Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Who's changed?

I was watching Back to School with my son the other day and there was an interesting dialogue exchange. A quick background, Thorton Mellon is the highly successful 60+ freshman, going back to school because even though he's made millions, his late father said that without an education, you're nobody. Professor Turner is the blonde English Professor Mellon has a crush on.

So they're on a date and Mellon is complaining that women have changed. Nowadays, they're too into their careers and into themselves. Turner said that it's not the women who have changed, but the men. Before the women's movement, they were too macho. After the women's movement, men go out of their way to be sensitive, and she finds that equally unappealing.

I already have an opinion on this, but I'm tired of hearing my own voice. Who do you think changed?

11 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

I think we've all changed. I think maybe, just maybe, some people have finally started to realize that gender identities aren't fixed and that there is no such thing as a universal definition of male or female. Some men are hyper masculine, some are not. Some women are hyper feminine, some are not. This doesn't mean that the former are somehow "more" manly or feminine than the latter.

2/20/2007 10:53 AM  
Blogger SME said...

I don't know much about gender politics, but I do know this: Rodney Dangerfield rocks.

No, seriously, I think it's good that we're mixing it up a little: Masculine women, feminine men. We need a bit of everything to keep the world interesting.

2/20/2007 12:33 PM  
Blogger lime said...

i think both changed. i think women got more assertive and men were told that being a gentleman was a bad thing (holding doors and chairs and such things) but they were told they had to be sensitive and in touch with their feelings and i think a lot of poor guys just didn't know what the heck was expected of them anymore. some went the alan alda route. others backlashed and became like that dope who wrote the book below.

everything got kind of turned on its head to where i feel like i have to justify being an at-home mom as if somehow i am not pulling my wieght in the family.

in someways i think some things needed to change but in other ways i think so many people got blindsided there is a lot of groping around blindly trying to figure out what is expected...for both genders.

2/20/2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - Yes. Something for the better and something for the worse. Better: more freedoms for both genders. Worse: a resentment for the old ways, of which some weren't that bad.

SME - I was bummed when he died. The guy's made me laugh so many times.

Lime - i think a lot of poor guys just didn't know what the heck was expected of them anymore.

This is a feeling I got. I was about to give up before I met my wife.

everything got kind of turned on its head to where i feel like i have to justify being an at-home mom as if somehow i am not pulling my wieght in the family.


This is one example of how we've come to resent the old ways. I think kids would be many times better off with a stay-at-home parent, regardless of gender. My wife felt she was ridiculed by a lot of women for staying at home.

2/20/2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Amazing. The failed English actor, Daniel Hoffman Gill, who will never amount to anything, must be out of work and wasting everyone's time again. You'd think he'd have something better to do than leave stupid comments on this blog, but apparently not.

People who are consistent failures hate successful people and blame the world for their failures.

2/21/2007 8:44 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Why would you not want to give us your opinion on something? That's why we come here. I refuse to indulge your request.
On a sidenote--I'm still shaking my head at your last comment. I didn't know he was still lurking around.

2/21/2007 10:23 AM  
Blogger Steven Novak said...

You should never start out a serious conversation with the words "I was watching Bakc to School." ;)

Steve~

2/21/2007 10:48 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

ZS: "a resentment for the old ways, of which some weren't that bad" That kinda depends on your point of view. Some of the old practices were pretty bad for some people.

I don't think the ridicule for stay at home parenting comes from a change in gender roles per se. I think it comes from a change in gender roles combined with the inability of our culture to *value* caregiving (a typically feminine role).

Also, stay at home dads have it 100 times worse than stay at home moms. They get it from both sides. Not only are they criticized for being "lazy" or for not getting "a real job" but they're doing "women's work" to boot. It all comes down to what our culture values most - and in the end, that's paid wage labor. Period.

2/21/2007 8:11 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Sadie and Steven - All right, fine. Don't share. When I come over to your houses with some Now and Laters, don't expect me to share any. ;)

Laura - Also, stay at home dads have it 100 times worse than stay at home moms. They get it from both sides.

Very true. Saw this first hand.

It all comes down to what our culture values most - and in the end, that's paid wage labor. Period.

No argument here.

2/23/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Pretty much agree with the theme of the other commenters. Would prefer that we just be people and forget the 'shoulds'. I love men with manners and that includes opening doors (yes indeed I say thank you to them).

Maybe the thing is to be kind to each other. Sorry that sounds saccharine but I really mean it. Kindness is like catnip at least for me. I love that quality wherever I find it.

Focus on careers? Well, my grandmother was one of those in a big way. My mother didn't have options and stayed with a pretty abusive guy and us four kids because of the way that society was in those days (and because she loved him). Her daughter (me)? Career would and does take second place to love. Just can't find it, tho! There's lots of sex around (which I ignore), but not enough caring/love.

Maybe we just blame careers and gender because we don't want to get into the feelings side of things.

2/24/2007 1:36 PM  
Blogger clothosfate said...

hmmmm... good one. Again, I would say both have changed, but thats such an easy answer.
I would say the real change is not gender specific. It's a change in how we view our relationships. Neither men nor women have enough good reason to marry anymore, and without the need to marry, why bother even spending that much energy on THAT part of your life... you know, the part that doesn't revolve around yourself.
The reason we don't put much faith in marriage? Well those people who would be thinking about getting married these days, were raised mostly by divorced parents or single-parents. Also if you take a look anywhere around you, its not everlasting love that people are selling, its sex. And we all know you don't have to sign any papers that legally bind you to someone to have sex.
How much attention or energy we put into having successful relationships is directly affected by our parents relationships and their parents relationships... obviously what they were doing wasn't working, or we wouldn't have ended up where we are today. The real problem is that most people don't have any good and realistic examples of what they might actually WANT in a healthy relationship, with themselves OR with others, to replace the vacuum filled void of knowing what they don't want.
Our illusions get shattered and we end up not knowing who we are, or what we are supposed to be doing here anyway. The trick is knowing that you never really knew before either, you were just deceived by the shinny illusion. Nows your chance to figure it out.
Change happens... roll with it or be rolled over by it.
... sorry, wrote a small book there

2/25/2007 2:44 PM  

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