The human society has, since time immemorial, been defined by

particular roles for both men and women. Indeed, there are expectations
as to exactly what an individual in any gender should act, what they
should do, as well as how they should relate with each other among other
things. However, the contemporary human society has been undergoing a
paradigm shift with questions being raised as to whether the family
structure that is made up of a patriarchal father, a meek mother and
kids is the only way to go. Indeed, there have been questions as to the
division of duties and how equitable the division of roles in marriage
and in the society is. This is essentially the marked by the entry of
feminism, which is essentially a collection of ideologies and movements
that are aimed at redefining, establishing, as well as defending equal
rights for the women at the economic, political and social arena. This
includes efforts to establish equal opportunities for women in all
arenas. While feminism or feminist ideologies may have had profound
impacts in almost every sphere of the society, in no other field has its
impact been more profound than in the family arena. Indeed, it has
sought to establish a paradigm shift from the conceptions pertaining to
the essentiality of a man (or male role) in a relationship, and redefine
the gender roles in the same. This is essentially the theme in chapter 2
of “Gaga Feminism”.
While there may be impressive progress in the arena of feminism,
Americans place more preference on their modern families to come in the
same familial structures that characterized the conservative structures.
As the movie “Big Love” shows, Americans are considerably more at
ease with Mormon polygamy where there is a man and several wives and
children, than they were with the idea of artificial reproduction that
involves lesbian mums and pregnant men. The show may essentially have
underlined the notion that polygamy, where one man has numerous wives,
is acceptable and is comparable to other minority sexual practices such
as homosexuality. It also calls on people to acknowledge the spiritual
depth that drives the practice while ignoring the patriarchal premises
of the arrangement (Halberstam 73). The author sums up the fundamental
lessons from the film “The Kids Are All Right” and states that
trading change for stability, sex for comfort, and improvised
relationships for marriage would make bad deals. He calls for a change
in the conventional social structures that the current generations
inherited, otherwise, they will stand a high likelihood of repeating
them (Halberstam 78).
In addition, as much as the issue of pregnant dads may have stolen the
flame, the real shift pertaining to the logic of parenting lies in the
butch-femme partners. The author notes that the butch father comes with
a gaga feminist component in the new odd family defined by his capacity
to break the fatherhood fortress preserved for men only. Indeed, odd
theorists have questioned the notion that the father role would have to
be played by a male-bodies individual. This does not negate the fact
that these theorists still want to assign roles in parenting according
to an individual’s sex. Nevertheless, the femme mom and butch dad
introduce the possibility that there can be some authority in parenting
without patriarchy and gender polarity devoid of compulsory
heterosexuality. In addition, they allow for the possibility of
educating gender-normative kids on how arbitrarily gender roles are
assigned. This would allow kids that are brought up by a butch father
and femme mother to learn about and understand the gendered forms
pertaining to power that is not tied to gender hierarchies, in which
case they would start viewing femininity and masculinity as flexible
(Halberstam 79). On the same note, it would mark a paradigm shift from
the assignment of gender roles according to the sex of an individual by
allowing such kids to view gender as being defined by the roles that an
individual plays rather than the sex of an individual.
On the same note, odd parenting dues provides straight couples with
more options pertaining to the gender dynamics, especially with regard
their modes of assigning responsibilities and dividing labor, as long as
the odd couples do not go back to the lesbian moms and gay daddies
categories (Halberstam 79). The contemporary human society grapples with
subconscious division of the world into feminine and masculine realms of
activity and action, albeit with inequitable, illogical and unfair
division of roles and responsibilities and the spheres of influence
(Halberstam 80). Scholars and sociologists have shown that women get an
incredibly extensive and onerous share of realms of responsibility that
revolve around domestic labor, whether immaterial or material, than
their male counterparts. It is surprising that both genders feel that
the division of labor and time is fair, equitable and reasonable, in
which case they are most likely to opine that they share the roles and
responsibilities equally. Gaga feminism, unlike straightforward
feminism, would not use the unfair and inequitable division of labor to
show how the subordination of women would be accomplished ideologically
and materially. Indeed, gaga feminist do not call for equal (read
fifty-fifty) division of labor, rather it calls for recognition of such
divisions (Halberstam 81). This means that individuals would be free to
make any decision that fits them regarding to the roles that each
partner plays in the parenting or family arena. However, these roles
should be perused, negotiated and agreed upon rather than being assigned
in line with some mysterious, divine and impractical plans that revolve
around gender.
In conclusion, the chapter mainly deals with the changing face of
parenting especially with regard to the roles that each gender plays. It
underlines the uneasiness with which Americans have met notions
pertaining to pregnant men, while embracing other arrangements such as
polygamous marriages that have a man with several women. While reviewing
a number of movies, the author states that trading change for stability,
sex for comfort, and improvised relationships for marriage would make
bad deal, and calls for a change in the conventional social structures
that the current generations inherited, otherwise, they will stand a
high likelihood of repeating them. On the same note, while queer
theorists still want to assign roles in parenting according to an
individual’s sex, they have questioned the notion that the father role
would have to be played by a male-bodies individual. The femme mom and
butch dad introduce the possibility that there can be some authority in
parenting without patriarchy and gender polarity devoid of compulsory
heterosexuality. In addition, gaga feminism does not assign specific
structures pertaining to division of labor and roles in families, rather
individuals would be free to make any decision that fits them regarding
to the roles that each partner plays in the parenting or family arena.
However, these roles should be perused, negotiated and agreed upon
rather than being assigned in line with some mysterious, divine and
impractical plans that revolve around gender.
Works cited
Halberstam, Jack. Gaga Feminism. S.l.: Beacon, 2013. Print.
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