Maybe it is just my own fault for regularly reading a blog that is obsessed with the lifestyle of womanly housewifeyness, but the supposedly “traditional” idea that women should never work has really gotten on my nerves lately. In a recent post, the blog in question cites an old movie character approvingly:
IN THE the 1931 movie “Bad Girl,” a husband reacts to his wife’s suggestion that she get a job so they can have an apartment of their own. He explodes in anger (go to minute 09:09). “My idea of a husband is a guy that looks after a wife and takes care of her… If I can’t do that, I won’t be a husband.”
This movie character’s idea is contemptible. Seriously, what idiot first thought up the idea that women should never work? “Hey guys, I have a wonderful plan to spur economic growth — Let’s keep half the population at home to loaf around all day!” A man who considers his masculinity to be dependant on his spoiling of a woman is not a natural man. Rather, he has gone the way of matriarchy. He may think that he is simply loving his wife, but he is actually worshipping a goddess.
We see the results of this goddess-worship played out today on many of these recent Housewives of ________ shows on Bravo. Women without children stay at home and gossip and leach off the productivity of others. Anyway, the Thinking Housewife does suggest one emotional reason why women should not work:
Husbands of working wives felt less adequate as family breadwinners than did husbands of housewives, and this appeared to account for their lower levels of job and life satisfaction.
Yeah, but the manly solution is to earn more yourself. The solution is not to drag your wife down to make yourself feel better. And if you do expect that specific a girl can earn more than you (and if that matters to you, which it reasonable might), then DO NOT MARRY her. Simple.
Of course, I do understand how this extreme “traditional” idea derived that women should abstain from work. Natural women will tend to have children over time. While the women are pregnant, they will become at least partly and temporarily disabled from performing strenuous work. And then once the kids are born and still young, someone will need to raise them. Having to raise the children can obviously place some limitations on women’s ability to work. But these natural limitations on women’s ability to work are no reason to prohibit women from working altogether. The correct solution is simply to discourage careerism in women, not to discourage them from making sensible efforts to stay productive. Women should focus on their family in their hearts, and value it above the idea of a career. Then the right work moves will flow from that proper attitude. Obviously, this generalization does not apply to women who plan to stay single and not have children. But most women are not like that.
But this glorification of female idleness is wrong. It is basically a joke of a position.
Who can find a capable wife?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will not lack anything good.
She rewards him with good, not evil,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with willing hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from far away.
She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her servants.
She evaluates a field and buys it;
she plants a vineyard with her earnings.
She draws on her strength
and reveals that her arms are strong.
She sees that her profits are good,
and her lamp never goes out at night.
She extends her hands to the spinning staff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
Her hands reach out to the poor,
and she extends her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed.
She makes her own bed coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known at the city gates,
where he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes and sells linen garments;
she delivers belts to the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she can laugh at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the activities of her household
and is never idle.
Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
“Many women are capable,
but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised.
Give her the reward of her labor,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.
Like I said, there are certainly some productive things that a woman can do at home. And raising children is indeed one of those productive things, which should be encouraged. And like I said, women should generally avoid careerism, because most women want to have children at some point. But I just do not like this idea that women should flatly avoid work. It is a stupid notion.