Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Watch What We Say

Another article on LAF/Beautiful Womanhood entitled Discouraging Younger Women concerned watching what negative things we say in front of younger women, especially regarding mothering and our spouses. 

I know some of my negative thoughts towards child-rearing stemmed from hearing such comments!  This was a good reminder to be careful of what I say around the younger generation when things get tough.  They'll figure out on their own that mothering and being a wife can be hard!

One Definition of Feminism

Another interesting article on LAF/Beautiful Womanhood today was regarding a definition of feminism:  "I’ll say that feminism is any movement that distracts a woman from her natural role as a wife, mother, nurturer, and guardian of the home."  I guess you can put it that way if you want to look at it in a completely negative view -- rather than one of fighting for women's rights, including the rights to stay home and be a wife, mother, nurturer, and guardian, etc.

I thought the author's point was pertinent in that the feminist movement did change the expectations of women:

With the onset of feminism, what happened was not that going into the man’s world of academic competition and work was secured as a valid option for the few women who didn’t marry. Rather, it was turned into the expected path for the many, many, many more who wanted to, and did marry and have children, and were then expected to juggle it all so as to “enjoy the best of both worlds” (side note: without truly being able to fully dedicate themselves to either path, as human resources are limited after all).

So, when a young girl today enters university or starts a promising career, it may be said that she is “taking advantage” of the opportunities feminism provided for her, but we mustn’t forget that she is also doing what is now expected of her – again, thanks to feminism. Academics and career are not a “treat;” they are now an obligation, and the reason why this is not fair to women is easy to see when you observe women juggling career with marriage, motherhood, and homemaking.

It goes without saying that not all women have “careers,” just as most men do not have careers, but simply jobs aimed at putting bread on the table. (And many feminists who hold themselves aloof don’t realize just how snobby and elitist it is to talk about “self-fulfillment” and “self-realization” and “empowerment.” Only a select few can afford that!). Many just work because it is now the expected norm for a woman to be doing “at least something” outside the home, and also because the flooding of the market with female labor force caused a sharp drop in salaries, so that living on one income immediately became much less comfortable than before (though certainly still feasible). Husbands began to feel that it is their right to expect the wife to generate an additional income, forgetting that it is their obligation to provide (again, in the Jewish tradition). All of this created a vicious cycle, the breaking of which requires conscious decision and quite a leap of faith.

Russia and Population Decline

There was a link on LAF/Beautiful Womanhood today to an article on the state of Russia speech.  "Political analysts were hoping to hear about missiles or democracy. Instead they got babies."

Sounds like Russia is getting concerned about population decline.  I thought that was kind of funny.  Nice to see that people are starting to get concerned about the state of the family again.