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The Underground Girls of Kabul
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As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Created: 06/26/15

Replies: 14

Posted Jun. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

In what way were you treated like a boy or a girl, respectively, when you were little? Were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict, and how is that a good or a bad thing for men and women?


Posted Jul. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

When I was a child, gender rolls were very specific. Girls definitely could not play football or soccer, basketball was limited to half the court because it was felt girls did not have the strength to run a full court. Jobs were also limited, a male was a doctor; a female was a nurse.
Things have definitely improved and are getting better each day.


Posted Jul. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Although I wasn't a child when this happened, I recall being told in a job interview that a certain major retailer did not hire women for their management trainee program; I was welcome to be a "salesgirl' - a restriction that was actually not legal at the time I got that message. Fortunately for my daughters - a lawyer and a writer - things have opened up a lot in the past 40 years.


Posted Jul. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 85

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

I think that in some western countries, gender roles for children have slowly gotten less strict, and I think they will continue to evolve. Yes, certainly that's a good thing.


Posted Jul. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 78

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

As I child, I LOVED being a girl, and was celebrated for being a girl. On my father's side of the family, I was the first granddaughter, and since my grandparents had four sons, I was adored and doted upon.
I loved my dolls and cooking toys and books, but also enjoyed making mud pies, fishing, and climbing trees.
I have never felt restricted by being female, then again, I was never interested in playing football or joining the Army, things my brother did.
I'm sure there were things I COULDN'T do, and there were roles assigned to me because of my gender (for example, my chores were washing dishes, and my brother's were taking out the trash and mowing the lawn) but I NEVER felt limited.

I think gender roles will be much less strict in Western society as time moves on. My boys help me with dishes and cooking, we read books together with feminine heroes, and we freely express emotions. I'll be interested to see how that evolves into the tween & teen years. But yes, evolving into less strict roles is a good thing as we explore more what it means to be human, regardless of gender.


Posted Jul. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Growing up female with 4 sisters and no brothers we did all the chores around the house, even ones considered to be male chores. However in school for PE and team sports females were restricted in what sports they could play. At the time I didn't mind because I wasn't into sports but now I wish I was taught things like how to throw a baseball or shoot a basketball.
Gender roles are less strict now and I am glad to see girls/women more active and boys/men taking on more roles in the family.


Posted Jul. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

As a child born before WWII I was lucky to be born into a very progressive family...My mother had the traditional role in the family, but she could do many things better than most men. My father encouraged my sports interest and my mom let me choose what I wanted to wear and do... My regrets in growing up was that I couldn't play on sports teams. The boys in my circle always let me play any games outside of school and I was well received and was a competitive opponent. I was always lucky to have jobs where equal opportunities were there for me.. I always have been an advocate for equality and spent much time promoting it. I wonder if I was oblivious to gender issues because I had parents that said you can do and be anything you want to be and I just ignored that fact that being a woman wasn't going to make a difference. I like being a woman but on my own terms.


Posted Jul. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Growing up I never felt that I was limited as a girl. I was on sports teams throughout high school and college and didn't feel the need to be on a boys' team. I was a tomboy of sorts I guess and growing up in a small town I went about on my own and played baseball and basketball with boys in the neighborhood. However, my father was very traditional in thinking that an education was wasted on girls and began to tell me as I reached teen years that I was to find a good man to marry and support me as his responsibility would end when I turned 18. It was his plan to save his money for my two younger brothers to go to good schools and get an engineering degree or some such. My mother stood by my plans to go to college. I finished college and many years of post graduate work during my lifetime and worked in education for 34 years. My brothers both dropped out of college. I think other circumstances in my adult life have led me to become a very independent thinking woman who takes action to direct my life. I have rarely let my gender interfere with my plans. I hope that gender issues will continue to move in the direction of not limiting either gender. We have passed many laws for women's rights although it still is an issue even in the western cultures with women not receiving equal pay and respect in many jobs. As Jenny points out in the book, men have controlled women for centuries and fear the power that women may have once they gain control.


Posted Jul. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 59

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

I agree with amberb in that I always liked being a girl. I was never interested in sports and liked the fact that my brothers, though younger, mowed the lawn but I did not. I was shocked that my husband expected me to mow when we married because that's what HIS mother did!


Posted Jul. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 70

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

My father believed that fishing and hunting were male-only events. Not sure what I missed...


Posted Jul. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bigred66

Join Date: 03/14/15

Posts: 18

RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

As a tomboy growing up...I wasn't held back on what I wanted to do. My childhood friend was a boy and together we built forts together in my back yard, I lost all my marbles to him, we played basketball and Red Rover (where I got kicked in the teeth by said friend) with other kids as well as Kung Fu fighting and whatever game we could think of to keep us occupied and outdoors. My dad used to tell a story to his friends about something I did when I was around 5. We camped alot and at one of the campgrounds I was being teased about being "a boy". I go to my father and tell him that I was being teased for being a boy and that "I showed them" and my dad gets this worried look on his face thinking the worst and asked "what did you do?" and I told him "I walked right into the womens bathroom". As far as gender roles being less strict. Hello Bruce Jenner. We've come a long way.


Posted Jul. 26, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 279

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

I was fortunate that my parents set no limits on what I could be and I never felt that anything was off limits. That said, I remember that it was a big deal when girls were permitted to wear slacks to school (previously dresses were required). And, there was a time when I wanted to be a nurse or school teacher, both predominantly female professions.


Posted Jul. 29, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 58

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

When I was a young woman, my college had "hours" for women but not men. Women were not allowed in town with slacks on and we were encouraged to wear hats and gloves. My daughter chose to attend a women's college, but entered a "man's" field - public policy in international crime and terrorism. She was shocked when as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan she was routinely asked if her father had given her permission to travel and join Peace Corps. Her stock answer was "I didn't ask." I think the differences in gender roles are slowly being challenged and that is good thing. We just need to remember that all choices need to be honored. If a woman wants the traditional role of stay at home mom, that is just as valid a choice as professional woman. What matters is being able to choose.


Posted Aug. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LizLovesReading

Join Date: 08/06/15

Posts: 3

RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Except for sports such as football and baseball, I was able to do pretty much anything I wanted to regardless of the fact that I am female! I was fortunate to have a father who told me that I could do anything, be anything I wanted to and that I did not need a man to make me complete or to do things for me. My father helped shape my confidence and broke the barriers for me between those that have and those that do not. If only more men would teach their daughters the same thing, all cultures would benefit!


Posted Aug. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 99

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RE: As a child, were there things you absolutely couldn't do due to your gender? Do you see a future in which gender roles will be less strict? Is that a good or bad thing?

Reene and I sound like contemporaries. I recall how angry it made me to have to play half court basketball. And, how much angier I was working at a local cannery at age 16 and learning that the men/boys doing the exact job I was doing were paid 5 cents an hour more just because they were male. Yes, women have made inroads in such areas, especially at least the opportunities to work at any job they choose (thank you, Sally Ride) though pay is often still unequal. Thank goodness women have come further in the USA than those of many other countries (such as Afghanistan), but all of us still have rows to how.


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