Bev's Blog: Her Wisdom

Traditional Gender Roles…Reversed

Hello AboutWisdom Friends,

Let me introduce you to my powerful and talented goddess friend, Laurie Gray. I asked her to be a guest writer on my blog this week, so she could tell you about her experience with her father on the reversal of traditional gender roles.

Laurie and I both desire to create a better world by teaching and empowering others to use their inner wisdom.

I know you will appreciate Laurie's wisdom-approach to life.


WisdomGoddess Bev

I Am Woman by Laurie Gray

In the conservative Midwestern farming community where I grew up, good children were seen and not heard, and virtuous women submitted and obeyed, first to their fathers and then to their husbands. My father put me to work chopping wood, shoveling hog manure, and even tearing down a barn. I couldn’t wait to go to college. I studied abroad and began working as a high school Spanish teacher, spending summers in Guatemala translating for a missionary group.

My parents never imagined their daughter would bring home a tall, dark and handsome Sikh from Malaysia. An engineering student, Dev was the one who told me I should go to law school and get paid to argue all day so I could come home in the evenings and be a little nicer. My parents liked Dev, but they were less than elated by the prospect of our marriage.

After we announced our engagement, my father sat me down for our first ever “father-daughter” talk. “I’m afraid he won’t be able to take care of you,” Dad said. “He’s never even had a real job.”

His words surprised me. My own parents married when they were 19 and 18. My older brother Jeff had dropped out of college to marry his high school sweetheart when they were 19 and 18. Dev and I were 23 and 27, respectively.

“Did you have this conversation with Jeff before he got married? Surely you knew Tammy would never be able to support him financially.”

My father looked perplexed. “Of course not.”

His mind could not even begin to compute such a reversal of traditional gender roles. His definition of marriage assumed a male provider and a female homemaker. Dev needed a good job so I could stay home and start bearing children. In that moment, face to face with my father, I realized how my education and experiences abroad had forever altered my understanding of the world and my place in it.

“I’ve graduated from college, taught high school, and I’m studying to be an attorney. I’m not looking for someone to take care of me, Dad. I can take care of myself.”

Dev and I had a civil ceremony. I did not ask my father to “give me away.” I may not have received my father’s blessing for my first marriage, but I did get his attention.

Yes, I am a woman. And I am also a capable human being in my own right.

Wisdom Challenge

Review your personal history for times when you were treated differently because you took on a role or situation traditionally held by the opposite gender. Visualize that situation and connect to your heart-wisdom to discover how you might handle it differently, now.

About the Author
Attorney, author, teacher and child advocate Laurie Gray is the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC , the Laurie Grayco-creator of Token of Change™, and a consultant for the women’s empowerment group Sophie’s Café. Her debut novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/2010) received a Moon Beam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction. Laurie also works as a bilingual child forensic interviewer at her local Child Advocacy and as an adjunct professor of criminal science at Indiana Tech.

One Response to “Traditional Gender Roles…Reversed”

  1. Tena Dellaca-Hedrick

    Greetings Laurie,
    I am blessed by your wisdom and look forward to reading your thoughts.  I wish you well upon this journey and honor the Goddess teacher within you.   Blessings…

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