A few weeks ago in one of my classes – a class particularly ripe with argumentative neo-cons – a classmate of mine suggested that no one discriminates against homemakers any more and that any one who did would be chastised for doing so. My professor calmly pointed out that people still say that women returning to the paid labour force from parental leave are said to be “returning to work”.
I, on the other hand, had spent the entire class to that point listening to people argue that poor people deserve to be poor and that uncomdifiable work is worthless. I had run out of patience and couldn’t respond so levelly to such a grossly incorrect statement. I veritably exploded with concerns that “Homemaker” is not viewed as a legitimate line on a resumé and that there are no policies supporting income for the stay-at-home spouse paid by the out-of-home spouse or homemaking unions and as such it is not the case that our society reflects the opinion that a homemaker is a valued worker.
I see this interaction as a symptom of a society that merely pays lip-service to progressive stances. Stances that I actually have difficulty calling ‘progressive’ since they appear to me to be natural progressions from the truths brought to the forefront in the civil rights movement.
Of course, the laws of a nation and accepted norms don’t equate to every citizen embodying them. But it seems as though we would move toward a society built on love and mutual respect were we to actually govern the governable in such a way as to promote standards of equity and acceptance.
First on the list: stop teaching ‘tolerance’ and start teaching ‘acceptance’. For ‘tolerance’ means that Amazon will carry Queer literature and ‘acceptance’ means they will stop censoring it.
…to be continued.