Saturday, November 07, 2009

How to teach your male child

The kid is learning about biological anthropology for science right now and we just got to the section on genetic drift.

Since it is a college text book we're using, he needed a little help with some examples of the definitions in the book. One definition was about sampling errors and the book used the classic 10 flipped coins as an example (since I'm not teaching the kid statistics and probability till the end of his math book- this example left him confused).

Me: So imagine you are an alien and you are trying to learn about people by watching tv shows.

Kid: Ok

Me: You know how so many things use the 2 guys and a girl set up.

Kid: Oh yeah- I hate that.

Me: Well if you were an alien you would think that men outnumbered women 2 to 1 because that is the dominant example you see on TV. But you'd be wrong,because women are actually closer to 52% of the population.

Kid: Ohhh that's a serious sampling error.

the oppression olympics is a game of"let's you and hir fight"

First- did you miss me? Cause I missed you internet land. Being without internet is a wee bit like amnesia. I know I know stuff, but without ready written evidence to back me up I feel all lost and woozy and disconnected.

But once more into the breach I am.

Wonder and I were having a discussion a while ago about the friction between feminists who hate that the burden of caring and nurturing is always put on the backs of unpaid women, and PWD who need care in order to function in the world. Both Wonder and I have experience as carers, but for personal reasons I fall more into feminist side of the argument and Wonder falls into the PWD side.

Both of us are right and the solution lies not in acquiescence on either side, but in a 3rd way.

The problem is that women are expected to be the free labor backbone of society, not just in caring for children and spouses but parents and school functions and houses and and and and. It's free labor. It's hard work. It's worth something more than we have been given (less income over the course of our life times, for example). It can wear you out. There is no vacation time from one's own family, after all.

We need caring to stop being seen as some form of biblical punishment that's been inflected on us since Eve ate that stupid apple. We need it to be seen for what it is, and immensely valuable profession that is necessary for society to continue.

And you know the thing about professions is that people get to choose them. They aren't usually forced onto folks.

On the flip side, PWD are part of society, and they deserve every bit of help they can get. Just like children shouldn't be seen as a punishment for wanton trollopy, lapses in good health should not make a person "burdensome".

We need "women's work" to be seen as valuable to society. PWD need to be seen as valuable to society. We need to cough up the money to pay for the tools and the work that it is done to keep society running.

Children need to be looked after, houses need to be cleaned, grandpa shouldn't be left alone during the day because he forgets to turn off the stove. These are valuable jobs. We should pay for them and we should pay well.

(You all know that once caring becomes a "skilled" profession with a livable wage,suddenly all sorts of men will discover their nurturing side- best antidote to the second shift problem I can think of).