Joel Anderson (2017, February 9). Washington University, St. Louis. Retrieved from http://www.phil.uu.nl/~joel/research/publications/equalfamily.htm
The essay by Joel Anderso discusses the different viewpoints of both the neotraditionalists and the egalitarian feminists. Neotraditionalists believe in the old gender roles of the family dynamic where the male is the breadwinner while the female is the homemaker. The slight twist that this carries is that the neotraditionalists do believe that there should be gender equality.The gender equality should; however, come with no shame or guilt given to men or women for partaking in the breadwinner/homemaker model. It says in the essay, “…. the more moderate position that the differences between men and women should be accepted, thereby “alllowing” women to choose full-time homemaking without guilt and men to focus on breadwinning without shame”. These neotraditionalists find a problem with egalitarian feminists because they believe the feminists look to destroy the family roles and make parenting genderless to which the neotraditionalists belive that these roles are essential to raising a child. “…some studies have shown that men tend to inspire adventurousness, assertiveness, and risk-taking in their children, whereas women tend to be more risk-averse and protective”.
The egalitarian feminists look to dismantle gender roles and fight for equal rights for women. These feminists see the neotraditionalists ideas as detrimental to the progress women have gone through to gain these equal rights only to be set backwards by such ideologies.
Though it is an informative essay. The author seems split down the middle between the egalitarian feminists and the neotraditionalists. Anderson seems to be against the both ideologies. The author is giving the audience , the uninformed, the whole story without bias. It almost sounds bias for the simple fact that the author discusses in detail the neotraditionalists and their point of view. There’s more information and arguments in favor of keeping traditional family roles intact. The egalitarian feminist were hardly heard in this piece. Another audience was neotraditionalist supporters which would further strengthen their fervor for the call back to the traditional family home with the husband working and the wife at home; cooking, cleaning and tending to the children. Anderson backs up his claims with opinionated evidence that can be debated very easily by an opposing voice. Though his claims held some weight as far as its appeal to the desire of a family being a family, the ancient underlying message of the man leading and the woman in support got old quickly within this essay. If not for his rhetoric favoring the neotraditionalists, his tone depicted some empathy towards what the neotraditionalists are trying to accomplish. He states in the last paragraph, which completely contradicts what he’s been saying in the rest of the essay that,”There is no denying the difficulties involved in keeping a family together today, and many of these challenges result partly from the increasing equality of men and women. But it would be a narrow-minded mistake to say that the current challenges are generated by demands for gender equality”. At the last minute the audience gets his real opinion on both topics, which doesn’t give much comfort to the situation in society. The solution he gives is not even a solution, but rather a “we will see what happens”. Either way he was effective in getting his point across in a neutral, informative way.