If we take the Proclamation on the Family as the key document on gender roles, then the most important aspects of our gender differences are women’s primary responsibility in nurturing children in contrast to men’s responsibility to preside.
These roles are incessantly subjected to assessment in a metaphorical balance, the conclusion being that, although they are different, they are nevertheless somehow equal in weight.
But setting aside the murky issue of equality for the moment, I have to wonder, is this really the best way to dole out parenting responsibilities? Is it really in children’s best interest for the parent who is most centrally involved in their day-to-day lives not to be the one granted chief authority in decision-making for the family? For those who are persuaded that one parent must preside, wouldn’t it make sense for it to be the nurturing parent?
- 13 January 2007