I am a woman. I was born into a Middle Class family in suburban Colorado. I attended public school and then a private university. I am now working a full-time job in Denver. I am, for all intents and purposes a "normal" woman.
But I do not want children (never have). I work at a brewery and love beer, whiskey, and football. I drive a Subaru and have a big dog. I hate to clean. If given the choice, I will choose a burger over a salad. I can out-drink almost anyone.
I also love to dress up. I rarely go out without wearing make-up. I care more than I probably should about my appearance. Bugs and rodents freak me out. I have been known to call male friends to get random wild pests out of my house.
So - what is "normal"? In the comments of StacyM's seed Men: Don't Marry Career Women there are many arguments about what is a woman's role, what is a man's role, this person or that person is sexist for this or that reason. Gender roles are still very much a hot issue, and one that everyone must deal with on a daily basis.
Some people in the comments state that it is traditional, or standard, for men to be "the boss" and the rule over things. But this hasn't always been so - and still isn't so in some societies in the world. For thousands of years matriarchies were the standard societal structure with women being considered the most important aspect in the survival of a culture. For more on matriarchies, check out the 2nd World Congress site. There is also the practice of matrilineality, such as in the Jewish faith, where associations are made thru the women, and children follow the mother's bloodline rather than the father's. (Wikipedia)
There is also a long history of Goddess worship. From the Egyptians to the Romans to the Celts, goddesses have played an important role in the evolution of religion. Most earth-based religions focus on one main goddess as the Great Mother of the Earth. Even in polytheistic religions like that practiced in Egypt, goddesses and priestesses to the gods were a crucial part of society. Today, several major religions are monotheistic and focus on a male deity - but there are still religions with the goddess at their core. Some of these are Wicca, Druidism, Hinduism, and eco-feminist movements. It is worthy to note that in Christianity there is also a woman who plays a very important role as the Mother of God.
Another thing that is worthy of note is that it was a woman who invented the often male-centric beverage of beer. And for thousands of years, it was the women that produced the beer. Some societies actually believed that only a woman could properly brew the genial beverage.
So why is there so much negativity towards women? Why are we viewed so frequently as the "weaker sex" when we have a long history of rule and production? And why have so many women crippled their sisters by striking out against men, rather than seeking to make them our friends and equals?
In StacyM's seed, several people make the point that men and women are often viewed by what they are rather than who they are. This is an important distinction. Say a man works 60+ hours a week, he loves his job and doesn't even take vacations. He hangs around mostly with his work friends and doesn't really go "out." He isn't married and isn't dating. Many people would label him a "workaholic." Consider this: maybe he is painfully shy - but very good at his job - so he finds more comfort around people with whom he can talk about his work, and doesn't have to be personable outside of it. Maybe he's single because there aren't any eligible women in his office and he doesn't know how to go out to find women.
We make many assumptions upon hearing what someone does in their public life. But work is a wall that many people use to shelter them from their own insecurities. There are genuine workaholics, people who really put their career above everything else in their life (to reveal a shameful secret - there was one family on the show Wife Swap where the parents really were obsessed with their careers, and put their family second). However, I believe that many of these people would change their priorities if they were shown how it can be to have your marriage, family, or friends of higher importance. Some people just simply cannot imagine living in any other way than they have always lived.
But since the article that StacyM seeded discussed career women, and so many seem to agree that they are "unmarriable", consider these two points:
1. One New York Woman. She is very driven to succeed. She's been a CFO for a company on 5th Avenue, the CEO of her own company, and a professional SAT tutor. All of these things she has been incredibly successful at. Her husband is an electrician for Siemens. He works days and evenings, she works mostly evenings into the night. He is usually gone by the time she is up in the morning, and he is often asleep before she comes home. But every Friday night, no matter what, is date night. They spend that evening together and use it to reconnect. They also try and keep as much of their weekends free as possible to be together. She is now pregnant, and when the baby arrives plans to continue working, if cutting her load back a bit. She will be the baby's primary caregiver - and the baby will accompany here on as many of her work appointments as possible. This couple can barely survive on two salaries just the two of them - and with the new baby she will have to continue to work - but is also determined be a present mother.
2. One Southern Woman. She is a mother and wife. Her job is 24/7 taking care of two toddlers. Her husband works outside the house as a graphic designer. Even living in a small town, they are barely scraping by on one salary. This woman cooks, cleans, and takes care of the kids when her husband is at work. On the weekends and evenings they share the responsibilities. She is a natural-born mother and loves her job. She may go back to work one day, but for now she wants to concentrate on her children and already has more work than she can sometimes handle. Her and her husband don't get a lot of time alone together and their relationship is sometimes strained because of it. But they find a way to make it work and make a true partnership of the marriage.
But the article claims that men should not marry a career woman because their relationship won't be as good - and the woman won't want to stay home with the children. But, in the above examples, both women have children and are good mothers - but one has a career and the other doesn't. They have much different hurtles to overcome in some ways, but the same in many others. The major similarity is that both women are dedicated to making their marriages work and to their children. Their first priority is their family - just because one also works for pay doesn't diminish her ability to be a mother. And just because the other is a "housewife" doesn't mean she works any less or is less of a "modern woman." These women exemplify what it means to be a woman - and what it means to be an equal partner in a marriage. They have managed to balance what they want and desire and what their family needs of them.
So why do so many magazines feel the need to warn their readers away from this type or that type of mate? Or to draw them towards a certain style of person? People are not clothes - you can't just pick whatever looks best off the rack and hope that it fits. Relationships take time and compromise. It is best to seek out people who have similar interests - because at the very least that gives you something to talk about - but is no guarantee of compatibility. In fact, if anyone can pinpoint that one thing that guarantees compatibility, I'm sure the rest of us would pay good money for it. Just look at how much people dump into online dating sites which guarantee virtually nothing.
Much like racism, sexism is not going to be eradicated with violence and anger. We can only make it a thing of the past by working together to put an end to the harmful stereotypes being held by so many. It comes down to how you raise your children - whether you are a nuclear family or a single-parent home, straight, gay, have adopted children, or are raising someone else's children - you will pass on your biases if you don't consciously choose not to. So make the choice to raise a generation of equals - children who won't grow up to be misogynists or man-haters. People who at the very least try to have respectful, equal relationships with members of the opposite sex whether it be at work, at home, or in society.
(Sorry - had to re-edit this as Newsvine decided to delete three paragraphs of it - 8/25 2:13pm MST).