Monday, September 10, 2012


After my father became disabled, my mother picked up the roll of provider for our family. Despite dealing with severe arthritis, she worked for a few years teaching elementary school kids as a TA in the computer labs. She soon realized the wages of a TA were not going to be enough to retire on, so she went back to school to get her teaching certificate, and now she has a TA!

My mother's example pretty much shattered my expectations of a women's roll in a household. Before she became the bread winner, my little world just didn't have many examples of working mothers. As my friends and I got older, though many mothers in my neighborhood returned to work. This usually happened after the youngest kids started school. My mom said, she loved being a mother, and she got a lot of fulfillment out of it, but I've seen her also receive a great deal of accomplishment from going back to school, graduating with honors, and teaching her own classroom of kids. Anything that would have blocked her from doing any of that would have prevented our family from surviving.

I was also able to see my father flourish as a stay at home dad. He became quite the nurturer as me and my siblings got sick, and he showed a lot of patience when we were brought home by the cops. He also worked as much as he could from home. Most recently he has become a part time care giver for my gamma.

My point is, even in my own little world, in a family structured heavily by traditional religious values, the rolls each member played were not determined by gender, but by circumstance. I do think the default rolls were aligned more traditionally, but life sometimes throws us an audible. Oh, I watched a lot of football this weekend, but I promise, that will be the only football analogy I will use when writing about feminism...not that females don't like football, in fact the first female NFL referee, Shannon Eastin, was hired this season. Wikipedia can add Shannon Eastin's name right next to Susan B. Anthony's in the ranks notable women in the civil rights movement.

I really do think this is a cool step. Sure it's not going to get wife to watch football with me, but it does show a predominately male sport is taking steps to include women on the playing field, literally and figuratively. (That wasn't an analogy.)

Finally a bonus video from my extensive yet untapped research. This video discusses gender and leadership.

Gender and leadership is a fascinating subject. I'd like to do more research to compare and contrast how men and women lead differently in various scenarios. As for matriarchal societies, the Iroquois are the only ones I have researched, well unless you count this one from Star Trek TNG!

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