It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The roles of women and maternity in modern America

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 24 2011 @ 09:35 AM
I’m not sure where to put this, I guess it touches on relationships the most.

I was stimulated to ponder this by another discussion. I am an american living in Europe for the last 20 years. I had to learn another language and culture here, and that tends to make you analyze your self and your own background in ways you probably wouldn’t otherwise. Contrasts make things evident- every time you have to ask, « why do they react THAT way to this ? » You end up asking at the same time « Why do I NOT act like that ? Why do I react like this instead? »

You end up analyzing your deepest conditionings and values. Especially when you have children, and each decision on how to respond to and with them, you have to ask yourself- what do I want them to learn ? What I learned ? What their father learned ? From which of our two different cultures shall they receive their values and ideals ?

So you end up comparing, weighing, discerning your personal goals and intents in relation to everything.

So I have some complaints now with my own upbringing. One is the role of the woman in the American culture. And I do not think the feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s did more good than it did harm to that.

The whole de-valuation upon being social (THAT is overwhelmingly evident at this time, with « socialist » being the current pop insult, applicable to anything or anyone regardless of any connection to real socialism) has screwed people up. They may be great at being independant loners , but really suck at being socially well adjusted, and most are on drug treatments because they cannot deal with the world.

The early « maternal » education of children, which is not the education which communicates through and stimulates the intellect, but instead non-verbal sensual data which conditions social behavior and subconscious behaviors has been de-valued to a point of being considered bad- some calling it « brainwashing » children

This deprived women of one important responsibility in their society, and the recognition of a vital influence in it !

Being maternal has been demonized as making people dependant weaklings, being a martyr, being a slave. The very concept of maternalization has lost any association of strength or discipline- a mothering person does everything for you. So no one wants to be a mothering person, nor do they want to be around a mothering person.

In taking away the power from the concept of maternalization, you take away the otherside of power- responsibility ! Then we wonder why girls so easily decide to have kids at an early age without being conscious of the responsibility it brings ?? Heck, from what they are being taught, a mothers biggest job is to stay detached from her children and make sure they never become too bonded or needy, in order to be independant adults someday.

So power became only something that exists outside the home and family, in the career and ability to make money. Leave your kids with a babysitter, hire someone to clean the house, eat out- those things aren’t important anyway and are for the powerless and inferior to do. Those are inferior activities.

So young girls are faced with two options- find your power in career, or in your sexuality ! You are more right brained and aren’t doing good in school ? Well, you know what’s left- your body. Because the female body is sex. Breasts are sexual organs, that is where they can be considered valuable (as ways of feeding young, they are rather embarrassing and even disgusting for some). Be sexy, you might have something to offer and barter with in trade and relational exchange. If you haven’t a big pay check, then have big boobs and a nice butt, and look fecund..... hell, prove you are !

I think this is screwed up. I know my perception has been influenced by my own experiences, and my radical feminist mother who repeated to me all the time as a child « Whatever you do, do NOT be a housewife !! It is slavery ! » While she moved out and left her kids to raise themselves alone while she lived with her boyfriend and spent nine years trying to convince him to let us into his life and home. Her justification was that in doing so, she was teaching her kids to be independant.
That she did. But she ignored or didn’t know they also needed to learn to be effective social beings as well.

So now what do we have ? A country all segmented and separated, no cultural adherence or solidarity, people who either are afraid of facing any conflict in their lives, or do the opposite, let all aggressivity be uncontrolled hostility and violence, people who have not any skills at managing emotional energy, and as a result have to take mood regulators, and are for the most part overweight, or half silicone. We have sixteen year old mothers, and women who become celebrities based not on any talent or skill, but only the fact they have sexy bodies and know how to act seductive.

These are criticisms of myself, the thought patterns I found growing like weeds in my subconscious, their roots buried deep in the experiences and messages I picked up from my environment early on. The early education, the part where we do physical interaction with children, and set examples with our movements is vital to what the society will become in the near future. The subconscious is NOT less important than the conscious mind, and to underestimate it is a mistake. The anima and the animus should not be disregarded as inconsequential because non-material.

I think womens roles in family and social life, as managers of internal affairs, skilled at manipulation and management of emotion and emotional exchange (if taught to use their natural gifts) can be the key to a strong culture and community. It’s too bad we through that idea out the window at some point, prefering instead the more obvious forms of power and responsibility that males are made to excell at.

posted on Jul, 24 2011 @ 09:49 AM
i understand your point and agree with some aspects, however i dont really blame the "feminist" movement for the destruction of "family values". personally I think that media, modern movies and television are the key culprits in the erosion of social values. more and more every year media has led this destructive movement. the destruction is the result of attempts to emulate poor role models portrayed by Hollywood as hero's.

the feminist movement had a solid beginning and a great purpose. equality. it has been co opted by the Hollywood elite and used as a tool to shape this broken society.

Turn off your televisions!!!

posted on Jul, 24 2011 @ 10:13 AM
reply to post by Bluesma

I asked this question of my friends. Most of the answers were women. They all agreed that feminism destroyed the family unit. I was surprised, as I expected anger and frustration. Instead, the only person who disagreed was a male.

Here's a youtube video I posted along with my question: Feminism Was Created To Destabilize Society

posted on Jul, 24 2011 @ 05:46 PM
In my experience and taking clues from the general culture as I grew up men took little or no responsibility for their children's emotional or social growth. This being seen as the role of women.
However society also taught us at the time that women were powerless second class citizens, so children were brought up with contempt for the primary influence in their lives. To disparage women's intellectual and emotional input outside of making a martyrdom of a generosity of spirit I think is genetic as they have to almost surrender their bodies to the infant during gestation. Many studies can be found indicating this larger investment in the child and by extension the larger investment in humanity as a whole. Yet for thousands of years they have had no say in this investment.
Everytime the fascist and distant uninvolved paternal figure dismissed or undermined the females investment of her time, generosity of spirit, emotional and intellectual input we lose sight of who we are. It's a model you can apply to individual relationships that also fits perfectly in overlay upon society as a whole.
The idea that feminism suddenly caused the breakdown of the family unit is almost laughable. Until that is one looks at the statistics as it pertains to single parent households and I think it is self evident to all that the number of female single parents to male would show a stratospheric disparity.
So the detractors of feminism say it doesn't matter how many fathers disappear but if mommy goes to art class or gets in any way intellectually or politically active then the whole world falls apart. Nice one misogynists shoot yourself in the foot why don't you. Hope it turns gangerous.
Yes when any parent ceases input into the children's lives it can be a disaster for that child but to make women soley responsible for holding that fabric together then dismiss them as inferior drudges is where the problem lies. Giving children contempt for what has been the primary figure in their lives due to men's negligence and disassociation is the recipe for disaster not giving their input value is the recipe for disaster not quantifying or qualifying their rights is a recipe for disaster. Addressing these anomolies is not the problem.
As to the breakdown of the family unit. Where shall we start in reference to Western society. How about WWI. One thing that does crop up, but has in the past generally kept in the background, from the Vietnam War through to the present conflicts is the damage that War causes in the moral fabric of the nation and the individual. Therefore I stated from WWI because I feel that in the context of the present women have become more and more objectified as sexual figures of contempt and/or very base value. I also feel that this goes hand in hand with the resurgence of the paternalistic monotheist political thrust.
How many more family units have been destroyed due to the loss of parents or children due to the man wars rather than by mummy learning to read and write and having a vote. You do the math.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 04:11 PM
reply to post by Bluesma

My friends and I set aside one day each week (we're all married, so that day is Saturday), where we get together and do something that doesn't involve a television or a movie. Whether it's karaoke, bowling, mini golf, or playing boardgames (including some very long and complex ones you've likely never heard of), we all try to socialize each week.

I think this is what is driving the big church resurgence amongst young mothers these days too (that and the desire for private schooling, and those schools usually being religious schools, with requirements)...

I wouldn't blame the sexual revolution though. The major factor is the need for TWO working adults' income to support a household with children these days. With both parents working, there's little time (or inclination) for much socializing.

posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 02:40 AM
Well, my mentioning the feminist movement is an attempt to be honest and express where I am coming from personally- factors in problems I see may be much more varied, the one my experience came into contact with directly was feminism and it made an impression on me.

I struggled with the ideas of maternalisation for years, as I was being a stay at home mother while learning the language here. I was ashamed that I did not have a job outside.

I couldn't understand why when the electricity or phone company calls, they ask to speak with the woman of the house when my husband answers. Here, the woman is in charge of all paperwork and bills! He may bring in the bacon, but he is expected to hand it all over to her, for her to manage and make the important decisions! He's the labor class in this micro-community/family, she's the administration and leadership.
You ask a man anything, he will always decline to give an answer or make any plans right away, saying he must talk to his wife first, "she's the boss!" they say, with no shame at all in saying that!
As I found my first reaction, what kind of wuss is this??? I realized I am sexist- against women!

I live in a more socialized country, it is true, not to be confused with a socialist government or economy!
But being social is the cultural non-official shared values of a peoples. That culture that women spread when they get together to "gossip", or when their kids are present as they meet with other women.... the sharing of values, discussion and agreement upon what "we" (our community) will hold as good or bad, acceptable or not.

This is where conflicts and agreements between members do NOT include the offical authorities and governments! It is where the people practice reciprocity between themselves, for example. The economy is capitalistic, and trade for money is what outsiders will see, exactly as in any other capitalistic land.
Yet, amonhgst each other, something else is going on- you share what you have with others in need and no verbal agreement is made on what shall be given in trade. Yet, it is assumed and expected that when the giver is need of something, it shall be given to them too. Offer payment for the service or goods and you have offended them. You are stating through act that you are not willing to come to their aid if they need it in the future!
If someone ends up being a taker for a very long time, without reciprocity, concerns arise about their physical or mental health- for if a person is not giving as much as taking, they must be psychotic. Like a wolf in a pack that doesn't instinctively carry out the social behaviors that are normal.

This is very hard for an outsider like me to discern and understand what is going on. Because it is not written in any laws, most of the people here cannot even explain it to me because it is like instinct- it is subconscious. But they weren't born with these behaviors, they were conditioned very early, mostly by their mothers!
The mother will give to the children as needed and demand of the children as needed as well. It is not a one way street, as we americans tend to see maternalization.

Another example is one mentioned in that video- early schooling. Here, kids start public school at two years old.
Is the state brainwashing them then?? Nope. Guess what? The mothers of the community are the ones teaching and running those classes! The mothers- not the state- are determining the curriculum and values provided there.
I was enlisted when mine were that young, to teach them english and swimming classes. I was amongst all the other mothers in the community.

So the very assumption that the state authorities are taking over the early education is just another sign of our focus on paternalization. From ages 2 to 5, it called "Ecole Maternelle". The women get together to educate their toddlers, and the state supports that- not takes it over.

So the cellular family isn't so much what I have come to value, as that also results in people living together in the same community with different values that clash- but in community cohesiveness. And I really think females have a very important part in that. They implant those subconscious social rules, that we come to think of as "instincts" or automatic reactions.

I understand that we value self consciousness to the point that we would like to eliminate all subconscious drives, motives and reactions in exchange for consciously weighed and chosen acts. But the fact is, we can't get rid of them. Attempts to do so only result in neurotic individuals, repression of reactions that were not channelled purposely and are not in phase with the others around. And our intellect falsely claiming itself the source of actions that were not at all of it's volition, using justification and logic.

The de-valuation of women maybe began back in our early days of religion which condemned all that was of the body and physical drives, nature seen as something to be dominated.
If you look at our cultures vision of the earth in the last few centuries- not the mother who feeds us what we need to survive, protects us, and deserves respect and service in return...
But something we need to dominate, pull our energy from, transform, "do better than" in our creations in order to be independant from...... the only parts of nature worth protecting being the really visually pretty parts, to look at. Besides that, she hasn't much worth except what we can pull from her when we penetrate her body.

Look at how a peoples consider the earth and get an idea of how they consider women in general???

posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 03:14 AM
I tend to see things at their base as Yin and Yang, relatively. Individuality as the Yang to the Yin of Collectivism.
So in my mind, the rejection of social conscience is associated with the de-valuation of women. (why I mention that exagerrated anti-socialism attitude with the subject of womens roles).

An example of this culture that runs underneath the official appearnece is the crisis in Greece, and the roles of France and Germany.
Both of these countries are entwined in the destiny of Greece to equal extent, and find themselves "shouldering" it.

And yet, why do people in America percieve the German responsibility as so much more heavy?? Because the Germans are complaining about it!
The french have a different culture. Around me, no one has spoken any complaint about having to help Greece, even when they know it will effect them and they will have to be contributing to it individually. Why? Because helping out others is "normal" in their culture. It is not particularly special or honorable. They don't brag for years when they help a country and demand prestige and recognition for it. They helped us with our revolution for example, and you don't ever see them bringing that up, " Oh you'd be speaking the Queens english and drinking tea if it wasn't for us! You better do what we want now!"

This is being social. This is a more feminine (Yin) way of thought, in which empathy allows us to see our potential selves in others, rather than separated opposites. Why do us Americans see no value at all in that?

In France, aiding Greece draws little angst in radio or television programs and in the press. In a poll in March last year by Greece’s Sunday newspaper Ethnos, before the first bailout plan, 69.6 percent said the southern European country had French support compared with 2.7 percent for Germany.

“Helping Greece is very unpopular among German public opinion, so Merkel has made many populist comments to assure the public that she’s looking after their tax money,” said Henrik Uterwedde, deputy director of the French German Institute, based in Ludwigsburg and Paris. “The comments are aimed at her base, but they get projected across Europe. The problem is the German government cries scandal, and then ends up helping the Greeks. So they’ve angered their own public and the rest of Europe.”
Taxpayer Protection

On May 18, Merkel was cited by news agency DPA as saying: “It’s not about whether people in Greece, Spain, Portugal can’t retire earlier than in Germany; it’s about everyone pulling their weight equally. We can’t have one currency, and one gets a lot of vacation and the other very little.”

France doesn’t have the same culture of defending tax payer interests as Germany, Maurice Levy, chief executive officer of advertising company Publicis SA, said in an interview.

“We don’t even have a word in French for ‘taxpayer’,” he said. “We call them ‘contributors,’ which has a nice positive sound. There’s a sense in France that we can always add to our obligations.”

Perhaps this is seen as off topic. For me they all run together under the topic of rejecting the Yin part of our nature.

posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 03:28 AM
reply to post by Bluesma

Am trying to wrap my head around your post, but to pick up on a point you made..

The de-valuation of women maybe began back in our early days of religion which condemned all that was of the body and physical drives, nature seen as something to be dominated.

There is actually a line in my culture (Anglo-Saxon) where that happened.. the date was 1066AD and the Norman Invasion of England along with which came Canon law..

So women went from being valued, having equal status in making oaths and in inheritance, owning land, businesses, right to 50% of the marital home in divorce, to even commanding armies etc to becoming mere chattle.. and it has taken women in England the last 1,000 to reclaim the rights they once had..

Sorry for just picking up one point, hope my response is not to far off topic... now to go back to re-reading and absorbing your post

posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 02:16 PM
If you haven't been here in 20 years then you have no idea what the current method of child rearing is.

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 03:56 AM
reply to post by thoughtsfull

Yeah.... I'm sorry, I get in a whirlwind of thoughts sometimes and get carried away. Even I find this hard to follow today!

posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 04:09 AM

Originally posted by nixie_nox
If you haven't been here in 20 years then you have no idea what the current method of child rearing is.

Yes. That is why I stipulated that I was refering to previous styles of living and child rearing, especially that of the 60's to 80's.

I am still in contact with my family and friends, american media, and visit often, so I have an idea at least, of what has changed since. I am aware of the rise in opposition against the previous styles and values- many people my age that want to do differently than our parents did. Many attempts at pulling together community happen, but unfortunately, using religion. So that only those of a certain church ban together, making a sense of "we" and yet the "them" they reject are people in their own town, next door, but not of the same church!

I know that homeschooling and an attempt at reinforcing the cellular family is being focused on to repair these problems, but I personally do not see those as any way the nation shall be saved from falling apart.

This still carries too much mascumine type competativity and contrast- the mother who homeschools is not teaching her kids the same as the other mother down the road who is homeschooling, the cellular family which is tight knit is not instilling in their kids the same as the neighbors- each family is applying the idea of "mine first- that is all that is my responsibility and that I care about". This doesn't bring cohesiveness to a whole community, nor respect to women in general.
The homeschooling in fact, breeds competition in the mothers as they focus on how they are doing in contrast to other mothers! Very in line with capitalistic thought, but I personally don't feel that capitalistic thought has any place in the creation and building of living people.

And for the others that are trying to bring communities together, without separation of religion and without competivity, than I am simply speaking out the same concerns as they and support them.

Some sociologists predict a huge and exaggerated rise of maternalism values in the US next, a opposing swing of the pendalum in response to the large swing of paternalism previous, that will have it's own negative effects (because exaggerated).

Because this risk exists, in my own desire to find moderation and balance, and not exaggeration either way, I like to remind myself of what is my view of a moderation and balance, so as not to get swept away in some reactive extremes.

new topics

top topics


log in