When I was growing up women and girls were taught that they can and should do anything a man could do. Society had just previously been enslaving women to be servants and “baby machines” while men did what they wanted, but now we women were free.
Yeah, right! Free to be the slaves of an employer instead of serving those we love at home.
The expression used for a woman who choose to stay home with her children was “barefoot and pregnant” and yes that was intended to taint the idea of being a stay at home wife and mother.
Even those women who still desired to be stay at home wives and mothers were strongly encouraged to get a college education and career first, just in case they needed “something to fall back on.”
The Hypocrisy of Feminism (Sorry post no longer exists)
When I actually do tell people what I’ll be doing, I feel the awkward silence. If they know me well, they’ll launch into the, “Isn’t that wasting your talent?” Well, is it? Is it wasting my talent if I put it to use efficiently operating a household, working out of love for my husband and children? Is it a waste if I see the efforts of my hard work benefiting those that I love most? Or would it be better if I poured out the best hours of my day for people I don’t know?
I find it especially ironic that the people who shout about how boring, repetitive,and stifling staying at home is, are the same people that would praise the woman who goes to work in an office, confined in a cubicle doing data entry all day. I worked for two summers in an office, and let me tell you the work is REPETITIVE. It’s not just offices either–factory workers, grocery store clerks, bus drivers–you name it, chances are it’s repetitive work. That’s just the way an industrialized society works: we practice division of labor in order to do things more efficiently. The fact that working at home is repetitive says absolutely nothing about its value!
More Femininist Hypocrisy (Sorry post no longer exists)
How come people are extremely skeptical that a mother can teach her five children at home all at once, yet they put all faith in one teacher being able to simultaneously control and educate 30 unrelated and diverse children in the public school system? It is too much of an undertaking for that “poor” mother, yet no one questions the standard classroom size of the public school system?
How come being a nanny is a perfectly fine job for a woman, but being a mother (even though the jobs are basically the same) is not fulfilling and a waste of talent?
I thought of this a few days ago, when a young woman was telling my family how wonderful it was to get to stay home and watch her sister’s children as their nanny. She talked of the peace, calm, and utter joy she had being at home with the little one, and this made me wonder why it’s okay to watch children and enjoy it, as long as it isn’t their own mother.
Very thought provoking!