By Ken Poland on May 23, 2014
Both "Women's Lib" and "feminist" have somewhat negative identifications for me. Both of those terms have been used to justify attitudes and actions that I consider not becoming to the female species. That doesn't mean that women should not be liberated from being 2nd class and subservient to men.
I am all for women having freedom to be themselves without having to get prior approval from men. If they want to smoke, drink, cuss, spit like an inconsiderate male then it is only themselves they are demeaning. I don't consider females who imitate males in this way to be appealing nor ladylike. Neither do I consider men who do these things to be gentlemen. I don't think holding women to higher standards than men is proper, either. Nor the other way around.
Equal pay for equal work is fair and equitable. Some women can do manual labor as well as some men, but the difference in structure and anatomy is that men usually are stronger physically. I'd have paid a girl equal pay with the boys in hauling baled hay, if they threw as many bales. I'd have paid the girl more than the boy if she outworked him. Some girls are more mechanically inclined than boys. If so, then reward them for their abilities. There are few occupations anymore that require brute strength. If the girls can out think the boys or out pace them in whatever the task, they should be recognized and rewarded. If the boys show better aptitude at some of the jobs that used to be considered 'women's' work, then reward them for it. Neither 'Sissie' nor 'Tom Boy' were ever popular labels in our family.
I grew up in a family of 4 boys and 3 girls. There was never a gender connotation to what work either were to do. Mother or Dad determined who was best qualified for the job and you did it. Mother worked side by side with dad at what ever the job was, until one of the boys became bigger and stronger than Mom. She still helped, if needed. We all washed dishes and swept floors when asked to. We all worked in the field, did chores, etc. There were no job distinctions between men's work or women's work. Ability to do the job is all that mattered and we were encouraged to develop the ability for all jobs. We never got by with complaining that other kids didn't have to do those things. We were simply told, "You are not other, you are you."
Dad never gave birth to a baby or breast fed one, but that's about only thing I know of that was exclusively Mom's job. The only thing I know of that Mom never did that I saw Dad do, was wield the knife when neutering male animals. But, i'll bet she could have if it had been necessary.
Today's political flap about gender and orientation is simply a struggle for dominance and control.