My Radio

My attempts to channel what's playing on the many stations of my mind

The Influence of Culture (part 2)

Posted by and1grad on October 13, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the impact of biology on societal norms. These biological influences created a society where certain gender roles became established and are prevalent as a “social norm.” Men are the providers, women are the nurturers. The formula is simple…or it used to be. In our current culture, the ability to provide for your family is directly proportional to your ability to amass wealth. This is usually done by obtaining a skill that you can put to use either for yourself or for an employer. These skills are varied and the amount of wealth you can obtain by developing/displaying are just as varied. The established gender roles provided a framework for how families functioned, which influenced how communities functioned, etc. The flaw in the design is that the framework was set up so that it would be limiting to women and minorities, affecting the ability of their families to provide for themselves. People needed to evolve.

This evolution is ongoing and is bringing about distinct changes in society, mostly for the better. We’re seeing more women and minorities in prominent roles in society than ever, including, obviously, the First Family. However, an unfortunate and, as far as I know, unforeseen effect has also been the dissolution of the Black family.

In the last post, I touched on dual-income and dual-family households as societal norms. The expense of providing for a family has become such that many households feel that both adults should be working. As a whole, the infusion of women into the working force has affected gender roles such that women are now likely to be the primary provider of a household. This is obviously somewhat emasculating as that has been mainly considered the man’s role. So how do we deal with this?

The short-sighted answer is that this is strictly a male issue and that women play only a secondary, minor part. That is absolutely false. The fact of the matter, is that as much as men struggle to deal with this change in dynamic, women do as well. As much as men would like to be the primary “bread-winner” for the family, women would like their men to be as well. More often than not, women want to find a man that can either match or exceed their earning power. That isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t being “uppity,” its just reality. It matters. Couples that live in a household where the woman yields the higher paycheck can have issues that might have ordinarily been avoided were the opposite to be true.

This seems to be most prominently on display in the Black community. Black women are succeeding in a significantly disproportionate way compared to Black men. More Black women are going to college, achieving degrees, and commanding higher salaries than are Black men. We can delve into why but I think that commands its own article. Because of this dichotomy, we are seeing an increasing level of professional Black women struggle to find a suitable mate. Then comes the myriad articles by myriad “experts,” which is followed by the useless, counterproductive, finger-pointing and then we all leave the discussion angry, unsatisfied, and without direction.



One Response to “The Influence of Culture (part 2)”

  1. suga said

    Unsure if there really is just one answer. This may be an individual issue that women and men have to tackle as they approach such a problem. My own personal answer is to just deal with the way society is changing. If my future mate makes less than me, I have to accept that…or be single. Money and amassing wealth does not sit above love on my “Things I Want In My Lifetime” list. Happiness is my overall priority, so I’ve decided that if I meet someone who is perfect for me, who just so happens to make less than me, but is doing his life’s work and doesnt see himself changing his career, then fine. We will work together. That just makes more sense to me, since my goal in life is to be happy; not rich.

    I’m not saying money wont cause an issue though. I do believe that money is the #1 culprit in divorce. I’m just saying that as long as he makes a reasonable amount, and he is doing his life’s work, then we gon have to work it out. lol And hopefully, he’ll be able to diminish his ego enough not to feel some kind of way when my paychecks are bigger than his.

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