify of her own and only lives to serve her husband? A woman who has no recourse regardless of how her husband decides to treat / discard her? In some cases, the word “classic” seems to be used to put a nice face on something old-fashioned.

    Regarding the stay-at-home parent – I understand that everyone should get to decide what’s best for them and their families. In my family, I’m the breadwinner and my husband takes care of the house and kids. But I know from experience in my first marriage that the stay-at-home parent is in a very vulnerable position. What if I decided to use my power as the breadwinner to be controlling at home? Spend all the money on things that I want and leave nothing for him? Threaten to pack up and leave him whenever we fight and blame him for the discord? Oh wait – that’s what my first husband did to me, which is why I would NEVER put myself in that position again. I am secure as the breadwinner because I am in control.

    So when I see women (both men and women really, but women primarily) decide to be that stay-at-home parent, I flinch inside. I wonder whether this is something that they just defaulted to or whether it was carefully considered and decided. I wonder whether they are as safe as they think they are in their relationship, and I wonder what steps they could / would take if they became unsafe. That’s where the reaction is coming from – it’s not that I don’t respect individual choices, but I fear that far too many people leave themselves vulnerable and exposed without really realizing it.

    1. Security is a big thing too. My friend who always wanted to be a stay at home mom, even in high school, still went to college so she would be able to support herself if her plan didn’t work out. I’ve made a point of living on my own for at least a year just to prove I can do it. Otherwise, if I was in a homemaker position, I would worry. If people feel comfortable as a homemaker, that’s great. But I agree, I’d be uneasy if not for my preparation. I’d rather be prepared for all possible scenario.

  22. Gender feminism… ah, what a very tangled web, there. There certainly wouldn’t be numerous discussions about Men’s Rights Activism (MRA), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), complaints from atheists (oh yes, Laci Green and others included), atheism vs. Atheism+, social justice, and more if it didn’t exist.

    I’ve heard it said that part of this is socioeconomics, and that it has hit the working poor classes much harder than the more formally educated and affluent. Also, Follow The Money. I wouldn’t be surprised if NOW and other organizations had been corrupted by money, and that feminism has a corporate subset.

    I hope you understand that I don’t suggest I’m anti-feminist; my youngest sister defines herself as a first (?) wave feminist and we agree very much on many gender issues, especially with what you are describing as equity feminism. I also had much of my nearly 40 years shaped by a semi-rural lifestyle where men and women needed to help out equally– because the work just needed to be done, y’know? I’m a SAHD and proudly domestic; then again Cimmorene is also on disability as I am, so, again, work just gets done by who is motivated and skilled to do so. (It means minor electrical work is about the only thing that falls to me alone, more or less.)

    1. I don’t think the existence of MRA or MGTOW proves that gender feminism is a thing. It has to do with privilege, similar to white privilege. It’s like…. how do I make this simple…. It’s like white people are used to having five dollars while all other races have varying amounts below five dollars. As such, they can buy or do more. As the other races become equal – that is, as they come to also hold five dollars – there’s this feeling that something unfair has happened. There’s the feeling that those others are now privileged in a way whites are not when, in reality, white people haven’t lost anything. Things have just become more equal. More than just white people have five dollars.

      Feminism and gender equality is similar. Women have always had less than five dollars, but as the genders become more equal, women have stated getting pretty close to having five dollars like the men. There is an illusion that this is somehow unfair or unequal, which is why MRA and MGTOW exist. They mistake the leveling of the playing field as reverse sexism. They are the NAAWP of gender equality.

      I don’t mean any of that to be offensive in any way. I just mean to point out privilege and how the people who tend to be on top rarely understand the privileges they have simply due to their race or gender at birth. It’s like…. sorry for so many analogies… it’s like…. I need to add something to this. It’s like men have always had five dollars, but think they only have three dollars. So, when women get another dollar so she now has four dollars, they say that’s unfair. They can’t see their privilege of having five dollars… I think my dollar analogy is failing me now… sorry if this is confusing.

      1. Firefox crashed on me, grrr…

        TK, you’ve missed the point about what I was saying. I understand the notion of privilege just fine. I remember my rage-bomb band teacher (and everyone was afraid of him) and his rants about “reverse discrimination”. I followed Tim Wise’s site very carefully for a while. He talks a lot about racism and white privilege in that regard, so honest, you needn’t explain this too much.

        I was talking more about what is talking about, and the site is run by WOMEN. TK, please, go, check it out, give me a chance to make my point. There is a backside to this, honest. There really is a segment of organizations that are NOT fighting for equality. They’re fighting for gender revenge.

        I’m talking about a lot of things: the problem with family courts and divorce law– the deck is still stacked against men in many cases. The problem with the notion of “rape culture” and that domestic abuse and sexual assault against men is not taken seriously enough. Sexual assault? You bet I have personal experience with this one. is probably the quickest summary I can give.

        You misunderstand. I’m not trying to discredit feminism. Give me some credit, TK, I’m almost 40 years old and I assure you, I’ve been around the block! I was crippled by social anxiety growing up and so I don’t just write things carelessly… no, my childhood was hours agonizing over how I would say things. I don’t write stuff unless I’m willing to bring my A-game. I told you about my sister– many of our conversations have been about feminism meaning that women need to take accountability and responsibility for their own actions, so that equality is just that.

        Lizzi and Suzie wrote their posts for a reason… because they saw parts of #YesAllWomen turning into a gender war. There’s a reason why Suzie pointed out “No means no” and Lizzi suggested #YesAll as a Twitter hashtag– because I think they felt that they needed to emphasize the balance. I’m not making this up, TK, I promise! In the fight for gender equality, some women have turned to men-bashing. That doesn’t mean that women should stop their fight for their rights– it means that bad behavior and retaliatory actions will undermine the cause. And the simmering rage I felt when I heard men-bashing jokes and women generalizing about all men has fairly little to do with patriarchial oppression– it has to do with the hurt I felt when women victimized me. That men are still acting on their privilege does NOT negate my experience!

        1. I don’t deny that there aren’t some women out there who are after ‘gender revenge’ but I don’t consider them feminist. If you aren’t fighting for gender equality, you aren’t a feminist. I’m sure they will claim they are, just like Muslim terrorist claim they are acting on behave of their religion. If you ask just about any leader of Islam, they will tell you their actions of murder and terror have no basis in the Muslim tradition.

          I forget if it was you or someone else I commented to on here, but I am not convinced the family court system is stacked in favor of women. The handful of studies I’ve seen show that women are more likely to fight for sole custody than men. less than 20% of cases does the man fight for full custody and, according to those studies, 90% of those cases favored the men. Now, I have not seen enough to have a definite opinion, but I have read enough to be skeptical that the family courts are slanted towards women.

          While men are not the victim of sexual assaults and rapes as much as women, those who are certainly deserve to have their assaults taken just as seriously. That problem, if you ask me, is the fault of patriarchy. I have said before that patriarchy is more about masculinity today than it is about having a penis. A man who is masculine is supposed to be able to protect himself and his family. When he fails, he experiences a different kind of shame. It’s a problem I see discussed within feminism all the time and, unfortunately, I rarely see it discussed anywhere else.

          I was not trying to say you were speaking against feminism. You made good points and I simply meant to address them just as I am doing now. I will say that I disagree generalizations against men are not patriarchal. They are. Do you know who first told me ‘men are animals’ or that ‘they only want one thing’? My father, followed by grandfathers and uncles. Men are the ones perpetuating that. Do you know where I first heard most men-bashing jokes? Other men. Now, none of that makes it okay for women to repeat those things. No one should be saying those things. I mean to point out the origin of those ideas. Those ideas didn’t originate from men hating women trying to oppress men.

          Nothing can negate your experience. In fact, I have seen many of the issues you brought up here discussed in feminist circles. A lot of these are problems that need to be addressed and many people are trying to address.

          1. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond to my reply, and that you have addressed most of what I have said. I appreciate the intelligence and strength of your arguments.

            Yet, I find that although you have shown great strength in the logic of your arguments, I find your tone to be harsh. You still haven’t given me any credit to understanding white privilege. Despite being white and male… I’m not heterosexual in orientation. (Not homosexual in orientation, either; bisexuality is a different can of worms, in my personal experience.) My experience is not as insular as some might perceive at first. I did not get the impression that you understood I didn’t need to be preached to about such.

            I also find your tone to be rather un-empathetic. I also place great emphasis on reciprocity; so far, I get the impression you have no interest or time in what I have to say at my own blog, even when I have suggested that I might have written some things on subjects you have express interest in.

            That said, I’m not really waiting for you to respond about how you are justified and how all of my observations are unwarranted. I do remember being younger and very idealistic; I am older and jaded now. Yes, I’m sure that’s ageist; chalk it up also to a bad old fashioned notion that some respect should come to the older and more experienced. No, I don’t quite see the Internet equalizing people of different ages quite so much; I think those differences are not hidden by a virtual space. I guess I shouldn’t have spoken to this topic when my inner wounds are still festering. Oh yes, I’ve only just now found the courage to speak of my experiences, and mention those here that have been merciful on my wretched vulnerability of late; but that you continue to defend your own experiences so determinedly leads me to believe that you are marginalizing my own, despite your claims to the contrary.

            I came because you were a regular at Kenneth’s blog, and I figured you would be interested in a mutual exchange as he has been (and he’s been willing to leave a few comments).

            I’m also in a great deal of pain– my surgeon wants to remove a few screws from my spine. If you were reading anything on my own space, you’d have a notion of the pain that I’m in– and perhaps that my willpower, and hence my patience, is exceedingly short right now. Yes, I’m cutting you up short, Kira; I’ve tried very hard to be respectful and make it clear where I’m coming from, but I still find your responses unkind.

            I suppose you will defend yourself passionately now, but, I’m really not interested at this time. Perhaps later, when you have adjusted your paradigm a bit. Goodbye. By all means, have the last word– but don’t be too surprised if I decide to ignore it.

      2. I would tag (as a small clinger-on) to Jaklumen’s reply: Equality in its simplest implications is good. Women are human beings just as men are, rational beings capable of free choice. That’s how equality must be framed; if we move into ‘women should have the same opportunities men do’, that can be good as well, but it can also get extremely tricky and topsy-turvy at that point. And the most vocal positions that ask for equality in our age tend to gloss over the differences between men and women.

        For example (most notably), there was a huge outcry a few years ago about female soldiers not being paid the same as male soldiers. ‘Inequality!’ everyone cried in unison. Trouble is, women soldiers are only required to carry 70lb. of survival gear, whereas men are required to carry 100lb. This regulation is due to the fact that, generally speaking, men are physically stronger than women. Now that we have the facts, is it really equality to pay someone (whomever that may be) the same who carries less gear – gear that could save his/her comrades or his/her own life – than those to whom s/he is being compared? Or, consider the argument of women not being paid as much as men for the same job. Where the situation is as simple as that (with no other qualifiers), yes, there should be no distinction. However, studies have shown that men tend to be more aggressive about asking for pay-raises, and it isn’t their fault when they get them that their women counterparts haven’t been as aggressive. Furthermore, what is often overlooked in many of the examples used (Man Y and Woman X working the same job) is that in many cases the woman in the comparison has left the work-force for 18+ years to raise children, meaning the man has 18+ years of experience over the woman. In situations such as this, it is actually unfair to the man to be compared with the woman.

        And so on, and so forth. I write all of the preceding really to get at the heart of the comment: namely, I think your analogy is overly simplistic. Admittedly the point of an analogy is to make something simple – granted – but I think it’s inaccurate. Do men really have $5 and women, $3, across the board? Jaklumen brings up child custody, rape, domestic violence, etc. – in all of which women have distinct favour in our society and which, it should be noted, are not small arenas of our life in society. I would add that, in an age of affirmative action quotas and nanny-state attempts at levelling, ironically, being the $5 white male can actually be one of the least powerful positions to occupy; it is not simply white males pouting about the pitch being levelled. In many cases I would agree there is racism and sexism working its evil in our society – being the white male really is the shit, and unfortunately being neither white nor male is a disadvantage – but I have experienced the opposite just as much if not more (and I have been attentive to equally qualified individuals being overlooked by the ‘good old boys club’). To put it bluntly: as a white male, I have no magic, unspoken, bureaucratic trump card hovering over me; I can’t depend on an employer’s fear of appearing calloused, or of being sued or otherwise harangued, to fall back upon. When I was in the workforce proper, I was on numerous occasions turned down for positions and promotions for which I was supremely over-qualified, positions filled by under-qualified persons with evidently worse work ethic than myself who, incidentally, happened to be female or a minority (who therefore filled a certain cheque-box on a form somewhere).

        Hence, the analogy falters. In some situations I have $5 and you have $3 (going on $4 now). Hurray for your move up to $4; hopefully you have $5 soon. However, in other areas (happily unaddressed by most feminists, perhaps because it isn’t as simple to smooth over), I have $5 and everyone else has $5, plus a mandated $2 bonus offered to the employer and the employee under threat of penalty. So goes the tricky business of trying to regulate/enforce equality: we all end up getting shafted in different ways.

        1. Oh man. There is so much here. Let’s see if I can get to all the points, because you make a lot of good ones.

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with the idea that women should have the same opportunities as men. Opportunities are not the same as results. There are differences between men and women, but those differences are not true for each individual and they’re not insurmountable. Taking out gender from your soldier example, we have two people doing different levels of work. The one who does more work (i.e. carries more weight) should get paid more. When it comes to the military, I don’t think the inequality is in pay given your example. The problem is that one person is required to carry more than the other. There is no reason why women should not be held to the same expectations as men. Women should be required to carry 100 pounds too. Men and women should have to complete the same physical tests as men. THAT is equal.

          When it comes to pay raises, the opportunity is the ability to ask for a raise. If the opportunity to ask for a raise is available to bother genders, then they are equal. Whether or not an individual chooses to ask for a raise it entirely up to them. Aggressiveness is another thing, though. Studies have shown that men who are aggressive in the business world tend to be perceived as driven and focused, while women who are aggressive in the business world are perceived as bossy and bitchy. These are the sorts of things where I see the most inequality these days. It’s not something you can put a law around. For the most part, women have equal and civil rights as men. Socially, things are different and that side of things will change at a slower pace than all the rest. You fine someone for perceiving a woman as bossy and a man as driven.

          Admittedly, I know very little about child custody. All I have to go off of is one study I read whose name I can’t remember (I know… not the greatest source. Sorry). It looked deeper into the cases and found that, in the vast majority of custody battles, the men either a) did not fight for custody or b) settled out of court. The number of men who actually fought for sole custody of their children was under 20%. In those cases, more than 90% of men won custody. That would make it appear that things aren’t really slanted in favor of women, but that women just tend to desire sole custody more than men. That’s not enough for me to have a solid opinion either way, but it’s enough for me to be skeptical about gender bias in child custody cases. There are other things surrounding that that I do think are unfair. Child support, for example, seems stupid to me. Back in the day when most women didn’t make much or work at all, it made sense. These days, that’s not the case. A woman whose husband passes away doesn’t get child support. She supports her child with her own money. A divorced person, regardless of gender, can do the same IF the have sole custody.

          Things like affirmative action are awkward policies aimed at trying to change social inequality. Like I said before, legally and civilly, the races and genders are basically equal. Those laws can’t prevent a person from perceiving a black kid in a hoodie as a threat or a hiring manager from perceiving a specific race or gender as lesser than another. A person has a right to their own opinion, after all. But policies like affirmative action try to overcome those social opinions. There is no way to make them completely fair. Honestly, I’m on the fence about whether or not those policies should exist at all.

          While I have the female thing going for me, I don’t have much else. I remember a guy coming to my high school to talk about scholarships. He excitedly talked about how there was a scholarship for everyone. “What’s unique about you?” he asked. Red hair? Left handed? Unique ethnicity? There’s a scholarship for you! I didn’t have any of those, though… and I didn’t get many scholarships. What I DID have was middle class parents with good jobs who could offer me food and shelter if things got rough, who would take me grocery shopping when I was running low on money and who could provide a car if I didn’t have one. Those things were related to my class privilege. I had friends who got scholarships because they were Hispanic or because their parents made less money than mine. It felt unfair, because I had to take out more loans and they didn’t. At the same time, I had things that seemed unfair to them. Many would have given up their scholarship if they have the privileged option of moving back in with their parents after college. They would have loved if their parents could have afforded to buy them groceries. I’m not saying my opportunities were equal to theirs because of the scholarships. It’s just one more example of a policy which is trying to equalize social inequalities.

          I have heard your complaint about workplace inequalities more than once. It creates a bad work environment because an unqualified worker won’t be able to pull their own weight. I get where it’s aimed, but I think we may have reached a point where we don’t need that kind of policy anymore. A better policy would be aimed at the educational system so that people in minority groups have the same educational opportunities.

          Anyway, I hope something in there made sense. I know the $5 analogy was too simple. My point in all this is, these policies aren’t aimed at taking away something from men or white people and they aren’t aimed at giving women and other races more than men and white people. They’re not racist because they’re not based on the idea that one race is better than another. They’re not sexist because they’re not based on the idea that one gender is better than they other. They are, however, flawed because they don’t create the equality they were put in place to create. In some cases, I think the polices should stay in place with a few improvements and in other cases, I think it would be better to scratch the policies all together and work on changing societal opinions on certain genders and races.

          1. Much to respond to (a good thing, not bad!), but as a pre-response: verygod points. The custody battle issue is worth looking into; i could be speaking out of my depth. Other points equally good. Hope to have an afternoon like to-day soon to reply. Thanks!

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