Southern Common Sense Part 9: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

We are becoming a nation of floundering morals and tempestuous entitlement, where RESPECT is no longer a foundational belief but a sought after commodity.

-Momma Rae

I am not a philosopher, a economist, or a politician by any means, but what I am is a concerned and rather disappointed citizen. I have been watching the political debates, the conflux of social media debates, and the down right disgraceful behavior presented by American Citizens. And I keep asking myself, how did we get so off kilter that we have sunk this low

Let me clarify: I am not knocking anyone’s personal beliefs regarding religion or politics. I merely trying to discuss the method in which those beliefs are be portrayed and what the implications of that portrayal are.

Everywhere I turn, I see people getting up-in-arms about their favorite politician, or utilizing a public platform as some sort of 8th grade squabble where the only thing accomplished is not getting others to hear your message, but instead, those listeners are judging you on your behavior, lack of grace, and are looking for any misinformation you have, because…well.. let’s face it, American’s love to argue.

What I am getting at here, is when did RESPECT fall off the bandwagon?

How can you have an opinion about something someone is saying if you do not let the other person speak? How can you get so worked up about an issue, but the only data you have compiled regarding the issue is one-sided and not cited? How can we as educated American citizens be so naive and easily duped? So very many questions, and only speculative answers…

In my opinion, it is our responsibility as American Citizens to do our own research. To discover our own truths about important issues, and not be another fluffy white coat among the heard of others. Pull your head out of the sand America!

When I was growing up, before the internet was a big deal and the coolest thing you could do on a cell phone was play snake, whenever gossip would float around about something, my Mother always reminded me to Not Believe Everything you Hear. I guess that just kind of stuck. So when I hear certain things spewing out of a potential presidents mouth, I want to check whatever facts I can, to see if the wool is trying to be pulled down. Have some respect for yourself, for your country, for your neighbor, to have the real facts about an issue before you start spatting the false truths to persuade others to join your side. 

“There are so many men, all endlessly attempting to sweep me off my feet. And there is one of you, trying just the opposite. Making sure my feet are firm beneath me, lest I fall.”

Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

The big issue I have here is this: any person, regardless of their sex, race, culture, economic status, etc. should have the right to speak on issues that are important to them. However, if one is allowed to speak, when it is the others turn, regardless if you agree with their point of view or not, you need to have respect for that person and let them speak. Once they are done speaking, then you can have a healthy debate, but to cut people off and to talk over someone else, just shows your desperation and lack of respect. 

“It’s very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It’s easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.”
Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

Respect is something that should be taught to our children at a young age, but I fear that RESPECT as a foundational characteristic is slowly exsiccating itself from our culture. 

Do you see an issue with respect in the American Society? What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think the problem needs to be corrected?


Southern Common Sense Part 8: Changing the Cultural Norms

If you have read some of the material on this blog, you probably have noticed that I am a graduate student as well as a full time employee. During my final online class this semester, we discussed a book called “Women Don’t Askby Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. The cultural issues and propositions brought up in this book are very interesting, but one I want to focus on in this blog post is how do we as southern women/parents go about implementing change to benefit the future culture and equality in the workforce?

women dont ask introduction
Excerpt from Women Don’t Ask

One of the suggestions we came up with in class was to start encouraging our daughters to be interested in male dominated fields, but to also employ negotiation as an acceptable and required skill for our daughters. Negotiation and how to negotiate well is something that traditional cultural norms has discouraged for women.

Women tend to be concerned more with relationships and because of this may be more timid in asking directly for what they want in fear of jeopardizing those relationships.

So you may be asking, okay so how do we change these deep seeded cultural norms and stereotypes placed on women. My answer would be awareness and implementation. WE as parents must maintain an awareness of the gender and cultural norms we are passing down to our children. This can apply to both boys and girls. For example, gendered toys based on traditional roles (baby and housekeeping toys for little girls and dump-trucks and outdoor toys for boys). I am not saying that girls can’t like babies and what not, but I am saying that if our daughters want to play with brothers and their brother’s toys then that should be encouraged and vice versa.

Also, if our sons and daughters are arguing among themselves, and one comes to tattle, should the parent play mediator rather than dictator? Depending on what happened, I would say allowing mediation first would allow our children to learn to calmly discuss their problems and also learn to negotiate in a way. These simple but effective communication skills will then be a basis for further problem solving as our children grow into adulthood.

Cool quote from MGT 5371
excerpt from Women Don’t Ask

So what is your opinion about this? Do you think implementing an awareness of gender stereotypes to our children could change their perceptions of a woman’s role or a man’s in their workforce? What other ways would you approach this topic? I would love to hear from you!