Reading this section was a bit easier (except for Chapter 12 because I have no idea WHAT was going on....) and I started to understand the world that Le Guin was trying to create a little better.
The passages I wanted to talk about is when children were discussed. The first one is one page 98-99:
"It was my first chance to see much of Gethenian children... the clan looked after its own; nobody and everybody was responsible for them. They were a wild lot, chasing about over those fog-hidden hills and beaches. When I could round one up long enough to talk, I found them shy, proud, and immensely trustful.
The parental instinct varies as widely on Gethen as anywhere. One can't generalize. I never saw a Karhider hit a child. I have seen one speak very angrily to a child. Their tenderness toward their children struck me as being profound, effective, and almost wholly unposessive.Only in the unpossessive does it perhaps differ from what we call the "maternal" instinct. I suspect that the distinction between a maternal and a paternal instinct is scarcely worth making; the parental instinct, the wish to protect, to further, is not a sex-linked characteristic..."The other quote is on page 115:
No child over a year old live with its parent or parents; all are brought up in the Commensal Hearths. There is no rank by descent. Private wills are not legal: a man dying leaves his fortune to the state. All start equal."
Ok, so, that being said. I think these statements are really interesting. As of now I have quite a few male and female friends that are in the middle of a custody battle with their child's other parent. When I look at how the court proceeding is going there is always favoritism towards one parent over the other, and I never understood it. As far as I know there is no factual evidence out there that states that a mother loves their child more than the father, or vice a versa. That being said, why are mothers always the parents who are portrayed to love their children more? I think it is unfair, and complete gender stereotyping. As women we always hate when guys diminish us in any way, but it always seems to be a mother who always implies that it is her who loves her child more. I know fathers who have to raise their children by themselves because the mothers ditched too. It is not a male only characteristic.....