As we reach the end of presentations for Women's Studies, surprisingly, I would have to say that I was able to relate the most to Mr. Ogden's presentation. He began his presentation with noting how when it comes to feminism, or even history in general, we tend to focus on the negative. Rather than look at the advancements women have made within feminism, we focus on the problems. This is very true and honestly, before he stated it, I never really realized the huge dark cloud that is constantly hanging over women's struggles. As Mr. Ogden said himself, I am not trying to downplay the struggles that women have faced, but we have made it far. Things are not where they should be but I must agree that women are really moving forward in so many ways.
The Bethenny and Calvin story, has stuck with me more than any other story we have read in the class. In so many ways, Bethenny was my mom, I was the daughter and Calvin was my father. The short story was a huge eye opener. I honestly had no idea that many other families were in the same situation that I was. My mother and father got a divorce when my brother and I were about four and three years old. Since then, we have had a relationship with our father, however, his involvement is pretty irrelevant. He has had no financial contribution and because of that, I have always seen my mom as the single, bread-winning, independent woman. The "one less granola bar" comment was hilarious to me because I joke all the time with my mother. Our situation is something I am not embarrassed to share at all--that is just how our upbringing has been and we have never missed a single thing growing up.
The day my parents got a divorce, my father lost the "Four Forms of Paternal Authority". My father became a paycheck and once that stopped coming in, he really became just a "dad" some-what in the picture. My mother became the breadwinner and until this day, she is still a BOSS.
I also loved hearing about everyone's experience with the fluctuation within gender roles. Again, this was super relatable to my life. My father has been remarried for 10 years and my mother has remained single. What was crazy to hear were my mother's stories about how my father was the husband that would get home from work, lay on the couch, and not move an inch. My mother had to cook, clean, and take care of us as he just focused on TV and eating the next meal. I couldn't believe my mother's stories because as a witness to his second-marriage lifestyle, there was a huge difference. Currently, in his second marriage, my father is the one who cooks, cleans & is in charge of getting my younger half brothers ready for school. I look back and ask myself, how or what causes this to happen? Could it be the time gap, different personalities, etc?
This discussion was great for me because I was able to relate on so many levels as well as see the positive direction where feminism is moving. It is hard to reconcile the positive with the negative look on feminism but it is important to notice how generations change and hopefully the continue to change for the better. Informing and educating the ignorant is key!