As this article describes, it is unfair for women to criticize what they perceive to be “immature” behavior in men because what they are seeing is a shift in gender roles comparable to women’s new found role in the workplace. In both cases, we are seeing a the ability of both genders to develop their individuality and refuse the role that society has planned for them. Personally, I very much agree with the article, there is nothing any more immature in one behavior than in the other, but I am much more interested in how these shifts will affect society at large.
Let’s say that human behavior is distributed between 3 possible uses of an individual’s time: productive responsibilities (ie work), social/domestic responsibilities, and personal leisure. Now traditionally, all of these dimensions were predetermined for an individual by society. In western culture, if you were a man the kind of work you did was almost certainly defined by what your father did, your social responsibilities would be defined by the attitude of your peers, and your leisure time would largely consist of religious and cultural holidays particular to where you were living. In the same sense women were also limited to social and productive responsibilities as well as leisure activities defined by their culture. This of course begs the question, why were these activities divided based on gender? The fact is that all the separations that existed in primitive society still exist today- some are leaders and others are followers, some are warriors and others are peasants, some do more social work and some do more productive work. The difference is that in primitive society, it was very difficult to survive, so most societies chose to sacrifice personal choice in favor of predetermined roles simply because those jobs needed to get done.
What we are seeing now is a slow shift towards personal choice. Just as anyone can achieve a particular socioeconomic status if they work hard enough (in theory anyways) men and women can now decide what kind of work they prefer to do. All of these shifts have to do with a change away from traditionally defined distributions of social,productive, and leisure time, towards personally chosen distributions. What this article is discussing then, is that women are choosing to spend more of their time doing productive work, while men are choosing to spend more time on leisure.
On the surface this appears to be undermine my agreement with the article. Why should men have more leisure time while women work harder? But the fact is that it is not easy to categorize any activity in one of those 3 types. Just the fact that some women have a preference for productive work, by definition means that they gain some utility from doing that kind of activity and that is therefore on some level leisure activity. If we are making these kinds of personal decisions based on preference, do we still have to conform to the demands of capitalist society: ambition and hard work to “produce more”? In other words, if people are free to chose between the kinds of work they want to do, are they also free to chose between working more or less based on their personal needs? After all, if every individual choses to work less than society expects, then we may end up not producing enough as a whole to support the next generation’s ambitions. However, the idea that people need to be constantly improving and developing is a relatively new one. In the west it largely appeared alongside protestantism, capitalism, and rationalism. Is the belief that people should be spending more time working than they like any less arbitrary than the belief that women should be spending more time working in the home than they like?
The point is that the act of embracing personal choice necessarily undermines societal responsibilities. This is something that we have all more or less agreed to and no one knows what the results will be when people really do get to make their own decisions in how they live their life, because we really don’t know what it is that people actually want. Maybe too many people will prefer to spend more time working than spending time with the kids. Maybe too many people will prefer to spend time at home than making money. Maybe too many people will prefer to spend time fucking around on the internet than doing either. That is the price of freedom.
"Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit!
We can get that for less than minimum wage.
That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan— that equals 6 1/2 hours).
Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.
However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!
The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student—a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!
Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.”
This post was copied from facebook. Personally I worked at a pretty average summer camp and I was making about 1.50 per hour per child, more than teachers seem to be making, with no training whatsoever. This is outrageous. Ask yourself, what do you value in society and life. When we decide to underpay teachers we are telling them, our children, and ourselves what the future is worth to us.
But the most explicit representation of this opposition between proximity and distance is contained in Christian Metz’s analysis of voyeuristic desire in terms of a kind of social hierarchy of the senses: “It is no accident that the main socially acceptable arts are based on the senses at a…