The role of women on the planet is of great and sometimes very emotional discussion. In the so-called most free Nation on Earth, American women are a little complicated in some ways that should be examined.
The women’s suffrage movement has been a catalyst and example for attempts in other parts of the world for the rights of women. The purpose of women outside of childbearing can be a very touchy subject, especially when men’s opinions are involved. In the book, “The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History by Gerda Lerner, the author writes on page 102 “…Many jobs performed formerly in the home are now done outside of it requiring the modern housewife to spend more time in fetching, carrying and ordering than in actually making the product herself.”
Stop the presses! You mean to tell me that a lot of the things that we look for in a woman to provide on a daily basis, and the various products they used from clothing to hygiene necessities were actually produced by the hands of women before the Industrial Revolution? Wow. For most of us, that is not a reality. The same can be said about men of the lack of skill and ability to self-sustain without total dependence on employment and government. The level of productivity and contribution from women has historically been severely overlooked, not just by us men, but sadly by female counterparts as well.
In church culture you always hear women refer to themselves as the “Proverbs 31 virtuous woman.” Men use the cliché as well. In the modern context, it is used to signify that this is a good and godly woman who will care for her house, but when you take a closer look at Proverbs chapter 31, the cottage industry and trade skill that the virtuous woman possessed is almost non-existent—at least in Western culture among women.
If you read the entire chapter you will see that this woman was shrewd in business negotiation. She actually had the ability to take raw material and turn it into fabric for clothing for her family. She also understood agriculture and how to implement the care of crops, and her reputation in society caused her husband to receive accolades because of how studious she was.
The modern housewife is a creation of World War II when women had to work in multiple industries while their husbands, brothers, and fathers were away fighting in the war. When the men returned, they took back their jobs.
The women were then relegated back into the kitchen, and the new technologies of war were used to create home appliances. Marketing campaigns convinced housewives of an easier role at home with the modern stove, dishwasher, washing machine and other amenities.
I am not at all saying that any stay-at-home moms should feel bad about the decision they and their spouses have made in order to rear children, but we do need to consider the fact that the role of women in our society is not being utilized to its full potential, and I think it’s time we stopped a minute, look at the past and really consider how we move forward as a society in a way that causes women to walk beside men rather than behind them.