Psychological Self-Help

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decide how submissive or cooperative he/she is and wants to be.
Indeed, the current masculine-or-feminine classification of traits is
silly, e.g. men are unemotional (that idea really ticks me off!), women
are illogical (prove it!), men are independent (then let them clean,
cook, and iron!), women are home-oriented (tell my female doctor,
dentist and veterinarian that!), men are not concerned about their
appearance (Ha!), etc. 
The future can be better. A recent survey found that three out of
four mothers, even of young children, like or love their work outside
the home. As a culture we can make work even more gratifying. With
excellent child care and educational programs we can be more at ease
about our children while at work. With families consisting of only one
or two children and the productive years extending to 70 or 75, it
seems likely that every woman will want and need an interesting
Recent history of changes in gender roles
A little history (also see chapter 8): by the 1960's we had
developed an affluent society--two kids (thanks to birth control), two
cars, TV, dish washers, fast food, etc.--but women, especially
educated women, started to realize that life was surely more than
buying hamburgers and driving the kids to music lessons or ball
practice. Women, clearly capable of achieving in the work place,
resented being forced into unrewarding homemaker roles; they
wanted to have their freedom, to be liberated (Freidan, 1963). The
Women's Movement was one of several gigantic, wonderful ground
swells of freedom and idealism in the 1960's. Women all over the
nation between 20 and 50 joined "consciousness raising groups" and
supported each other to go to college or get a job, to ask their
husbands to help with child care, cooking, and cleaning. Women's
liberation, coupled with a growing concern about over-population of
the world, new birth control methods, equal education for women, and
changing economic times, started the long, slow process of changing
the traditional, male-dominated family. Women fought for equality and
a second income was more and more needed. 
In the U.S., the biggest ongoing social evolution in the 1990's is
still the fight for gender equality. It seeks equal rights for women:
equal pay for equal work, equal educational and career opportunities,
equal treatment in the law, finances, politics, sports, etc. It also seeks
to eliminate sexual harassment and sex-role stereotyping in which
women are seen as dependent on and inferior to men; as ignorant
about cars, money-matters, and politics; as sexual objects for men to
leer at (while the object remains naive and innocent); as neurotic,
emotional, irrational, weak characters needing protection; as attractive
creatures who wait for the right man to come along, have babies,
become good mothers, and then have no idea what to do for the last
40-50 years of their lives. Legally, women and blacks became equal to
white men in the 1960's but much changing still remains to be done. 
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