We’ve all heard the saying “throw the baby out with the bathwater” meaning don’t discard a positive to discard a negative, but society often goes a step farther and throws the baby out instead of the bathwater. It happens all the time, we discard the positive aspects of some ideology or system but retain its problems.
The perfect example is enforced gender roles. The positive aspects are a reasonable workload for everyone, higher standards of household cleanliness, more consistent schedules across society, and less influence of strangers on children. The negative is the lack of socially acceptable options. However, the lack of freedom still remains, the obligations have just changed. Now men and women are both expected to work outside the home and then split the domestic duties, so maintaining the previous standard of cleanliness requires an unrealistic workload. Also, these new obligations make it almost impossible to raise children in a healthy environment because they’re forced to spend more time with people who should have a limited influence on them and less with the people who should be their mentors.
There are a number of similar cases like policies that try to use racism to fight racism, schools that dispense no discipline to avoid excessive force, and medical treatments that force patients to risk severe side effects to suppress mildly annoying symptoms. Every time we throw the baby out instead of the bathwater we make the world a little bit worse. So what can you do about it? Unfortunately, all you can do is not participate, but if we can get enough people on board we may be able to reverse this abhorrent trend.