As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I believe that the differences between men and women arise primarily from social expectations. Men and women become different because our culture gives them different experiences, shapes them differently. One of the key ways in which this occurs is around children, which is nicely set out in this article from the Guardian.
Society exerts pressure for children to be cared for by the mother, while the father goes out to work. Sometimes that works well, but families are made up of individuals and there is no one-size-fits-all model. To choose to flout the unwritten rules involves a constant low-level struggle for acceptance. It’s not a real choice if only one option gets cultural approval.
This is why I believe that change should come from society, not the state. No legislation can stop the constant whispering of media*. It’s up to us as individuals to encourage and support families to make the choices which are right for them, and not to judge the decisions they make.
(* Having posted this on Saturday, on Sunday I found an article in the Telegraph which nicely demonstrated this point. Thus disapproval in the media slows wears away people’s confidence to make their own choices.)