Letters to the Editor (June 2008)

Stressing Equal Rights

In "Survey Finds Women Under Stress" [April News], I find no mention of how we can help women who are under the stress of being in the "sandwich generation" by advocating for equal rights among the genders! Instead, we as social workers are encouraged to help women better manage their stress and depression? There is an entire gender out here who are not being called into question.

As we as a society grow, develop and hopefully mature I pray that I will see more of those responsible, caring and feminist men doing their parts to help raise their children, take care of their parents and manage their households.

As if it isn't enough that women are expected to work the double shift (full-time mom and full-time career woman), now we are expected to take care of our aging parents as well and "manage the stress." Media constantly reinforces these expectations; look at any commercial on a.m. television, and you will see the supermom juggling work and home with a smile on her face while her husband sits there with the kids and enjoys the fruits of her labor.

We need to raise the expectations; they are too demanding for woman (and making them mentally and physically ill) and demeaning for men (who are either lumped into the helpless category with the kids or just seen as gluttons).

Instead of finding ways to help women better manage the stress of doing everything, maybe we should expect more from the other side of the gender equation. We are partly in this field to fight social injustice, are we not?

Melanie Muirden, LCSW
Hood River, Ore.