Hello members of Think Atheist. I don't remember this topic being brought up before so here it is.
The reason I am asking this is because on the Ok Cupid dating website, after browsing quite a number of female profiles - they were able to answer a question and the question is as follows:
"Do you think the man should be the head of the household?"
Well, to my surprise, I have seen quite a few females answer 'Yes' to the question and haven't yet seen a female answer 'No'.
In my opinion, I think it makes no sense to call a man the head of the household and that it is also sexist.
But apparently the females who answered the question wish it were true.
1.) Why do you think this is so? Because females have this innate desire to be submissive? Or is it because females want to hold onto the traditional so called 'values' associated with marriage? Does this somehow go along the lines of the females wanting what they call an 'alpha male'? Or something else entirely?
2.) If you feel you want to answer the question as a 'Yes', then why? If you say 'No' , then why?
3.) What is your definition of 'head of the household'? Does this mean all decisions are made by the male? Does this imply the party who is working full time and earning the money get's to make the decisions?
I look forward to reading the replies!
Saying things should be equal is one thing, how to break a tie is another. This has to be worked out. Of course tossing a coin, inviting a third party to listen to arguments on both sides and make the decision, or simply agreeing to do nothing (not always possible) if the tie can't be broken, are approaches. As one of the women here has pointed out, females sometimes prefer to demure to their male partner, and some men prefer to do the same, though I suspect it's more often the female partly due to wanting to be traditional and partly due to a subconscious tendency to submissiveness. True, in the world of BDSM, most dominants are women (dominas, dominatrixes) by a ratio of perhaps at least 4 to 1 (and possibly as much as 10 to 1), but that means little because, for most of the male slaves, it is sex play and not everyday reality. Indeed, a large proportion of the men who avail themselves of such women are executives, professionals, judges, or other men of high responsibility. It's a way of letting go.
1) It scares me a bit that there are so many women out there who would willingly submit to being seen as inferior to a man. I just have to tell myself that they didn't check the box at all and the default answer was "yes". Either that, or they are just so desperate for a boyfriend that they don't care. I hope that's not the case... All that being said, I think there are a lot of women out there who still have old fashioned values and are looking for someone to provide for them. What a cop-out. They want a daddy-figure to take care of them and clicking the "yes" box is their way of finding one. It's kind of a sick game.
2) I, obviously, would have checked the "No" box - more than once if possible (LOL). I think that people in relationships should view each other as equals in every way. If you feel that your partner is inferior to you in some way then that denotes a lack of general respect for that person. It would also indicate that you think the opposite sex is inferior. I, personally, do not tolerate sexism against females OR males. No one can choose what sex to be born into, so why should we have to tolerate injustice, inequality, and intolerance due to something as simple as being born female? Or male?
3) To me, "Head of Household" is just a tax bracket. LOL. It's the box I check on my tax return that insures I get the nice, fat, earned income credit. But I've been a single parent for almost 20 years now, so I have never had to question who my head of household was.I guess the conventional definition would be the main bread-winner of the family or the person who makes all the decisions in the family, but most women I know would not tolerate a man making all their decisions for them, and most women I know work every bit as hard as their male partners. I guess my best, personal definition would be the person with the stronger, more dominant personality. I am friends with a married couple where the woman is, with out a doubt, the one with the more dominant personality and the one I would consider "head of household" in their family.
Also, Even if your partner is a stay-at-home mom/dad/partner and does not earn an income, they still work! Housework is not all fun and games. It is never-ending and forever changing. Taking care of the kids and the house is exhausting work. And it probably sucks a lot more that whatever the "working" partner has to do at their job. We all need to respect one another and appreciate what we do for each other. Money should not be a criteria for respect and equality in life. Too often, it is, so let's keep it out of our personal relationships!
It scares me a bit that there are so many women out there who would willingly submit to being seen as inferior to a man. I just have to tell myself that they didn't check the box at all and the default answer was "yes". Either that, or they are just so desperate for a boyfriend that they don't care. I hope that's not the case... All that being said, I think there are a lot of women out there who still have old fashioned values and are looking for someone to provide for them. What a cop-out. They want a daddy-figure to take care of them and clicking the "yes" box is their way of finding one. It's kind of a sick game.
There are many reasons why a woman may submit or defer to a male partner. Frankly, sometimes I'm sure it has to do with "You make the decisions, you take the responsibility." This way the female gets to carp and snipe and remind her partner of the mistakes he makes.
A lot of women defer to their partner because they feel it's expected, if not by him than by others in their life. Parents, family, contemporaries, friends.
Before reading the other responses, I wanted to reply...
apparently the females who answered the question wish it were true.
1.) Why do you think this is so?
I would suggest a few reasons... They are assuming a benevolent man is the man in question. They may not fully understand what is meant by "head of the household". Indeed, it probably means something different for almost everyone commenting here. Maybe they answered yes because they thought it would increase the chances of "the right kind of men" looking at their profile.
If you say 'No' , then why?
Let me put it this way: "I have a penis therefore I am the boss"... just sounds silly to me. I would rather my wife be the "head" of the household if she's going to do a better job of it than me.
What is your definition of 'head of the household'?
It could be a simple as controlling the flow of conversation around the dinner table. It could be as involved and complex as having a slave instead of a spouse. It's not a full definition but I think I would know it if I saw it.
Does this imply the party who is working full time and earning the money get's to make the decisions?
Not in my house. I earn the money, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is make sure all of our myriad bills are paid on time. Then again, I wouldn't say either of us is the head of the household.
Lol! I didn't realise I had posted in this thread before!
I am not anti traditional family structure but that does not mean it is the way it should be and has to be, if the couple are in a relationship they should be able to make decisions together, without a dominant partner. I do however think that generally the man should be in charge of the money because he is still generally the main earner, if the woman is then she should be in charge of the money.
As a matter of fact the wife is generally the manager of the money in the majority of households, probably because, in the case of a housewife, she's the one with the time the manage and spend it. In households where both work outside the home, it's up in the air.
generally the man should be in charge of the money because he is still generally the main earner, if the woman is then she should be in charge of the money.
Interesting you should say this. I am the breadwinner in my home and initially, was in charge of the money too. My wife never seemed to understand why we couldn't have this/buy that. So I put her in charge of the money. She's still learning to control her urge to spend spend spend, but at least now she understands why we can't blow all our cash on mcdonalds and big screen TVs.
These are my thoughts on this. I've caught a lot of heat for them (only by guys, wouldn't ya know it), but here goes.
The industrial revolution took the man out of the house to work long hours in factories. The house was no longer able to be governed by the man during the day, and this gave women the incentive to leave the house to seek jobs of their own, education, etc. But the change was such a social shock that women were forbidden from many of the things they could then possibly do. This was done, not only by men, but women alike, in attempts to hold on to the only tradition they knew. The restriction on women sparked the women's rights movement - but to get the rights the women wanted, it would cause trauma to the normal perspective of gender roles. Men eventually became apprehensive to call themselves the head of the household due to the stigma placed on it from the years of female oppression.
Now I'm no woman, but I don't think women ever wanted independence from men in relationships, they wanted independence in the public sphere and social equality. I believe it was taken out of context. I think the hormones Oxytocin vs Testosterone is what denotes the submissive vs authoritative aspects of gender roles in relationships. I think it boils down to a stereotype, maybe it sounds sexist, but I feel like women want to love and men want to assert. I don't see many situations where that isn't the fundamental difference between men and women. Any other group (work/school/business/etc) fairs better when someone steps up, asserts themselves, organizes the group, directs the group... why should I think a families are any different? In my opinion, I think men should be the head of the household. Which is not the way I was raised, it's what I've deduced through questioning and reasoning without letting stigmas control what I think.
By the way, being head of the household, to me, does not mean that women should be homemakers, disrespected in any way, suppressed, exploited, or used. There should be a mutual respect in a relationship, but I think men should take charge when it comes to a relationship. I'm perfectly okay with a woman being a CEO, or making more money than the man, but when she comes home, he should be her CEO. I think everyone has the right to be happy, and this post is a step I'm taking to open the minds of other men to change their perspective on what they think women want and actually care about what they do want.
This is interesting because I am a woman on OK Cupid and am bothered by how many men believe THEY should be the head of the household. I will not answer anyone's email or make contact with them if they have chosen that answer.
In answer to your questions...
1 and 2. It is possible that so many women have chosen that answer because 1. independent women scare most men and women know that so they don't want to scare men away 2. since the dawn of patriarchy women have been letting men think they are in charge when, in fact, they usually aren't 3. they really want to fulfill patriarchal gender roles.
3. Head of Household means the one who has final say on all the decisions. It is also supposed to mean the person responsible for bringing in all the income.
Patriarchy and Christianity are intimately tied together. These strict ideologues about family and gender roles fall apart when confronted by real life situations like when the male of the family dies and the woman has no choice but to work or when you have same sex couples, or when, you know, a woman is capable of thinking and taking care of herself.
Isn't it possible to NOT generalize? Okay, you've expressed that you prefer the take-charge kind of man, which is fine for you, but it doesn't make it universally true... nor is it universally "best".
Why can't we just say that SOME men are the heads of their households? There are many women heads. I get the intention behind saying the woman is the backbone, or even the neck (she turns the head, after all)... but I also find that phrasing patronizing. It's like being told winning silver is just as good as winning gold, and "you get an 'A' for effort!" It's the whole smile and nod, "Sure, you're in charge, dear... in your own, 'special' way!" *wink*
In my relationship, we're partners. We both have our strengths and weaknesses. Never will I defer to him simply because he's male. If he's shown himself to be more informed on something (like gadgets and technology), I'll defer to him because I know it's an area he's well-versed. My domain is writing, art, argumentation/debate, etc. I'm actually more logical... and, as it turns out, logic is learned, not inherited or attached to a certain Y chromosome.