Women's Issues

Family Values spoke to my parents about this assignment, and to my grandparents, too. They all have similar ideas about their ethnicity, the family, and me in general. This assignment made me see how values can change between generations, because my values are different from theirs in some respects, and quite alike in others.

Everyone in my family is pretty strong in their beliefs about education. They all believe that a good education is a prerequisite for a good life in America, and they have all pushed me to go on to college and succeed in my education. My parents have always supported me, but they made it clear they wanted me to go to college, and my grandparents did too. When they can afford it, they help me with books and tuition, and when they can't, they still give me moral support. They all encouraged me at a young age too, and made sure I studied hard all through school so that my grades would be decent enough for college. Sometimes I resented studying so much, but I think it has paid off in the end for me. The entire family feels very strongly about this, and while I am not quite as adamant as they are, I'm happy that I'm going to complete my college education and look forward to a good, challenging career.

Politically is where my family differs the most. My grandparents are staunch Democrats and pretty liberal. My mom and dad are more conservative, and they are registered Democrats but they tend to be more moderate about many of their views. I am the most conservative of them all, and I am a Republican. I agree with many of the Bush policies, and my parents tend not to support a lot of them. We all believe that we should get out of Iraq and bring our soldiers home, however. We can get into some heated debates around the dinner table, but my parents are strict in their beliefs that everyone should have their own ideas and thoughts, and they encourage me to be a free thinker, even if I do not agree with them. My parents are not as involved politically as my grandparents are. My grandparents will not miss voting in an election, even if it is harder for them to get to the polls because of their age. My parents are more lacksidaisical about it, and will miss voting if they have other priorities. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. I think voting is important, but I would miss an election if there was something more important I had to do.

The roles of men and women are a source of friction for some of our family. My mother and father both work, and they both take care of the house, although I do recognize that my mom does a lot more around the house than my dad does. He is more traditional, in that he thinks he works hard all day, and my mom should do the cooking, cleaning, etc. I think my mom does too much, and I try to pitch in when I can. However, there is a certain stigma I think to men doing "women's" work, there are certain things my dad won't do, and I don't think I blame him. He's not big on laundry, for instance, or doing the dishes. He's big on grilling and helping mom out that way, and he's big on doing the outdoor house maintenance, so I guess it kind of evens out. I sure have never seen him pushing a vacuum! My dad doesn't mind my mom working, though, and that's different from his father.

My grandmother and grandfather are even more traditional. She never worked outside the home, and my grandfather can be pretty demanding. He never wanted her to work; he thought that as the man, he had to support the entire family. He expects her to cook, clean, and run the house, and now that he is retired, he is kind of "king of the roost." Grandma waits on him pretty much hand and foot, but she doesn't seem to mind. I know she loves to cook, and has taught me some traditional recipes. I like to cook, and I don't think it's not "manly." I think I will share the duties when I get married, and expect my wife and I to be more of a team, rather than strictly "male" or "female" when it comes to taking care of the house.

Spiritually, my entire family is Catholic, and very devout. My grandparents won't miss mass on Sunday, and my parents rarely miss, either. I have been going to church on Sunday since I can remember, and the church plays a big part in my life. I work for Catholic Charities and my parents have always been very involved in the church. My parents always participate in church events, and they have been elders in the church in the past. I think that religion is very important to my parents and to our culture, and I cannot imagine our home without it. My parents are liberal, but when it comes to the church, they are conservative, and believe in the doctrines of the Catholic Church completely. I am not so adamant, but I do follow most of the doctrines. I think the church should be more liberal in some areas, like birth control, but I do want a lot of kids when I get married. I just think the church needs to be a little more modern in some of their ideas, and my parents do not agree with that at all.

My parents are middle class, and so are my grandparents, but they started out poor. I think my entire family envies the rich a little, and want to help the poor. I think that my parents wouldn't mind being rich, but they would share their wealth with people who really need it. They understand how it is to be poor, and they don't pity the poor, they just want to help them. I think that the poor need to help themselves, and that it would be great to be rich! I'd take care of my parents if I had a lot of money, and my grandparents, too. My mom and dad like nice things, but I don't think that they are as important to them as they are to me. I'd like to have a great car, a big house, and good clothes to wear, and I'm hoping that I can be successful in my career to fulfill these goals. I think they are important to me, and that I will work hard to achieve them.

Ethnicity is something that isn't really discussed in our family, it just is. My parents and my entire family are proud of our culture and our heritage. We celebrate Mexican holidays like Cindo de Mayo, and we eat many of the traditional foods that my grandmother has made for decades. She makes the best tamales and enchiladas on the planet!! These recipes have been handed down in our family from one generation to the next, and they are important to us. We usually make traditional food like this when the entire family gets together for holidays and such. My parents have always urged me to learn more about my culture and history, and to be proud to be Mexican. I think they have given me a strong sense of my culture and myself, and I hope to pass that along to my children some day. My grandparents still speak mostly Spanish, I have always spoken Spanish and English, and I think that is another thing that I will hold on to as part of my culture and…