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Old 12-31-2008, 09:46 AM
 
Location: West Texas
2,441 posts, read 5,248,538 times
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Okay - I'm hoping we can leave the sexism out of this, but this topic came up at work the other day, and I thought I'd throw it out there.

There's lots of arguments today about the downturn in society. Common things heard are "Bad parenting", "schools not teaching what they used to", "families of today are dysfunctional", a "moral decline in society", etc.

So, we got to discussing just when things started going bad. Of course, no matter how far you go back, there was no "perfect" life for everyone. There were always those that were homeless, or without jobs, or hungry, etc. But there's concern that it may be more prevalent today than it was a long time ago. Additionally, TV isn't what it once was. Shows like "My Three Sons", "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", and "Leave it to Beaver" have given way to "Desperate Housewives", "The Simpsons", and "Real Housewives or Orange County".

Most of what the conversation steered towards was post-WWII. Most know that during that time when the men all got sent to/went to war, the women stepped up in a HUGE way and took over many industries. They built much of the equipment used in the war, stepped in for almost every industry that existed. They only jobs they really didn't do were corporate jobs.

Then, after the war, with the men that returned, there started a much larger push for women in the workforce. Women were no longer satisfied being "stay at home moms" and wanted the freedom to do what they wanted as a career. The thrust of this topic is not to discuss their freedom or right to do so. The question is: was/is the desire for women to be in the workforce partly to blame for much of the discussed problems in families/society today?

When women entered the workforce, I'm sure it wasn't in droves. Every woman didn't put her child into daycare and head out for the employment interviews. But, there were/are only a finite amount of jobs. And for every woman who got one, some guy was left without one (and possibly a way to support his family). According to one source, in 2005, 60% of eligible women 16 years or older contributed to the work force. That means that number of men (whatever that number comes out to) didn't hold those jobs (and possibly others).

This also leads to families with both parents working, and the discussion of who is really raising the children, and what culture, morals, or whatever are being instilled in them? When we watched those shows growing up (60's, 70's and before?) it was considered normal. But today people laugh or scoff at shows with some ethical or moral story attached. The fact that "Lucy and Ricky were married but slept in different beds... really, who does that?!?"

The conclusion, from both female and male co-workers, is that although women entering the workforce had many great impacts both socially and economically, it also has to be held to task for much of the ethical or social dilemmas facing society today.

Anyone agree or disagree? Can anyone provide an alternative to the change in culture and tolerance since then alternative to what we discussed? And please remember to try to keep "sexism" out of it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
2,290 posts, read 4,948,909 times
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While I don't blame women for the moral downturn in society, I do see how the lack of a stay-at-home parent (usually the mom) can have a negative affect on the family and its functions. At the same time, the shows that were a little more "wholesome" back in the day were watched more by women than anyone else. The cheap and sleazy entertainment is watched more by men who are younger, single, and childless. So as far as the downturn in entertainment morals, you could easily blame men.

Now, once upon a time, women could stay home and men could go to work and bring home the bacon. That changed decades ago, though. When women voluntarily became part of the workforce, the cost of living increased. When people began to marry less, more single women went to work to support themselves. At which point, it became almost a necessity that both parents went to work in order to keep up with the cost of living.

Both parents working meant more and more kids in daycare, and more and more latch-key kids. And when kids are at home, they're being babysat by the TV. Guess what they're watching?

In my mind, we all have some blame in our downturn. Moral and otherwise.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:43 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,941,190 times
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As you probably know, Rathagos, in another life I was a medievalist. I've read a lot of really obscure didactic literature, and let me tell you -- there was never a time when a lot of people did not complain about the supposed moral decline and dysfunction of the family. It's the standard reaction to inevitable social changes and economic upheavals. When was there not a moral decline? The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the birth of terrorism and political extremism -- who is responsible for that? I mean, the women who raised those actors were housewives, who did not displace the men from their jobs, so we can't blame them. Whose fault is it? And you know what, I'll take a lurid TV show over a violent anarchist any day. Who is to blame for 18th century slave trade? Was it not immoral? And don't tell me that "it was the times", since many people then realized that it was abhorrent, yet it was widely practiced. Who are we going to pin it on? Who is to blame for the Wars of Religion in the 17th century, when Catholics and Protestants massacred each other for fun? A little sex on TV sure beats the hell out of being burned at the stake for your faith.

So, I have an alternative to propose to you, but you are not going to like it: The world ALWAYS changes. And there are ALWAYS a lot of people who don't like it, and therefore characterize the changes as evidence of a "decline". ALL the TV shows you've mentioned are pretty stupid and offensive -- they are just stupid and offensive in different ways, that's all. There was never a static, a priori world that somehow went off the rails. Things were always on the move; some got better, some got worse.
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Incidentally, even though you've stated that you want to "leave sexism out of this", I was rather nonplussed by your statement that a woman who goes to work displaces a man who would have had that job if she stayed at home. Why do you believe all jobs by default belong to men? Are you saying that men are the default sex? Shouldn't a job go to someone who is best qualified, regardless of gender? Do you also believe that women who are educated get their education by "displacing" inferior male candidates from universities, too? Poor Marie Curie. Little did she realize she was a mere uterus.
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Incidentally, housewives tend to have more children than working women. Educated people tend to have fewer children than uneducated ones. Weren't you worrying in another thread about how we are being overpopulated? Egalitarian societies grow more slowly than patriarchal ones. Equality between the genders actually slows down population growth.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:16 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,620,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rathagos View Post
The conclusion, from both female and male co-workers, is that although women entering the workforce had many great impacts both socially and economically, it also has to be held to task for much of the ethical or social dilemmas facing society today.

Anyone agree or disagree? Can anyone provide an alternative to the change in culture and tolerance since then alternative to what we discussed? And please remember to try to keep "sexism" out of it.
Of COURSE this is true....few people would deny that....only argue over the REASONS for it.

Your thread addresses only a small facet of a much larger subject...the increasing 'liberalization' of society, the 'leveling' of roles, and the ever stronger belief that NO ONE has the 'authority' to speak for another..that NO ONE has a right to 'judge' another, to second-guess him/her, and that NO life style is any 'better' or any 'worse' than any other....all lifestyles are equally 'good', just different.

With that as our society's premise, there's little wonder that ALL of us feel entitled to 'have it all', and that one can have a fulfilling career, a vibrant cultural life, a stimulating hobby, AND a rewarding, close-knit family, too...and this is the right of everyone....and nobody should 'miss out on life' just because they decide to have children.

It's pretty obvious why everything isn't running smoothly today....but I won't say much more, because just like everyone else, it's not up to me to 'judge' anyone. All I CAN say is, in a society where nobody feels 'obligated', where everyone is fully entitled to 'have it all', and NOBODY has the right to 'tell anybody what he should DO', it's pretty plain that this goal can never really be reached. And when it can't, we feel cheated, resentful, and disappointed...which is OK, as long as we don't feel 'surprised'.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:50 PM
 
218 posts, read 680,501 times
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I will only speak regarding those I know personally and what I see firsthand:
Many moms I know work full-time even when they don't have to because they spend like crazy, have to have that additional car (SUV) too. My own relative(s) hardly see their kids because they are more worried about bombarding them with all kinds of fancy gadgets they don't even need because they only "have to" work to afford all this nonsense. TVs, DVDs, computers in every single bedroom yet the kids STILL rule the TV in the family room and dictate what parents watch. Parents will watch cartoons on their only days off if the kids say so -- NEVER "Go watch the nice TV in your own rooms, Kiddos!"

Just too materialistic these days. A zillion "holister" shirts when they don't even wear half the ones they have already. Just keep buying more, more and more. Kids are utterly unfazed at Christmas! And Mom ALWAYS has to inform us all how much they COST (like who CARES!) It's all about outdoing your neighbors, relatives and friends these days. Keep all the materialistic stuff coming, who cares about instilling manners and a sense of value? Kids get expensive photo-cellphones instantly replaced whenever they lose them. It's insane. Kid just orders mom to "get another one".
"Yes, Master!!" (Peter Lorre mode as Igor)

Just want to bombard the kids with more, more and then some. Perhaps they would consider being MOMS first if the peer pressure ("suburbanite") wasn't so "Just gotta outdo everyone else -- especially the worthless husband" focused? Husband only works 40 hours a week, lazy sucker. I'm sick of hearing the complaining about that when another lady's guy I know won't work at ALL! Some moms I know should get their priorities straight and remember how they were brought up. (MUCH differently!) We were taught manners and the value of things and to appreciate. The kitchen is like a catering dining room. Kid doesn't like roast beef and potatoes, The Servant makes mac & cheese immediately! It's crazy.

These kids better marry Royalty or they are in for a RUDE awakening!
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,243,889 times
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It is the women who drive the demand for consumer goods. Most of the really unreasonable people I have met are women. The typical mall is all clothes, jewlery and shoes for (guess who) women. Women are as much to blame as anyone else. There are several women I know who wear the pants in the house and control their husbands. The relentless inflation caused by Federal Reserve debt has made it necessary for more workers in many families, but the huge demand for unnecessary clothes, shoes, furniture, remodeling, new cars and other things is often caused by women and their concept of "fashion". Without women consumerism would be limited to tools, and technology. Everything else would be bought for necessity
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,091 posts, read 10,492,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Your thread addresses only a small facet of a much larger subject...the increasing 'liberalization' of society, the 'leveling' of roles, and the ever stronger belief that NO ONE has the 'authority' to speak for another..that NO ONE has a right to 'judge' another, to second-guess him/her, and that NO life style is any 'better' or any 'worse' than any other....all lifestyles are equally 'good', just different.
Many people like to spout "everything is allowed" and "don't judge me", but they forget the other portion...that if they make poor decisions they can't blame others for their own mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
It is the women who drive the demand for consumer goods. Most of the really unreasonable people I have met are women.
Heh, sorry to say stupidity and over consumption is gender neutral from my eyes...I've seen both so much it's depressing. Different goods but same result...how many guys buy cars they can barely afford (most common I see)?

Morality is always declining every time anyone talks about it, from any point in history. I think kids have rose colored eyes that go away as they age, once they aren't protected any longer being an adult is not as fun as they thought...they are disappointed (I was).

The only thing I can say any "blame" (I apply this definition in the loosest possible smattering) being female has had since women have joined the workplace is that wages have changed. Supply side economics only, more supply of labor the wages change...though more consumption cancels a good portion of that drop out. No one should be to blame for exercising their rights not to be second class citizens, if that is part of the old "Good" morals of society then...I am glad they changed. IMHO morals improved and rights improved for equality, though responsibility decreased and needs to improve (general humanities fault there).

Last edited by subsound; 12-31-2008 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,121,528 times
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I'm sorry Rathagos, but I have to kill you now.

Yup, you're absolutely right, it's the women's fault. Back in the days of "My Three Sons" and "Leave it to Beaver", women knew that life wasn't really like that for most women. If there was child or spousal abuse, a woman was smart enough to keep her mouth shut and pretend to the rest of the world that it wasn't happening. God forbid she would leave a man for such, and take her children with her; where would she go? Back to be a drain on Mom and Dad! How disloyal. She surely couldn't work outside the home; why she could never give her children a better lifestyle than even a violent employed drunkard or sexual deviant could. And Divorce was not acceptable socially; a single woman who was trying to raise children on her own reduced their chances of education, marriage, and future employment drastically. Women were raised to be the caretakers of the children and the home - no matter what a louse their chosen mate turned out to be. If he cheated on her repetitively, with one woman or hundreds, she was supposed to smile and pretend that she didn't know and that it wasn't offensive, that was just how men were. Sexuality was for the prostitutes and single girls her hubby picked up; certainly not for the ideal Madonna-mother and -wife.

In the 60's, children of parents who "stayed together no matter what" were appalled by this. With the burgeoning free love and 'tune in, turn on, and drop out' mentality on one side, and their long-suffering-in-silence parents on the other, they went completely the other way; refusing to be tied to one agonizing, life-lying relationship as were their parents. This hedonism resulted in several things - an acceptance of divorcees and women as individuals in the workplace, an acceptance of differing lifestyles and beliefs, and acceptance of things that were heretofore not acceptable - women as people. The next step was for the slow moving and pedantic male-dominated government to be convinced to get involved, deciding that it should be the leading force and influence in this movement - and created all sorts of 'helping systems' like social services; to 'help' single women be able to leave that jerk of a husband, provide for her chldren, and get the social acceptance for both herself and them; increased funding in the educational systems to encourage all children to be schooled in the new social acceptance policies, etc. At first only those who truly needed such programs took advantage of them, but - as usual - there were more and more women who realized that these programs were there, would pay all their bills, and allow them to live the lifestyle of their hardworking next door neighbors without effort. Kids were taught to not only accept the kids of divorced parents, but then their own sexuality, as well as that of others, with equanimity and even exploratory enthusiasm. And who were all these social workers and teachers? Why,WOMEN, of course!

Women are an evil influence. Beware. It really IS all our fault. We don't have to take over the world - all we have to do is put pressure on, and seduce, the men whom we allow to believe that they are in charge of the governments, the bureaucracies, and the infrastructure itself and manipulate it to our own evil - and we have done it. Men are all lost, lost, do you hear me, LOST!!!!!! THERE's your REAL Conspiracy Theory!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

(Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.)

Last edited by SCGranny; 12-31-2008 at 09:38 PM.. Reason: spelling (sigh)
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
2,015 posts, read 4,900,858 times
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"A woman can work any job she wants as long as she has dinner on the table by supper".
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:53 PM
 
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,584,882 times
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SCGranny, can I adopt you as my new Granny?
My grandma was never so eloquent , snarky or clever!
She was great, but hey, I figure I should at least ask you.

Last edited by bellalunatic; 12-31-2008 at 11:54 PM.. Reason: spelling
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