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The trouble with stereotypes is that sometimes there is a kernel of truth in them. People often have a lot of ideas about how the world should work only to have reality bring them up short with, figuratively speaking, a sharp slap to the head. What works works so that's what people do however much it violates some idealistic concept. Most women at one time or another want to have children and for a woman to have a baby means she is, at least for a time, physically, economically, and perhaps emotionally, vulnerable. In addition, to be a good mother is usually considered a vitally important occupation and requires a degree of focus and dedication at least equal to what is needed in a regular job and often more. In my experience it's possible to do several jobs simultaneously in an acceptable manner but if you want excellence you have to focus on just one thing at a time. Raising a child is hard, tiring, draining, and wonderful, and having children will change you in ways you can't anticipate, but unquestionably the effort required can make the option of also holding a job outside the home unattractive. My wife and I both worked when our kids were little but it was very often a strain and 'we' would have preferred it if she could have stayed at home (her choice). This is blatantly unfair to her, severely impacting her earning ability without any compensating rewards of any kind (sarcasm), but a little baby is a fragile and precious thing and we would both have given our lives to keep them safe and well. There are men who don't do what a man is supposed to do, who don't take care of their families the way they should. Men who even enjoy being mean to their wives, cheating them of the money, fidelity, and devotion that should be shared equally between them. I don't know how often this happens and certainly a woman needs to take care that she isn't left destitute for any reason. I can only say that that isn't how I was raised, and while some may see it as belittling, I was taught to have a special regard for a woman and that behaving badly towards a lady would was a shameful thing. In general I've found life to be very hard and often cruel. For what it's worth I believe that if you can find someone to love and who loves you back you need to grab hold of them and hold them tight for as long as you can. You should do what works for the two of you whatever anyone else might say. A woman needs to take care of herself, as should anyone, but don't say all women should do this, all men should do that, all people are this way or that way. Don't say all of society does this or causes that or makes girls do the other, etc. People are more complex than that, and life is more flexible and fluid than that. People do what works and if you really want to know why someone does something then ask why that worked for them. If you can do that you will have something worth knowing.

June 30, 2010 - 3:06pm


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