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This page seems to be intended to provide a precis of a maternalism and a whole paragraph of old-school extreme feminist criticism, all from one essay explicitly against the ideology, was all that was provided for the contemporary situation in the US. This is far from a neutral point of view given that many people, both legal scholars and laypeople, support maternalism.
It is not a "21st century challenge" to bring about a total destruction of gender roles. Human nature is not set up for that, no matter what a few radical-feminist sociologists believe. There is a mountain of sociological support for familialism and man/woman gender roles, and a good reason why we were made male and female. There is nothing any government can do to make men and women fungible that would be remotely compatible with the idea of liberal democracy. 50% quotas of men and women in the military frontline and government mandated equal coverage of men's and women's sports in all media? Cybernetic babies for all with a ban on pregnancy and all sexual activity except masturbation? Surveillance cameras in all homes monitored by robots to check mother and father are equally sharing all care-giving responsibilities? All citizens' brains compulsorily implanted with an anti-gender chip at birth designed to counteract those gender distinctions with a basis in neuroscience? Everyone who tries to disobey sent to unisex re-education camp? I do not see any of those happening somehow. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 23:14, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I changed the intro, basing it on the quote by Koven & Michael and removed the following, highly questionable stuff:
- "In this form of system, women use society in order to protect children from unnecessary harm. This system is the opposite of paternalism; which refers to a policy that resembles the pattern of a family based on patriarchy. Opponents of paternalism (and proponents of maternalism), such as John Stuart Mill, claim that liberty supersedes safety in terms of actions that only affect oneself. John Locke argues in his Two Treatises of Government essay that political power and paternal power are inherently different, and thus the former should not mirror the latter."
Here's a blow by blow report why the above is, to put it bluntly, nonsense:
- "In this form of system, women use society in order to protect children from unnecessary harm. This system is the opposite of paternalism; which refers to a policy that resembles the pattern of a family based on patriarchy."
Protecting children (or those considered child-like) from harm is exactly the basis of paternalism, the only difference consisting in a reference to either a father or a mother figure. In this way, maternalism is not an opposite of paternalism at all but a paternalism turned feminine. This misconception continues in the following sentence:
- "Opponents of paternalism (and proponents of maternalism), such as John Stuart Mill, claim that liberty supersedes safety in terms of actions that only affect oneself."
Mill was certainly an opponent of paternalism and valued freedom higher than security. But this does not make him an proponent of maternalism (a thought that didn't exist in his lifetime), especially since maternalism was just presented as "protect[ing] children from unnecessary harm", which puts it quite in opposite to Mill's views. Another thinker who is misused here is Locke:
- "John Locke argues in his Two Treatises of Government essay that political power and paternal power are inherently different, and thus the former should not mirror the latter."
Locke might have said that (no need to check it) but he hardly by that means that political power should be "maternal". He distinguishes politics from family, not paternal from maternal authority. Str1977 (talk) 19:32, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
POV vs. POV
A previous edit by an IP removed a whole section from the article, stating it "deleted anti-maternalist work; extensive criticism all quoted from minor and dubious work" - the edit summary carries its POV-driveness on its sleeve. Still, the removed material has its problems too, especially in its wording, its lack of distance to its subject. Hence, I will not restore it but put it here, for everyone to consider what to do:
- "The biggest challenge for gender equality in the 21st century is to eliminate the difference between traditionally feminine and traditionally masculine responsibilities in family caregiving.
American law has mostly accomplished gender equality in parenting by doing away with gender classifications along with the attitudes that foster them. All laws relating to family, work, and civic participation in the United States of America are considered to be gender-neutral. As the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs demonstrates, both Congress and the American Supreme Court have accepted the critiques of traditional gender roles as told by feminists. However, the resultant legal reforms address only formal inequality - people still live with informal inequality. Changes in legal norms must be embraced throughout the culture in order for these promises to become a reality in everyday life. The most influential and resistant obstacle to actualizing gender equality is the continuing cultural practice of romanticizing the mother as a caregiver/homemaker symbol. American people must learn not to accept existing gendered family patterns as the results of freely made individual choices. Persistently gendered family care becomes self-fulfilling, and solidifies the very inequalities that the laws of a liberal democracy tries to dislodge. The new maternalism is spread across Internet advocacy groups and "Mommy blogs" on the Internet. Equality outside the home requires equality inside it; making the "new maternalism" controversial for 21st century feminists.
Recent welfare reform has also started to target poor men directly, especially in fatherhood and marriage promotion initiatives.
Editing in Progress
|This article is/was the subject of an educational assignment in 2013 Q1. Further details are available on the course page.|