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Blogger is wrong about gender roles

February 22, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
A blogger named James Poulos published a column the other day at The Daily Caller with the infuriating headline: "What are women for?"

Poulos seems to think a woman's role is primarily that of wife and mother and caregiver. His concluding lines would have drawn approving nods from Victorian gentlemen: "a civilization of men, for men, and by men is no civilization at all, a monstrously barbaric, bloody, and brutal enterprise ... Much good would come from a broader recognition that women have a privileged relationship with the natural world. That's a relationship which must receive its social due — if masculinity in its inherent and imitative varieties (including imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females!) is not to conquer the world."

There are undoubtedly some gender differences but, when it comes right down to it, all men and women are individuals with different dreams and life goals. I don't think many people would want to live in a society that limited rights for either gender or reduced a woman's value to her reproductive capability.

It would be nice if the American government recognized parenting and caregiving as a "human" right and provided more generous family leave so that both men and women could have more flexibility to care for their children or childless adults had more freedom to care for extended family members. That isn't the same argument that Poulos is making, however.

Unfortunately, we're probably going to be hearing more of this sort of flawed argument during the presidential campaign, maybe because of the ongoing argument over whether religious-affiliated agencies should have to pay for employee birth control. Let's hope the debate rises above the level of "women are only good for birthin' babies."


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