Test Case

A self-help book editor uses what she learns at work and in life to help herself.

Why Boys Belong in the Kitchen and Girls in the Garage

Men and women need to have the skills to survive in the new age—beyond gender stereotypes Read More

It's 2014

These seriously should not be concerns for us in 2014. It should be abundantly clear to anyone paying attention that men and women have lived outside of 20th century, American gender roles for all of eternity.

It seems many people these days have a perspective limited by what is shown to them in the media - your writing included - and their simple apathy. You can show them lists of male cooks and female race car drivers, but that won't nearly be as exciting as a controversial stance on "gender norms".

Children are acutely aware of what adults are doing, especially when it has to do with treatment based on groups. When children are raised with the understanding that many things are specific to a certain gender (which they are and always will be) and then are told that, in fact, gender doesn't matter anymore, they will understandably be confused. Generation X would do well to realize that children need a stable, logical, traditional upbringing without interference from 21st century issues created by anxious adults.

You can't have a logical AND

You can't have a logical AND traditional upbringing.. You can have logic... or you can depend on your superstitions and be traditional. There is no room for LOGIC in tradition.

And eventually people unable to evolve (people who think things like "which they are and always will be")will go extinct. Those unwilling to adapt and evolve are those who die out. It's just too bad it doesn't happen sooner.

Even the church knows this. If they didn't understand this they wouldn't be bending their rules and doctrines to better conform to modern times. They would still be "traditional" as you say. If the church doesn't evolve with the people, it will die. And something as powerful as church is going to do anything to stay alive.

You would do well to realize that "guys are innately good with motors" doesn't make much sense when you realize that motors, at one point in history, DIDN'T EXSIST. so tell me, how can anyone be INNATELY good at ANYTHING that at one point didn't even exsist? This line of thinking is actually OUTSIDE of logic.

and how can someone live outside of roles FOR ALL ETERNITY if America um.. well.. sorry to break it to you, HASN'T exsisted for all of eternity... this is what tradition gives you.

What's stopping you?

There seems to be a general consensus amongst contemporary feminism that girls are to be empowered by teaching them traditionally male pursuits, and that girls are to be empowered by teaching boys traditionally female pursuits. Whenever this position is presented, it is inevitably followed up and "supported" by more often than not logically inconsistent arguments, and unproven theories. Without getting into biological superiority at different tasks, which should be sufficient, to argue that individuals should learn certain skills simply by virtue of gender is actually disempowering. And patronizing.

You see, there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from learning whatever they want. There are libraries overflowing with books, walkthroughs and instructional videos on the internet, and there's no shortage of cooking shows on television. If people aren't competent in certain skills, be it auto mechanics or cooking, accounting or interior design, it isn't because of some grand conspiracy or macro-sociological construct, it's simply because they don't care to learn.

When your child (or friend, relative, etc.) comes along and expresses an interest in something - let's just say a little girl in cosmetology, or little boy in welding, (or vice versa for that matter) and you tell them that they should study the other thing because.... feminism, what you're doing is disempowering them. You're invalidating their choices, and steering them in a direction they don't want to and wouldn't naturally go. They're not going to stick with it, and will probably resent you as a result.

If you really want to empower people, and little girls are people that are not entitled to special distinction, than encourage them to develop themselves productively and support them in their (positive) choices.

I think this is a wonderful

I think this is a wonderful piece and truly relevant with every year that goes past in our society, I know I can personally relate with having grown up in a household where my parents were divorced and everything was left down to me and my mother. We both learned to thrive and learn new things without having to rely on a male figure and I value this quality I gained and I know will always be useful to me throughout life!
loved it :)


I am 55. My mother taught me how to sew, iron, do wash, cook and bake. After that I taught myself.

Parents should be sure that their sons and daughters can take care of themselves -- from cooking to changing a tire or replacing a light fixture ...

Why would parents want to leave a child with incomplete life skills?

When a man or woman can take care of him/herself, relationships become options that can be entered into or not entered into for reasons of their choosing.

I hope that you mean that

I hope that you mean that both boys and girls should learn all skills.

Role reversal is not a solution.

gender roles is all about

gender roles is all about forced dependency. the sooner we can move away from them the better off relationships will be. Everyone has certain skills and knowledge to offer. This shouldn't be based off the person's genitals.

Yes Yes and YES

I absolutely agree - a few weeks ago I fixed a door (easy thing, I know) but accomplishing something that I didn't think I was capable of, or was within my traditional gender role, was awesome. I was so proud of that door for the rest of the day! My boyfriend was proud too, because he didn't know how to fix it either - mostly the reason why I decided to teach myself and get it done. So often I think of the bad habits and assumptions that I have yet to conquer and I try my best to let go of their grasp, because I want to be a better person by time I have children. I need to let go of it now so that it's not my habit that I end up passing along to them one day. Thank you for a beautiful post! xo


I also agree with this post.

I also agree with this post. Whenever life sometimes makes me hard to move on a new stage, I want to give up and rely on relationship based on dependence. However, it is not a solution. I have to find a solution by myself and the solution might be in me. I am not good at men's stuffs so I should learn how to handle them. In that, I can find the real solution and also who I am.
I want to be a better person than before.

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Melissa Kirk is a writer and editor who works as an acquisitions and developmental editor at New Harbinger Publications, a self-help psychology publisher in Oakland, CA. 


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