Tom, many thanks for your thoughtful response. You and I are of the same era, or thereabouts, and I agree with many of your observations about tradition. However, I would hesitate, and I only speak for myself, on the above statement. With more then 7.4 billion of us today, I simply can’t make such a broad comment. First of all, we would probably have quite an interesting time defining what we mean by “equal” if for no other reason than how you view the world would likely be vastly different from mine, and we would both have perfectly valid points based on our upbringing and POV. I have what I’d call a very equal partnership with my bff but it likely wouldn’t suit most people. Works for us. What I don’t care for is the vilification of men for the crime of being male ( please I love ‘em, I have had my share and with the exception of the assaulters and the rapist they were all princes in their own right). As we evolve as a species, the right for women to step out from behind the man’s shadow and be brilliant in her own right is a gift to us all. When we are mature enough to recognize her right to reproduce AND have a full career, and value that work is done at home for the kids no matter who does it, perhaps I can applaud.
We are largely at a point on Maslow’s hierarchy, please, not all but many in the western world, where we don’t need to be jealous or threatened by the achievements of our partners. That’s emotional maturity, and Tom I’m not singling you out here, just making a broad comment. My uber talented mother gave up a career in languages ( she spoke six) to end up on a chicken farm. Those were the times and that was her Choice. I wonder if she would do the same today. We cannot know.
Roles are changing, and I believe the 0pportunity is for each of us to make our way in this Brave New World. Will we lose things that make us feel safe because they are familiar? Of course. I have too. However I sense, as an explorer and traveler, that on the other side of this summit is yet another summit. What we learn to embrace as things shift can make us stronger. While a piece of me is sad indeed to see the loss of common courtesies that used to be de riguer between the sexes at large ( my bff and I maintain them. I may be the skydiver etc but he opens my doors, all of them, and I treasure this in him and make sure he is regularly reminded) I am equally excited to see more doors open. To wit, when I went into the army in 1973, women could not fly combat missions, now they can. I am patently against war, but I only point at something in my own experience that has shifted. To me, if they have the skills and the desire, go after it. Life is shifting. For me it’s like crossing a river full of moving logs. To stay out of the rapids you gotta keep moving because the options aren’t very attractive.
Again this is an opinion piece and I value the discussion. Thanks for your most kind comments and the opportunity to consider more viewpoints.