Almost Heretical: Women in the Church and Gender Roles

Almost Heretical, Women in the Church, Gender Roles in the Church

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If you believe that God designed hierarchy between husband and wife, that husbands are “over” women, and only women submit to men, not the other way around. I encourage you to listen to this podcast series.

The above used to be what I believed. I didn’t care for it, but I accepted it as God’s way because that is what I was taught and what the Bible seemed to say. There are church groups/pastors who listen to other leaders, listen to traditions of their church’s denomination, give credence to translations of the Bible by all-male translators. In adhering to those church traditions and interpretations, women have been silenced and limited in what they can do and say in the church and in their marriages.

I used to have a hard time reading Paul’s letters (Ephesians, Colossians, etc), because of how it seemed he also limited women and put restrictions on them.

Now, after doing a lot more reading from Biblical scholars, professors of theology, I have challenged what was taught to me.

I never saw Jesus limiting women in the Bible. He elevated women. Always. Now, after looking through a different lens of interpretation, I see that Paul has also done the same. The verses in which I thought Paul was limiting women, I now believe the opposite. This has been life-changing for me, and has brought a new love for Christ and His message for the Body of Christ.

This is a great podcast to listen to if you are interested in challenging yourself in this area. Don’t let the name of the podcast, Almost Heretical, turn you off. It’s just a couple of guys who have challenged some of the teachings that have left a sour taste in their mouths. Nate Hanson and Tim Ritter are former pastors who understand spiritual abuse, the harm done to Christian women, and want to show that you don’t have to “do” Christianity in a way that conflicts with your heart. I think many in my reading audience will be able to resonate with their messages.

Listen here: Almost Heretical Series on Gender

353 comments on “Almost Heretical: Women in the Church and Gender Roles

  1. Lea,

    I responded to Daisy after she shared an interesting stat about criminals being mostly men when I asked:
    “Is it because men are wired to be more physically and mentally more aggressive not just in criminal circumstances but in non-criminal circumstances?”

    Then Japan makes a rather strange comment about me being horrifically insulting to men when he wrote:
    “Please tell me that you don’t really believe this, D. It’s horrifically insulting to men.”

    What I asked Daisy wasn’t horrific or insulting to men, it was a question I had to Daisy, for which she suggested the reason men are the way they are is because they have more testosterone.

    Japan’s question was a leading question in that I was being horrific, which is insulting.

    Like

  2. D said,

    I don’t deny there is cultural pressure, but not all the time. Which is what I have been talking about.

    This is not the impression I get from your posts.

    You seem to heavily and regularly deny the amount of societal messages girls get even while in grade school that boys do not receive, messages which, yes, can and do influence many girls later in life, and as they are going thru the educational system.

    I even gave you research articles above that bear this out – that what girls are taught when younger, and teacher bias against girls in classes, impacts which careers girls choose when they go into college.

    One reason I shied away from taking more math and science when I was in college and high school is that I had picked up the message from TV shows, movies, family members, teachers, and schools, that math and science are for boys, and that girls are not as good at those subjects as boys.

    Like

  3. D said

    Mark is making an assumption I never made, with exception this is a “free country” when he wrote: “But to put words in D’s mouth, this is a “free” country, and obviously men must be more “willing” to be pastors than women.”

    I don’t think Mark was so much putting words in your mouth as he was (accurately) paraphrasing your position thus far.

    You have indicated that the one and only reason women would ever want to enter Career X is because they LOVE Career X, it’s a free country, nobody puts a gun to a woman’s head and “forces” her to enter Career X. Women only enter Career X because they want to, just like your female cousins and auntie who works in Career X, all American women are just like your female friends and family.

    That is a summary of your position.

    Like

  4. D said

    Daisy, there is an obvious discrepancy in certain professions,

    Which is due in part to gender role expectations (and other factors, such as job availability in one’s area, amount of pay, etc).

    D said

    … especially in the case of women leading a church, I do believe there is a lot of cultural and biblical pressure that is preventing women from leadership positions in a church.

    And that is also true of “secular” jobs, such as, but not limited to, the teaching profession.

    D said

    I do see barriers being broken in that women are getting elected into Congress and the Senate, America nearly had a women become President for the first time, we have CEO’s that are women. in my case, my current boss of 10 years, is a woman, best boss I ever had.

    That women have made strides in some sectors of life in the U.S.A. does not mean that sexist gender role expectations and sexism magically ceased to exist.

    Just look at all the “Me Too” stories coming out of Hollywood and the world of Journalism – some of those stories stretch from the 1960s to the present day.

    For example, this woman was basically forced out of her TV career due to this sexist idiot, Les Moonves:
    _‘Designing Women’ Creator Goes Public With Les Moonves War: Not All Harassment Is Sexual (Guest Column)_

    Linda Bloodworth Thomason, one of CBS’ biggest hitmakers, reveals the disgraced mogul kept her shows off the air for seven years: “People asked me for years, ‘What happened to you?’ Les Moonves happened to me.”

    Les Moonves also had singer Janet Jackson black-balled from the entertainment business as best he could starting around the 1990s because he was angry with her refusal not to grovel to him for her “wardrobe malfunction,” and it dented her career for years afterwards.

    The United States may be a better or safer nation for women to live in than some others, but the USA still has problems with sexism in the workplace and in discouraging girls and women from entering certain careers.

    Like

  5. D said

    Then Japan makes a rather strange comment about me being horrifically insulting to men when he wrote:
    “Please tell me that you don’t really believe this, D. It’s horrifically insulting to men.”

    What I asked Daisy wasn’t horrific or insulting to men, it was a question I had to Daisy, for which she suggested the reason men are the way they are is because they have more testosterone.

    Japan’s question was a leading question in that I was being horrific, which is insulting.

    I was doing a parody of your posts.

    Here it is again, please see this post I did on page 1 of this comment section:
    _Daisy’s Reply to D_

    I’m not the one propagating or defending sexist gendered stereotypes about men and women, D – you’re the one who has been doing that for days now.

    That was what my parody post was demonstrating, except I gave you a taste of your own medicine and turned it around on you.

    It was also to show you how ridiculous and wrong your views about women are.

    Like

  6. D said,

    What I asked Daisy wasn’t horrific or insulting to men, it was a question I had to Daisy, for which she suggested the reason men are the way they are is because they have more testosterone.

    That’s not what I said, nor is that my view about men.

    I refer you again to _this post of mine_

    You are the one who has been suggesting since the start of this conversation that you prefer female teachers to male ones, because all to most men are bad at teaching kids, because they are all supposedly more “naturally aggressive” than women.

    Like

  7. D said (to Lea, I believe),

    Japan’s question was a leading question in that I was being horrific, which is insulting.

    SKIJ didn’t say anything insulting to you or about you, though, but was saying your opinion was insulting towards men.

    SKIJ was quite right that you agreeing with the premise that men are “wired to be more aggressive than women” is insulting to men – which it kind of is,

    And such a view or belief absolves men from taking responsibility for their actions, if they can just say,
    “Well, I can’t help that I hit and beat kids, women, and sometimes other men – it’s how I was born, after all. God created me this way, and it’s all that darned testosterone! So give me a pass!”

    Like

  8. Daisy,

    You referenced: D said, I don’t deny there is cultural pressure, but not all the time. Which is what I have been talking about.

    Then you wrote: This is not the impression I get from your posts.

    This is what is happening, all of us are writing on top of each other, getting different vibes and impressions from one another.

    I have repeatedly suggested that I didn’t deny cultural pressure existed. It be like me saying that you said all female teachers are culturally pressured into becoming teachers, when both of us know that isn’t the case.

    I’m making the case that most women in this day and age aren’t feeling as much cultural pressure to teach and you are making the case about the ones that are feeling pressure.

    Like

  9. D – “I’m not insulting you, this is a discussion.”

    SKIJ’s point was that saying men are naturally more violent is insulting. To all men, not just SKIJ. It’s like the modesty argument that somehow showing thighs or cleavage is enough to make otherwise godly men turn into lustful maniacs.

    If you have an open mind… those sorts of “Old Wives’ Tales” are being consistently destroyed by further study. For example, the biggest cause of men being lustful maniacs has little to do with dress and much more to do with an oversexualized male entitlement culture. In the same way, men are being raised in a male violence privilege culture.

    It depends a lot on the messages we hear. I went to a comp church, but the overarching message was be kind to each other, you worthless worm food. That was NOT the message to the authorities. The message to authorities was, you can do no wrong unless your doctrine is off. So, not surprising that there was not a lot of peer abuse, but as soon as someone got into power… watch out! Of course, there was a lot of butt-kissing to get into positions of power, but that’s beside the point.

    D – “I don’t deny there is cultural pressure, but not all the time. Which is what I have been talking about.”

    I found a lot of conservative types don’t really get “shades of grey”, as it were. So, someone says “cultural pressure” and it’s either in-your-face discrimination or nothing. Of course, if it’s your ego, it can be very, very touchy to even the slightest hint of being demeaned. Like a backhanded compliment, but when it comes to, for example, women and occupation. Unless someone held a gun to their head or they faced obvious discrimination, like men slamming the door on occupation after occupation, then there was no “cultural pressure”. You did an exhaustive interview of your Aunt and confirmed that to be true.

    But, what toys were bought for her? The little schoolhouse or a construction set? Books or hammers? Dolls or Legos?

    What things she did were encouraged? Did her family ooh and aah over the outfits she dressed her dolls in, or A’s on her math tests? Was she praised for taking things apart even if she couldn’t get them back together? If she did start a task and get frustrated, did someone patiently work her through it, or did they take it away, fix it and give it back?

    Enigmatically, people are pretty brilliant at adopting social patterns, even though they may be bafflingly idiotic in other ways. For example, did you put your kids through telephone communication training school, or did the listen and watch and imitate? Did you have to walk them through what school would look like and how to interact with teachers, or did they figure it out?

    For example, the baby exploring an unfamiliar living room has already generally learned what subtle cues to listen and look for. So, the baby walks up to an object, looks at you, and figures out based on your expression whether it’s okay or not to play with that object. Sometime the object is too tempting to heed the parents, but the point is that baby can pick up the slightest concern on your face. They have a pretty good radar for when you’re stressed or upset or angry. Most compliant kids have figured out how to maintain the status quo in the house – how to please you – without you having to explain in exhaustive detail.

    Now, you are imagining that somehow women are completely oblivious and unswayed by the subtle cues of trusted people in their circles, and you are imagining that someone who has opinions of what women should and shouldn’t do can completely avoid showing that through tone or expression or even hinting one way or another?

    I did job interviews at a former company. No one ever said that we weren’t allowed to tell any bad things about the company, but for some reason, my co-workers and I knew it wasn’t okay. We could, potentially, hint at some issues. Again, no one held a gun to my head and said, “don’t spill the beans on bad stuff here”, but through “cultural pressure” it was pretty well communicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. D said

    I’m making the case that most women in this day and age aren’t feeling as much cultural pressure to teach and you are making the case about the ones that are feeling pressure.

    I disagree with the “most” modifier.

    Even in the year 2018, “most” girls and women are still receiving sexist messages about what careers or interests they should or should not pursue – from school, parents, movies, churches, teachers, etc.
    And there are studies that bears this out, this is not just my opinion saying this.
    (see my links on first page for the research)

    Are you a girl, D?
    No, you are not. On this blog you have identified as being a man.

    You were not raised as a girl.
    I, however, am a woman and used to be a girl.

    As a MAN you have no idea what sorts of subtle (and sometimes overt) messages we women get from movies, books, magazines, preachers, teachers, TV, shows, etc, of what is expected from us due to being girls / women.

    Look up the term “Man-splain.”
    Even as adult women past the year 2000, you can find testimony after testimony of women saying how many men ASSUME all to most women are dummies and don’t know anything about math, guns, sports, etc.

    Just saw a conversation among many women about this on Twitter today.

    A woman said a man struck up a conversation with her adult kid, her kid is an adult female.

    Dude said to her adult daughter, “How long you been with this airline”
    She said, “four years”
    His reply to her, “Oh, as a flight attendant”
    Her reply “No, I am a pilot”

    This ding bat man was wrongly assuming that the young lady was a flight attendant when in fact she is a PILOT for the airline.

    Why? All because she was simply a woman. In his world, a woman can never be a pilot must be a flight attendant. You have been making the same assumptions about men, women, and teaching as a career up and down this entire thread.

    This kind of insulting bullsh-t, these sexist assumptions, happens all the time, and mostly, to women.
    This is something most men will not experience due to their gender.

    (Except on this thread, you are kind of also pulling the inverse, saying men should not be teachers because they are not as “gentle” as women.)

    Like

  11. If anyone would like to read the original Tweet that got many women to sharing their experiences, you can read it here:
    _The Tweet_

    As you can see if you scroll down that thread, some women report that sometimes some OTHER WOMEN buy into sexist stereotypes too, is how pervasive sexism is.

    Other examples from that twitter thread:

    Comment by Kat Warner

    <

    blockquote>I’ve always looked young and when I was working In a pharmacy a man had asked me why I wasn’t in school, did my parents know I was skipping school.

    I was 33 married w/ 3 little kids.

    When I told him I graduated many yrs ago he was embarrassed

    <

    blockquote> comment by Cherry

    My desk is near the door of our office and clients mostly refuse to accept I am *not* the receptionist.

    No, Bill – I actually help create content for apps, do wireframe, and manage all of our marketing so no I’m not going to “run up and make you a copy” of anything.

    Carly S replied to that:

    I asked to be moved from the desk near the door in my software development office because of this.

    I still get it simply because I face towards the door.

    Delivery people will walk past 2-3 guys to speak to me

    comment by

    comment by

    Here is an example of woman- on- woman ‘sexism’
    (because many women are just as steeped in accepting sexist gender stereotypes as are men):

    Comment by Mermaid Pearlie Mae

    Testing a new monofin I designed and built, at the gym pool…

    Later, in the gym locker room:

    Random WOMAN, who was my age: What is that?

    Me: It’s a swim fin I designed. I was testing it.

    RW: Oh. Did your husband make that for you?

    Me: –

    (PS: That was two years ago and I’m still mad about it.)

    comment by Indigo However :

    My car mechanic, for years, would say
    “well, take it home, talk to your husband about it”,

    every time I’d say “hey, still not married. Still a single mom”.

    And he’d look sheepish. Now my kids ask me why I go to the same car guy and I say “I don’t want to have to train a new one.

    Another woman on woman example
    (because our culture also causes women to really internalize all these stupid gender stereotypes too, not just men):
    comment by Sam I Am:

    I am a female IT.

    Customer who is also a female IT would not do the things I was asking her to do.

    Turned ticket over to male co-worker.

    He asked her to do the same exact things and she did.

    How can we get respect from men when women in the same field won’t even Respect Us?

    comment by

    comment by

    Like

  12. More examples from that Twitter thread of men (and sometimes women) making sexist assumptions about women’s careers or knowledge:

    Laura Mater said,

    My advisor is a PhD in Hebrew Biblical Studies and also looks very young for her age.

    She gets talked down to at academic conferences all the time and she says the best part is all the old dudes faces when they figure out SHE’S the one doing the panel

    One Fine Morning said,

    My brother (a nurse) assisting a patient in A&E:

    Patient: Thanks for everything doctor.

    My brother: I’m not a doctor, I’m a nurse.

    Patient: Ok doctor.

    Can’t find it right now, but when I was reading that Twitter thread earlier today, a woman doctor said a man kept mistaking her for a nurse and asking when the doctor would be in. And she kept telling the guy, “I AM THE DOCTOR.”

    Nicole C said,

    I work part time doing sales at Menards in the plumbing department.
    A guy asked me “what’s the difference between these 3 toilet flappers? They’re different prices” (by like a dollar)
    and I said “they’re different brands” and he said “are you sure? Is there a man I can talk to?”

    Capt Apoc said,

    Early 90’s I installed CAT 5 cable, etc. at Princeton University.
    Walking down the hall with full tool belt carrying a power saw with keyhole bit attached and a group of older men in suits walked by me. One stopped and asked if I was a maid.
    He was absolutely serious

    KP said,

    On Veterans Day, there are lots of places that have discounts, freebies, etc…
    At a movie theater, my husband says 1 adult and 1 Veteran please. Attendant thanks him for his service. Husband points to me and says, “not me, her.”

    Greta said,

    When my sis was abt 13, she and my mom were buying a textbook in a bookstore and a guy asked “are you going to be a nurse?”
    and while my mom told this story like it was funny that he thought she was old enough for college,
    I was just thinking “why couldn’t she be a doctor?”

    Like

  13. I wasn’t even looking for articles about teachers but saw this in my social media feed today:

    _‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America_ – via TIME magazine, Sept. 2018 article.

    Hope Brown can make $60 donating plasma from her blood cells twice in one week, and a little more if she sells some of her clothes at a consignment store.

    It’s usually just enough to cover an electric bill or a car payment.

    This financial juggling is now a part of her everyday life—something she never expected almost two decades ago when she earned a master’s degree in secondary education and became a high school history teacher.

    Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.

    …That has become the rallying cry of many of America’s public-school teachers, who have staged walkouts and marches on six state capitols this year.

    From Arizona to Oklahoma, in states blue, red and purple, teachers have risen up to demand increases in salaries, benefits and funding for public education.

    Their outrage has struck a chord, reviving a national debate over the role and value of teachers and the future of public education.

    For many teachers, this year’s uprising is decades in the making. The country’s roughly 3.2 million full-time public-school teachers (kindergarten through high school) are experiencing some of the worst wage stagnation of any profession, earning less on average, in inflation-­adjusted dollars, than they did in 1990, according to Department of Education (DOE) data.

    Contrast that with D’s earlier comments on this thread about teaching:

    I’m sure the ones that decide to teach find it easier to have kids, because they get more personal, sick leave, breaks their students get,

    which means they are home with their kids (including summers) more than they would be working a regular job.

    The amount of time off with pay/benefits and retirement makes teaching attractive.

    My aunt is enjoying a rather cozy retirement from teaching in Folsom and travels the world once a year. She felt no cultural pressure to teach.

    It’s possible your aunt “felt no pressure” because she had already internalized her culture’s belief that “teaching is for women” and so she didn’t regard it as being pressured.

    I too was brought up that same way, assuming that certain behaviors were just normal for women.
    It’s not until later in life I realized it was social indoctrination, it was sexist, and yes, a form of pressure to make women think they are only meant, or cut out for, certain jobs, like teaching.

    Like

  14. Mark,

    I like your baby analogy. I think it can be interpreted a number of ways I’m sure, but the one thing that sticks to my mind is kids are learning their boundaries whether at first they are trying to please or they are trying to expand those boundaries as far as they can, which sometimes means crossing those boundaries in order to discover what boundaries their individual parents have.

    But then if a child manages to find an electrical outlet without a protective plug in it and has a fork in his/her hands, I’m going take it away and probably give them a firm warning, possibly a startling but non-painful tap on their fingers, “that’s a no-no” and “don’t to do that again”.

    But I’m also the type that doesn’t like cribs, especially the higher ones, because a child will eventually climb over them, some have been severely injured.

    I’m sure some would think I wasn’t strict enough while others would think I’m too strict.

    I will admit, when my son finished High School he didn’t hardly do much except do some commercial fishing during the summers as it was hard to have a vision or embrace goals when 10 million Americans lost their jobs during the economic meltdown.

    Am I culturally pressuring him by discussing the Pros and Cons of the choices he makes, whether he likes it or not?

    So am I culturally pressuring him regardless of circumstances that he needs to do more than just sitting around for 9 months out of the year, that he should actually start embracing a vision or do something? Whether it he decides to work at Wal-Mart for the rest of his life or go to a trade school, work at a homeless shelter, go crabbing in the Bering Sea or go to a 4 year college? (which he did, recently getting an English Degree)

    With options being limited during the last 12 years, I think kids feel a lot of cultural pressure into making career choices that is self-sustainable and those jobs can be very competitive depending on geographic locations.

    So yeah, Mark I’ll admit my kids are swimming in Cultural Pressure.

    Like

  15. Daisy,

    My aunt wanted to teach, in fact the desire to teach was so strong in the Sacramento, that she went through interim and substitute teaching for 3 years before landing a job.

    My family are liberals, nothing forced on them, no cultural pressure.

    I know some teachers endure some hardships like in all professions. I can say if things are hard on teachers in parts of the US, it probably is a lot harder for non-union labor jobs.

    If the teacher you are referring is living in the San Francisco Bay Area or Orange County or NYC (or expensive housing markets) they may struggling because the median home prices in those places are well above 1 million and median rent is nearly 4,000.00. But then we have the Federal Reserve to thank, as their easy money policy kept home values from finding a natural bottom.

    Like

  16. D – “It be like me saying that you said all female teachers are culturally pressured into becoming teachers, when both of us know that isn’t the case.”

    It is the case. The pressure may be more or less intense, but you’ve already acknowledged that this is a cultural phenomenon. In Norway and Japan, men are much more likely to be primary school teachers.

    Now, I don’t understand how you can wave away the fact that 97% of kindergarten teachers in the US being women means that women are naturally better kindergarten teachers than men, but the ratio closer to 60/40 in Norway and Japan are due to… occupational differences. Either women are better at teaching young children or they’re not. You can’t have it both ways. If you believe that women are better at teaching kindergarten, you have that preference for your grandchildren, and you served on a school board, I would be greatly surprised if that bias hasn’t come out one way or another. Even stating your preference here is a form of “cultural pressure” because a man or woman reading your preference will see it as an encouragement or discouragement regarding teaching kindergarteners.

    Maybe it’s like my last post. You don’t really acknowledge that publicly stating your preference is a form of cultural pressure. I’ve seen that with abuse. I’ve had parents acknowledge that they’ve physically disciplined “in anger”, but they say they would never “abuse” their children. Unfortunately, they’ve already admitted to abuse. Maybe it’s not the severity we think of when we imagine abuse, but it’s still abusive. Just like sexual harassment doesn’t have to be big and blatant. It can be a long-term pattern, but it can also be small things that make women feel uncomfortable.

    And, as a corollary, a long-term pattern of behaviors that encourage women towards certain roles and away from certain roles can still be significant cultural pressure, even though your specific piece of that may be seemingly inconsequential.

    In Norway, at least, the ratio is due to a societal push to remove perceived gender barriers from occupations. They seem to acknowledge that the teacher training is the same for both men and women, and both complete it successfully, so it would be odd if somehow women were more qualified.

    In Norway, they acknowledge that there is an underlying cultural assumption that women are naturally more nurturing, and that has a general influence on women and men choosing to be primary school teachers. I don’t understand how, in the U.S. we’ve magically and mysteriously shielded some large proportion of women from that underlying cultural assumption so that they can “willfully” choose their occupations. The statistics seem to show otherwise – women are being HEAVILY influenced by our underlying cultural assumptions.

    Like

  17. D – “Am I culturally pressuring him by discussing the Pros and Cons of the choices he makes, whether he likes it or not?”

    Yes, because behind the pros and cons of the choices is also your gender bias.

    Like

  18. Mark,

    What gender bias are you talking about, At the time he was kicking back, I wouldn’t have cared where he found a job.

    What bias are you talking about, that I didn’t include in my list of him working in the lingerie store like Victoria Secret, where I’m sure the majority of those jobs are being filled by women?

    This is turning pretty silly and we are really splitting hairs here, but for the sake of satisfying your curiosity, I would support his decision if he got a job like that.

    I’m not sure if I’m reading you right, are you suggesting all women that teach are culturally pressured to teach?

    Like

  19. This is where the naive part comes back in… so, you are saying that you are completely unbiased in every way?

    I’m saying that all people are pressured into gender-acceptable roles. Some are more influenced by that pressure and some less so, but the pressure is there. Among other things, the comp. church talks about women’s role being centered in the home, so obviously roles that are more compatible with raising a family (ahem, elementary school teacher) are going to be encouraged. Of course, the ideal is the stay-at-home-mom, which is encouraged unless the family cannot make ends meet without a second income.

    I’m also saying that all people are biased. It’s like Garrison Keiller (sp?) he says, “Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average”. The point being a subtle jab that all parents are biased towards assuming that their children are at least better than most others, but that is clearly impossible.

    Some bias is cute – like every parent thinking their baby is the cutest around. Some bias is not so cute – like seeing a black guy wearing a hoodie and assuming that he’s a delinquent or criminal. (e.g. George Zimmerman). Some bias is glaringly obvious like sports fans, some bias is not so obvious, like Freakonomics showing that first names indicate social status, and how resumes can be rejected simply because a first name sounds black or white trashy.

    So, people that are naively unaware or even actively hostile to the idea that they have bias are also the ones who don’t realize that they need to take steps to protect others from their bias. So, for example, someone who is going to be biased against certain socioeconomic statuses should probably get resumes with that sort of info redacted.

    I had one bias I didn’t realize until it hit me pretty squarely in the face… As I said, I went to a top grad school. I had a classmate from Texas. He had a pretty thick southern accent. So, sharp guy, but every time he talked, I had to actively suppress the “redneck” stereotype. You know the one where all the TV shows and movies show people with that accent being dumb as a rock – like Barney Fife, Roscoe P Coaltrain, Beverly Hillbillies, Forrest Gump and the list goes on.

    Like

  20. Mark,

    At first we are talking about me motivating my son to not sitting around and find something to do that is self-sustaining and you seemed to be connecting it with cultural pressure. Then you asserted me of gender bias when I named a few of many options I told him that he had, with exception that doing nothing is not a good choice. (he was 20 at the time)

    Then I asked you if you felt all women who were teachers were socially pressured to teach, which you didn’t answer.

    Old fashioned Comp philosophies of the “women’s place is in the home” is fading further and further off into the sunset, as most husbands and wives in this economy are forced to work in order to make ends meat.

    In many of those cases where both spouses are working, they have young kids that have to go to expensive day care a place that aren’t going to get the love, they would at home with their parents.

    Ideally many parents wish that either the husband or the wife had a large enough salary where one or the other could stay home with the kids and take on domestic duties, which by itself is a full-time job.

    I remember in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s my mom and step father worked full time jobs and then come home exhausted and sometimes one or the other being fatigued and irritable as their day was far from over having to tend to the kids and domestic duties and even though I carried a heavy load from age 10 to 18, (mainly laundry, ironing, vacuuming and doing the dishes for a family of 6) I know it took a toll on their bodies as it turned their marriage into a mundane almost lifeless relationship.

    Because I don’t hang out in Comp churches, the only marriages where I see one spouse or the other staying home and taking care of the domestic duties are the ones with their spouse making a salary large enough to live very comfortably. The rest of us need duel paychecks and have to work hard on the job and then go home and work hard again.

    Like

  21. I don’t have time right now to read all posts made since I was last here, only skimmed a bit of Mark’s posts above.

    For D:

    Online Tests to Determine How Much Unconcious Bias You Have, Re: Sexism

    __

    __

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  22. Sorry that posted before I was ready. Try this again.

    I took one of these tests a few years ago, and even I, a woman, adhere to some sexist notions – that is how much sexism gets entrenched into a person, when even the people most affected by it and harmed by it internalize it.

    When you are raised in a sexist culture, sexism and all its underlying assumptions about women, appears to be normal, good, and okay.

    And D wants Mark or me to think he has zero bias? HA HA HA HA HA HA. Riiiiight.

    For D:

    Online Tests to Determine How Much Unconcious Bias You Have, Re: Sexism

    Article about one of the tests:
    _Are you SEXIST but don’t realise it? Take the test that can reveal your ‘unconscious bias’_

    You may have to provide an e-mail address on this page to access the test – click the link at the bottom that says “I wish to proceed”:
    _Implicit Association Test_

    Like

  23. _Think You’re Free From Unconscious Bias? Think Again._

    Very long article, but D should totally read this, all the way to the bottom:
    _Test Yourself for Hidden Bias_

    Snippets (part 1) from that article:

    HOW ARE OUR BIASES REINFORCED?

    Once learned, stereotypes and prejudices resist change, even when evidence fails to support them or points to the contrary.

    People will embrace anecdotes that reinforce their biases, but disregard experience that contradicts them. The statement “Some of my best friends are _____” captures this tendency to allow some exceptions without changing our bias.

    HOW DO WE PERPETUATE BIAS?

    Bias is perpetuated by conformity with in-group attitudes and socialization by the culture at large. The fact that white culture is dominant in America may explain why people of color often do not show a strong bias favoring their own ethnic group.

    Mass media routinely take advantage of stereotypes as shorthand to paint a mood, scene or character. The elderly, for example, are routinely portrayed as being frail and forgetful, while younger people are often shown as vibrant and able.

    Stereotypes can also be conveyed by omission in popular culture, as when TV shows present an all-white world.

    Psychologists theorize bias conveyed by the media helps to explain why children can adopt hidden prejudices even when their family environments explicitly oppose them.

    About Hidden Bias
    Scientific research has demonstrated that biases thought to be absent or extinguished remain as “mental residue” in most of us.

    Studies show people can be consciously committed to egalitarianism, and deliberately work to behave without prejudice, yet still possess hidden negative prejudices or stereotypes.

    “Implicit Association Tests” (IATs) can tap those hidden, or automatic, stereotypes and prejudices that circumvent conscious control.

    Project Implicit—a collaborative research effort between researchers at Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and University of Washington—offers dozens of such tests. …

    Like

  24. (continued)
    _Test Yourself for Hidden Bias_

    Snippets (part 2) from that article:

    BIASES AND BEHAVIOR

    A growing number of studies show a link between hidden biases and actual behavior.

    In other words, hidden biases can reveal themselves in action, especially when a person’s efforts to control behavior consciously flags under stress, distraction, relaxation or competition.

    Unconscious beliefs and attitudes have been found to be associated with language and certain behaviors such as eye contact, blinking rates and smiles.

    Studies have found, for example, that school teachers clearly telegraph prejudices, so much so that some researchers believe children of color and white children in the same classroom effectively receive different educations.

    A now classic experiment showed that white interviewers sat farther away from black applicants than from white applicants, made more speech errors and ended the interviews 25% sooner.
    Such discrimination has been shown to diminish the performance of anyone treated that way, whether black or white.

    The Effects of Prejudice and Stereotypes

    Hidden bias has emerged as an important clue to the disparity between public opinion, as expressed by America’s creed and social goals, and the amount of discrimination that still exists.

    ….A person who carries the stigma of group membership must be prepared for its debilitating effects.

    …Similarly, studies found that when college women are reminded their group is considered bad at math, their performance may fulfill this prophecy.

    These shadows hang over stigmatized people no matter their status or accomplishments.
    They must remain on guard and bear an additional burden that may affect their self-confidence, performance and aspirations.

    These stigmas have the potential to rob them of their individuality and debilitate their attempts to break out of stereotypical roles.

    LEARNED AT AN EARLY AGE

    The first step may be to admit biases are learned early and are counter to our commitment to just treatment.

    Parents, teachers, faith leaders and other community leaders can help children question their values and beliefs and point out subtle stereotypes used by peers and in the media. Children should also be surrounded by cues that equality matters.

    Like

  25. _Think you’re all for gender equality? Your unconscious may have other ideas_

    Wonderful people

    Women are wonderful, or are they?

    You may be surprised to learn that research reports that we consistently prefer women over men and mothers over fathers implicitly.

    This is akin to the WAW (“women-are-wonderful”) effect – women being perceived positively on the whole as they are stereotyped as supportive, nice and gentle.

    This effect, however, disappears, and even reverses, the moment women step in to the “male domain” or otherwise challenge stereotypical expectations.

    For example, people implicitly (and explicitly) prefer male to female authority figures, male to female leaders and non-feminist women to feminists.

    My own research shows that female students implicitly prefer housewives over businesswomen.

    The implicit pro-female preference also reverses in men when they expect to interact with a superior woman as opposed to an equal or subordinate one.

    Unconscious bias limits, among others, people’s occupational prospects. The first step to deal with this is an awareness of the problem

    …However, since unconscious bias has its roots in the social world we live – where we learn associations from the gender roles we see around us – the surest way to diminish it is to provide alternative associations.

    This could be achieved by encouraging equal participation of men and women across traditionally gendered social roles.

    Like

  26. A caveat on the IAT test (the racism version), via _Vox_:

    But here’s the thing: It turns out the IAT might not tell individuals much about their individual bias.

    According to a growing body of research and the researchers who created the test and maintain it at the Project Implicit website, the IAT is not good for predicting individual biases based on just one test.

    It requires a collection — an aggregate — of tests before it can really make any sort of conclusions.

    “It can predict things in the aggregate, but it cannot predict behavior at the level of an individual” who took the test once, Calvin Lai, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and director of research at Project Implicit, told me.

    For individuals, this means they would have to take the test many times — maybe dozens of times — and average out the results to get a clear indication of their bias and potentially how that bias guides behavior.

    Perhaps that would apply to the gender / sexism version too.

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  27. I had one bias I didn’t realize until it hit me pretty squarely in the face… As I said, I went to a top grad school. I had a classmate from Texas. He had a pretty thick southern accent. So, sharp guy, but every time he talked, I had to actively suppress the “redneck” stereotype.

    Hi Mark! This one is pretty common. Smart southerners use being underestimated to their advantage. (southern, went to a school further north, got a lot of this 😉

    Like

  28. Daisy,

    I didn’t say that bias didn’t exist, Mark changed the subject when I was talking about my son needing to do something with his life.

    I can tell one bias I have, which is someone who has really bad teeth, which is a symptom who is a drug addict. I know that not all have who has bad teeth is a drug addict, but it enters my mind, whether they can hold down a job or can’t.

    I have another bias with you and Mark is you and he appear to be ignoring economic hardships that hit the American economy and how difficult it is for spouses raising kids and both forced to work. Then they have to go home and take care of domestic duties, which can be a full time job by itself. This lifestyle made the marriage of my mom and stepdad a lifeless relationship as they were constantly fatigued.

    My bias with you and Mark is that you don’t seem too concerned. Most of those couples are too busy and too tired trying to survive and don’t think about what is going on in Comp churches because most of them don’t have anything to do with Comp churches.

    Another bias I have, is that it wouldn’t surprise me if Mark and possibly you, is more financially independent than spouses forced to work, as you and he haven’t responded or simply don’t care to what I went through growing up.

    I have said many times, that there is very few that think the women’s place is the home, like what is going on in Comp churches. And probably there is a fair amount of those that are married where both spouses that are forced to work.

    Another bias I have, are those that act like they care about social justice, but embrace politically correct policies, that effectively make things worse on the people they claim to care about the most.

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  29. I think our point is that it’s inescapable. When I shop for something on Amazon, I read the reviews. No matter what the product is, there are positive and negative reviews. I’m sure the negative reviewers, based on their experience, would be steering people away from the product.

    No, if they had a negative experience, does it mean that the product is therefore bad? Probably not, because maybe there are 1000 reviews and 999 are positive, and the one bad review was a person who had unrealistic expectations.

    So, for example, I had a relatively bad experience in college. Some of it was the interaction of my personality with the culture at the college. Some of it I would say was incompetence of college personnel. I’ve steered people away. Maybe I steered people away that would have had a great experience there. Maybe the college has changed as administration and professors have retired or left. Am I “biased” in my evaluation of the college? Probably, and I probably lump many or most of the religiously-affiliated colleges into the same category. So, my kids will probably NOT go to a religiously-affiliated college because of my experience and bias – even though the “perfect” college for them may be exactly that.

    My wife and I steered each other away from public schooling our kids. She because she was homeschooled and thought it was pretty good, me because I was public schooled and had issues. Public schooling was really the best option for our eldest child, but we avoided it for her first three years of school.

    So, we’re in a free country where people willingly make decisions, but those decisions are obviously skewed by the people whose experiences and insight we trust. I think we have to pull off the rose-colored glasses and realize that some things we have internalized are just false.

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  30. D – “I didn’t say that bias didn’t exist, Mark changed the subject when I was talking about my son needing to do something with his life.”

    Changed the subject how? You are pontificating about how you have no bias… Because you’re “okay” with your son working at Victoria’s Secret? You changed the subject and I was trying to get you back on track.

    Saying “This is where the naive part comes back in… so, you are saying that you are completely unbiased in every way?” was EXACTLY on point. You’re trying to create a little bubble where, maybe Anne down the street was culturally influenced by her comp church to become a teacher, but not your liberal aunt, and definitely you would not ever do something like that.

    But, then we go back to the fact that you PUBLICLY STATED A PREFERENCE FOR FEMALE KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS.

    So, here you are on your soapbox saying that you are immune from cultural bias when you’ve proclaimed your cultural bias from the rooftops.

    Maybe, just maybe, you would realize that “wanting a female kindergarten teacher for your 5yo granddaughter” is “cultural bias”, and that publicly stating that bias is “cultural pressure”, so despite thinking you’re like Mary Poppins – “practically perfect in every way” you continue to ignore and evade being called out on YOUR CULTURAL BIAS and YOUR CULTURAL PRESSURE.

    Like

  31. But, then we go back to the fact that you PUBLICLY STATED A PREFERENCE FOR FEMALE KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS. So, here you are on your soapbox saying that you are immune from cultural bias when you’ve proclaimed your cultural bias from the rooftops.

    Right, Mark? I almost said the same again (pretty sure it was already pointed out) but I figured it was pointless.

    Like

  32. Mark, it was you that proclaimed that I was saying I had no bias, when I said I would support my son’s decision where-ever he found a job.

    I was talking about nudging my 20 year old son to understand that sitting around for the rest of his life wasn’t an option while I guess deep inside your head, you were thinking about comments I made about kindergarten teachers, lol, shaking my head.

    Now when it comes to teaching my young grand kids, I admitted already that I prefer a woman for a kindergarten teacher over a man, so there is no news flash there.

    You also seem to ignore much of what I have to say about the economic hardships that married couples face and have been facing for decades, that is forcing both spouses to work and raise a family at the same time. I grew up in that environment, in a working poor environment. Something your stats seem to ignore.

    You also seem to believe the studies you presented to me, that women are culturally pressured to teach, though your studies doesn’t emphasize that many women choose that option to teach because it gives them a little more flexibility to be with their kids, than most other professions.

    Some of my adult friends that teach, grew up in that environment and enjoyed more free-time going on trips and spending more holiday time with their own family than those stuck working 50 weeks out of the year working in 115 degree heat, who don’t have those options.

    It may come to a shock to you, but there are those outside your thinking circle that don’t embrace the same goals as you. Some place greater value choosing a profession that is more user friendly to raising kids and taking care of domestic issues

    Mark, do you think that “all” or the majority of women that teach are culturally pressured to teach?

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  33. You also seem to believe the studies you presented to me, that women are culturally pressured to teach, though your studies doesn’t emphasize that many women choose that option to teach because it gives them a little more flexibility to be with their kids, than most other professions.

    But why does it have to be the woman who spends more time with her kids? Why can’t it be the husband?

    Mark, do you think that “all” or the majority of women that teach are culturally pressured to teach?

    Not intending to speak for Mark, but I believe that there’s still a lot of cultural and social pressure on women to be dependent on men and relationally-skilled, and on men to be aggressive, stoic and “successful”. There’s been some improvement, as you say, and more opportunities are available to women now than in previous generations. But real acceptance of the full humanity of both men and women isn’t quite with us yet. And the notion that certain human qualities — such as kindness, nurture and tenderness — are strictly “feminine” isn’t gone yet. This idea is still present in many forms, and it doesn’t have to explicitly say, “a woman’s place is in the home” in order to affect people. It might even be affecting your relatives in ways that they don’t fully realize themselves.

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  34. D –

    You also seem to ignore much of what I have to say about the economic hardships that married couples face and have been facing for decades, that is forcing both spouses to work and raise a family at the same time. I grew up in that environment, in a working poor environment. Something your stats seem to ignore.

    Because economic hardships has to do with cultural bias how? I’m not here to be some sort of robo-debater of any topic you find compelling. I’m trying to demonstrate that women are culturally pressured into certain occupations.

    Now when it comes to teaching my young grand kids, I admitted already that I prefer a woman for a kindergarten teacher over a man, so there is no news flash there.

    But, yet to continue to gloss over any and all effects that this obvious cultural bias may have on women and men making choices of occupations. Continuing to say things like “My family are liberals, nothing forced on them, no cultural pressure.”

    You also seem to believe the studies you presented to me, that women are culturally pressured to teach, though your studies doesn’t emphasize that many women choose that option to teach because it gives them a little more flexibility to be with their kids, than most other professions.

    I presume you don’t understand how science works. In order to do a scientifically valid study, it is best to isolate the causes. That is, if I want to study gravity, I don’t shoot a projectile and then figure out how much friction, wind speed, the Coriolis effect, the strong and weak forces and whatnot all contributed to the trajectory. Instead, I’m going to devise an experiment that ignores those other forces and focuses on gravity in isolation.

    So, maybe Anne chose teaching because her husband beat her every night and told her he’d kill her if she didn’t become a teacher, and Bobbi Jo liked the smell of the school. We’re not going to get anywhere trying to psychoanalyze every teacher and non-teacher and decide what chemical brain processes and environmental impacts led to that decision.

    Instead, we say is gender bias and gender pressure a significant contributor to women choosing to teach, and the percentages of female vs. male teachers in various countries? And the answer is HELL, YES!

    I guess the question I can ask back is… why are women so much more interested in having flexibility with their kids, if taking care of kids is not a “gender role” for women?

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  35. Japan,

    I have said in this post, most who are married don’t have one spouse or the other, having a large enough salary for one or the other to stay home with the kids and tending to domestic duties, which by itself is a full time job.

    By appearance most on the this were isolating women and how they are culturally pressured to teach and I was counting that many choose to teach because it gives them a little more flexibility to be with their family, Which of course works well for men that also teach.

    We all can find a poll that confirms our views, In fact in my search of % of women working outside the home, I also discovered a gall-up poll that suggests’ 55% of U.S. mothers prefer to stay at home, again very exhaustive work. But add a full time job outside the home and do that for 33 years like my mom did with kids and job at the same time.

    My mom did both, worked full time then work full time at home, 6 hours of sleep, 1 hour of commute time each way, 8 hours at her job then 8 hours of domestic duties, I helped out a lot. But it still wasn’t enough.

    I watched my mom work herself into the ground. She was a draftsman, she loved it even though in the 70’s it didn’t pay much, but if my step-father’s salary was big enough for her to stay at home, she would’ve chose to do it. If her salary was big enough, then my step-father would’ve been able to stay at home, instead of working the insane hours he worked behind a till in a grocery store.

    Maybe you and Mark are insulated from such mundane realities but instead more focused on women that don’t have to work and want to, but can’t because of a stupid Comp philosophy that a “woman’s place is in the home”. But even in Comp churches I’m sure there are wives that work and have to for economic reasons, but would rather stay at home.

    Like I suggested, maybe there are those on this thread that are insulated from having a clue what its like to watch their parents work themselves into the ground and the impact on family life, or what it’s like to work 50 hours a week for both who work and have kids.

    Many corporations see it, allowing employees to work out of their home offices. My brother’s wife started a daycare in their home. More people are opting for careers that are more user friendly to their health, lifestyle and to their family.

    I’d like to add, that I know domestic duties isn’t for everyone, many work outside the home to get out of doing domestic duties or to be with the kids, like another sister-in-law I have. Who for years would leave 12 loads of laundry on the floor, day in and day sitting on the couch watching TV with dirty dishes needing to be washed, that her husband had to do when he got home after work. She never cooked, opting for box cereal, canned foods and microwave frozen food and Cheetos.
    Her place definitely wasn’t in the home, at least in my view.
    Then fed up, he suggested she get a job and he would stay home and take care of the domestic stuff and watch the kids. Which she did and liked a lot better as she wasn’t coming home to a dirty house, not that it really mattered to her.

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  36. Maybe you and Mark are insulated from such mundane realities but instead more focused on women that don’t have to work and want to

    Well, like most single people male or female, SKIJ has to work for a living. And do domestic duties, unless he can afford a maid. Which is also an option for people with decent double incomes who hate cleaning.

    Your SIL sounds like she may have been depressed or exhausted after being culturally pressured to stay home and do ‘domestic duties’ that she hated until her husband took over. She’s kind of proving the opposite of your points.

    And Sidenote to people who hate cleaning, invest in a robot vacuum. You will not be disappointed.

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  37. many work outside the home to get out of doing domestic duties or to be with the kids, like another sister-in-law I have

    I don’t know if you realize how this little story emphases all the thoughts you have clearly internalized about how women should be home cooking cleaning and raises babies because you have judged your SIL like crazy for not being that kind of person.

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  38. Mark,

    I’m not glossing over cultural bias’s (which exist a lot less than they use to) any more than you are glossing over tough economic realities which is occurring more so for both spouses, today than ever before.

    We live in a society where the majority of husbands and wives have to work outside the home.

    Mark, judging by the way you gloat about your education background maybe you and a few other’s on this thread might be more insulated from those economic hardship realities than the rest of us that gloat about having absolutely no choice but to have both spouses working outside the home.

    I commend you for your accomplishments as I’m sure they are well deserved and maybe you make enough to where if you are married that your spouse has the option of staying home or working,

    That isn’t the case for many of us even though our kids have grown into adulthood.

    Would I prefer my wife to be a doctor or a U.S. Senator and have an income large enough for me to stay home at the time we had young kids? yes. Would my wife prefer me to be a doctor or lawyer with an income large enough for her to stay home when we had young kids?,, yes, she would,

    She did stay at home, until the economic meltdown occurred. It was then that we were able to remember what it was like for both her and my parents endured exhaustion as both worked full time and then do the same at home.

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  39. Lea,

    I was responding to a comment someone was making about those that embrace a foolish theory that a “woman’s place is at home”

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  40. I was responding to a comment someone was making about those that embrace a foolish theory that a “woman’s place is at home”

    That doesn’t mean, D, that your opinions aren’t clear throughout. This deflection does not change your words, your story.

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  41. D – “I’m not glossing over cultural bias’s (which exist a lot less than they use to) any more than you are glossing over tough economic realities which is occurring more so for both spouses, today than ever before.”

    Just to remind you, the post title is “Women in the Church and Gender Roles“, so if you want to kibitz about “tough economic realities”, you are free in our free country to do so, but I’m also free to choose to deal with the topic of the post, which is “gender roles”.

    If you want to argue that “tough economic realities” have significantly changed gender roles, by all means, but if you want to play some sort of sympathy card, or try to demand respect because you didn’t get to have your wife stay home… I’m not particularly interested in responding.

    Re: “tough economic realities”, my dad had a great education, went to a great school, and in the process was converted and joined my abusive former denomination. He was “culturally pressured” into paying it forward to the next generation and ended up being a professor at a church college. His entire career, he and his peers were treated like garbage by the authoritarian leadership. He was cheated out of his due wages – what his peers received that he did not. He was paid below the starting salary of many of his students. My mom stayed at home and took care of the kids because it was the “right thing to do(TM)”. I was on the school lunch program and we were on food stamps when I was young. We ate meat loaf and mixed powdered milk 50/50 with our milk to make it go further. But, the upside of his being a professor was that we kids got a free college education, which I made the most of and found a career that was in-demand and highly paid.

    So, perhaps that is evidence that our cultural reaction to tough economic realities has changed the gender role equation, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still strong pressure for women to choose careers that are compatible with their culturally demanded domestic duties of cleaning the house and taking care of the kids.

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  42. Lea,

    I’m not deflecting anything, I admitted that I prefer the talents of a woman over a man when teaching kindergarten to my grandchildren.

    Causing the discussion to further expand into cultural pressure of career options being placed on both men and women.

    But in 2018, it is less constant because the pressure is much greater for 2 wage earners in a marriage to exist with both working paycheck to paycheck just to put food on the table and mentally drained at the end of each day.

    Maybe you and others don’t have that problem, which is why I think some aren’t seeing what I’m seeing with the economic realities of the working poor.

    The only “cultural pressure” many of those couples are feeling, is to make enough to survive beyond paycheck to paycheck and still find quality time with each other and with their kids. They could give a hoot about a bunch of social ideologs bickering

    I even conceded that there may be some women and men that fall prey to cultural pressure to work in a job, whether they like the job or not, such as teaching. I myself work in a job I don’t like, but out of fiscal necessity, not cultural pressure.

    Sometimes it feels like in this thread, there is this notion that all women and men are constantly experiencing cultural pressure in all that they do, some of it as a result of certain bias’s that exist in each and everyone of us.

    What I’m saying is there are many that choose to work in the jobs they have, because they have more flexibility to fit their lifestyle, is more user friendly for their body, for their marriage and for their kids and not for cultural pressure reasons, which is what is being magnified on this thread.

    Even in Comp churches economic realities exist, if one spouse’s income isn’t big enough then the other spouse “usually” works. In some of those cases poverty makes the woman feel trapped with no place to go.

    To the husband in a comp church with a large income and then “makes” his wife stay home and abuses her, she may have better financial options to escape or walk away, which she should do if he continues to hate and abuse her and her kids.

    Poverty is no friend to an abused woman who is trying to escape abuse.

    It all goes back to a love issue. People prematurely getting married where one or both think they are in love and discover they really aren’t, possibly because mutually one or both didn’t take the time to understand how the other was mentally wired though arranged marriages is something I could never understand. Without love what is the use?

    I mean, how can any man say he loves his wife, if he abuses her?

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  43. Maybe you and others don’t have that problem

    Honey, single people don’t have the option of just picking the spouse who stays home, even if they have a decent income. Because their is no spouse. And we can’t even split domestic duties, we do them all ourselves. So, maybe quit asking for so much sympathy next time and actually listen.

    And in your comment about not deflecting you jumped topics yet again. Which is deflecting. Sigh.

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  44. Mark,

    This conversation expanded further than that.

    But I did mention that there are certain ministries where a woman is needed, such as guidance in a teen ministry filled with girls. Or even in a women’s bible study. My point was there are roles that woman do that men don’t.

    I also backed it up, when I shared when my wife told me, there were things that she needed to confide with the woman co-leading the teens, in the youth group she was in, that she would never share with the man.

    Then somehow goalposts’ changed, one spitting out, “oh then the woman’s place is in the home” or “what about women being doctors?” For which I replied, my family doctor is a woman.

    Mark, you are a lot smarter than I am, as you insinuated a few times about your education background and how naïve I am and you probably are right as I’m not filled with academia like you are,
    I’m just down here with the culturally pressured, like everyone else, with exception, that I’m with the one I love, even though we struggle making enough legal tender to get by.

    I let leave it at that and let you and others continue to take shots at me.

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  45. D – “What I’m saying is there are many that choose to work in the jobs they have, because they have more flexibility to fit their lifestyle, is more user friendly for their body, for their marriage and for their kids and not for cultural pressure reasons, which is what is being magnified on this thread.”

    I think you continue to misunderstand “cultural pressure”. It’s not just cultural ideas on what women are good at and what they should do. It is stuff like… Your neighbor buys a new car and now there is some sort of one-upmanship that traverses through the neighborhood as suddenly no one’s old junker is good enough anymore. Or, where I used to live, there was a street where the neighbors outdid each other when it came to Christmas lights. It’s not all bad. On a sports team, there may be “good” competition where kids are improving their skills as the other kids improve their skills. In a historic district, cultural pressure may be to improve historical properties and renovate rather than tear down and build McMansions. We are social beings and we often live life in a way that “fits in” with what values our community has. In Texas, apparently everyone has a need to own a pickup. In Michigan, the ratio of “domestic” cars is significantly higher than elsewhere. So, cultural pressure is a constant – I can’t create an anti-cultural pressure force field, and often I’m not even aware that I’m being swayed by cultural pressure. So, when I was in Michigan, I had a choice between a $15,000 foreign minivan and a $25,000 domestic crossover. It was 2009 when the auto manufacturers were having major problems and I had friends who worked for those companies. I ended up buying the domestic car because I knew it would be a big deal to those around me. They didn’t exactly slash tires in 2009, but the sentiment wasn’t that far off.

    So, there is “good” cultural pressure and there is “bad” cultural pressure. The “good” cultural pressure encourages people to be moral, to take care of their property, to be a better person, to invest in the future, etc., but there is also “bad” cultural pressure – to spend money you don’t have. To sacrifice your retirement to buy things today. To be a workaholic to “get ahead”. To wear the “right” clothes, to drive the “right” car, to live in the “right” house in the right neighborhood. To put your kids in the best private schools and pay for them to play on the best teams and drive/fly all over the country so they can play in tournaments.

    This bad cultural pressure is based on biases. For example, people who dress well are smarter, more successful, and better people. It’s simply not true. There are smart people who wear crappy clothes and there are dumb people in suits. But… people will judge you based on your clothing. In the same way, there are biases about women, and those turn into cultural pressure. For example, teaching is a great occupation for women is based on biases – that women are better at childcare than men, and that women are more interested in nurturing children than men, but it is also based on a fit for the gender role that women are pushed into. It’s assumed in our culture that women will take the “caregiver” role in families. They take care of children and they take care of aging parents. Since women tend to live longer than men, they often care for their ailing husbands. That bias then translates into female-oriented jobs, which are jobs that can be done by women who fit into these caregiver roles. They tend to be more seasonal, more flexible, and perhaps unsurprisingly, lower pay. And there is a reinforcing loop (perhaps why 97% of kindergarten teachers are female). So, women take these roles, and then when some sort of family emergency comes up, the family member with the most flexibility is called on to handle the emergency. This then reinforces the idea that women should look for flexible jobs because they will be the ones handling emergencies.

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  46. D said

    <

    blockquote>By appearance most on the this were isolating women and how they are culturally pressured to teach and I was counting that many choose to teach because it gives them a little more flexibility to be with their family, Which of course works well for men that also teach.

    <

    blockquote> They have more flexibility? I’m not sure.

    _‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America_ – 2018 article via TIME magazine

    If they’re having to work ten jobs to barely make the bills, I don’t think they have a crap ton of free time left over to be with their family.

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  47. Mark said,

    <

    blockquote> For example, teaching is a great occupation for women is based on biases – that women are better at childcare than men, and that women are more interested in nurturing children than men, but it is also based on a fit for the gender role that women are pushed into.

    It’s assumed in our culture that women will take the “caregiver” role in families.

    They take care of children and they take care of aging parents.

    Since women tend to live longer than men, they often care for their ailing husbands.

    That bias then translates into female-oriented jobs, which are jobs that can be done by women who fit into these caregiver roles.

    They tend to be more seasonal, more flexible, and perhaps unsurprisingly, lower pay. And there is a reinforcing loop (perhaps why 97% of kindergarten teachers are female).

    So, women take these roles, and then when some sort of family emergency comes up, the family member with the most flexibility is called on to handle the emergency.

    This then reinforces the idea that women should look for flexible jobs because they will be the ones handling emergencies. And it’s a gender bias and gender expectation that women should be the ones to stay at home and take care of the kids.

    Married women still do more of the housework than their husbands do, even if both partners have careers outside the home. (There are studies and research online about this.)

    Women would not supposedly “”need” all that job flexibility if men carried an equal share of house and kid work, or if men were assumed by culture to be the care-takers of children.

    There’s no reason why housework and caring for kids cannot be more equitable between husband and wife, or he,…

    Let’s swap the genders, and have women work full time outside the home while the husband stays at home and does all- to- most of the childcare.

    You can even have the fathers QUIT their jobs to stay home full time to parent while the mothers work full time out of the house.

    There is absolutely no reason to have or to expect women to be the ones to look after kids at home rather than the man, or to assume women need flexibility in a job, unless you’re buying into societal assumptions about women, and about gender roles, that we women make better caretakers for children.

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  48. Hi Daisy,

    Men need to help carry the load to the best of his ability, no matter how much flexibility a woman has.

    I had parents that worked full time. Usually my step-dad worked until 10 pm so he was limited to how much he could chip in, except on his day off on Sunday and Monday. By Sunday, the house was clean and Monday he was alone while my mom was at work and the kids at school, and the house was still pretty clean.

    I was the eldest of 5 kids, so I took on a lot by the age of 10, mainly laundry and dishes and tidying up during the week but even weekends, I didn’t go anywhere as Saturday’s was house cleaning day and grocery shopping day, Parents sent us to church on Sundays while they had alone time.

    The pace my mom maintained was exhaustive. All the while her sisters chose to become teachers,

    Most professions aren’t easy and teaching is no exception, But it was clear that no matter how hard teaching is, it doesn’t change what I witnessed first hand the difference of flexibility my aunties had, compared to my mom.

    They were home earlier than her, they had more personal and sick leave than my mom did and they had way more time off during the holidays and during the summer. pay and retirement benefits were better than my mom, They worked hard like my mom did, but were more rested than she was and in fact they’ll live longer as my mom passed away.

    My mom had a hard life. There are a lot of woman like what my mom, in a 2 income environment with spouses working separate shifts, raising kids at the same time.

    The cultural pressure I see most, is like what my mom went through and the vigorous pace that most 2 income families have to maintain, just so they can pay their bills. Then to raise a family at the same time makes it more difficult.

    Daisy, if you are married and happened to be in a 2 income environment and raising kids at the same time, it can’t be easy, but it would become brutal if you or he works until midnight and the other works until 5.

    My definition of cultural pressure is lack of alternatives that is plaguing our society, especially low income or working poor. Also the commute to work is typically longer and wages haven’t kept up with inflation.

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  49. Mark,

    You wrote:
    “They tend to be more seasonal, more flexible, and perhaps unsurprisingly, lower pay. And there is a reinforcing loop (perhaps why 97% of kindergarten teachers are female).

    So, women take these roles, and then when some sort of family emergency comes up, the family member with the most flexibility is called on to handle the emergency.”

    Mark, when a 20 year old man or woman is pursuing a teaching degree or any job that gives them extra time off, they aren’t thinking emergency, but instead getting out of the house. And parents and other family members aren’t thinking “we know who to call, when an emergency occurs”

    When there is an emergency however, it won’t matter who is available, as it is the last thing on anybody’s mind about sacrificing flexibility of schedule. Most would leave work if they could and go help a family member in an emergency.

    Cultural pressure as you said has several scenarios that might be different to one person compared to another.

    Cultural Pressure sometimes happens on the job or in the classroom or on the job, where a manager, union boss or professor, might be so wrapped up in social ideology that they will need a case of Kleenex if their favorite liberal or conservative isn’t elected and then argue or take it out their frustration on co-worker or a student that don’t see things the same way,

    Then others might be feeling the rigors of trying to figure out how they are going to make their next house payment after their spouse was laid off from work, causing the laid off person to take just about any job or role, to save their home.

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  50. D, ‘And parents and other family members aren’t thinking “we know who to call, when an emergency occurs”’

    Funny that every year we have to update emergency contact information for the school. Right now, it’s call mom, call dad, call grandma. I have emergency contact information for my job. Call my wife. Sometimes my wife gets the call and she is not available, so either she or the school contacts me.

    That is for “standard” emergency stuff – a sick kid at school, primarily. Obviously, when someone is in an accident or whatever, we’re all going to drop everything, and that’s expected, but the societal expectation is that women work jobs that are more compatible with standard emergencies and men work jobs that are less. Hopefully, that is going away, but it is still an undertone in our society.

    And… 20-somethings don’t just wake up one day and say, I’m going to be a teacher so I can get out of the house. Maybe it’s that way with some, but the college I’m familiar with, freshmen come in with majors already declared. The way education is specialized, it is very difficult to switch majors mid-stream without having to go to school another year, and adding another year to college is expensive and doesn’t get you out of the house any sooner. So, the typical education major has decided what career primarily based on school and parental influence, and perhaps “family emergency” isn’t at the top of that list, but I think “compatibility with female societal roles” is. There are horror stories of women who took a few years off of, for example, computer programming jobs for family reasons, only to find that the “gap” and whatever other stereotypes got applied to their resume, made it extremely difficult to get a job. Whereas, our elementary school has pretty much a revolving door and we had a teacher who took, I think, a 10-year break only to substitute one year and be full-time after that – in one of the most high-demand school districts in our state!

    I’ve seen people go into firefighting for that reason – no need to go to college, and a 4 day work week.

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  51. Mark, by the age of 20, college students are entering their junior year in college and most of them have chosen a major and many of them chose education.

    You know these things. unless you forgot that most college students chose their major by the time they enter their junior year. Sometimes they’ll change majors.

    Again you must already know this. Maybe you chose a major and then later changed your mind when you were in college.

    You were partly insinuating that college kids were choosing careers that gave them more flexibility so they can avail themselves for family emergencies. Most kids aren’t being manipulated like that. You were also insinuating the same thing to the parents of those students and manipulating or choosing their kid’s major, so they can rely on them to assist them in an emergency when they are in their 70’s, which is nuts.

    Many like me however, when we had kids choosing a major, we were in our 40’s and early 50’s. So we aren’t thinking “who we are going to rely on” in an emergency or which kid will have favorable career flexibility in the event of an emergency.

    My kids weren’t thinking about family emergencies when they chose their majors in college and we weren’t encouraging them to chose a major that will give them career flexibility so they can take care of us.

    I suspect most college kids are a lot like my kids, get a degree and move on with their lives. Most parents are a lot like us, don’t stand in the way of their kid’s choices in fact we want our kids to go out and have the ability to support themselves, though some fresh out of college move back in for a short period of time, until they land a job.

    Most parents and college grads would prefer the college grad to land a job soon as possible so they can move out.

    I can however, visualize a scenario, where a 20 year old is choosing a major and they have an aging 65 year old parent with health issues who isn’t getting around like they use to, where career choices are being manipulated by the health of their parents.

    I really am a bit surprised that you actually think college kids by the time they reach their Junior year, that they can’t possibly decide on their own or that they can’t exercise some vision when they are choosing a major.

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  52. I see professionals altering their work week so they can have 4 day weekends every twice a month. (configuring 4 days in an actual work week) My dentist does that and all the professionals working for him, love the flexibility.

    As it gives them an extra 50 days off a year.

    I wish my mom had an extra 50 days off a year, instead of working herself in an exhaustive pace. Going 5 days a week for 50 weeks a year, not easy raising 5 kids.

    In fact I know she is a lot like other parents in that she pushed her kids out the door when they hit adulthood.
    I wasn’t quite as harsh, because the economic meltdown made our kids extremely vulnerable while college tuition exploded, so they chose to go to junior college and stay at home to control cost, Then they moved out when they entered their junior year and into a dorm.

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