A non subserviant girl's opinion-pls read this objectively

Discussion of the children's schools in the UK.
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Free Thinker
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Postby Free Thinker » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:49 am

What if even the least-conservative of us join in with the more conservative and agree to a ban on "shorts and long socks" for men.

YUCK YUCK YUCK!

So rule number 6 is: No shorts and long socks
Rule number 7: no poofters


(Couldn't resist the Monty Python Australian humor!)

NYC
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Postby NYC » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:39 pm

Are you serious or taking the piss? I thought you'd been going for awhile. I guess maybe it's just not long enough.


Guess not. I really think I?d remember it if the tutors or material had made any type of statement that ?we support traditional gender roles? or said anything similar to promote a division of labor on sexual lines in the introductory year.

My intention in asking was serious, but in the vein of Socratic dialogue, ?we support traditional gender roles? ?oh? how? And what do you mean by ?traditional gender roles??? instead of immediately arguing that I think they are a bad idea. You said you took philosophy in uni, so don?t you agree that the first rule of philosophy is to define your terms? ?Traditional gender roles? could mean a lot of different things to different people. ?Family values? is a phrase that both the left & the right use in this country to either support or ban gay marriage. And the definition you give of ?traditional gender roles? ? that ?women oversee the household while men oversee the larger picture?the direction of the family as a whole? is actually different from what I would have guessed you?d say.

?Women are supposed to see the detail, while men are supposed to have a broader and less specific vision.?

And what if a particular woman is good with the big picture, but not particularly detail-oriented?

I noticed a very striking difference between the written material for Part 1 and the later parts; 1 used American spellings and the later sections, British. It seemed to me that somebody in NY had updated or revised the material. More noteworthy, Part 1 never subsumed women in the universal ?he? ? meaning, nowhere did the material written by the School use the pronoun ?he? to mean ?everyone,? or use ?man? to mean ?all people.? Quotes from the old texts, the Bible, Justinian, etc did this of course. Also, the homework assignment to ?ask yourself what would a wise man or woman do?? in a challenging situation was always phrased (both in discussion & in writing) to include both sexes, or as ?what would a wise person do?? And in an early class a Plato quote about the nature of the soul was translated using the pronoun ?she? to personify Wisdom?that was quite remarkable (and refreshing) to a number of people in the class, not just myself. The careful attention the NY School seemed to show in its language made it all the more of a shock to read your statement that even in Australia, a satellite school, ?men are associated with ?the Absolute? and women with nature.? The only inclination I saw toward that here was in the predominance of male tutors, and female assistants.



Agree the shorts & long socks are potentially tragic.

p.s.
Also meant to say that while I can imagine a group that "supports traditional gender roles" and is NOT sexist and misogynistic, I don't have a lot of confidence that this group, with its history, will be able to do so.
Attended Parts 1,2, & 3 and a Plato study group in the NY adult school 2004 - 2005. Also explored advaita philosphy in other organizations since 1995, and continue to do so.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:08 am

Don't forget that our current notion of "traditional gender roles" is a very recent construct. Not that long ago women worked as hard as men, child rearing was shared, and older children were then expected to care for their younger siblings, regardless of whether they were a boy or a girl.

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bella
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Postby bella » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:23 am

NYC - Apologies for assuming too much in my previous replies. By "traditional gender roles", I'm referring more to ancient traditional rather than recent modern traditional (if that isn't too much of a neon-flashing oxymoron). Much of the school's material on this (from the Shankaracharya, as well as the rewritten stuff by Mr McLaren and others) focuses more on the emotional, spiritual and psychological differences between the genders, rather than what they should or should not do in the world. The latter is usually extrapolated from the former , and in my experience it's been made clear that this is a general overview, not something that holds true for every individual.

For example, in the parenting group, it's suggested that women generally "excel in organisation, multi-tasking, creativity, persuasiveness, adaptivity, intuition, practicality, tenderness and sensitivity", and that the areas where a mother is most useful are "gentleness, nourishing, subtlety, persuasiveness, attention to detail, constancy and love."

It's suggested that men generally "excel in concentration or focusing, decisiveness, resolution, dispassion or objectivity, concisiveness, tolerance and valour", while the father's areas of expertise are "protection, direction, authority, objectivity, discipline, providing, and a rougher sense of play."

...made it all the more of a shock to read your statement that even in Australia, a satellite school, ?men are associated with ?the Absolute? and women with nature.? The only inclination I saw toward that here was in the predominance of male tutors, and female assistants.

Why is being associated with the natural world/universal manifestation given such a bum rap? It's where we operate, after all. Anyway, I'll leave you with the quotes from the parenting material - I'm sure that's more than enough to spur further conversation. :)

ADG - it's never been suggested to me that women don't work as hard or harder than men (thank God); likewise, that older siblings shouldn't assume some responsibility for the younger ones as they become capable.

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Postby a different guest » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:36 am

Thanks for explaination Bella.

Now tell me - have these guys not heard of "snags"?

and meanwhile in the western world we currently have the situation in parents' groups when child 'a' bonks child 'b' on the head for a toy.

If child a is a girl she's being 'assertive'.

If child a is a boy he's being 'aggressive'.

;)

It's suggested that men generally "excel in concentration or focusing, decisiveness, resolution, dispassion or objectivity, concisiveness, tolerance and valour", while the father's areas of expertise are "protection, direction, authority, objectivity, discipline, providing, and a rougher sense of play."


Seriously tho, as the person most with the kids as they have been growing up it is I who is most likely to apply discipline/control/coundaries.

I don't think I am alone in that experience given the Australian preponderance of full time work for the father and p/t work for the mother. probably more pronounced in couples where the mother does not work at all and/or father works extra long hours to compensate.

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:14 am

Yeah, the discipline thing has a lot of subsets: day-to-day rule enforcement, guidance and helping with self-discipline, overarching tenets of discipline for the household, etc. It's suggested that the mother deals with the day-to-day stuff, and refers to the father for direction on the longer term, bigger picture stuff - with the understanding that she'd follow that direction using her own methods on a day-to-day basis.

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Postby Matthew » Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:26 am

Q. What do bullet-proof vests, fire escapes, windscreen wipers, and laser printers all have in common?

A. All invented by women.

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Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:08 am

Matthew wrote:A. All invented by women.


women? eh?

It's suggested that the mother deals with the day-to-day stuff, and refers to the father for direction on the longer term, bigger picture stuff


Bella - what a load of bullcrappy - and you know it :)

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:33 am

I dunno, ADG. Hopefully your partner is someone whose opinion you respect, and who has a brain in their head. I'd also expect both parents to be having regular discussions about what's going on with the child/ren, since the guys working full-time are not going to be eyewitness to quite a bit of it. I don't think it's suggesting that you put a list of options in front of the man and have him pick one out cold, but that after discussion of the facts, you defer to his, say, choice of school or view on punishment ( I picked those examples mainly because they're the ones I struggle with the most).

It's basically suggesting that "the man is the head of the family" - people are either going to accept that or reject it as antiquated, but I don't think it's coming totally from left field or anything.

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Postby NYC » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:45 pm

you defer to his, say, choice of school or view on punishment ( I picked those examples mainly because they're the ones I struggle with the most).

It's basically suggesting that "the man is the head of the family" - people are either going to accept that or reject it as antiquated, but I don't think it's coming totally from left field or anything.


Bella, I have no time to write more now but I have to ask -- why do you think the man should be the head and you should defer to his choice/direction, even if it's a struggle? Why do you think that's a good idea, worth struggling for?
Attended Parts 1,2, & 3 and a Plato study group in the NY adult school 2004 - 2005. Also explored advaita philosphy in other organizations since 1995, and continue to do so.

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:17 pm

Because until I manage to actually do it unequivocally, I'm not in a position to say whether it's a "bunch of bullcrappy". :)

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Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:22 pm

Yes the idea IS antiquated Bella, and the notion has been rejected by many for many years. Most modern, western marriages are based more on the notion of equal partnership.

Consider - if the man is the 'boss' then this also puts him in charge of the wife's life too! I used to have an Iranian penpal (a dissident, who worryingly disappeared from my inbox after a last email stating he thought his hotmail account had been hacked). Anyway one of the things we discussed was marriage. He said that in Islam the man is the head of the household. He went on to say how his wife was very good and he'd only had to 'beat her once' for disobeying him.

See where not being equal can lead?

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:33 pm

See, I don't necessarily view it as not being equal, and of course I'm aware of the problems that can arise when men treat women like property. (sidetrack - pick up "Reading Lolita in Tehran" if you haven't already; it's a great read)

I guess I also don't see "common practice" as being necessarily "best practice". Heh, I do know how wildly unpopular this notion of deferring to the husband is, but that doesn't mean, for me, that I don't want to give it a shot. It's also "common practice" to talk about men like they're imbeciles who need to be trained properly by their infinitely smarter and better halves, and I don't particularly like that idea either.

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Postby a different guest » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:38 pm

Heh, I do know how wildly unpopular this notion of deferring to the husband is, but that doesn't mean, for me, that I don't want to give it a shot.


Why do you want to 'give it a shot' Bella?

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bella
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Postby bella » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:48 pm

See my response to NYC.

I wouldn't have been at the school this long if it didn't work for me, on the whole. The vast majority of stuff that's been suggested to try, I've tried and found to be useful. I'm prepared to try this too. On a more personal and immediate level, when I do genuinely defer to the boy's opinion on something, you can practically see him lifting up his shoulders and trying to give the most considered response he can - in contrast to his "yeah, whatever you want", "I'm going to argue for the sake of arguing" or "get off my case" attitude when I go into a discussion with the concrete idea that I know better, and he'd better agree. No feedback or illumination there. Plus, if he does advise on something ignorantly and I just refuse to try it, there's no chance he'll get to see for himself that his advice was crap. It'll always be a case of "that WOULD have worked, dammit", with no reflection.

It's not saying we can't have a rational discussion that ends up with him saying "you're more aware of what's going on here, I trust your judgement" either. The idea is to genuinely ask for his view and be prepared to try it, not to prostrate yourself on the floor in front of him.


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