Gender norms are shifting pretty heavily. Sixty years ago, it seemed natural that mothers provided for emotional needs while fathers provided for physical needs.

Many mothers cut off from wider society and so many fathers left unable to connect with their children and then their children growing up thinking that this is normal.

It’s wrong.

Most people turned out fine under that system; it’s not inherently bad. It’s more problematic in countries that place a lot of emphasis on equality, though, since saying that women HAVE to stay at home and be mothers while men HAVE to go out and be breadwinners flies in the face of the idea of equality. So the culture has shifted over time.

There’s increasing acceptance of working mothers and stay-at-home fathers, and increasing expectations that fathers will help provide for the emotional needs of their children.

It’s still not equal by any means; women are still expected to provide for emotional needs more and men are still expected to provide for physical needs more. But there’s MUCH more acceptance of working mothers in particular, and I do think there’s more of an expectation that fathers will be involved in the emotional well-being of their children. But it’s not all the way there, and our history is a big part of that.

If it bothers you, all you can really do is work towards equality in your own relationships and join advocacy groups that fight the social systems that prevent further change (e.g. limited paid maternity leave for mothers, little or no paid paternity leave for fathers).

Some women think that popping out some kids at 20 years old makes them an adult and makes them special and gives meaning to their lives.

And they’re happy and content just to “be a mother” and people around them echo that sentiment and they all think that being a mother is just the greatest accomplishment for a woman ever. And while they’re patting each other on the back over their motherhoods, their little shit kids are off wiping their boogers on somebody else’s pants in the other room.

People ought not to place value simply on “motherhood.”

On “being a mom.” The value should be placed on being a good mom. On raising a good kid. On raising a smart kid. On raising a compassionate kid.

And all these same values should be equally placed on fathers. It should be seen as a joint role – the role of “good parent” – that both mother and father (or any mix thereof) take equally.

That society respects and expects of both parents, regardless of gender, equally.

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