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Uneven balance of power in the decison to homeschool or unschool? - Page 3

post #41 of 104
Anglyn - we posted at the same time. Goodness this thread moves fast!

Kathy
post #42 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
When I've seen gender politics affect homeschooling, it has not been the father vetoing homeschooling. Where I've seen gender politics playout, it has typically been in conservative Christian families where the mother is homeschooling with her husband's encouragement, but not help, and, as the community treats homeschooling as the only education that's acceptable from a religious perspective, the mother feels she must make homeschooling work by staying in her marriage, despite increasingly bad treatment from her husband. Because she has no recent work experience, and no social contacts outside of their religious community, the idea of leaving is scary. She is completely dependent on her husband and feels she has very little power in her life.

To be clear, most conservative Christian homeschooling families don't have this kind of dynamic, but I've seen it pop up a few times, and it alarms me.

ZM
Yes, thats alarming and its the kind of situation where women get "trapped" in a bad situtaiton. But this is where it gets tricky, we have to be able to discuss all these issues without an agenda becuase I can see where some would read this and say that public schools are necesary for womens freedoms and rights and that by promoting homeschooling we are oppressing women.

That NOT to say that those situations should be ignored by anymeans. Of course, to me, this is more an indictment of fundamentalism than of homeschooling. Now, Im not bashing religion, Im bashing those who use it to oppress others and justify what they do, which can be found in all religions and societys. There are always those who oppress others.
post #43 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Anglyn - we posted at the same time. Goodness this thread moves fast!

Kathy
THis is the speed of light for the US forum!!
post #44 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
I can see where some would read this and say that public schools are necesary for womens freedoms and rights and that by promoting homeschooling we are oppressing women.
It's true! They are! Within a fundamentally patriarchal, capitalist system that locks up the food and devalues the work that makes life run but doesn't directly feed the machine. That work is leftover for the lower class. Namely people of color, primarily women.
post #45 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
THis is the speed of light for the US forum!!
Ha ha! It is! It took me half an hour to type a post and by then there were four other posts saying the same thing.
post #46 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Gender issues touch most aspects of life.

There are more SAHM moms than dads, when women work they typically earns less, women do more housework - even when allowing for differences in outside the home work load - women still do more housework.

It would be incorrect to think gender does not play a role, in general, in educational decisions.

This does not necessarily mean gender plays a large role in your families decision. Family decisions are complex and personal.

I will say, as a feminist, that I believe gender roles often play out in subtle ways that we are not always aware of and that these things might influence, even subconsciously, our decisions. I am open to the fact they might in my own life. I am not saying this to anyone in particular - just putting it out for consideration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
Karen, I think you're taking what I say too personally. I was not once in any of my posts applying patriarchal "lording of power" to your family or your situation.

We must be living in different cultures otherwise. It has been the rare exception that I've ever heard of homeschooling being the father's choice. In fact, until the previous poster, I hadn't.

I do, however, see patriarchy manifest itself in relationships - well, everywhere really - a lot. It is not an overt power struggle, but an underlying structure. I see it in my husband's reactions to things, in his emotional life. I see it in perceptions of me and women like me that exist in the larger world. I see it in pink, in blue, in sissiness, in bullying, in violence, in inaction, in the assumption that everyone has that I cook the meals or clean the floor. I see it in baseball, in strength, in birth, and in birth control. I see it everywhere.

Does this mean that everyone is always the same if they are a part of that structure? No. When I speak of trends, I see them in the larger world, not in YOU, not in YOUR relationship.

Yes to all of the above. I think that the way our society is set up, allows men who ARE being selfish and controlling to get away with it, not so much when women do it. That by no means is saying that ALL men are like that. But I think even men who are otherwise gentle, reasonable and loving can often be pushy when there is a big diffrence of opinion and that our culture is telling them they are right, so that maybe they are less likely to listen. Or just the fact that in our culture in general, the advice is ususally, to "just do what your dh wants, why are you causing a problem?" becuase if the TWO people disagree, its ususally seen as HER casuing the problem or rocking the boat. And a lot of us really were raised not to rock the boat.
post #47 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
It's true! They are! Within a fundamentally patriarchal, capitalist system that locks up the food and devalues the work that makes life run but doesn't directly feed the machine. That work is leftover for the lower class. Namely people of color, primarily women.
I agree! Youre right! But I still want to be a broad thinker and dreamer and say we shouldnt shoot for ps to be the norm, but for the system to change so that women are free within it to make those choices for themselves!!
post #48 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Holy crap, most of what I now believe and have good solid reasons for believing, can be made to sound SO bad.....I mean when I was 16 the idea that women were more capable of parenting due to biology would have sounded like some antifeminist stuff to me, and now it sounds...well, like the TRUTH! But then, at 16 I had never been a mother.
I struggle with this too! But I've come to accept that just because there are biological differences, doesn't mean we have to institutionalize them. But then, that's why I unschool - I don't want to institutionalize anything. I think that real life demands flexibility to assess individual situations. Also, why I'm actually an anarchist... ho hum, such the rebel.
post #49 of 104
When I read posts where someone says "I want X and dh won't even discuss it." I tend to attribute it to relationship issues that couple may be having, rather than any broader cultural issues.

FWIW, I just can't imagine getting to a point with my dh where we couldn't find some kind of middle ground on an issue having to do with our kids. I wouldn't want to homeschool my kids if my dh was really uncomfortable with it, because his opinion matters to me-- if he's uncomfortable, chances are there is something wrong, and I would want to address it. It's not about being subservient, it's about honestly valuing his opinion. He values my opinion too, and that's why, when I bring up something like not circumcising our son, he listens to my reasoning respectfully, we talk calmly about his reservations, and make a decision together.

ZM
post #50 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
When I read posts where someone says "I want X and dh won't even discuss it." I tend to attribute it to relationship issues that couple may be having, rather than any broader cultural issues.

FWIW, I just can't imagine getting to a point with my dh where we couldn't find some kind of middle ground on an issue having to do with our kids. I wouldn't want to homeschool my kids if my dh was really uncomfortable with it, because his opinion matters to me-- if he's uncomfortable, chances are there is something wrong, and I would want to address it. It's not about being subservient, it's about honestly valuing his opinion. He values my opinion too, and that's why, when I bring up something like not circumcising our son, he listens to my reasoning respectfully, we talk calmly about his reservations, and make a decision together.

ZM

Just to play devils advocate: what if you really wanted to, maybe he could want to because you want to and feel that there must be something right with it. I see many many women say they chose not to do x y or z even they did want to but chose not becuase dh didnt want to and hes important to them or they wanted to consider his feelings etc, which is valid, but it would be just as valid for him to have gone against HIS comfort level becuase he wanted to consider her feelings or becuase she is important to him and I just dont see it working that way as much. Again, I mean in general, I hope no one takes what Im saying personally! I think probally people in this forum either have dh's who agreed in the first place or were very open to listeing to them becuase obviously they are doing it, so you guys probally aren the best examples to draw from!!
post #51 of 104
mn - said better elsewhere
post #52 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
I struggle with this too! But I've come to accept that just because there are biological differences, doesn't mean we have to institutionalize them. But then, that's why I unschool - I don't want to institutionalize anything. I think that real life demands flexibility to assess individual situations. Also, why I'm actually an anarchist... ho hum, such the rebel.
Yes Yes. I never want to be "freed" from the "burden" of caring for my children. Being a mother should be valued in its own right. I dont think feminism is about making men and women the same, or it shouldnt be, its about valuing us all. That makes me a humanist damn it!! :-)
post #53 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Just to play devils advocate: what if you really wanted to, maybe he could want to because you want to and feel that there must be something right with it. I see many many women say they chose not to do x y or z even they did want to but chose not becuase dh didnt want to and hes important to them or they wanted to consider his feelings etc, which is valid, but it would be just as valid for him to have gone against HIS comfort level becuase he wanted to consider her feelings or becuase she is important to him and I just dont see it working that way as much. Again, I mean in general, I hope no one takes what Im saying personally! I think probally people in this forum either have dh's who agreed in the first place or were very open to listeing to them becuase obviously they are doing it, so you guys probally aren the best examples to draw from!!
You know, I find this to be true in my relationship and my husband DOES agree with me on parenting choices, is a feminist, and has studied gender politics at length (he's a historian). He's still socialized to acting entitled. Entitled to a beer, entitled to sitting & doing "nothing," entitled to go out, entitled to whatever. Whereas I have been socialized to take responsibility for everything. So though I want to go out, have a beer, sleep in, etc., I don't because I feel like I MUST take care of these other people or no one will.

And over time, I've come to realize that while the world won't fall apart if I'm not there, the job won't get done fully or completely. And sometimes it's true - I am the default parent. I begin to resent that immensely.

FWIW, I started acting entitled to my nights out. I still have an internal debate about it, with all the associated guilt. And I still haven't figured out how to sleep in. My children won't let me. They let my husband all the time though.
post #54 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annakiss View Post
You know, I find this to be true in my relationship and my husband DOES agree with me on parenting choices, is a feminist, and has studied gender politics at length (he's a historian). He's still socialized to acting entitled. Entitled to a beer, entitled to sitting & doing "nothing," entitled to go out, entitled to whatever. Whereas I have been socialized to take responsibility for everything. So though I want to go out, have a beer, sleep in, etc., I don't because I feel like I MUST take care of these other people or no one will.

And over time, I've come to realize that while the world won't fall apart if I'm not there, the job won't get done fully or completely. And sometimes it's true - I am the default parent. I begin to resent that immensely.

FWIW, I started acting entitled to my nights out. I still have an internal debate about it, with all the associated guilt. And I still haven't figured out how to sleep in. My children won't let me. They let my husband all the time though.

I find this to be very true! My dh is great when I compare him to other dh's I know, but still, I do feel like the default parent, good term, never thought about it like that before!!

Years back they did a study on armrests at movie theatres and found that women will move thier arm for someone else but men wont, they automatically take the armrest (there is only one betweee every two chairs). Last time dh and I went to a movie, we sat next to another couple, I had a man on each side of me and spent the entire movie with nowhere to put my arms other than my lap. Its not something they even think about conciously, man thinks'Need a place to put my arm, heres an armrest good" woman thinks"need a place to put my arm but oh, what if the other person wants to use that? nevermind..." Its not that the man is inherently selfish, if it occured to him that someone else wanted it, he might very well give it up. The point was, it never OCCURED to them! Argh!
post #55 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Just to play devils advocate: what if you really wanted to, maybe he could want to because you want to and feel that there must be something right with it. I see many many women say they chose not to do x y or z even they did want to but chose not becuase dh didnt want to and hes important to them or they wanted to consider his feelings etc, which is valid, but it would be just as valid for him to have gone against HIS comfort level becuase he wanted to consider her feelings or becuase she is important to him and I just dont see it working that way as much. Again, I mean in general, I hope no one takes what Im saying personally! I think probally people in this forum either have dh's who agreed in the first place or were very open to listeing to them becuase obviously they are doing it, so you guys probally aren the best examples to draw from!!
You're reading a one-sidedness into this that isn't there. I think he does want to because I want to, but he wants to feel comfortable with it, and I want him to feel comfortable with it, and so we talk about what is keeping him from feeling comfortable with it, and try to find a solution that gets me what I want, while making him comfortable. When he is the one who is suggesting something radical, we go through the same thing with reversed roles. It's more of a "help me understand" kind of thing, than a question of either of us winning. IMO, if we get to the point where it's all about winning, our marriage is in trouble.

MDC is generally a female community, and so we're going to hear a lot more of women complaining about their husbands than the other way around. I don't know that you can get enough information to judge the power structure of a couple from an internet post.
post #56 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Its not that the man is inherently selfish, if it occured to him that someone else wanted it, he might very well give it up. The point was, it never OCCURED to them! Argh!

I am also amazed at the lightspeed of this convo! It's very fun this way! And I am glad you wrote more about what you thinking about--it makes it clearer for my foggy brain to get what you are saying. I am sure my giganta post is late in coming into this thread, too, but oh well. Food for thought, anyway, and I won't be offended if no one quotes in reply cause it's a book fo sho.

I think this discussion is really a case in point that whatever a person's perception is, there is a tendency to draw conclusions based on that.

I see there is on this thread the perspective that what arises as difficulties/disagreementsm in a relationship are due to a gender issue mainly (speaking of whether to homeschool or not as a topic for a couple).

The problem I see in only viewing things from one perspective is that it's easy to miss all the aspects that contribute to the problem, which in turn limits one's capacities to find viable solutions to overcome the problem. (In this case, presenting homeschooling to one's partner as an option for their child) Which I see is the important part: finding a solution that gets you where you want to go, whereas wondering WHY things are the way they are from our limited experience simply has us sitting and stewing and not accomplishing our goals.

A poor analogy, but one nonetheless: It's like a person wearing sunglasses enters a lighted room and wonders why someone won't turn the lights on. Is it because he others in the room must all be blind as bats? Or maybe they can't find the lightswitch? Or maybe they are meanies who won't let anyone else see with the lights on, they are all crooks lying in wait to steal from people who walk in!

If a person, like the one in the analogy, thought there was a problem with everyone else he or she wouldn't be able to find the one thing that only they could do to remedy the situation (examine themselves and see what they could do about it=take off the sunglasses). They'd just sit there with the sunglasses on and wonder why someone doesn't fix the situation or blame someone else for the problem but never come to a solution.

This isn't meant to be a personal attack, but speaking generally, if a woman wanted to "do something", make a decision, etc, it really is not helpful for her to sit and pout and say, "Those mean guys think they are the best and won't let me do anything!" I would say, as an outsider watching this woman, "it's not the men holding you back, it's yourself!"

Even if we do live in a society ruled by men (underlying structure or no), I am still amazed by what I see dedicated, confident women go out and do everyday and they let no one and nothing stand in their way and back them down. They may not bully others, but they have this way of getting things done and don't let it get to them that everyone does not agree with them or validate them. They simply move forward and get things done. Pretty admirable in my book! I am still learning how to do this in my own life.

Personally, when my DH disagrees with me, my tendency is not to think, "Ugh! Isn't that just like a man to bulldoze me and be unsympathetic because he is a MAN". I might tend to think "Ugh, isn't that just like his family! His Mom is just like that and he still thinks it's ok to treat people like they just aren't important like him!" or "He thinks he is so smart b/c of that darn graduate degree that I don't have and he refuses to see me for the good I do". If I chose to look through anyone of those perspectives (glasses) alone I'd miss seeing him for who he is truly, but more importantly, I'd also forfeit my ability to simply reason with him for a solution or better yet, present my findings and propose a solution and hear his response with openness and confidence. In short, I give over my power by placing blame.

Now, I do think there is a place for understanding motives and what is going on or influencing a situation and that is different than looking for a scapegoat, but not if it comes from a place of looking for a tool to manipulate the situation or the other person in question. It can be helpful to see how the other person is seeing things, if it helps in the process of finding a solution.

Depending on who one's partner is, I venture to say it isn't necessary to get approval before moving forward...my spouse would say no to a lot of things I want to do at first glance, but he respects me more if I move forward on my own and he sees that what I wanted was something that is desirable as he sees the results and how it works out. He is results-oriented and not driven by inspiration (like I am). He doesn't get all dreamy eyed and jump on the "let's be inspired together" bandwagon, he just wants to get on with the job and see what the results are. It's a different kind of personality or way of thinking, for the way we work.

And I don't think we are the case of "Oh, that's nice for you b/c your husband isn't a chovenistic (sp) pig like all other men are". Though there may be men, and there are, who feel entitled because they are men, I don't believe this is the driving factor in society in general as to why mothers feel they cannot do one thing or another for their children.

If I didn't move forward it wouldn't be because he didn't let me, it would be because I lacked his emotional support/validation and I wouldn't have felt as empowered to do whatever it was I wanted.

Perhaps many women tend to fall in THIS category, esp. when they want to do something that seems formidable to them? They seek support in the form of total agreeance and feel very unstable and upset when that support in the form of total acceptance is not given from their priary emotional-support source, the partner/spouse? Another what-if.

Lastly, why does it matter what someone's motivations are who seem to be holding us back? Does it really matter if whether on a family-to-family basis or generally men hold more power than women? Though a valid concern, is that really true anyway? What is it that truly hold a mother back from making a decision she wants to make for her child? Does she need permission or does she just want validation and support? I think perhaps these are the questions that are underneath this discussion and jump out at me. What is the underlying issue?
post #57 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Well....I dont think that by saying no women are unempowered and that gender does not really come into play, makes it so. While we are certainly far ahead of where we were a few generations ago, if things were as even and equal as they should be, women would get paid what men do and mothering would be seen and appreicated for what it is. Neither sah or wah or woh moms get appreciation (from society as a whole) for what they do. If all things were equal, you would have no trouble finding a job that supported you as a parent, not set the two roles up in opposition. There are a lot more jobs like that out there than there was, no doubt. But how many? Half? Less than half? Be honest.
Maybe this is a cultural difference (I'm in Canada) but I've never felt that my role as a mother and a sahm (or wohm while I was one) isn't valued and appreciated - in fact just the opposite.
I didn't have any trouble finding jobs that were supportive of me in my role as a parent when I was wohm (part time/telecommute/work from home on sick days/child welcoming office) and neither has DH and we have had 4 jobs between us since becoming parents. I don't think I would have any trouble now either. I admit it could be the place I live and the job(s) I would apply for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
Its not even about men being the bad guys. Its about thier opinions carrying more weight, and Im sorry, it IS about our culture, it really and truly IS! How could it not be? No decision exists in a vaccum seperate from all these forces, the culturaly and societal ones as well as the personal ones, which are very diffrent from person to person and couple to couple, making the whole thing more complicated. .
Again maybe cultural but it absolutely not my experience that men's opinions categorically carry more weight than women's by virtue of gender - not when I was in the workforce, not in my relationships or those I witness, not in my volunteer work, not when I interact with members of our community. I just don't see it playing out that way personally or culturally - which is perhaps our disconnect in our conversation. I really think context and specifics of a situation have far more relevance that gender politics.
post #58 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
But....what if, at the end of the year, HE still said, no I dont think so and YOU wanted to? THATS where the problem comes in.
I don't personally ever think that we would get to this point because we would base our decisions about what is right for our kids and would be talking all along about what is working, what needs to be adjusted etc. We're on the same page about these things generally. My guess would be that most marriages where there aren't other serious underlying issues would be the same way.
post #59 of 104
Greenthumb, I was with you on the personality stuff, but I don't think that understanding where reactions/behaviors stem from automatically leads to inaction. In fact, I think the opposite is true. I think that understanding the source of types of behaviors allows us to rethink the future and accept that we're all in this trap together so as to find ways out of it. I think that ignoring it is an acquiesence of ignorance.
post #60 of 104
Karen, there's no "glass ceiling" in Canada?
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