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.
Halberstam, Jack. Gaga Feminism. S.l.: Beacon, 2013. Print.