Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gender Roles; What's the Big Deal?

Today as I vacuumed every square inch of carpet in our house (finally!!) I mentally took stock of what everyone in the family was doing. My hubby, who works odd hours, was mowing the front lawn (again, finally!!) and the two little elephants were out in the backyard, getting the wiggles out and soaking up some vitamin D.
It occured to me that our home is very, very gender stereotyped.
 Here I was vacuuming, the man was mowing, and the littles were enjoying carefree play.
All was right with my world.
And I wondered why it is, if our household is perfectly content and functional with some easily recognizable gender roles and responsibilities, that people have to get all up in arms about it?
I mean, is there something wrong with me NOT wanting to ride the John Deere and get sweaty/dusty? Is the entire women's rights movement going to be reversed because I enjoy using my (amazing!) Shark vacuum on the gross cat hair that has a breeding rate of 5,000hpm (hairs per minute)?
Am I doing my daughter some grave injustice by staying at home, cooking, cleaning, crocheting, and (gasp) homeschooling?
Am I skewing my son's concept of men/women and what we "should" be doing by letting Daddy Elephant care for all things outside (except the garden; that's in the food department) like cutting grass/weed pulling?
I mean, if SOME ONE doesn't do these things, then they don't get done.
Did I ever tell my children that "women don't mow lawns!" ? No.
Did I ever tell my children that "men don't do craft projects!" ? No.
But I am very aware that my daily actions and the list of responsibilities in our household models a definite line between the genders.
My question is, what's so awfully terrible about that?
I mean, what's the big deal?
If I feel completly fulfilled as a woman by being "just" a mother and homemaker, is that so wrong?
If my husband enjoys taking care of his family financially and keeping the outside looking nice, is that so bad?
Exactly who are we hurting by not having daddy in the kitchen with an apron?
What specific kind of disservice is it that I am doing to my daughter by not correcting her "need" for a career in addition to her desire to "grow up and be a mommy"?
Is the whole of civilization going to collapse if my son isn't ever allowed to take dance lessons, or my daughter never made to use the weed eater?
Before I go and make dinner (yes, that is usually my responsibility, and no, I don't mind it) I just wanted to ask what's so horrendous about traditional gender roles?
There seems to be this huge idea that it's better to view every single thing under the sun as being an equal opportunity for both genders.
The problem is that we were never made to be the same.
We were wired differently in our very brains (girls, you KNOW what I mean about men and the way they think... or don't) from the beginning.
We are made physically different, right down to the muscle groups that are stronger (upper body in men, lower body in women).
We look different physically (at least, this used to be more easily distinguished until the advent of males-in-skinny-jeans...).
We are opposites in alot of areas because we were made to be opposites. We were made to complement eachother, not compete with eachother. Okay, go back and re-read that, because it's true.
If all these things are true, and the genders were destined to be different, then we naturally will have different roles to fulfill in life. What we do is going to be different! We need to be doing the best we can for our children, within the role designed for our lives.
I believe we do the best we can for our children when we seek to find and live out the will of God in our everyday lives.
I know it is His will that I be a SAHM and school my kids.
I know it is His will that my husband be the primary breadwinner in our house.
And I know it is His will that we point our children to His love every chance we get.
My role is going to appear different in thier eyes because I am a woman, I am a mother, and I am a wife.
My husband's role is going to appear different to them because he is a man, he is a father, and he is a husband.
We don't compete. We compliment.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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