Women, from all political sides, get so hostile and defensive whenever modern feminism is challenged. Most American women have completely bought into modern feminist dogma, ready to do battle for “equal rights” for women in the workplace and “women’s rights” issues, as defined by feminist mouthpieces. The few women who don’t cling to modern feminist dogma, usually cite fundamental religious beliefs of various stripes as defining their views on marriage and family.
It’s hard to say anything that counters some of the very negative consequences modern feminism has had on children, families, women, men, marriage and male-female relationships. And most glaringly, it’s taboo to mention the negatives that modern feminism has spawned culturally, because to do so has to mean you’re misogynistic, trying to keep women down, a right-wing zealot, a hater, or just a meanie.
The issue isn’t about women working or staying home, the real issue is how traditional families were grounded in providing a safe, stable environment to rear children. Absent a stable family, children end up unruly, undisciplined, at risk to all sorts of dangers being unsupervised and unmoored to any values, and totally at prey to the vagaries of pop culture and peer pressure.
People today define their lives in terms of personal happiness, rather than in issues larger than themselves. That is what I mean, when I refer to the “I” culture.
Above all else Americans are consumed with finding “happiness” and doing whatever makes them “happy”. America was grounded in a belief in individual liberty, but the “pursuit of happiness”, that most Americans believe means that they are free to do whatever they want, is not what the clause “pursuit of happiness” really means.
James R. Rogers, department head and associate professor of political science at Texas A&M, writes:
““Happiness” in the public discourse of the time often did not simply refer to a subjective emotional state. It meant prosperity or, perhaps better, well-being in the broader sense. It included the right to meet physical needs, but it also included a significant moral and religious dimension. In correspondence between James Madison and James Monroe in 1786, Madison notes that “happiness” cannot simply be identified with meeting people’s interests, but includes a higher reference:
There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation, than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong. Taking the word “interest” as synonymous with “ultimate happiness,” in which sense it is qualified with every necessary moral ingredient, the proposition is no doubt true. But taking it in its popular sense, as referring to the immediate augmentation of property and wealth, nothing can be more false.”
While assuredly, women, just as men should follow their dreams and pursue whatever careers they choose, when one becomes a “parent”, personal happiness must take a backseat to duty to your child. This sense of duty has become very muddled by modern feminist dogma, where at every turn, there is a promotion of government-funding of childcare, devaluation of mothers who stay-at-home to care for their children and relentless glorification of “women-who-have-it-all”.
The complete devaluation of stay-at-home mothers has led to many women who are stay-at-home moms to not take their duties seriously and to put little real effort into rearing their children. In turn, many (perhaps even most) men do not take stay-at-home mothering as a serious undertaking. Instead, many men will respect career women, but disparage stay-at-mothering and equate it to sitting at home watching soap operas. Modern feminists have worked diligently to promote this image of stay-at-home mothering, as not worthy of respect or dedication.
If you want to be completely discounted as someone worth listening to, be a homemaker. Hardly anyone takes homemakers seriously, even most homemakers themselves, where most of them feel compelled to list other things they do besides caring for their family, that their situation as a homemaker is just temporary, or that they are engaged in some other activities pursuing a career.
Devotion to taking care of your children and home, as serious work, should be promoted as real work and worthy of dedication. This applies to stay-at-home mothers and to working mothers.
That taking care of your children and creating a stable home environment should come before your own “happiness”, escapes many men and women today. The concept of duty to your children, as the preeminent responsibility as a parent doesn’t even register with many parents and in our consumer-focused culture, the fixation on buying children more “stuff” substitutes for meaningful dedication to teaching children values and manners.
The fact that many mothers don’t really define their primary duty as caring for their children, but rather in terms of career and personal happiness speaks to the success of modern feminism at working systematically to destroy traditional family structure. It is as much a “long march through the institutions” as communism and other progressive ideologies. All of them strive to tear down western civilization and replace it with their socialistic utopias (nanny state solutions), under the guise of people being “happy”.
It’s all about breaking through “glass ceilings” and cheering on the “first woman” to achieve another career milestone. Sure, it’s nice that women can pursue whatever careers they choose, but biological reality has not changed and neither has the real necessity that children require devoted, dutiful parents to place caring and nurturing them to adulthood, as the single most important duty of their life.
This isn’t about choosing either a career or staying at home, it’s about that however mothers manage their lives, dutifully caring for their children should be the top priority, not their own “happiness”.
Motherhood is the most important job you will ever have. Take it seriously.
2 responses to “Musings on motherhood”
Changes in Medicaid, an unfortunate byproduct of Obamacare, have forced me to be a mostly stay-at-home husband. I keep looking but, for a sixty six year old guy, who must first run the gauntlet of kids in personnel and other gatekeepers, it is not easy. Sure, I have the Social Security, but it is not enough, and we’d be really trucked, or what rhymes with, if we did not have my wife’s wages. I don’t like it, even though I bring my usual man-engineering approach to domestic matters. That brings a little satisfaction, but how many shelves can be hung in one garage? When we were faced with such situations in the past, I was at least able to get part-time work, and that fit in nicely with my wife’s job. Nurses to work odd/weird hours were in great demand. Nevertheless, I found it very satisfying, when the kids were little. For one important thing, I am much more outgoing than my wife, so I was pretty good at getting out, with the kids, making adujlt contacts, even exchanging baby-sitting with other parents, nearly all of them mothers, to cover overlaps between my wife’s hours and my own. Whatever the employment circumstances, we never doubted for a moment that taking care of our descendents was our number one job. ..It must have worked, because our daughter in law stays home, cooking fabulous meals, teaching the kids, so they are at least two years ahead of grade level. The five-year old is reading fluently. The ten-year old is doing math at a very respectable level, too. AND, they are miles ahead of their contemporaries in home economics. Mama is still queen of the kitchen. (A power play, if anyone asks me, which no one does) Still, they can make omelets, bake eclairs, fry bacon without burning themselves or the slices of pig. The oldest, now ten and a half, wrote me a book, as a Fathers’ Day present year before last.So, while we may eventually have to move into their garage, we are OK for now.
Thanks for your comment Michael. Most families have to make adjustments with both parents working. What I’ve noticed with many of these young parents is so many live online, devoting more time to their texting and social media than to their children. I saw this in Walmart many times over the years, where Mom was on her cell phone and not paying any attention to the children climbing around in the shopping cart or running wild in the store. Witnessed many children falling out of shopping carts, where I or other co-workers failed to prevent the fall. In most instances, the mother was oblivious until the child fell or someone pointed out that the child was going to fall.
There are still many devoted parents doing their best for their children, but way too many are more interested in their social media life (seeking attention).
Being older and trying to find a job is tough, in any field. Hope all works out for you.