What is a Family?Written by Theresa Chaze
WHAT IS A FAMILY? BY THERESA CHAZE What is a family? Is it a man, a woman and their children? Or is it something more than just blood ties of traditional concept? Do adopted children qualify? Do stepparents? The current administration is trying to carve in stone their definitions of marriage and family by using their own narrow concept of life to turn back clock and to limit under what condition people may bond together. The changes began during WWII, when women were called to serve outside home. Suddenly they learned they were so much more than daughters, wives and mothers. They could be independent individuals, capable of making their own decisions about their lives. Suddenly they had their own money and careers. They didn’t have to marry to survive. When war ended, soldiers returned to a budding new breed of women. One who was more independent and unwilling to accept traditional, subservient role. This is when clash of wills and violence began to increase. Traditional families of fifties were patriarchies. The man led and controlled household. The wife and children were subservient to his wishes and demands. He alone made decisions and controlled household resources. He alone had all power. In this traditional concept of family, women’s only roles were that of daughter, mother, housekeeper and sexual toy. The children were considered property of father. Their futures were determined by his expectations. Sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Daughters were daughters until they became wives and ownership was transferred from father to husband; thus cycle continued. Husbands worked outside home. Wives were housekeepers and nursemaids. These were times when family secrets were kept. Abuse was wife’s fault and responsibility. Child abuses and molestation wasn’t talked about; it just existed. How could it be a crime for father to use his property any way he saw fit? If wife was unhappy, give her a pill. If children protested beat them into submission. Life was good for male part of population. Bad behavior was excused, “as boys will be boys”. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment were just accepted. For young women, life was not as rosy. Young women who got pregnant out of wed lock were either forced to quit school and marry or sent away in shame until child was born after which it was ripped from her arms. Job opportunities were limited and low paying. Women were confined to jobs that were beneath men both in status and pay; those who tried to step out of their roles were harassed and condemned. The sixties, seventies and eighties brought new freedoms not only educationally but also medically, socially, politically and intellectually. Education was not only promoted, but higher standards were expected. It was increasingly no longer acceptable to drop out. High school graduation became standard. New opportunities were created for those who chose to work for them. Technology brought new kinds of jobs and more challenges to old lifestyles. Medical advances in birth control allowed women to more fully control their bodies, giving them more financial and educational opportunities. In 1973, legalization of abortions gave women freedom to compete on equal grounds. The political climate started shifting from “good ole boys’ club” having total control to a more balanced system, which included women and non-whites. No longer were white men in total control of their families or their job opportunities. Suddenly they had to compete for jobs with those they considered beneath them. It was not as easy for sons to be accepted for employment because their fathers. In addition, jobs themselves became more technical and less manual labor. The old reliable manufacturing jobs suddenly became higher skilled and harder to find. Integration brought new understandings and new conflicts between cultures. Traditional values and bigotries suddenly were being questioned. “Because I said so” or “that’s way it’s always been done” were no longer acceptable answers. Those who chose to take advantage found more similarities than difference between cultures. Interracial relationships and marriages became not only legal but also acceptable. The tradition family found itself being redefined to include stepparents and stepchildren as divorce became more prevalent. With educational system and job market opening to them, women were no longer forced to stay in unhealthy relationships. In addition, legal and legislative systems recognized a woman’s right to control her sexual life. Husbands no longer had a right to sex on demand. Nor did a woman need to ask permission of her husband to attain birth control. On a professional level, women still were not achieving same status economically as their male counter parts. However more women were stepping out of their complacent roles and demanding equality it work place. Sexual harassment laws protected women from old tactics used to keep them in their “proper place”. In addition, women no longer accepted glass-ceiling place on them and started businesses of their own. Instead of being assets to established companies, they became resourceful competitors. The children of sixties and seventies questioned more of old values and beliefs. They found that many of their family teachings about religion, cultures and lifestyles to be incorrect or lacking. The more they learned, more they vocally challenged old guard. Refusing to accept limitations of their parents, they broke away. Demonstrations became common in sixties as young adults refused to blindly accept war and segregation. Advancements in educational opportunities gave them income standards far beyond past generations, making them more mobile and flexible in their lifestyles. Birth family ties were no longer their prime focus and clan mentally of previous generations began to die. Individuals could now explore their own desires sexually and spiritually. Alternative lifestyles which started as subcultures, rapidly grew into mainstream realities as new generations fought for their independence. The social upheaval of sixties, which turned into time of individual of seventies, blossomed into a reemergence of social acceptance of eighties. More people challenged taboos of past and more of old traditions fell by wayside. Men found they no longer had total control either in their homes or in job market. Suddenly they had to compete with women and non-whites for jobs and resources that had been their exclusive domain. No longer could they slide by on whom they knew to find work. Skills and education became qualifying factors in who was hired. Those who refused to update their skills were phased out. Domestic violence became more prevalent as men fought to retain control. However legal system had also begun to change, giving victims of abuse more rights and options. Spousal and child abusers started to be prosecuted to full extent of new laws. No longer could men hide behind marriage licenses to protect them from legal system as law enforcement found itself under scrutiny for its past blind eye to violence in home. No longer could officers walk away without finding themselves in legal troubles themselves. Child molestation became felonies with long prison terms instead of misdemeanors with short to no jail time. Through these three decades families and society in general became more accepting and equal to all its members.
staffordshire bull terriersWritten by Donal Keenan
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog – A Masterpiece Amongst Species
The Staffordshire bull terrier is a strong and powerful dog. It is muscular, has distinct cheek muscles, strong jaws and teeth, which form a scissors bite. Contrary to this masculinity, a delicate touch to terrier’s face is provided by its soft brown eyes and black shining nose. The skin coat is equally soft and sleek and comprises shining black, blue, brindle and fawn color with occasional markings on it.
The secret of dog’s strength is not depended on its size. With a short yet broad skull, short foreface, rose or half pricked ears, Staffords are a masterpiece of unique qualities and well-defined strength. The legs are straight and well boned, shoulders show no weakness, feet are well padded and body is tight with deep briskets and well built ribs.
The Staffordshire bull terrier lives for about 10-16 years. Throughout its lifetime, it manifests enough of its strength. It possesses tremendous stamina and must exercise daily to keep up to its potentiality to show strength. It is advisable to keep them in chains in public sphere. The coat is shorthaired and smooth. Regular grooming with a firm bristle brush or a bath with shampoo keeps coat fluffy, clean, soft and shining.
The weight of this species of dog ranges from 28 to 38 pounds and bitch ranges from 24 to 34 pounds. The height of both dogs and bitches range from 14 to 16 inches. The body is well balanced and is perfectly made. The tail is very fluffy and of medium length. It remains undocked, tapering to one point and then carrying low. Its neither too curled nor very straight for either of it would give an awkward look to terrier. Therefore, Staffordshire bull terrier is a perfect example of a handsome, well-formed yet strong dog. All characteristics are very evenly balanced in this dog.