I was sitting here working on genealogy and for some reason my brain took a side track and I started thinking about feminism and all that goes along with it... I'm totally not a feminist, I'll admit to that right now. No problem. I absolutely believe God made men and women different for a reason and He knows a lot more than I do.
I get the whole "equal pay for equal work" and all that, but I think the real problem is we've forgotten what our purpose is on this earth. I don't think women were created to be farmers, construction workers, cement workers, firefighters, (dare I even say it?), police officers, mail carriers, garbage collectors and fighter jet pilots. Already I can hear some of my friends cursing at me, but I'm serious. I know women who do almost all of these jobs, and for the most part they're very, very good at it - some are even better than the men doing the same job, but I don't believe that's what GOD wants women to do.
How many times have you heard someone say, "Oh, those were the good old days"? I've said it myself and I meant it. Back when I was young - and even before that - mom was home all day raising her children and taking care of the family home. (Quit groaning...) It wasn't all drudgery, now was it? There were quilting groups, ladies church groups, bridge groups, and other things women did while the kids were in school and the Dear Old Husband (DOH) was off earning a living for his family. It worked, didn't it? Every Saturday morning, the neighborhood was buzzing with lawnmowers when dad got up. Mom's had their hair up in kerchiefs (maybe rollers), outside shaking rugs, and kids everywhere were bemoaning the fact that they couldn't go outside to play until their rooms were clean!! Everyone had a job and everyone knew what it was, didn't they? Mom's had a nice, home-cooked meal on the table and after dinner the kids got to fight about whose turn it was to do the dishes. After dishes were done (and before that for the lucky ones who didn't have to do the dishes) kids were outside playing with their friends until the streetlights came on - in the summer it was 9:30 or so. Bedtime during the school year was 8:30 at our house - some of my friends had to be in bed before then and I always felt sorry for them! Ah, that was the life! Summer days were so much fun! Outside from as soon as you got up until dinner, and then back outside until dark. I loved summer!
I know that life wasn't so perfect for everyone. There were some divorced moms out there who were trying their hardest to provide a good life for their kids, but divorced dads more than likely paid their child support back then. Occasionally (I personally didn't know a single one) there was a never married woman with a child to support, but they were really few and far between. There was a home for unwed mothers in Omaha, I remember. Girls who got "in trouble" usually gave up their children for adoption back then, since abortion wasn't legal. It had to have been heart-wrenching for those girls, but I'm sure they blessed more couples than they realized. My grandmother was a single mother and she worked hard her entire life. My grandparents divorced when my mom was 14, and they were roomers more often than not. Grandma worked at least 2 jobs the entire time I was growing up. She worked as a secretary at an insurance company, a sales clerk in a department store, and an admitting clerk in a hospital. It was hard, but she did it. She never did remarry. As far as I know, she never, ever took a dime of public assistance or received food stamps. She was healthy and she could work - those things were for slackers and bums, not for good, strong, healthy, God-fearing people. They had lived through a terrible time of war and depression. They knew the value of hard work and an honest day of work. They were thrifty and they all watched out for each other. Neighbors watched over neighbors. If we did something wrong and our parents didn't see us, but the neighbors did, they didn't hesitate to tell our parents or take matters into their own hands. If we got in trouble in school, heaven help us when we got home with that dreaded "note from the teacher". In our house we knew we'd be in more trouble when we got home. Teachers had authority second only to mom and dad. I wouldn't even think of sassing back to a teacher! That's the world I grew up in.
As I got older and had children of my own, I can look back and see society changing. Bra burning, draft card burning, peace and love, and all that jazz. Parents in general gave more to their kids because the parents knew first-hand what it was like to go without. Kids got cars in high school so they didn't have to ride the bus. A lot of them were barely worth licensing, but if you worked a part time job to buy the car, maybe mom and dad would pay the insurance, so all you had to do was work for gas money, at about 30 cents a gallon! There were a lot of things going on in the work force too. A lot of moms were going to work, leaving kids to come home to empty houses. Dinners weren't homemade so much, convenience food was the big deal. Kraft macaroni and cheese, BoyArDee spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, all of these were dinners in the 70s.
Okay, I'm getting off topic, I know. I guess I just miss those days. Now days, most moms and dads work.Nobody is home when the kids get out of school, who can afford anyone to watch the kids. The older kids can watch the younger ones. It's not surprising to see kids who are only 10 or 11 watching their younger siblings in the summer, all day long. What kind of childhood do they have? Who is teaching them? Nobody has manners anymore. Kids still in diapers swear like adults and their parents think it's "cute". Several years ago I knew someone who had a 4 year old child who wasn't potty trained yet. When the mom was asked about it her comment was she has to work all day, she didn't have time to do it! When did it become okay for parents to think someone else should teach their children the basic life skills? When did it become okay for a kid to swear and threaten a teacher? Now days parents sue the teacher and/or the school if a child is reprimanded in school. Everything is always somebody else's fault. If you have 3 or 4 children without being married, well, it's because you couldn't afford birth control and the government pays you for each child you have, so why work? Why have any self control? These people and their partners have no self respect.
I know, I know, how does this all relate to feminism? Because mothers aren't mothers anymore. Father's aren't fathers, and kids can't be kids. Moms are out there trying to prove they're as good as a man - for what? At what cost? People are getting married later, and women put off having children until they're sure their careers are solid. They take 6 weeks off (maybe) and then the infant is off to the daycare so mommy won't lose her foothold in the corporate ladder. Women who don't work and do stay home with their children are denigrated and looked down on by mothers who work for "just" being a mom as if the SAHM isn't contributing to society. I believe that those SAHM are contributing more, in fact. They get to be teaching their children 24/7, they get to actually watch their children achieve their milestones and are right there cheering them on. Many moms take the opportunity to homeschool their children - how awesome is that? They can teach character building to their children. They can teach self-respect, honesry, morality, and give the kids a sense of worth, you can'take buy that. They actually get to raise their children instead of hoping and praying the person who they entrust their child with is worthy of that honor. Children learn respect, self-control, and the value of life. Stay at home mom's get to teach their children how to be good parents themselves in the future. I have to imagine children brought up by their parents are more secure in their life, knowing they're loved and feeling nutured. Look at our society today. Many young people mistake sex for love, being a single mother is no longer the exception, it's the norm. Having multiple children with multiple fathers is viewed by society as no big deal. Young adults seem to be missing that pride in getting married, having children, and raising a family. It's become much too commonplace for young adults to move in and out of their parents' homes like there's a revolving door, and our government encourages it. We need to raise our children, not the proverbial village.
I believe if God wanted women to act, think, behave, and do the things men do He would have created just one gender capable of doing everything. He didn't do that, did He? Our bodies are different, our temperaments are different, and we can't procreate by ourselves. Women should be embracing who they are and spending less time being like men. Men are pretty wonderful in their own right. If we as women would allow ourselves to be women and let men be men maybe life could be more like it used to be.