RE: Gender differences and filters to joining
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 14:59:48 -0700 (MST)
** Reply to note from floriferous [at] Fri, 29 Dec 2000 13:30:33 -0600
>From Racheli

Rob wrote (in part):   
> Here is an example of where a perceived  gender difference had a potentially
> noticeable  effect on a visitor to my community. I was giving a tour to a
> couple over the  summer. She had asked several questions relating to what
> the woman do, with an obvious note of disappointment that there were no
> woman contractors. We toured the commonhouse and she noticed that months
> dinner sign ups(and this might be common I don't pay attention) that ALL the
> cooks that month were women. Coupled with a notice on the adjacent bulletin
> board about some kids event which was organized by women. So she got a
> pretty clear idea that woman's  roles in  our community are pretty
> traditional and this was not what she wanted.

The above example shows, I think, that *some* of what was done in
that particular community was done along traditional gender lines.
This is certainly interesting/useful information, but drawing from it 
too many conclusions  is a mistake, IMO.  The "which people
are on which committee" info. could prove misleading, because even if women
sit on a male-type committee, they might hold a back-seat there, so that
being listed as a committee member doesn't necessarily tell all that much.  
On the other hand,  some people who are seemingly "traditional", might 
prove otherwise if one cares to look further/deeper.

> There is nothing to stop men from signing up to do children's events, or
> women doing contracting work (one is doing this now for her own house, but
> not by choice, more by circumstance I think). 

This isn't true, except in the superficial sense.  There is *a lot* which
stops men from doing things with children, and at least as much which
stops women from doing contracting work.  The whole perpetuation of
culture has depended on keeping such distinctions alive.
I think this isn't always bad.  If the women are really happy doing "womens'
stuff", and the men are truly happy doing "men's stuff", then that's ok.
Problems arise if/when people would actually like to try doing other things,
but aren't feeling empowered to do so.   Other problems come up when
certain types of work get more recognition/rewards than others, which
is usually the case.


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