Monday, February 23, 2009

An Unconventional Fam

I actually really liked the beginning of Sandra Lipsitz Bem's book. At first, I found her marriage proposal to show signs of arrogance and immaturity (because she is only 20 and is ignorant on many levels), though she regained my trust when she describes her childhood memories between her mother and father. I was particularly shocked at what a powerful role her mother played, and how manipulative and controlling she was, even to the point of making her father cry. Because my father is definitely an alpha-male and my mother is very feminine, I can never imagine my dad crying because of my mother's cruel treatment toward him. I think, though, that I would hate my mother if I witnessed her being so mean to my dad to the point of making him cry, (and vice versa).

I also find it interesting how her sister showed early signs of being a lesbian, and how, Sandra also has a difficult time dealing with her sexuality. I wonder why it is that both struggle with their sexuality. It's very interesting, and I'm sure I'll find out later in the book.

As for her attempts at egalitarian partnering, I think she is in complete denial that, she, like her dominant mother, wears the pants in the relationship. She makes all the decisions and justifies her decision-making by saying that her husband is just not a confrontational parent. Because this book is written from her perspective, I cannot fully believe that their relationship was equal.


  1. I like when you stated, since it is written from her own perspective, you cannot imagine their relationship to be equal. I still have some trouble remembering it's only one person's perspective and I take the words with one hundred percent truth.

  2. One critque I had of Bem's book is Emily asked her mother to "kiss her vagina" (113). First, I was shocked then, I had a moment like Bem's where I was like, "Why am I horrified that she did this? Why does the vagina need to be upheld as this untouchable thing in society?" I wonder though, if Emily later was effected by this kiss. Could she internalize the notion from society that it was an inapproperiate action and then feel her mother sexually abused her? Or, does she see the event as a good thing? I wish I could get her thoughts on the matter.