In a speech defending his support of the Defense of Marriage Act, Gingrey has this to say about parenting and gender roles:
GINGREY: You know, maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, you know, this is what’s important. This is what a father does that is maybe a little different, maybe a little bit better than the talents that a mom has in a certain area. And the same thing for the young girls, that, you know,this is what a mom does, and this is what is important from the standpoint of that union which we call marriage.”Right. Yes, we must lock in those rigid gender roles at an early age or who knows what will happen.
I grew up in a fairly traditional family. I was an only child, I had a mother and a father, went to church every Sunday, the whole nine yards. Am I thankful I had two parents? Yes, absolutely. I wasn't privy to the behind-the-scenes conversations but I know there where times when one of my parents probably stopped the other from strangling me over some stupid stuff I had done. That's what parents do, they bring different views, different expectations, different ways of doing things to the parenting table and when it's all said and done, hopefully they have raised a child to successful adulthood, however that's defined. It has nothing to do with gender roles and everything to do with what sort of people those parents are.
But let's widen the discussion. Yes, the ideal is two people raising a child, if only for logistical and financial reasons but that's not the only type of family out there. Single parents of either sex can raise a child. So can grandparents or other members of the extended family. If we really want to support families, stop spending time beating the dead horse of a 1950's ideal that never really existed. Support healthcare, support education, support women getting equal pay. Support quality daycare. Those are actions that will help families.
It's time we get past our narrow definition of what families look like. Whether there's one parent or two, whether opposite sex couple or same sex, extended family or nuclear, the end goal is the same and that is to raise a child with love and care. The end.