Letter: Traditional gender roles

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In response to “Working mothers’ jobs spill over into home life with negative consequences” (4/26), it’s worth noting “traditional” gender roles as you define them are really a product of the evolving economy in the 19th century. The expectation that a “woman stayed home, tended the children and maintained the household chores” did not exist, for instance, within agricultural communities because men and women were both expected to work the fields. The Puritan household of 17th century America is a key example of this type of dynamic.

I think we need to be careful not to paint with broad strokes when we’re talking about “traditional” gender roles and the feminist movement.

REBECCA RICKS

Scarsdale, N. Y.

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