Throughout the month of March, we celebrated the strength, intelligence, style, and grit of ladies all around the world in observance of Women’s History Month. As a collective, women have made tremendous strides that have contributed to the evolution of the modern family. During all this time and change, there remains one important factor – the quintessential symbolism of women as the central beacon of comfort, guidance, and warmth of the home — regardless of how “home” may look like.
As the times progress, it seems that the demands of modern life have lead to the continued expansion of roles and responsibilities of each household member – whether male or female. Most families today run on a double income household, which more often than not, requires a little more finagling in terms of the distribution of parenting responsibilities. It has become more common for men to step into home keeping and child care roles, in tandem with the (long-overdue) recognition of women stepping into the workforce. For households without children, women are now able to pursue endeavors that lead higher-income earning opportunities or even an higher quality of life that match those of their male counterparts. And of course, there are the single parent households, which amazingly transcend any and all gender roles by showing the grit and savoir-faire it takes to execute the necessary responsibilities of running a successful, safe, and happy family.
However even with the evolution of the roles, it still seems more intuitive to associate women with home and family. As a matter of fact, that association is still very much valid today. As Katherine T. Bartlett wrote in her research article for Duke University titled Feminism and Family Law, “…the family has long been idealized as a refuge – a ‘haven in a heartless world’ – requiring privacy and freedom from public interference.” Though we revere the idea of structural stability, this notion does present its share of concerns. When you create a ‘safe haven’ that shields views of the public, it begs the question of the lengths the value of privacy reaches – is it freedom from the world’s judgmental views and harsh realities of the word? Or do the strength of these beliefs impose more restriction in the demand of the household role instead?
The benefits of the macro-socio effects of feminism in family law are undeniable. The political and economic climate of the 21st century has lead to the rallying of changes in public policy to turn the tides on the institutional subordination that has passively stifled the generational development of equality for women. In just the later half of the 20th century, several policies were adopted to finally even out the metaphorical playing field when it came to matters surrounding the workplace and the home. The approval of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 afforded women the chance to not have to choose exclusively between starting a family or maintaining a career. The ruling in Kirchberg v. Feenstra , 450 U.S. 455, 459-60 (1981) overturned state laws designating a husband “head and master” with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife. The Violence Against Women Act adopted in 1994 allowed women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes while providing gender-focused training to peace officers and court officials in order to aid with the sensitive aspects of this new act. VAWA was reauthorized in 2005 and again in 2013. The new provision of the act extended to allocate federal funds for housing, therapy, and access to legal services for battered women. VAWA also extended its protection to the women of Native American trial lands, lesbians, and immigrants. On a micro-socio level, the successes of these victories are evident in the contributions and role-fluidity of women in the family. Looking at the bright side, it appears that we are collectively approaching a fair balance that can only promise good things for the future.
At Desai Family Law Group, we proudly uphold the significance of these historical victories. In our work, you will notice our firm’s dedication and diligence to move with the times through our progressive views that will continue to retain the authentic, underlying value of family. We draw from our own personal experiences in striking the balance between our own responsibilities as family women and career women to cultivate solutions that will help to achieve the desired outcome of your case– so you can get right back to what really matters.
We are a team who believes in equality, strength, and empowerment. If you are looking for the right people to take on your case, and find that you are in alignment with these values as well, contact our office for a consultation.