Monday, March 10, 2008

breakdown or breakthrough?

times have changed so much over the last hundred years...we have seen the dominance of men shift as women have been pushed/pushed themselves into the forefront of daily life, work, entertainment, and virtually everywhere...although other changes have occurred with regards to the social and cultural integration of our nation...today i want to focus on the emergence of women and the effects of their taking a larger slice of life out of the pie...

families are "breaking down" according to numerous studies done over the last couple of decades...women are leaving their children at younger ages to pursue careers out of both necessity and choice...gone are the days when the majority of young children stayed home with mom while dad zoomed off to work to keep the family movin' and groovin'...a breakdown in family values has many conservatives concerned that our country is headed for social and moral destruction...

but is it really?

the turn of the last century has seen women casting aside tradition in favor of new ideals and new beginnings...women stayed in marriages and relationships that were unfulfilling or even dangerous all because society deemed it to be taboo for a woman to be on her own...jacqueline susann's "valley of the dolls" showcased several women who played by a combination of rules...these were the women who were on the verge of creating a world where they could be successful in a male-dominated world by playing the rules when the needed to and by establishing their own...

some of that has not really changed...in today's world we have major porn stars walking the red carpet and appearing in mainstream media...they have played the rules and now are pushing at the ceiling to break out...not always with success...sometimes they find themselves scrutinized more with clothes on than they were without...

in a time where hannah montana and jenna jameson are equally valid parts of today's pop culture, this breakdown becomes more apparent and leads me to pose a simple question...where does a breakdown end and a breakthrough begin?...

a breakthrough cannot happen without a breakdown...so, essentially, yes, there has been a breakdown in the traditional values and beliefs that have guided generations of families...but tradition does not equate to better or healthy...it simply means routine and ritualistic...

this breakdown had to occur so that other values and beliefs and morals can be created...we are a country that focuses more on the individual...it makes sense, then, for all of those hinges and screws that hold the family together be tailored to the needs of that family...

today, women feel more comfortable in their own sexuality than ever before...it is no longer a man who can feel free to share a sexual life...women can enjoy it as well...porn isnt something just for men...ironically, women are more sexually responsible than men...they want to enjoy those sexual moments and know how to do so safely...

with young adults, education is key...new rules are being made...people are beginning to understand that having a prepared, well-informed teenager is a lot better than a naive, ignorant one...

life is no longer black and white...the varying shades in between mean that a woman may choose to embrace her sexuality or reject it...she has the choice...she has the power to control her satisfaction in that area now more than ever...others feel, however, that this search for sexual fulfillment comes at a cost of the family...i disagree because a fulfilled woman is more likely to do things because she can focus...she doesnt have that "i am unhappy and unfulfilled" cloud hanging over her head...her batteries full she can move about her daily life with a clearer vision because that has been crossed of her to-do list...

so what brought all this on?...not sure really...i spoke with a friend who has very traditional views and when i made the comment that tradition had more to do with routine she didnt have anything to counter it...what if traditions still said if your wife gets out of hand you can smack her around?...what if traditions still said women should not go to college?...what if traditions still said that men should never cry because it makes you less masculine?...traditions are important...they provide cohesion during times of chaos...but sometimes old traditions need to be put aside to make way for new, healthier traditions...and sometimes it takes a much needed breakdown to make way for a much needed breakthrough...

cg

2 curious people say...:

Revamp said...

People seem more likely to achieve and arrangement that suits their needs now, that can only be a good thing.

I have a less favourable view of tradition than you do, it seems. I would argue that if it gets in the way of reason it must be cast aside and if it restricts pleasure, disregarded.

curiousgirl said...

tradition has its purpose, to an extent, for those who need a road map...i dont know quite what my thoughts are on it...i think that tradition and repetition are one and the same...and repetition makes me lose interest fairly quickly...

cg