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Wsingle women in their 40s (I was one, pick me pick me) were bitter cat-owning spinsters back in the day

 

Lol...This reminds me of when my dad was still alive, but in the hospital delirious with an infection (MRSA! (he survived it)). We spent whole days in the hospital at that time, because we weren't sure he was going to survive. My sister and I flew out to Arizona and everything.

 

He was saying the craziest things. For example, he asked the nurse, "Why do you have a picture of your dog on your badge?" The picture was clearly of the nurse, who didn't look anything like a dog. But he was dead serious. That's the state he was in.

 

At one point, I was in his room with him, and he said to the nurse, "This is my daughter, the spinster."

 

I was 30 at the time.

 

I looked at him like, "Oh really?" But I didn't say anything. I don't think he normally thought of me that way; he was always really proud of me and what I did. I think the standards from his youth crossed over with the present at that moment.

 

I don't think I ever told him about it. But I thought it was really funny.

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Starting Thursday, hubby will be off 5 weeks and we'll have made it through this difficult studying phase!  Thank God!!!  Phew!!!!

I agree and disagree. I think that as people get older, our personalities, characters, habits, etc., become "calcified," and less influenced by outside forces. But I credit my years and year

This morning my husband built me two arched wire trellises for the squash vines, pumpkins and melons to grow on.  The spaghetti squash is already 7-8 ft long I think?  It looks beautiful draping over

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Batya I think you take my ramblings way too seriously! I should have said, "can be," more sneaky. There's something about boys that is somewhat innocent about them sometimes (definitely not all the time!).

 

I once had a mother of (then adult) sons and a couple of daughters tell me this outright, that she felt she had to protect her sons more in their adolescence because they just seemed more innocent in strange ways that are hard to describe. She protected her daughters also, but it was more clear to her that her sons, "didn't get it," how dangerous some situations were for them.

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Stereotypes are fascinating to me though, mostly because many aren't true anymore... but then a lot of them are statistically. It's just more interesting to acknowledge the science behind them, not try to live life as if the stereotypes were not there (or once there as in old fashioned ones) because there's no fact behind it.

 

Take the one you pointed out about my husband. You seemed bothered I referred to him as very masculine, but he just is. The issue with confronting his family (it being particularly hard for him) is strange because he confronts people, sometimes has to in a very aggressive way, all the time for his job and has zero problems with it.

 

In fact, his job actually raises the level of Testosterone in his blood, statiscially men who do his job have WAY more testosterone than normal men. And what does testosterone do? It masculinizes... even in the womb, babies start out as female physically (male genetically for the male babies) but once the masculinizing hormones release around week 8 of the baby developing, they become masculinized, even their brain divides the middle mostly and masculinizes itself due to the hormone.

 

Women who take testosterone pills have shown to succeed more in high power careers because they use the testosterone to act more like a man.

 

Women who had a mom who worked when she was young, naturally produce more testosterone (that would be me... it would explain my drive at work when I worked and my high sex drive).

 

There's nothing wrong with admitting that my husband is super masculine. When he went for a panel blood test with our doctor over a year ago, the doctor remarked his testosterone was perfect, and said most men don't have enough at his age and need to start taking supplements to have good health.

 

His job, acting in a very masculine way (stereotype for sure!) raises his level of the hormone to further masculinize him.

 

It's super fascinating! But nothing to take issue with.

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Just more on stereotypes that are often true....

 

Asians tend to be statistically smarter... it's provable with testing etc, it's also lead to places like Harvard trying to discriminate against them because they can get in a lot easier than many people who just aren't that smart. Thus the major lawsuit.

 

Would it be better if we just pretended that wasn't typically true? I think that'd be silly and only catering to not offending someone, somewhere, who for some strange reason cares whether or not all Asians are smart or tend to be smarter on average.

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Lol...This reminds me of when my dad was still alive, but in the hospital delirious with an infection (MRSA! (he survived it)). We spent whole days in the hospital at that time, because we weren't sure he was going to survive. My sister and I flew out to Arizona and everything.

 

He was saying the craziest things. For example, he asked the nurse, "Why do you have a picture of your dog on your badge?" The picture was clearly of the nurse, who didn't look anything like a dog. But he was dead serious. That's the state he was in.

 

At one point, I was in his room with him, and he said to the nurse, "This is my daughter, the spinster."

 

I was 30 at the time.

 

I looked at him like, "Oh really?" But I didn't say anything. I don't think he normally thought of me that way; he was always really proud of me and what I did. I think the standards from his youth crossed over with the present at that moment.

 

I don't think I ever told him about it. But I thought it was really funny.

 

Forgive me for being an annoying nerd ....

 

That is funny :D it's like your father was drunk. So glad he survived though!

 

Yes, it's a stereotype, but the word spinster does actually come from being historically correct (I'm sure you both already know this so forgive me for writing it out for anyone else reading along).

 

Women used to spin clothing, it was an actual occupation to be a, "Spinster," who used the spindle... commonly done by unmarried women so long long ago.

 

Now women have more options obviously, but even that stereotype of being the unmarried women who spun clothes... it came from something very true and valid. It's still largely true that unmarried women spend more time on their careers or occupations because that's adulthood even now. A more modern version of this old stereotype would be the unmarried career woman who loves her job (since being a spinster was an occupation... not sure if it was fulfilling though).

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- just like stay at home moms are stererotyped as lazy/truffle eating/tennis playing sloths, short men are stereotyped as weak/napoleon (I married one/my son will be one), complex and single women in their 40s (I was one, pick me pick me) were bitter cat-owning spinsters back in the day.

 

I have to go get a bunch of things done, but just wanted to address this part.

 

There ARE hurtful stereotypes, and you're bringing up ones that are meant to hurt other people using words like, "bitter," spinster or "lazy," "sloth" stay at home mom.

 

I've never actually come across someone who thought I didn't do anything all day personally, but I did hear things like that from catty, petty working women. It's a catty, petty insult, but it still wouldn't bother me because I know it doesn't apply to myself at all. It would only be coming from someone with bad motives more than likely.

 

Stereotypes, at least the ones meant to insult, aren't hurtful when you know yourself and are confident in that someone's just trying to insult you based on being petty/catty.

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I have to go get a bunch of things done, but just wanted to address this part.

 

There ARE hurtful stereotypes, and you're bringing up ones that are meant to hurt other people using words like, "bitter," spinster or "lazy," "sloth" stay at home mom.

 

I've never actually come across someone who thought I didn't do anything all day personally, but I did hear things like that from catty, petty working women. It's a catty, petty insult, but it still wouldn't bother me because I know it doesn't apply to myself at all. It would only be coming from someone with bad motives more than likely.

 

Stereotypes, at least the ones meant to insult, aren't hurtful when you know yourself and are confident in that someone's just trying to insult you based on being petty/catty.

 

I find the stereotypes you wrote about women hurtful to women in general just like any negative comments based on gender or race or religion. I do care about that because I am a woman and believe in treating people as individuals and not relying on tired old negative cliches and stereotypes. By the way -it's absolutely not only working women who perpetuate the stereotypes about stay at home moms. For example you are a woman and expressed a negative stereotype about women's behavior. Referring to women as sneakier in general than men is impugning the character of women generally. It's hurtful at least to me as a woman. And it perpetuates an inaccurate characterization of an entire gender. In my humble opinion.

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Stereotypes are fascinating to me though, mostly because many aren't true anymore... but then a lot of them are statistically.

 

The question is, are those stereotypes true because they were there in the first place, and people bend towards the expectations of society? Sort of a chicken-or-egg scenario.

 

Example: For most of my life, I thought I wanted to get married and have children. But when I reached my mid 30s, I realized that I really do not want any of that. That realization caused me to wonder why I ever thought I wanted to be married with kids in the first place. Answer? Social pressure. That's what I had been told, not just by the people around me, but by books, movies, commercials, you name it. I'd actually made this huge assumption without consulting myself on the matter! I think a lot of people unconsciously enter into marriage and start having families, and then they end up unhappy and confused.

 

Growing up, I was keenly aware of what the stereotypes about me were. I enjoyed defying them because they weren't true, and I resented that someone who didn't know me could insist that they did know me. Then, as we got older, I saw my friends start to embrace the stereotypes and I felt so disappointed for them. I did understand, because going against the grain can be a rough road. But I was still disappointed.

 

As a woman in a male-dominated profession, I have faced stereotyping quite a lot. I have found that no amount of effort can change people who suffer from this kind of thought process. They see only what they want to see, and everything they see reinforces their initial (premature) conclusions. I've come to view it as a form of stupidity. I don't bother trying to change people like this. I just go around them.

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The question is, are those stereotypes true because they were there in the first place, and people bend towards the expectations of society? Sort of a chicken-or-egg scenario.

 

Example: For most of my life, I thought I wanted to get married and have children. But when I reached my mid 30s, I realized that I really do not want any of that. That realization caused me to wonder why I ever thought I wanted to be married with kids in the first place. Answer? Social pressure. That's what I had been told, not just by the people around me, but by books, movies, commercials, you name it. I'd actually made this huge assumption without consulting myself on the matter! I think a lot of people unconsciously enter into marriage and start having families, and then they end up unhappy and confused.

 

Growing up, I was keenly aware of what the stereotypes about me were. I enjoyed defying them because they weren't true, and I resented that someone who didn't know me could insist that they did know me. Then, as we got older, I saw my friends start to embrace the stereotypes and I felt so disappointed for them. I did understand, because going against the grain can be a rough road. But I was still disappointed.

 

As a woman in a male-dominated profession, I have faced stereotyping quite a lot. I have found that no amount of effort can change people who suffer from this kind of thought process. They see only what they want to see, and everything they see reinforces their initial (premature) conclusions. I've come to view it as a form of stupidity. I don't bother trying to change people like this. I just go around them.

 

Yes, it's disappointing when women perpetuate negative stereotypes about women. You are right I'll just leave it be and move on.

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Re: stereotypes, I don't mean to gripe but sometimes as a female, it feels like we can't really win. No matter what path you choose, there will be some busy-body nobody who looks down on you for it.

 

Stay at home Mom? Lazy, do-nothing, unambitious.

Parent who works? Uninvolved, selfish, "kids raised by daycare"

Non-parent? Immature, mentally ill, selfish.

 

No one can do it "right".

 

I work in a female-dominated field. I occasionally hear some snide remarks ("Pfft you say you're tired, you don't have kids!") but I just smile and say "you're right, I could be more sleep deprived, good point" and that shuts them up. But you know what, I hear bad things said too about stay-at-home parents and working parents. So many women just s__t all over each other. It's awful.

 

We each have to live our own lives as we see fit, and that's going to look different for every woman...marriage/no marriage, straight/gay/bi/pansexual, kids/no kids, FT work/PT work/no work. It's sad that people keep tearing each other down for doing things a little differently.

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I find the stereotypes you wrote about women hurtful to women in general just like any negative comments based on gender or race or religion. I do care about that because I am a woman and believe in treating people as individuals and not relying on tired old negative cliches and stereotypes. By the way -it's absolutely not only working women who perpetuate the stereotypes about stay at home moms. For example you are a woman and expressed a negative stereotype about women's behavior. Referring to women as sneakier in general than men is impugning the character of women generally. It's hurtful at least to me as a woman. And it perpetuates an inaccurate characterization of an entire gender. In my humble opinion.

 

Batya, I do apologize for not adding, "can be sneaky," but what other stereotypes about women did I even touch on? Other than the biblical text about a virtuous woman? Is that what's bothering you so much?

 

That word virtuous doesn't mean, "doesn't sin," the actual Hebrew is so much deeper and more intriguing and means, "strong, like an army." It literally means a woman strong enough to handle life well - morally well.

 

And it's worth it to add that the ONLY other time the Bible mentions it, it's describing the character of an unmarried woman (Ruth). She's the only time the Bible uses that word other than where it's mentioned in Proverbs (the book of ancient wisdom/advice).

 

And not sure why you're bringing up saving sex for marriage not being moral (are you insinuating I believe that)? There are quite a few examples of women biblically who were prostitutes and yet showed more moral strength and virtue than women you'd think otherwise.

 

It seems like God Himself likes to take stereotypes and turn them on their heads to confuse people who were judgy.

 

Believe I don't judge prostitutes... I actually had 2 friends who were prostitutes (one I only knew online because she was from Australia), but the other one we met in person several times and had a good friendship until she moved and I didn't hear from her again.

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Re: stereotypes, I don't mean to gripe but sometimes as a female, it feels like we can't really win. No matter what path you choose, there will be some busy-body nobody who looks down on you for it.

 

Stay at home Mom? Lazy, do-nothing, unambitious.

Parent who works? Uninvolved, selfish, "kids raised by daycare"

Non-parent? Immature, mentally ill, selfish.

 

No one can do it "right".

 

I work in a female-dominated field. I occasionally hear some snide remarks ("Pfft you say you're tired, you don't have kids!") but I just smile and say "you're right, I could be more sleep deprived, good point" and that shuts them up. But you know what, I hear bad things said too about stay-at-home parents and working parents. So many women just s__t all over each other. It's awful.

 

We each have to live our own lives as we see fit, and that's going to look different for every woman...marriage/no marriage, straight/gay/bi/pansexual, kids/no kids, FT work/PT work/no work. It's sad that people keep tearing each other down for doing things a little differently.

 

Completely so. I also don't think it's women's jobs to build other women up -thinking of all of those silly FB memes and posts about how I as a mom/woman am supposed to randomly compliment other women. I mean - I wouldn't love being the recipient of that from a random stranger - but yes it is a can't win. Although it was funny -I'd promised my niece a night out on the town when she turned 21. As it turned out when she turned 21 I was 5 weeks pregnant but had only told my sister not her. So I had to make up an excuse as to why I wouldn't drink any alcohol. Anyway while we're at my apartment she randomly blurts out "you know I don't think you should have a baby (I was single at the time - we weren't yet married)" I expected her reason to be critical but she said "because I work with a lot of older women and they have kids and they just seem miserable and are always complaining!!"

 

So a dozen years later she now has two kids of her own and is a happy mama but but I remember immediately assuming she was going to tell me I shouldn't be a mom because I was old/"still single" and not a candidate for the awesome responsibility. Her reaction was refreshing in a way and well-intentioned!

 

I am very curious about people in general. As individuals. I love hearing their stories, their paths, how they got to where they are, whether they have ideas for the future, what they are. But it's fun only because I do my utmost to put aside preconceived notions that narrow those potential paths. I've seen far far more exceptions to any stereotype than consistency but I'm not looking for people to conform with a cliche so maybe -to Jibralta's point -that is why.

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I agree, Batya. I think the criticism/stereotypes are wrong but I don't think it's anyone's responsibility to "build anyone up". I think it's better not to comment on others' lifestyles in real life because it's just unproductive. I certainly don't. I don't want to hear someone's thoughts on my lifestyle (good or bad, has no effect on my choices) so I certainly don't say anything to others about their choice to get married/have kids. That's their choice and I don't have anything to say.

 

I think the memes about "wE WOmEn nEeD tO BuiLD eACh oTHer uP AlWayS" is well-intentioned but misguided. There would be no rallying cry for endless compliments from other random women if women weren't so busy ripping each other down all the time. Cease the negativity and there you go.

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The question is, are those stereotypes true because they were there in the first place, and people bend towards the expectations of society? Sort of a chicken-or-egg scenario.

 

Example: For most of my life, I thought I wanted to get married and have children. But when I reached my mid 30s, I realized that I really do not want any of that. That realization caused me to wonder why I ever thought I wanted to be married with kids in the first place. Answer? Social pressure. That's what I had been told, not just by the people around me, but by books, movies, commercials, you name it. I'd actually made this huge assumption without consulting myself on the matter! I think a lot of people unconsciously enter into marriage and start having families, and then they end up unhappy and confused.

 

Growing up, I was keenly aware of what the stereotypes about me were. I enjoyed defying them because they weren't true, and I resented that someone who didn't know me could insist that they did know me. Then, as we got older, I saw my friends start to embrace the stereotypes and I felt so disappointed for them. I did understand, because going against the grain can be a rough road. But I was still disappointed.

 

As a woman in a male-dominated profession, I have faced stereotyping quite a lot. I have found that no amount of effort can change people who suffer from this kind of thought process. They see only what they want to see, and everything they see reinforces their initial (premature) conclusions. I've come to view it as a form of stupidity. I don't bother trying to change people like this. I just go around them.

 

 

I think stereotypes can be fun OR very hurtful. To me, it was fun defying things when young, or even now. It's pretty defiant to admit you enjoyed being barefoot and pregnant LOL. People don't usually like to hear that.

 

I liked surprising people when they underestimated me by how I look, and were surprised I was in STEM, and made almost all A's in college (loved loved loved studying and the hard work!!). But I look, generally, like those things wouldn't be important to me. Even Dias recently said something about how there weren't that many, "hot STEM girls," but that's changing. Hot women aren't usually found to enjoy STEM... I actually find some kind of guilty pleasure in freaking people out by defying that stereotype.

 

It doesn't make me resentful, I find it funny, and acknowledge it does come from a bit of truth. I don't know why, but things like that (a man acknowledging it's rare to find hot STEM women) don't bother me at all. It's small potatoes compared to the big issues.

 

But in the workplace, of course those kinds of things can be seriously awful depending on what is happening. Men who are hardcore sexists and treat female coworkers badly really can't be helped. But to me, there's a separation between blatant sexism and basic stereotypes like, "my husband is masculine because he has a job who makes him have more testosterone than the average man and that masculinizes him and I really enjoy that...." The first is wrong, the second is no cause for concern... it just is, and is proven by science in many cases.

 

Women are scientifically more attracted to men who have more testosterone in their blood... it just is, unless they're an exception to the rule.

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My generation was raised hard core, to get our college degrees first and then only think about marriage and babies afterward. I got married while in college, defied my parents (who kicked me out when I was engaged) and did what I wanted to anyway.

 

For me... embracing the stereotype was what I wanted. I do think friends from high school were disappointed (some posted on FB back then rants about, "settling," etc. that seemed passive aggressive), but honestly, I enjoyed it so it was really no one else's business if I embraced the stereotype that disappointed them or not.

 

My generation was raised not to trust men to really provide for us, to always have a back up plan in case of divorce. We were raised to believe that marrying too young was, "settling." All that comes from negative stereotypes.

 

And even then, in general, people don't like to see a woman dependent on a man. They don't like thinking a woman may not have a college degree to fall back on because they stereotype men thinking the man may cheat or leave her (that men aren't loyal or faithful).

 

There's some truth to it, the divorce rate is high, but for men, I'm fairly certain most of them don't like the implication that they're not trustworthy and that their wife needs to make sure she can support herself in case he cheats or decides to divorce her (or vice versa... implying the marriage will fail). Having a back up plan is possibly wise, but it implies (like a pre-nup) that there's a serious level of distrust of the people's or one person's character.

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I agree, Batya. I think the criticism/stereotypes are wrong but I don't think it's anyone's responsibility to "build anyone up". I think it's better not to comment on others' lifestyles in real life because it's just unproductive. I certainly don't. I don't want to hear someone's thoughts on my lifestyle (good or bad, has no effect on my choices) so I certainly don't say anything to others about their choice to get married/have kids. That's their choice and I don't have anything to say.

 

I think the memes about "wE WOmEn nEeD tO BuiLD eACh oTHer uP AlWayS" is well-intentioned but misguided. There would be no rallying cry for endless compliments from other random women if women weren't so busy ripping each other down all the time. Cease the negativity and there you go.

 

Yes- totally -stay in your own lane.

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I think stereotypes can be fun OR very hurtful.

 

Yes, they can be both. Believe me, I laugh privately about many stereotypes. But I dislike being thought of materialistic, or dishonest, or weak, illogical, sneaky, etc.

 

Listen, when I was growing up, I had a lot more energy to spare. Fighting the naysayers was fun. By the time I graduated high school, I don't think anybody doubted me. And winning that respect bolstered my confidence and carried me through college and into my young adult career.

 

But it gets old when year after year, I have to confront those stupid tropes over and over again to people who weren't there when I won the game the first time.

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My generation was raised hard core, to get our college degrees first and then only think about marriage and babies afterward. I got married while in college, defied my parents (who kicked me out when I was engaged) and did what I wanted to anyway.

 

For me... embracing the stereotype was what I wanted. I do think friends from high school were disappointed (some posted on FB back then rants about, "settling," etc. that seemed passive aggressive), but honestly, I enjoyed it so it was really no one else's business if I embraced the stereotype that disappointed them or not.

 

My generation was raised not to trust men to really provide for us, to always have a back up plan in case of divorce. We were raised to believe that marrying too young was, "settling." All that comes from negative stereotypes.

 

And even then, in general, people don't like to see a woman dependent on a man. They don't like thinking a woman may not have a college degree to fall back on because they stereotype men thinking the man may cheat or leave her (that men aren't loyal or faithful).

 

There's some truth to it, the divorce rate is high, but for men, I'm fairly certain most of them don't like the implication that they're not trustworthy and that their wife needs to make sure she can support herself in case he cheats or decides to divorce her (or vice versa... implying the marriage will fail). Having a back up plan is possibly wise, but it implies (like a pre-nup) that there's a serious level of distrust of the people's or one person's character.

 

I didn't get married or have a child to embrace any stereotype. I don't believe in doing anything in the name of embracing a stereotype. I make choices based on my individual circumstances. I trust my husband completely -as completely as one can trust another human being and I am financially independent, and was when I got married because that was what I wanted for myself. Not because I didn't "trust" him to "provide" for me because I wanted to know I had my own money and could make my own money if need be - (divorce or heaven forbid an accident, death, etc). I don't believe it's wise to expect a spouse to be the provider to the extent that the other spouse does not have marketable skills. Whether man or woman. Just not wise on a practical level.

 

I know of no men at all who believe their wives have careers because they do not trust them to provide or because they're afraid to be dependent on a man.

 

The men I know admire and respect their wives, and as part of that admire and respect their desire to have a career or a profession. In other cases both spouses have to work for financial reasons. I am friends and have been friends with many men and still am, I know many married men and that's never ever been an issue for any man I've known that they think their wives work because they're not trustworthy as financial providers. That just seems like a bizarre notion.

 

I don't have to work because of the years I did work and because of my husband's work. I went back to work because I wanted to. I work part time so I do the lion's share of household work/child care in non-covid times. I love my job. I didn't realize how much I missed working during my 7 years at home (I didn't miss it/want it until he was around 5, then it took me time to find the right work situation).

 

I think it's really risky for any spouse not to have a back up plan. Not because of divorce or trust. Because of life -accidents, death, job loss, illness.

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Even my generation was raised to go to school first before marriage. We married just after finishing University. My mom placed HUGE HUGE importance on education. Gen X on down was raised with the importance of education.

 

Same here but it wasn't really a strong message for me because on my own I definitely wanted to get my degree and didn't really consider, ever, getting married till after. My mother married a month after graduating.

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Same here but it wasn't really a strong message for me because on my own I definitely wanted to get my degree and didn't really consider, ever, getting married till after. My mother married a month after graduating.

 

I wanted an education ,but even if I didn’t ,my mom was willing to drag me kicking and screaming whether I wanted to or not because she felt it was that important.

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Same here but it wasn't really a strong message for me because on my own I definitely wanted to get my degree and didn't really consider, ever, getting married till after. My mother married a month after graduating.

 

The reason my mom made a big deal of education was that my dad didn’t give frog’s fat butt if we even went to school ,high school , never mind any other school. And if we could’ve left home at 15 ,raised ourselves and got out of his face he would’ve been even happier. So she had to make up for his shortcomings. Plus education was very important in her own nuclear family. Certain portions of her family were extremely well educated and highly intelligent. She didn’t want a lot of dropouts like my dad‘s family.

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The reason my mom made a big deal of education was that my dad didn’t give frog’s fat butt if we even went to school ,high school , never mind any other school. And if we could’ve left home at 15 ,raised ourselves and got out of his face he would’ve been even happier. So she had to make up for his shortcomings. Plus education was very important in her own nuclear family. Certain portions of her family were extremely well educated and highly intelligent. She didn’t want a lot of dropouts like my dad‘s family.

 

In my family I think it had to do with the immigrant experience -mom's parents were both immigrants and dad's parents were not and had both gone to college (at least, his mother did not sure about his father who died when I was very young). My mom and her sibling went to college even though it was not emphasized for women. My mom worked part time for many years and I believe her college degree helped her get the jobs she did. My parents both valued education so much as did my inlaws.

(Oh I am tired today. What I mean about the immigrant experience is really -the American Dream -that my grandparents worked so hard to come to the US and give their family a better life and part of the better life is the opportunity to attain a higher education).

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