Mandy Fisher

This conversation is closed.

Feminism vs. Traditionalism- The Good, The Bad, and The Consequences.

Has the fem movement created a negative or positive benefit for human beings as a whole?

Oh, this one is hot, but I'm going to pick it up anyway. I am a woman, and I believe in equal rights and opportunity for all people, regardless of gender. I am also what you call a "kept woman", and I use that term because of the negative stigma now attached to women who do not work, raise children and keep the house. After the feminist revolution, society's gave a smile to the working woman and rolled eyes at the traditional. In the meantime, it's children were being raised by money-motivated nannies and dirty daycares- bringing up a culture of breakfast club teenagers and now confused, attention-splattered youth in desperate search for meaning in an otherwise profit-focused world.

The debate: do the benefits of the career woman outweigh the negativity of missing parents?

Duel it out my fellow Tedsters.


  • Aug 1 2013: This is a false issue. The topic explanation is extremely misleading. Generalizations about child raising and confused youth are useless.

    Your debate question, "The debate: do the benefits of the career woman outweigh the negativity of missing parents?" is absurd.

    Questions like this make it extremely difficult to deal with the real issues of raising children in a just society, free of restrictive roles imposed by outdated tradition. The real world is not simple, and it is not restricted to just the two fantastical paradigms you have described. Parents, along with other members of extended families, are struggling to do their best to care for children. The decision of whether to have a second income to better provide for the children can be extremely difficult and complex. Some women just are not good mothers, and their children are better off in day care. That was true when women had virtually no choice but to take care of their own children, and the children suffered, stuck at home with an incompetent mother.

    Instead of debating absurd questions, we need to support parents in any way we can, and trust them to make the best decisions for their own children, based on their individual circumstances. There is no one best way to run all families. Feminism should be about increasing choices, not imposing a new stigma.
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Hey, hey, hey. Relax my friend. No one forced you to respond to the topic, and no idea or thought is "absurd" to discuss. It is human interaction at it's finest, an exchange of words and perspective. I appreciate yours, as I hope you respect others. Each and every one of us have a unique and valid opinion, and thus, should be received with both admiration and consideration.

      Please read my previous comments before passing judgement, as there are points I agree with you on.

    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: I wholeheartedly agree Barry....this kind of question/debate serves to separate people rather than finding solutions.

      As you say Barry, "we need to support parents in any way we can, and trust them to make the best decisions for their own children, based on their individual circumstances".

      I do not agree with Mandy's suggestion to "Duel it out....."
      It appears that s/he is trying to cause a "duel".
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Oh, I'm pretty sure I'm getting the humor Mary!
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: OK forgive me for pointing this out, but it is only a recent event that men worked outside the home. Actually a traditional family in most cultures worked as a family unit on a industry or a tribal goal from home. So I do not think, when you look at the past, that saying a single wage earning male working in industry is traditional at all. Actually that appears en mass in the US during the industrial migration of the 30s-40s. So the whole term traditional family should better be termed as experimental family.

    Both parents working outside the home is just the logical evolution of that experiment. People were proud to afford a car, have meat a couple times a week - especially after such a difficult time where that was not attainable (1920s-30s) The following generation had to outdo the previous generation and instead of one car, it became two, in stead of meat a couple times a week, it became every meal. All this was possible with the industrial revolution.

    Now that industry is gone and has not been completely replaced. It has made families critically review that mentality. And guess what, the technology age is allowing families to go back to working an industry from home. The next generation that was raised by day care may not want to subject their kids to the same. Maybe they missed their parents and think that 3 hours a night in front of the TV does not make for good parenting. Maybe they will advocate with the workplace and have different priorities. Gone is the 'bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan' mentality. Perhaps future generations will look upon the 'traditional' family as a pathetic byproduct of the industrial age.

    I am not a feminist nor will I ever be a feminist. I am not a victim and I do not blame men for my status in life. Feminists are not just about equality they assign blame to men. Women need to resolve the blame they themselves carry for the state of inequality.

    • W T

      • +1
      Aug 1 2013: Linda, what a wonderful point you make about the family working together originally.

      Yes, it used to be that both mom and dad worked the land, and the kiddies toiled alongside them.
      The family unit enjoyed much time together.......

      And, although it evolved from there, it appears, that as you have insightfully brought out........we have come full circle..........well, at least some of us. :)
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Thank you Linda for pointing out that the traditional family was not necessarily a man-breadwinner scenario. Once again, I used the term "traditional" as a convenient way to describe the stay-at-home mom/wife, but did not necessarily mean it in a literal sense.

      I like your idea on this all being a long, ever-changing social experiment. Consumerism certainly morphed culture in such a dramatic way that it makes sense the family unit transformed along with it, albeit not without consequence. I sincerely hope that as time ticks away, the minds begin to tick as well, and we begin to recognize once more the true value of life and happiness. Too much life energy has been wasted through mindless, grueling work for meaningless, silly things. I agree, maybe technology will allow for more freedom for people to live their lives instead of spending most of it in an office chair.

      Thumbs up on the statement: "Women need to resolve the blame they themselves carry for the state of inequality"

  • thumb
    Jul 31 2013: The feminist movement has contributed significantly to the evolution of the family structure from one homemaking female and one wage/income earning male. To me that is a negative for people as a whole. That which once tethered young people to ideals of fiscal and social responsibility has been replaced by compensatory gestures from guilt-ridden parents trying to offset the cost their children are paying for the lack of a devoted, full-time Mother. Narcissism and disinterest in Truth have become commonplace in America's youth. I charge that to feminism. Today's family structure demands two incomes to service the debt for all the "stuff" that has been accumulated to compensate the latchkey kids. I charge that to feminism. The high-calling of Motherhood and Homemaker needs to be restored to the rightful place from which feminism displaced it. Equal rights, YES! Feminism, NO!
    • W T

      • 0
      Jul 31 2013: We can let our imagination run wild too Ed. ;)
      • thumb
        Jul 31 2013: Funny stuff! I don't blame women, I blame Feminists, female and male, for rolling their collective eyes at the non-wage earning Mother, Wife, Homemaker and Volunteer. I'm a Conservative and we like to conserve things that work well. The traditional family model worked well. America is the lesser for what feminism has accomplished by way of eroding that model. I must say I am confused by the wording of this post, specifically, what is a "negative benefit"? Be well my friend!
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Edward, did Mrs. Long put aside her teaching career, then, while raising the kids and resume when they were grown?
        • W T

          • 0
          Aug 1 2013: I thought you'd enjoy the cartoon.

          I think kids need their moms......but I know that some moms are just not happy being home.

          A lot of women do not like to cook and keep house. Well? What to do?

          I think it comes down to being a personal choice.
          Some of us have the best of both worlds, others are not so lucky.
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: RE: "I thought you'd enjoy...". Well Mary, if the woman being happy is the most important factor then today's new family paradigm is most suitable. But parenthood is a sacrificial act . Dads give up fishing, hunting, and golf every weekend and Mom's don't get much ME time, if any. I am not judging the modern parent, I am speaking against the effects of feminism on the traditional family structure which helped us grow to greatness from early America right up to the sixties. It was a good way of life and deserves a revisit. This post is a valuable nudge in that direction, thumbs up Mandy! PS to Fritzie... that's exactly what my boys Mama did!
        • W T

          • +1
          Aug 1 2013: You know Ed, I am of the same opinion as you.
          Parents can do a wonderful job if they are caring and nurturing, and yes, most definitely, parenthood is a sacrificial act.

          But do not be misled Ed.
          Many women are home, and do not work, and still leave much to be desired as far as parenting skills.

          We teachers know better than to single out one factor as to the deterioration of the family unit. (I think as Christians we do also.)

          I do value your words and insights. I know you are correct.
          What I am saying is that there is much more to it than feminism.
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: RE: "You know Ed. . . ". Absotutely Mary! Not all traditional Mom/Homemakers are good examples. And, feminism is not solely to blame for America's ills. The post asks if feminism is a plus or a minus culturally speaking. I say it is a minus, along with other contributing factors which work in unison to keep America off-course.
        • W T

          • 0
          Aug 1 2013: ".....factors which work in unison to keep America off-course"

          I would edit to say.....keep "humanity" off course................not mutually exclusive to America ( imho)
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Edward, I completely and utterly agree on the statement regarding guilty parents and overspending on children. We've been fooled into thinking we need all this stuff, that we need three cars and we need the latest computer and we need this and we need that. In fact, we really don't need much. As Thoreau said in Walden, "Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind".

      And so, yes, we get youth that seeming appear to not care for truth, and only themselves, but I find that deep down, it is a quiet desparation in the search for some kind of meaning. The disply of disregard is a defense for the choatic world of manipulation, marketing, and influence in our culture. They know that something isn't right, but they don't know how to fix it and feel that the cause is lost anyway, so why not feel internally pissed off, but outwardly cold?

      Take a peek at which songs become hits. A common theme? Music about revolution. Look at the video games, the popular movies, the social trends.

      Tick tock, tick tock, the clock is closer to stricking then not...

      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: I see your heart is for the victims of the deterioration of the family. . . the kids. We must all do our best to restore some sense of sanity for the youth of our world. I cannot imagine what a disheartening world we will hand-off to the next generation. I wish we could have a Mulligan, a Do-over. We could rewind to Nov.22, 1963 and then advance much more carefully this time.
  • thumb
    Aug 3 2013: Hi Mandy.
    We all have different views, all I can do is offer mine. I am 62, so have lived through most of this stuff.
    When we decided to have children, my wife and I were both on career paths. Having a family was soooo much more important than any career. I was an engineer, my wife a radiographer, and I lost the argument. She got to stay at home and bring up the children. I was really jealous, I would have preferred to stay at home, but someone had to earn.
    As the children got older Joan did agency work from home, then after 15 years or so resumed her career. We never resorted to sitters, crèche's, etc. Our son & daughter turned out ok, but are struggling a bit to find partners with the same values. We have also been blessed with a second daughter, a young lady in her early thirties who longed for a family base like we have. Feminism ? Yes it was there, but had zero effect on us. I believe they shot themselves in the foot. Perhaps men have brought it about by their superior attitudes, I can't say. Personally, I cherish the women in my family, they enhance my life, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. That's my tuppence worth.

    • thumb
      Aug 5 2013: Thank you for sharing your story Peter!!!
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: Hi Mandy,
    I do not perceive a situation where anyone has to choose "Feminism OR Traditionalism". I also believe in equal rights for all people regardless of gender, and we can maintain some traditional practices if we choose.

    If you want to be called a "kept woman", as you label yourself, it seems like you are reinforcing a label that you don't particularly like. I do not observe a "negative stigma now attached to women who do not work". That is a personal choice that an individual or couple makes, depending on their circumstances, needs and preferences.

    It is true that there are lots of kids cared for by people who are not their parents, and that is not always a bad situation. Personally, I felt like I was the best one to care for my children, so I stayed home and did what I and my husband felt was best for us as a family. I also know that people make different choices. We can maintain certain traditions AND things change throughout our evolution as humans. I like adapting to situations as they arise without blaming some people for the choices they make. Each person, or couple can weigh the situation including consequences, and make choices for themselves.

    If we, as a society are going to try to "duel it out", as you say, we are simply trying to make choices that we, as individuals think/feel are "right" for everyone, and to try to evaluate the choices other people make, doesn't seem like a particularly helpful idea or practice.
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Oh, I agree Colleen. I have maintained that I believe in equal rights and freedom of choice, and that it is not so black and white as one over the other.

      However, I have brought up some points as to why I believe someone needs to keep the home. As far as calling myself a "kept woman", I did so intentionally, as to demonstrate how society perceives people in my situation. Please keep in mind, that the times in the last five/ten years have changed dramatically. You state that you stayed home to raise the children, which I applaud you for. You have also stated that you do not observe a negative stigma for women who do not work. Perhaps it should be considered that during the time you were at home, it was not so much looked down upon as it is now. Being a stay at home wife, I can tell you first hand how society as a whole initially judges me. It always starts as innocent:

      John Doe: "So, what do you do?"
      Me: "Why, I'm a writer, mostly poetry, and I also love exploration and the arts"
      John Doe: "Really?! Are you published?"
      Me: "Self-published"
      John Doe: "Oh, so you free-lance?"
      Me: "No, I dabble here and there.. I have a blog"
      John Doe, now slightly confused: "Oh, well how do you make money?"
      Me, now feeling a ting of embarrassment: "Well, I stay at home"
      John Doe: "I see. Do you have kids?"
      Me: "Not yet"
      John Doe, with a sarcastic tone: "Must be nice"

      This is just one example. The women seem to receive me worse, which isn't surprising.

      My whole point on this topic is this- I don't want everyone to conform to one practice or idea. I understand some women can't stand the stay-at-home model and enjoy working, and that the system doesn't work for everyone. There is, however, a clear prejudice against women who do not choose wage-earning employment and this is what should be addressed.
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: I agree Mandy, with your statement to Fritzie..."It boils down to the values and lessons taught and not simply someone being there".

        I realize you wrote that you are a "kept woman" intentionally, and I do not agree that society perceives people in your situation in that way. I interact with lots of people, in lots of different settings, and I have never heard that idea. I'm not saying it does not exist, I simply do not believe it is a societal belief.

        I realize that times have changed Mandy, and as I said, I interact with many people from different segments of society, including many women of different ages. I do not perceive the choice of some women, or men to stay home as a "negative stigma".

        I am sorry you have had challenging experiences with this issue, and I do not perceive your experiences as society creating a stigma.

        It is a good idea, on your part, that you "don't want everyone to conform to one practice or idea", so you might consider the idea that there is NOT a "clear prejudice against women who do not choose wage-earning employment".
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: I think you present here a slightly different situation than the one that seemed earlier to be the focus of the conversation.

        It seemed you were talking about stay-at-home mothers, whereas now it seems perhaps you are talking about a different situation.

        I believe there are many families in which one spouse is an artist/writer working from a studio at home and the other has whatever job he/she has! How people have received you may have more to do with how you present yourself than with your choice of how you spend your time.

        While I do not know what your John Doe was thinking in your conversation, I think people do react to the seriousness of the enterprise you describe. For example, if you are working on a novel and someone asks whether you are published yet, I think people would only respect you for an answer of "Not yet, but I am giving it a go!"

        I think people have great respect for entrepreneurial undertakings.
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: You are right Fritzie. Perhaps the reactions I receive are my own projections of uneasiness in the expectation of how one will receive me. I admit that the question of "what do you do?" brings an immediate tang of embarrassment, and that my defenses prop themselves up in the hope they will not press harder. Keep it simple, and be proud of what you do. I'll keep this advice close and try my best to remember it in these interactions. Thanks again my friend!
  • W T

    • +2
    Aug 1 2013: I must link in this TED presentation.......
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Wow Mary! I really enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing! There is definitely both sides to this issue, and I recognize the danger of convenience in lumping it into terms "feminism" and "traditionalism", as these are only small parts of both.

      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Oh Mary, it sounds that our lives are similar in so many ways.

          I appreciate hearing your story. Although we do not yet have children (just started trying now), I too plan on homeschooling and we both get similar reactions from people in regard to our lifestyle. My husband and I both share an exciting, rich life; just as you described likewise.

          I get the "spoiling" comments as well, but you know? Maybe I am being spoiled, and you know what else? I spoil him jut as much! We do so in different ways, but in the end, it is all an expression of our deep love for one another. He works hard in the office, and I in the home. Country to what many think, being is homemaker is not easy. It's a 24/7 job, and my day s filled with errands and the like. It's a great balance for us, and it works.

          I will say this. It takes a particular personality to maintain that balance. A type-A powerhouse woman may not take picking up her husbands boxers in the same way others might. That's alright. There is someone for everyone and whatever people can make work, more power to them!

          I also understand that this is indeed a privilege that not everyone has access to. My own loving sister is in that group, and I at times feel guilty to have a lifestyle she wants but can not obtain- although it was ultimately her decision in who she choose to be with.

          Anyway, I appreciate your perspective Mary and I hope to engage in more interesting conversations with you.

          Good wishes!
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Dear Mandy,
          Your conversation is taking another turn.

          You write in your introduction....
          " I am also what you call a "kept woman", and I use that term because of the negative stigma now attached to women who do not work, raise children and keep the house".

          This statement suggests that you have children and are raising them.

          In your recent comment, you write...
          "Although we do not yet have children (just started trying now), I too plan on homeschooling and we both get similar reactions from people in regard to our lifestyle".

          Why do the reactions from some people bother you so much?
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Mary and Mandy, could you share what part of the country you live in? This may affect people's reactions to your being at home.

          And Mary, about how old is your youngest? I ask because you mention you are almost done with homeschooling.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Thanks Mary. I am aware of how to use the TED reply system:>)
  • Aug 5 2013: Feminism only focuses on the issues of one gender, therefore, it will never solve any major issues. Men and women carry their own burdens. Modern feminism is nothing but laughable. What we really need is humanists, in other words, people who focus on the issues of both genders. Feminism stopped being beneficial years ago and is now poisoning the minds of young women.
  • thumb
    Aug 5 2013: The irony is that feminism has been created by men. By that I mean it is the stupidity of macho, patriarchal attitudes of men that have driven women into the opposing reaction of feminism.

    The definition of 'success' is primarily motivated by competitiveness and the financial rewards and accolades that go with it. These are the things that bolster male pride - and women, especially feminists, feel they have to compete on those terms in order to 'get on' in that distorted reality. Thus, feminism renders women as tub-thumping proto-males, which is just as silly as the men who created the gladiatorial arena in which women feel they have to compete.

    This clearly has to stop, lest gender difference becomes hopelessly blurred, and the holy grail of 'equality' makes the whole of life a muddy grey nether world.

    If I have to apportion blame on anything, it would have to be the world created by men, the disrespect for 'difference', and the ignorance of equality going against the grain of biology. Feminism I therefore see as a reactionary weakness. The really strong women are the ones who are comfortable with, and celebrate, the gender they were born with.
  • thumb
    Aug 2 2013: Hi Mandy,
    I am old school. I was never really clear on why this schism happened. I remember "the old days" there were families of husbands and wives with children. Most often husbands worked outside the home and wives maintained the home and hearth and mostly raised the children.. It seemed to be a good thing. There seemed to an excepted equality in this arrangement.

    There were men and women who were not part of families, who did different things... I guess you could call them career people. When I was young that didn't seem to be a problem. Well, the old lady across the street was lamenting that her daughter who was a single college professor seemed not to be in any hurry to give her grandchildren...but

    So, what happened and why? I heard of the feminist revolution and I have no real understanding of why. Why would women criticize other women for making a choice either way. If a person is happy doing what they are doing, who am I and who are you to say that they are wrong. It is not that it's immoral to be a homemaker; it is not illegal to be involved in a career and if you can be successful at both more power to you.

    I was told by a women that "women are smarter then men" if that is true this feminist revolution thing sure doesn't prove that.... in fact the whole thing is kind of really dumb. But, what do I know, I am just an old man.
  • Aug 1 2013: My mother has worked a 40-45 hour week since 1974. Not once in my life did she miss a football game, birthday, or any other milestone of my life. She was there to answer the tough questions, laugh with me, and I've been told by very reliable sources that she raised at least a moderately acceptable member of society.

    My point? It comes down to an individual to make time for their family. It can be done- empirically speaking.

    The following- i might point out- is a fatal flaw in society. Nannies, daycare and school for eight hours a day is educational for a child; however, it's utterly up to parents to teach their children what it means to be a good person or a belief structure that is redeemable somehow the the innately flawed human condition. And when you decide to have a child, you own that responsibility. End of story. No societal trend should be used like a rationalizational crutch to erase the dynamic of a mothers love for her child. Oh, random parent, you're too busy to teach your child how act like a human being? Perhaps you should have ruminated upon the consequence of childbirth. I digress...
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: We've all been discussing children and the effects of working parents, but let's jazz it up a bit and open the topic of how relationships are influenced.

    Do you feel that the career woman has a richer, more fulfilling relationship compared to the stay at homer, or vice versa? How are the dynamics the same, and how are they different?
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Mandy,
      People are discussing "children and the effects of working parents" because that is how you presented your debate.

      Your new question is:
      "Do you feel that the career woman has a richer, more fulfilling relationship compared to the stay at homer, or vice versa? How are the dynamics the same, and how are they different?"

      I believe a person...whatever her/his choice in the life experience...creates fullness in her/his relationship and circumstances......or not. The dynamics change according to how we, as individuals choose to contribute to the situation. Does that "jazz it up" enough for you?
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: I sense sharpness in your words, and I sincerely hope I did not offend you. I was not suggestion that it was a negative to remain on the original topic. I simply wished to expand and provoke more thought on the subject.

        This is just good conversation. I promise I'm not conjuring up an evil plan to implement a world dominated by housewives ;)
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: Sorry you sense "sharpness" in my words Mandy, and I do not choose to be offended by what you write. I'm simply responding to your questions, and using some of your own words.

          I did not suggest in any way that you are "conjuring up an evil plan" of any kind. I wonder why you would think of that!
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: Do you have any empirical evidence of differences in the happiness, productivity, or social contribution of children once they reach adulthood depending on whether the mother stayed home full-time, worked part-time, or worked full-time?

    Study of people living at the same time would be more interesting as comparisons at different points in history are confounded by too many other changes that happened at the same time, making it more difficult to discern the independent effect of family structure.
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Honestly Fritzie, I do not, although I will look into this more and see if I can dig something up.

      Really though, statistical data is not something I put much weight in. There are so many different factors that play into whether children will turn out one way or that, and as Ted and I have discussed earlier, just because a parent stays at home doesn't mean the parent is any benefit to the child. It boils down to the values and lessons taught and not simply someone being there.
      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: It is certainly true that one cannot assume a correlation between quality of parenting and whether the mother stays home.

        The problem with ignoring statistical evidence and empirical research is that it tends to leave us only with our biases and conclusions based on anecdote filtered through those biases.
  • Jul 31 2013: I think the real question is, what feminism is in the first place. Why can't it be called "equalism" if it seeks to promote equality? I'm having hard time to deal with feminism, because when you ask hundred people "What feminism is fundamentally?", you'll get a lot of different answers. Not hundred necessarily, but still far too many.

    On the topic itself, I think it should be internal decision of each family whenever the man or the woman stays with the children, including any alternatives. Even if woman had equal position at work, I don't see why it would lead directly to "missing parents" scenario or why feminism directly should be blamed for it. It's an internal affair of family, both are responsible for that situation.

    Now, if we assume, that the child is left by the nanny because of the parents decision, it doesn't mean that the nanny is strictly "bad" because money motivates her. By the end of the day, we live in a world where money pretty much motivates everyone, unfortunately. Even the loving parents, despite being home with the children, might still be just as motivated for money, but feel more responsible for their "natural" duty.

    Thus all being said, I find it impossible to answer your question. You haven't explained the benefits of being a "career woman", for instance. What are they and do they apply in each instance? And you haven't directly said anything about the "negative". If "negative" means "brainwashed by money", then you should perhaps understand that the "breakfast club teenagers" are pretty much a majority, many of whom developed in the loving traditional environment. Culture and trends, while one could argue that parents could interfere with them to some extent, they're still affected by a large number of things, from the very TV that your children might watch to the things they are taught in schools.

    In the end, I think it's phenomena that arised along with feminism, not because of feminism.
    • thumb
      Jul 31 2013: In my general understanding, the feminist movement promoted women to step outside the home and develop careers. The glass celing must be broken, they say, and women must be among the top executives, CEOs, and polictical dogs.

      Of course the decision is an internal one, but do you not agree that society plays heavily on it? Today, a woman who does not seek traditional employment and stays at home is generally looked down upon, and almost always judged negativally. This creates pressure to not only seek employment, but pursue life-long careers that take substantial time and resources. All the while, the drive to reproduce is still there, hot and heavy, and so an attempt is made to juggle both work and family. This is now the norm, even celebrated. You can't be away at work and still be present in the home- thus, the "missing parent".

      Now, let me back up a bit. I do believe a man can raise a child just as effectivly, but this still creates issues. Cultural and biological drives tend to create an additional stigma for men who choose to stay at home, as well as psychological issues among the men themselves, which is based on my own experiences speaking with them. Like it or not, problems with self-worth and embarrasment seem to be more prevelant among men whose partners make the chedder. I don't like, but for now, it's the way the ball rolls, which is why I am focusing on women and their move from the home to the office.

      Of course, just because a parent is home doesn't make them a good parent. My point was that to raise your own children is a biological drive, and the majority of people have a deep love for their offspring and thus enjoy the process. Although a nanny/daycare provider may love kids, it's still a job, and that makes all the difference.

      The benefits?
      Fuel for the ego and $$$$$$$$$$$$

      The negative?
      Once agian, the missing parent. And also not previously noted, the missing wives.

      As far as public education and the telly raising our kiddies-
      • Jul 31 2013: To a certain extent, I do agree that men and women generally speaking, have psychological differences. And indeed, men, do seem to respond more dramatically to embarrasing situations. Thus being said, I was not strictly implying, that equality should exist among families in such manner that men would be raising their kids as often as woman. Though I largely do believe that best case scenario is where both parents are as much involved, in their own ways.

        Your statement about society affecting families internal decision is an interesting one, though. At these times of moral decay, I'd have to agree. But you're saying that the woman who stays in home is looked down upon. This can be understood in two ways; a woman who stays at home during the period of raising the children and then the other woman who stays at home generally. In the first case, I'm afraid I can't say anything, because I live in Finland which is fairly different environment than America, for example. The latter, is somewhat looked down upon even here, but that's mostly due to the typical "rich & heart of gold" scenario that's present in here, which I honestly also find unhealthy.

        More interestingly, in Finland, the traditional approach is quite popular approach and in fact, the choice never comes down to a nanny, it's either the father or the mother, who stays in home. The interesting thing about this is that we're still seeing the same teenagers here, who don't know what "fun" means when there's no alcohol or drugs. And the only form of proper food is the one that can be cooked under five minutes. I simply have hard time to understand, why this would be directly associated with parenting. I personally see this more as a result of consumerism directly.

        It all boils down to whenever the problem is directly related to parenting or whenever it's the cultural & environmental factor, perhaps both? Interactively? It's a problematic question indeed, care to share your thoughts specifically on this
        • thumb
          Aug 1 2013: I like your perspective Ted.

          I agree, that albeit a parent is present at the home, and that parent may be just perfect in every way, you will still have the a-hole, rebellious, emotional teenager. I believe this is more of a biological mechanism then a social one, unfortunatly. Although that's not to say every teen is the same, but the majority speaks. I will agree that consumerism has added fuel to the fire, and not only are the youth angry, they are in want, and damn it, they feel completely and utterly entitled to it.

          Which brings up your next point: if that is the case, then perhaps the issues lie more in the society then the parent, or maybe it's a combo of both? My opinion is maintained that although I disagree with the culture fervently, it boils down to the parents and the values they instill in their babes. The society can be absolutely in shambles, but if the child is taught to overcome the temptations of greed and violence and instead embrace and spread positivity and goodness, what can overpower that? Human beings are amazing, beautiful creatures. The world can be on fire but the spirit can stay alive. Are we going to trust those chasing bills to teach and nuture that understanding? Are we going to tell them that money and dead things are more important then the precious time and irreplacable experiences of guiding them?

          It's all just a dream,

  • thumb
    Aug 8 2013: I have a single comment to the general feminism concept : It's a woman trying to be a man.
    Controversial? I agree. But in my personal perspective gender, like in other species, get us differences. Even in genetic, man and woman have one different chromosome, and that's a difference.
    We are so complex, and we built such a complex society, that the role-play of our gender existence is also complex.
    Every kind of behaviour has consequences. Women conquered, in occidental culture, a huge amount of "rights", but there are losses to deal with. It's a matter of balance. You loose some, you win some. The question is, if our genetics is prepared to deal with it, our hormones, our brain...It's a never-ending answer to a never-ending question.
  • thumb
    Aug 5 2013: I don't agree that men and women are equal. I think women are better than men in social context. I know this is a potentially debatable statement but this is also my honest feeling.
    The most significant women in my life, starting from my mother have one thing in common. Strength. All these women carried additional burden of raising families and making homes and sacrificed a lot, that they would not have to if our societies were differently designed. And strangely none of these women were so called 'feminists'.
    Our societies and economic systems are just not developed enough to value contributions by women. A stay at home mom's contributions are not measured in terms of GDP. So dysfunctional families do not really surprise me.
  • Aug 3 2013: I think it is up to each family. One choice is correct for one and not for another. My wife and I decided that one parent would stay home with the children. Many of our friends decided the opposite and both parents pursued their careers.

    The most extreme was the husband worked and lived with the children. The wife worked in a city 4 hours away. She came home for weekends.
  • Aug 2 2013: Hi Dear Mandy Fisher:).It is really a wonderful question should be asked and be debated around.
    Being a teacher for twenty-years.I observe what can support children to grow up in good and healthy not only physical but also psychological both,only parents do the best.
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: .

    a. Husband
    The husband half is biologically assigned in charge of food-seeking, habitat constructing, defending, donating all kinds of co-body-safety messages ceaselessly to his wife (kissing, embracing, and so on) .
    His ability and smartness come mainly from the ceaseless intimate encouragement of the other half of the marriage ---- the wife.
    b. Wife
    The wife is biologically assigned in charge of the child bearing, child bring up, house hold, and etc.
    She transfers all the physical substantial materials from her own body into the baby’s. Also, she exhausts all her spiritual energy to bring up the baby or child ---- the DNA-carrier of both the husband and wife.
    That is where her mother-greatness and beauty come from.
    Her beauty and virtue are support-enhanced by the ceaseless intimate co-body message from the other half of the marriage ---- the husband.
    This is the right way that the husband and wife of a marriage work; and the right way that happy life of the couple comes from.
    Then, there will be no issue of gender equality at all.
  • Aug 1 2013: Maybe we are taking this too seriously. Reporting problems are not always the same is real problems. In fact, almost never is a better measure.
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Indeed, there are certainly bigger issues. However, this is just a TED conversation and all ideas have value and desire to be discussed and thought about. Besides, it may be a bit deeper then you believe, if you consider how it fundamentally altered the realities of child-rearing and relationships. Now, you are not suggesting that it is better to never report a problem are you? How can any solution be made without recognizing something's wrong in the first place?
      • Aug 2 2013: Good Point. I just meant that in my work the complaint was almost never the real problem.
  • thumb
    Aug 1 2013: The problem is our roles in society is measured in terms of money , that means how much one earns from her/ his role ( career).
    Homemakers role being penniless role it was never considered as a career neither to the so called traditionalist nor to so called feminist .
    • thumb
      Aug 1 2013: Agreed. It was not considered a career nor do I believe it should. The term has a sour taste anyhow, I like the word "calling" a bit better.

      • thumb
        Aug 1 2013: Everyone has the liberty to believe whatever s/he wants to until its harmful to anyone else. It's also should be call of one's heart to decide which career one would take , no "ism" should influence it .

        Last not least , word gets rotten over time due to it's misuse or abuse over and over and we need to find new word to replace that .