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Rachel-K
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The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

Do you read the inner chamber as a comfort or a prison? Does it strike you as strange that the “inner chamber” of a household is related so strongly to the “inner self” that women seem to represent in ancient China?

How is this related to the world of poetry and publishing? Why are male poets admired for getting in touch with this inner self while women are admonished for literacy?

And are you surprised to learn about women’s voices being published and heard during this time and place, despite the seclusion of the inner chamber?
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vivico1
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

How is this related to the world of poetry and publishing? Why are male poets admired for getting in touch with this inner self while women are admonished for literacy?

Well, I think it goes back to men having the control in this culture then. Words are powerful things, they can be tools or weapons and the men did not need the women having control over them, or being emboldened by them either. Today it almost seems the opposite, not in the empowerment thing but in the realm of men are often criticized for doing something so "feminine" as getting in touch with their inner self and women in literature, especially poetry is nothing unusual at all.

And are you surprised to learn about women’s voices being published and heard during this time and place, despite the seclusion of the inner chamber?
It doesnt surprise me that women's writing were being read or published in any era, that they would be published in their own name, not that of a man's is surprising tho. After all, in the 1800s here, women had a lot better chance of getting published using a males name instead of their own and some still do today.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber


vivico1 wrote:
And are you surprised to learn about women’s voices being published and heard during this time and place, despite the seclusion of the inner chamber?
It doesnt surprise me that women's writing were being read or published in any era, that they would be published in their own name, not that of a man's is surprising tho. After all, in the 1800s here, women had a lot better chance of getting published using a males name instead of their own and some still do today.



I agree with Viv. I'm not surprised that the women wrote but I am surprised that they were able to using their own names. I heard the story of how J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, was encouraged to use her initials when she wrote her first book so readers wouldn't know she was a woman and because boys may not accept a woman writing in this genre. She really blew that theory out of the water didn't she?
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Fozzie
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber



rkubie wrote:
Do you read the inner chamber as a comfort or a prison? Does it strike you as strange that the “inner chamber” of a household is related so strongly to the “inner self” that women seem to represent in ancient China?

How is this related to the world of poetry and publishing? Why are male poets admired for getting in touch with this inner self while women are admonished for literacy?

And are you surprised to learn about women’s voices being published and heard during this time and place, despite the seclusion of the inner chamber?



I think the inner chamber is both a comfort and a prison. It is a comfort in that it protects the women from the harshness of the outside world. I think the young girls do find it to be a comfort. However, the inner chamber is a prison because it keeps the women and girls from experiencing the world around them. They do not have a proper perspective on life and the physical world.

"I'm referring to women poets and writers who have joined poetry and writing clubs. Like you, they want to experience more of life than what is available inside their gardens. By leaving their inner chambers they've become artists of worth." (pg. 61)

This is Ren's opinion, but I think it answers some questions about women's ability to read and write. Women were not expected to read and write because they would gain too much knowledge, which was viewed as harmful. I recall Peony's mother saying as much. However, during this time of turmoil, women's roles seemed to be changing. Does Ren's opinion represent the "new view," that women can and should experience more of life than the inner chamber? Peony began to write once she had experienced a taste of life outsdie the inner chamber.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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LisaSee
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber



Fozzie wrote:


rkubie wrote:
Do you read the inner chamber as a comfort or a prison? Does it strike you as strange that the “inner chamber” of a household is related so strongly to the “inner self” that women seem to represent in ancient China?

How is this related to the world of poetry and publishing? Why are male poets admired for getting in touch with this inner self while women are admonished for literacy?

And are you surprised to learn about women’s voices being published and heard during this time and place, despite the seclusion of the inner chamber?



I think the inner chamber is both a comfort and a prison. It is a comfort in that it protects the women from the harshness of the outside world. I think the young girls do find it to be a comfort. However, the inner chamber is a prison because it keeps the women and girls from experiencing the world around them. They do not have a proper perspective on life and the physical world.

"I'm referring to women poets and writers who have joined poetry and writing clubs. Like you, they want to experience more of life than what is available inside their gardens. By leaving their inner chambers they've become artists of worth." (pg. 61)

This is Ren's opinion, but I think it answers some questions about women's ability to read and write. Women were not expected to read and write because they would gain too much knowledge, which was viewed as harmful. I recall Peony's mother saying as much. However, during this time of turmoil, women's roles seemed to be changing. Does Ren's opinion represent the "new view," that women can and should experience more of life than the inner chamber? Peony began to write once she had experienced a taste of life outsdie the inner chamber.




Ren's opinion does represent the new view of women. During this time period, some men really wanted to know what women were thinking and feeling. They encouraged women to write. And the only reason we know about these women writers today is because men collected and saved women's writing. However, for every man like Ren, there were many many more who believed the Confucian ideal that an educated woman is a worthless woman.
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cindersue
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

Ren's opinion does represent the new view of women. During this time period, some men really wanted to know what women were thinking and feeling. They encouraged women to write. And the only reason we know about these women writers today is because men collected and saved women's writing. However, for every man like Ren, there were many many more who believed the Confucian ideal that an educated woman is a worthless woman.

I agree with Fozzie's opinion. Men were controlling, mothers could contain their daughters and prep them for marriage, follow the rules, stay on the right path. I am surprised writing was accepted. I'm glad we have these ancient writings, but surprised women were able to do this. They couldn't even go outside their family structure. The more knowledge women could obtain, the more they wanted to learn, the more they would wander, the more they were a threat. I felt badly for the women of this time.
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seagate
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

"I'm glad we have these ancient writings".
Do you ever wonder how future genrations will know about us? When was the last time you received a written personal letter? We learned so much from Abigail Adam's correspondance. E-mails are convenient but usually no depth to them and often they are one liners. Many school districts have done away with cursive writing.So much is being lost as we "progress".
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vivico1
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber


seagate wrote:
"I'm glad we have these ancient writings".
Do you ever wonder how future genrations will know about us? When was the last time you received a written personal letter? We learned so much from Abigail Adam's correspondance. E-mails are convenient but usually no depth to them and often they are one liners. Many school districts have done away with cursive writing.So much is being lost as we "progress".


Thats why I am loving transcribing these old letters from 1830s-1900 for this lady. Incredible stuff. I have a full bag of written correspondences I have received from friends and family and "other special people" :smileywink: that I keep and every so often when I am cleaning, I go through them and read some. Our church is big on keeping journals, they are often given as gifts, especially to the young to get them use to it. They are for two things, one is for yourself to look at as you grow older and see your own growth, maybe even during a time of trials, go back and find something you overcame before that will lift you up and remind you that you can. The other is for just this purpose, so that your children, or grandchildren and so forth can read your own thoughts and read about your life or life in your time and come to know you through your own hand. A journal is a bit different from a diary, it contains personal thoughts and feelings but unlike diaries which are never meant to be read by anyone else, these are for your descendants too, so I imagine some people "edit" some things in them, depends on the person. Some of the most precious ones I have heard people talk about,are those they found from their ancestors who did not edit out things that might "shock" the family because sometimes they found a commonality with them and felt even more connected. Some of the most moving ones I have had a chance to read, were those written by the pioneers crossing the plains under dire circumstances, little food and just oxcarts or hand carts, often losing family members along the way. Such incredible faith, strength and emotions in these people.
So I guess you could say, we believe in keeping a written tradition in families going, to keep a real bond to your own ancestors and descendants.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber


vivico1 wrote:

seagate wrote:
"I'm glad we have these ancient writings".
Do you ever wonder how future genrations will know about us? When was the last time you received a written personal letter? We learned so much from Abigail Adam's correspondance. E-mails are convenient but usually no depth to them and often they are one liners. Many school districts have done away with cursive writing.So much is being lost as we "progress".


Thats why I am loving transcribing these old letters from 1830s-1900 for this lady. Incredible stuff. I have a full bag of written correspondences I have received from friends and family and "other special people" :smileywink: that I keep and every so often when I am cleaning, I go through them and read some. Our church is big on keeping journals, they are often given as gifts, especially to the young to get them use to it. They are for two things, one is for yourself to look at as you grow older and see your own growth, maybe even during a time of trials, go back and find something you overcame before that will lift you up and remind you that you can. The other is for just this purpose, so that your children, or grandchildren and so forth can read your own thoughts and read about your life or life in your time and come to know you through your own hand. A journal is a bit different from a diary, it contains personal thoughts and feelings but unlike diaries which are never meant to be read by anyone else, these are for your descendants too, so I imagine some people "edit" some things in them, depends on the person. Some of the most precious ones I have heard people talk about,are those they found from their ancestors who did not edit out things that might "shock" the family because sometimes they found a commonality with them and felt even more connected. Some of the most moving ones I have had a chance to read, were those written by the pioneers crossing the plains under dire circumstances, little food and just oxcarts or hand carts, often losing family members along the way. Such incredible faith, strength and emotions in these people.
So I guess you could say, we believe in keeping a written tradition in families going, to keep a real bond to your own ancestors and descendants.



I started writing journals to my kids when I was pregnant with my first child. He is almost 19 now. In the early years I wrote almost every day. Now it's more sporadic. Sometimes I write several times a week and other times I only write once a month or less. I don't want it to ever be a chore. I like doing it so I write when I can. The journals are to the kids and I tell them what is going on in our family, the world, their life. I also write down funny things they've said and how old they were when they said them. We love to go back and read them now. I think I will always write to them and I've used up several journals over the years. It's a great way to keep track of things we might not remember otherwise. I also keep a copy of our local newspaper from the day they were born and then every year on their birthday. It's another way for them to see how much our little town and the world around them has changed over the years.
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vivico1
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

wrighty wrote:

I started writing journals to my kids when I was pregnant with my first child. He is almost 19 now. In the early years I wrote almost every day. Now it's more sporadic. Sometimes I write several times a week and other times I only write once a month or less. I don't want it to ever be a chore. I like doing it so I write when I can. The journals are to the kids and I tell them what is going on in our family, the world, their life. I also write down funny things they've said and how old they were when they said them. We love to go back and read them now. I think I will always write to them and I've used up several journals over the years. It's a great way to keep track of things we might not remember otherwise. I also keep a copy of our local newspaper from the day they were born and then every year on their birthday. It's another way for them to see how much our little town and the world around them has changed over the years.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I think that is awesome wrighty :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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seagate
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber

That is so wonderful. I received a journal type book from my granddaughter published just for grandparents.It helps as it asks us the lead in questions--about our childhood, about out thoughts and it includes spaces to tell about their own mothers as children and growing up. I loved one question in particular, " What did you think when you first saw me?" I wonder what Peony's moher thought when she first saw Peony.She lets us know her thoughts when Peony left her. So many dreams unfulfilled.
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Wrighty
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journals


seagate wrote:
That is so wonderful. I received a journal type book from my granddaughter published just for grandparents.It helps as it asks us the lead in questions--about our childhood, about out thoughts and it includes spaces to tell about their own mothers as children and growing up. I loved one question in particular, " What did you think when you first saw me?" I wonder what Peony's moher thought when she first saw Peony.She lets us know her thoughts when Peony left her. So many dreams unfulfilled.



I gave one of those books to my mom also. It was called The Grandma Book They are the neatest things! She worked so hard on it and took it to work with her every day so she could finish it up in her spare time. She even made extra copies of every single page so my kids could each have their own book. A couple of years ago she had a house fire and lost everything they owned except the clothes on their back. Unfortunately, she hadn't taken it to work with her that day and all of her work was lost too. I offered to buy a new book but she was so upset by a year of lost work (not to mention the absolute heart break of losing everything else as well) that she said maybe someday. Luckily, I had been reading it as she wrote it so at least I got to learn even more about her.
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vivico1
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Re: journals


Wrighty wrote:

seagate wrote:
That is so wonderful. I received a journal type book from my granddaughter published just for grandparents.It helps as it asks us the lead in questions--about our childhood, about out thoughts and it includes spaces to tell about their own mothers as children and growing up. I loved one question in particular, " What did you think when you first saw me?" I wonder what Peony's moher thought when she first saw Peony.She lets us know her thoughts when Peony left her. So many dreams unfulfilled.



I gave one of those books to my mom also. It was called The Grandma Book They are the neatest things! She worked so hard on it and took it to work with her every day so she could finish it up in her spare time. She even made extra copies of every single page so my kids could each have their own book. A couple of years ago she had a house fire and lost everything they owned except the clothes on their back. Unfortunately, she hadn't taken it to work with her that day and all of her work was lost too. I offered to buy a new book but she was so upset by a year of lost work (not to mention the absolute heart break of losing everything else as well) that she said maybe someday. Luckily, I had been reading it as she wrote it so at least I got to learn even more about her.


when one of my friends and her hubby had their first baby two years ago. I gave them each a book, one was something like, tell me about you daddy, and the other was for mommy and it was thoughts for a year. It had prompt questions in case you couldnt think of anything, like when you were first born I thought, or my favorite song is, or the thing I like best about your mom is, stuff like that. They LOVED them, thought they were really neat books. Some questions too like, when I was a teenager, my first car was, gas cost, the worst trouble I got into was, LOL. Cool stuff.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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LisaSee
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber



cindersue wrote:
The more knowledge women could obtain, the more they wanted to learn, the more they would wander, the more they were a threat. I felt badly for the women of this time.




I think what you wrote is so interesting. Do you think the same thing could be said about women today? So many men think that women are a threat. The more power and influence women get, the more threatening. I don't know why men think this sometimes, but they do.
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LisaSee
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber



seagate wrote:
"I'm glad we have these ancient writings".
Do you ever wonder how future genrations will know about us? When was the last time you received a written personal letter? We learned so much from Abigail Adam's correspondance. E-mails are convenient but usually no depth to them and often they are one liners. Many school districts have done away with cursive writing.So much is being lost as we "progress".




This is actually a big deal for scholars, academics, and people like me who write historical novels. So much of what happens now is disappearing. Very little is in the form of "hard copies" anymore.
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LisaSee
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber



Wrighty wrote:

vivico1 wrote:

seagate wrote:
"I'm glad we have these ancient writings".
Do you ever wonder how future genrations will know about us? When was the last time you received a written personal letter? We learned so much from Abigail Adam's correspondance. E-mails are convenient but usually no depth to them and often they are one liners. Many school districts have done away with cursive writing.So much is being lost as we "progress".


Thats why I am loving transcribing these old letters from 1830s-1900 for this lady. Incredible stuff. I have a full bag of written correspondences I have received from friends and family and "other special people" :smileywink: that I keep and every so often when I am cleaning, I go through them and read some. Our church is big on keeping journals, they are often given as gifts, especially to the young to get them use to it. They are for two things, one is for yourself to look at as you grow older and see your own growth, maybe even during a time of trials, go back and find something you overcame before that will lift you up and remind you that you can. The other is for just this purpose, so that your children, or grandchildren and so forth can read your own thoughts and read about your life or life in your time and come to know you through your own hand. A journal is a bit different from a diary, it contains personal thoughts and feelings but unlike diaries which are never meant to be read by anyone else, these are for your descendants too, so I imagine some people "edit" some things in them, depends on the person. Some of the most precious ones I have heard people talk about,are those they found from their ancestors who did not edit out things that might "shock" the family because sometimes they found a commonality with them and felt even more connected. Some of the most moving ones I have had a chance to read, were those written by the pioneers crossing the plains under dire circumstances, little food and just oxcarts or hand carts, often losing family members along the way. Such incredible faith, strength and emotions in these people.
So I guess you could say, we believe in keeping a written tradition in families going, to keep a real bond to your own ancestors and descendants.



I started writing journals to my kids when I was pregnant with my first child. He is almost 19 now. In the early years I wrote almost every day. Now it's more sporadic. Sometimes I write several times a week and other times I only write once a month or less. I don't want it to ever be a chore. I like doing it so I write when I can. The journals are to the kids and I tell them what is going on in our family, the world, their life. I also write down funny things they've said and how old they were when they said them. We love to go back and read them now. I think I will always write to them and I've used up several journals over the years. It's a great way to keep track of things we might not remember otherwise. I also keep a copy of our local newspaper from the day they were born and then every year on their birthday. It's another way for them to see how much our little town and the world around them has changed over the years.




How wonderful that you've done this for your family. We always think we'll remember things, but we don't. You've preserved many memories for your family that would have been forgotten otherwise.
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Wrighty
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Re: journals


vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:
I gave one of those books to my mom also. It was called The Grandma Book They are the neatest things! She worked so hard on it and took it to work with her every day so she could finish it up in her spare time. She even made extra copies of every single page so my kids could each have their own book. A couple of years ago she had a house fire and lost everything they owned except the clothes on their back. Unfortunately, she hadn't taken it to work with her that day and all of her work was lost too. I offered to buy a new book but she was so upset by a year of lost work (not to mention the absolute heart break of losing everything else as well) that she said maybe someday. Luckily, I had been reading it as she wrote it so at least I got to learn even more about her.


when one of my friends and her hubby had their first baby two years ago. I gave them each a book, one was something like, tell me about you daddy, and the other was for mommy and it was thoughts for a year. It had prompt questions in case you couldnt think of anything, like when you were first born I thought, or my favorite song is, or the thing I like best about your mom is, stuff like that. They LOVED them, thought they were really neat books. Some questions too like, when I was a teenager, my first car was, gas cost, the worst trouble I got into was, LOL. Cool stuff.



In 9th grade social studies the kids here have to do a geneology project that's composed of different parts. They have to make a family tree and some other similar things. The part I like the best was when they had to interview an older member of the family and compare that person's childhood to their own. Most of them just interview a parent which is interesting but doesn't offer that much contrast to their own life. My son interviewed his great grandma who was 83 at the time (she's 87 now) He had prepared questions and he asked them and wrote down the answers but I took a video camera too. It was great and all of us learned so much about each other. She was born in 1919 and there was a world of difference to her childhood. It was hard for all of us to conceive of no TV's, one very slow car, heating with just a wood stove in elementary school, and we compared the cost of things too. Gas, bread, milk, her pay rate at her first job...it was all so fascinating and fun. She grew up in the same town we live in so she also told of the changes the area had gone through and what she and her friends did for fun here. She loved telling the stories and we kept all of the information on paper and video. I only wish we had done it sooner and with more family members.
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Wrighty
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber


LisaSee wrote:


cindersue wrote:
The more knowledge women could obtain, the more they wanted to learn, the more they would wander, the more they were a threat. I felt badly for the women of this time.




I think what you wrote is so interesting. Do you think the same thing could be said about women today? So many men think that women are a threat. The more power and influence women get, the more threatening. I don't know why men think this sometimes, but they do.



Some men were raised to believe that women are inferior and should stay home. That is such a tough barrier to break through. I don't understand why some men feel so threatened by women. Maybe because it's been that way since the beginning of time in some places, they can't deal with change. I would think it has to do with their own insecurities.
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vivico1
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Re: The Inner Self and the Inner Chamber


Wrighty wrote:

LisaSee wrote:


cindersue wrote:
The more knowledge women could obtain, the more they wanted to learn, the more they would wander, the more they were a threat. I felt badly for the women of this time.




I think what you wrote is so interesting. Do you think the same thing could be said about women today? So many men think that women are a threat. The more power and influence women get, the more threatening. I don't know why men think this sometimes, but they do.



Some men were raised to believe that women are inferior and should stay home. That is such a tough barrier to break through. I don't understand why some men feel so threatened by women. Maybe because it's been that way since the beginning of time in some places, they can't deal with change. I would think it has to do with their own insecurities.


You know what I find interesting tho...men are raised this way, to think this way about women, ok......who is 90% raising the little boys of every generation? The mothers. Its the old...the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world thing but what are we doing with it? Still raising the boys to believe about women what our husbands and fathers were taught to believe about us. Interesting isnt it?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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traditions


vivico1 wrote:

Wrighty wrote:
Some men were raised to believe that women are inferior and should stay home. That is such a tough barrier to break through. I don't understand why some men feel so threatened by women. Maybe because it's been that way since the beginning of time in some places, they can't deal with change. I would think it has to do with their own insecurities.


You know what I find interesting tho...men are raised this way, to think this way about women, ok......who is 90% raising the little boys of every generation? The mothers. Its the old...the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world thing but what are we doing with it? Still raising the boys to believe about women what our husbands and fathers were taught to believe about us. Interesting isnt it?



That is definitely how we used to raise our kids, in very traditional roles. I think that is changing a lot now. I've tried to raise my kids to know that men and women can do anything. It is hard to change society though. You follow your role models.
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