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December 02, 2003



70 % of FreshMEN are women...interesting. Guess someone better come up with a more appropriate word.
On the article: I agree that our boys and girls/men and women are experiencing a shift in power, or a shift in roles, whatever you want to call it. I also think there have been too many children born to selfish parents who will not give up anything to stay home and be parents. (Rant begins) I’m not concerned one iota about the lack of manliness in a man or the lack of girly-girl in a women, I really only care about who is going to raise our children. As early as 40 years ago if you tried to sell the notion of day care to a bunch of parents, they would have thought you were nuts. “Imagine, someone else raising the kids!!”
Well, imagine…someone else IS raising our kids, and guess what? The kids don’t like it. They get angry and act out. And, as the article suggests, we deal with this unruly behaviour with calming drugs. Some smart we are. But hey, I got me a job and a big house and I drive a cool car.
Many women and men have been made to feel inadequate for staying at home and raising their children, like they were not being a productive part of society.
We’ve equated how much money we make to our sense of self-worth. It’s a direct reflection of who we think we are. Staying at home and raising children never was and never should be about making money. It should be about WANTING to raise secure, happy individuals.
(Rant ends…for now)

robert paterson

Cyn I think that you are onto something here. Many women have told themselves and any other woman they meet that you are a lesser person to take on the work of raising your kids well. After all being free to do what I want and to have my own money is much more satifying.

Many men have absented themselves entirely from the parenting process and have gone off on a journey of self absorbsion in work and in finding the woman who will really understand me kind of thing.

Maybe TV has conditioned many of us to reach for the remote when confronted by any deeper challenge - in effect change the channel of life when faced with soemthing difficult. Raising kids is hard and challenging work. A career is much easier and seems in the moment more immediately satisfying. But if you have had kids and you have put them last, there will come a day when you will regret your choice. Nothing you can do later will make up for the loss then. Or when you are 60 plus and you have been free to wander through life there will come a time when you realize that you have so little in your life and nothing you can do about your essential lonlieness.

We all want love and approval. I am finding though that it is hard to get as we grow older unless we have made the investment of our love and approaval in others. No group could be so rewarding as our children - if we have done the work and made the investment.


It's funny. Those very women who once looked down on the S.A.H.M. (Stay At Home Moms) are the same women who are now envious of them and wished they had of taken more time off work when their kids were small. But they still get it a little skewed.
How many times have I heard, "You're so lucky. Your husband made enough money so that you could stay home". Bull friggin' shit I say. Luck has nothing to do with it. We made a choice, just like anyone does. Our choice was to get along with less.
BTW, I hate the term Stay At Home Mom. There is a reluctant ring to it don't you think?


I agree that it is difficult to make up for the loss of not having 'been there', so to speak.
The fortunate thing with children and parents, is that there is an instinctual unconditional love that always wins over. Ideally, that is. Not that it is there to be taken advantage of, but that it is at the very core of the relationship. It is immovable.
I think parent/child relationships are the purest of all relationships.


Cyn, maybe I'm a little more sensitive to this than I should be, being a Mom who has recently returned to work after having been at home with my children, but I think you're maybe being a little harsh in your assessment of Moms (parents)who work outside the home. You're right, it is often a choice, and luck doesn't always play into it. And yes, it is very hard work to be at home. But women who work outside the home also work hard, and have the stress of managing their family and have to deal with the guilt of being away. So I would say that we are generally all very hard working and the idea would be to make an appropriate choice for your family, keeping in mind that your children are your priority.
I did enjoy the link proposed above Robert, and have acutally just begun reading the Good Son. As someone who was raised to be a staunch feminist my initial reaction is to squirm. But I just have to look at my little boy to see what you're talking about. I'm hoping that my son can learn self expression and be happy and comfortable the way he is, and that I can find ways (different ones than I used with my daughters are necessary it seems) to allow him to learn respect and discipline.


I'm not saying working Moms can't raise great kids. And I know I can come off sounding pretty judgemental on this topic, so for that I apologize if I've offended. My perspective comes from years of listening to moms and dads complain about how they wish they could stay home, but the 150,000 dollar home, 2 cars and trips down south forces them to keep working at jobs they don't really like. I also understand that many people love their work and would not to be willing to take a hiatus to raise children. That's a choice too.
I wouldn't have this point of view if I didn't hear what seems to be the majority of people complaining about their choices so much. My choice to stay home, is just that, my choice. I don't feel my way is the right way. It's the way that worked for our family. I chose not to have someone else raise my children, and I'm glad I did.

robert paterson

Do we think deeplt enough about these choices? Many say that they have to both work - there isn't enough money if they dont'.
Is this really true or is there something else going on?

At one end of the scale - if I am working at Sobeys at $9.0 an hour and I pay for daycare, and I have to have 2 cars and I have to find care in the summer and over Christmas are my costs of working way in excess of what I bring home?

At the other end of the scale. If I have a very large mortgage, two really nice cars, all the gear and clothes and the vacations have I not set a cost threshold that forces me out to work?

So what are the choices really? I comment as a father who chose to live at a much lower "goodie" standard than most of my peers.


I think the author of the article misses some valuable counterpoints by failing to consider the issue (inadequate representation of masculine qualities as a positive force in our society) outside of the male v. female dichotomy. It may be true that stereotypically masculine modes of expression such as competition and aggressive rough-housing are discouraged in young men. This is to be expected, since young boys and men spend most of their time growing up in educational institutions, and no teacher wants to deal with a classroom full of people who can't quell their warrior spirit long enough to sit down for two lousy minutes. On the other hand, these qualities are even more violently suppressed in women, irrespective of the fact that women are entering college and professions such as law at noticably higher rates than men. For an interesting discussion of this topic, check out The Last Time I Wore A Dress, by Daphne Scholinski. There is no fight club for women. It is assumed that women have no need to recognize (and validate) in themselves any capacity or desire to release aggression in this manner. Yet this does not reflect the reality of women's lives. Women who have learned to fight experience greater self-confidence and learn to value their own heroism. Why do we not cast the problem in terms of society's general tendency to value the short term goal of obedience rather than the lifelong goal of raising three-dimensional, self-aware individuals?

Furthermore, to say that men are better suited for certain activities because more men than women engage in those activities is tautological and short-sighted. It requires no great leap of imagination to conclude that more women might engage in "masculine" activities if they did not have the baggage of mandatory "femininity" with which to contend. Similarly, more men might engage in "feminine" activities if they were not threatened with violence for doing so (case in point--Gwen Araujo's murder). How would the author of this article deal with a transgender person? Which set of activities is "natural" for this person to desire? This is not to say that no women are born with a natural inclination to engage in stereotypically feminine behavior, or vice versa with respect to men and masculine behavior. Gender identification is most appropriately viewed as a continuum, and many individuals are comfortable identifing as society instructs. It is unfortunate that those who view the waning influence of masculinity as a problem discuss the problem as if it were (a) somehow brought on by feminism and (b) solely the province of men to reclaim.


What's happening to our boys? 4 out 5 on the autistic spectrum are boys; Boys with ADD/ADHD outnumber girls 3:1; Boys with learning disability outnumber girls 2:1; not to mention all of the boys that have no diagnosis and can't pay attention, suffer from impulsivity, neurological tics, allergies, rashes. Girls are outperforming boys because our boys are sick. Boys are more susceptible to the environment toxicity from mercury/lead exposure and a viral assault from too many vaccines (too soon). Pay attention to the families around you - you will see a pattern - girls developing wonderfully, boys have all of these problems.

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Families with young children

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