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Differences Matter

Sammy Davis Jr, Arte Johnson & Wilt Chamberlain on a 1971 episode of 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in' gives a visual that shows differences in size matters. In relationships the differences in genders roles are just as obvious.

What are gender roles and where did they come from? How have they developed and why are they changing? To answer this, let's take a step back in time before America was founded.

From birth, boys and girls were raised differently. Girls often were raised to be"mamma's little helper" and took on household chores and cared for younger siblings. They were taught how to be a "good wife" to their someday husband.

Boys usually helped in the form of yard work, handling livestock, or helping dad. They were told by dad that they had the responsibility of becoming a man who could take care of his family.

This pattern has been followed historically for centuries leading to "traditional" gender roles. Travel to any country in the world and you would have seen this pattern of girls working inside the home and boys working outside of the home. When they got older the jobs changed, but the roles didn't.

When other nations settled in America they brought with them typical gender roles. When wars broke out in America during the industrial revolution women were encouraged (shamed really) to step out of the traditional gender role and into the work force. Women were told being a homemaker was "less than" and they "deserved" to have a job that paid them a paycheck. They were told that stay-at-home-mothers didn't have as much status and being a homemaker was equated to slavery. Women who walked away from their home and into a job looked down on women who wanted to stay home and raise their children. Just look up the poster Rosie the Riveter and you can see the propaganda campaign and how the "feminist movement" was born. After all, businesses needed to put women to work to replace the men they lost during the wars (WWI and WWII). When men returned from the wars, women were told they needed to stay in the workforce because they were paid less for doing the same job and business profits boomed. Suddenly, there was twice the workers and daycare programs showed up on the scene to care for the children. We heard things like, "It takes a village" to raise children who were no longer being raised by their parents but by others who were getting paid.

Fast forward to the last 100 years. There are more women in the workforce today than ever and they surpass the number of men working outside of the home. Rolls flipped and men began staying home with the children and women became executives in the name of equality. Today, women are suffering what used to be medical conditions that only men suffered: heart disease, cancer, and are having emotional breakdowns are causing women to die before their male counterparts and life expectancies have shortened. Women accepted the lies that they would be happier working outside of the home, that they don't need a man to be happy, and they have suffered trying to be both mother and father.

Men who have not settled into the new gender role forced upon them are called names (sexist pigs) and shamed for acting in traditional male fashion. This has led to relational insecurities and a lack of connection. Feeling rejected and lost, men began using alcohol and drugs to escape the guilt and shame placed upon them. Introduce the Internet and an epidemic of sex, porn, and the number of suicides have increased as men and boys try to escape the untrue and unjust lies pushed against them.

One positive I've seen over recent years is that women are choosing to return to traditional gender roles and men are staying and loving them. When you get out of California and the big cities and go out into the rural communities you see women raising large families and men working to support them. They live simple lives and often raise their own food, garden, and even are learning to can foods. Their children don't own cell phones and instead play games outside, swinging on tire swings from a tree, and interacting with their siblings and parents. They are happy and healthy and the family is staying intact. Are their lives perfect? No, but they are perfectly content and feel blessed to be together.

When you find yourself fighting to fit in, maybe you were never meant to.

==rIf you'd like to learn more about making lasting changes, read my book: Live Intention. Live the life you always wanted, but never believed you could. Available at Barns and Noble, Amazon, and iTunes


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