“It is sad that such a subject is even necessary to discuss, because for generations, women, whether they were single or childless, married or widowed, were protected from the pressures of earning a living, and the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, proudly took their responsibility to be good providers and protectors of the family.” (1)
Today’s conservatives have adopted feminism although they are less liberal than what liberals are about it. Conservatives today will say women should work and go to college before marriage, stay home for a few years and then go back to work. This is a huge contrast from before when marriage was seen as a covenant lasting for a lifetime with a husband being required to financially provide for his wife for her lifetime.
The way I see it is that there is no reason for daughters to be shipped off to college or pressured to go to work before marriage. I see nothing wrong with a young women having some employment to earn some extra spending money before they are married, but young women should not be taught that they must provide for themselves. Young women should be taught to look at employment as a temporary thing, as something to do only until they are married. A young woman should learn from her mother and her father should still be required to support and protect her until she should marry and that responsibility passes to her husband. Today even preachers exclaim that they want their daughters to go off to college and secure a good job. This is considered that the young woman is doing something worthwhile and something good and holy. But I don’t see it that way. I see it as feminism being so pervasive in our culture that even the most religious and conservative and God-fearing have adopted it, even if they are still rejecting the more “radical” elements like gay marriage and abortion.
“I will not encourage my daughters to go to college or have careers. They’ll be raised as housewives. They’ll be raised to be good mothers and wives whose sole focus is their family. They can study what they want and be involved in things that interest them (other than sports), in their free time, but their main focus will be domestic activities. They’ll be taught to be kind, good, and respectful to their husbands and to men in general. They’ll live with me until they’re married. There’s no need for them to have a job. I don’t care if they can take care of themselves or not because that’s what they’ll have a husband for…There will be no “equality” in my house. My children will learn something along the lines of “mommy is supposed to cook, clean, and stay home with me. Daddy is supposed to work, pay for things, and make final decisions.” (There are other things, but this is just the basics). No shared household chores and no shared income responsibility.” (2)
I see nothing wrong with a woman’s family helping the newly married couple to get started by giving her household items or other properties. My family gave me cookware and some furniture as well as a car (albeit an old clunker that we sold within a year) when I first got married. I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with dowries either, so long as it isn’t seen as the woman providing it for herself before she gets married, as in her being expected to work to provide a large dowry so a man can instead not worry about providing and just marry a woman with a good dowry or something. Expecting a woman to work before marriage to provide for land or property or other goods to provide for the family is still pushing the burden of providing off onto women. All the necessities should be the husband’s to provide.
“In the same manner, when the law made the man the head of the family, he also had to financially support his wife… In the times of the Vikings, the government even had established the minimum bride price the man had to pay if he wished to marry, the reasoning behind it being that if a man was too poor to pay the minimum amount of money required by law he obviously wouldn’t be able to support a family and hence had no business to marry.” (3)
Even when the children are out of the home (say in school or have grown up or gotten married themselves) a woman should still have every right to be in the home. Homemaking shouldn’t be seen as some temporary thing a woman does just to take care of very young children, but a lifetime vocation. It should be the right of every woman to be financially supported by her husband. The male role as provider shouldn’t be some optional burden that he can choose to accept or not. It should be a man’s obligation to provide for his wife or daughters as well as any unmarried sisters or other closely related female family members who need his support.
Another thing that bothers me is that stay at home mothers and housewives are often pressured to take in extra money in the form of having a home business or babysitting other people’s kids for some extra money. This, in my opinion, can be just as bad and disruptive to family life as the woman simply working out side of the home. It’s one thing for a housewife to have a hobby or volunteer activity that she does in her spare time or for her to occasionally make something unique that she sells on eBay or something, but it is a different story when she has actual work-a job- that needs to be done that takes her away from the home or when she’s doing work from home because she feels she must “do her part” and help her husband provide or something. Also, babysitting other people’s kids can be a major liability for a woman’s family and also serves the purpose of enabling other mothers to go off to work and leave their kids in someone else’s care. I would say it’s OK to watch a close friend or family member’s kids on occasion for a little money unless it disrupts the home or become a normal job for the wife or, as I just said, enables another mother to leave her kids for a job. No matter if it’s in the home or not, women should not be expected to have paid employment of any kind, even if it is only part-time.
At any stage the burden of providing should not be pushed off onto women. The necessities should be the husband’s and father’s job to provide for his wife and children. It is a man’s duty to provide. Whether young, old, childless, or a mother of many, a woman’s place is in the home. A man’s responsibility is to provide. Marriage is about raising children, but it is also just as much about providing for and protecting women- about male guardianship of and responsibility for women.
“Women’s political movements have spent a century trying to be equal to men, and in doing so, men have quit regarding them as weaker vessels, creatures worth protecting and caring for. Some modern men have never seen a truly feminine woman, content with her work in the home. Growing up in institutions and schools, they saw girls and women who seemed the same as men in their purpose and activities. They have not grown up with Biblical grandmothers and mothers. They get their image of what women are supposed to be like, from what they see around them. Most men these days have female bosses and are surrounded by women in the workforce. They see nothing wrong with sending their wives to work. It looks normal to them. Men feel no shame in sending their children to daycare and their wives to work.
The women’s movement has changed the nature of men. They do not seem strong, protective, masculine and brave. Men have become weaker because they no longer have to be the sole provider for the family. They have no unique role in society; nothing to make them hold their head high or improve their dignity, when women also earn the living for the family. There are few places in the workplace where women have not invaded. Work needs to be a man’s world, and homemaking needs to be a woman’s world. Husbands and wives can be stronger in their own ways, when they do not try to be alike in their roles.
Women must return to the home and men must take on the burden of providing for their families again. Working to be a provider builds up a man, and contentedly tending to her home increases the soft femininity of a woman. These are the opposite tendencies which are the main attractions between men and women. When husbands and wives both work outside the home, the wife will suffer a greater burden. She will be suffering guilt for leaving her children, and she will suffer anxiety for not being able to manage her home. Her health will suffer, as she can not get enough rest. She will loose some of her innocent sweetness, as she tackles the job away from home.
Truly masculine men will not ask their wives to go to work. They will try harder to provide for their families, or cut down on expenses so that their wives wont have to work. Manly men will tell you that when women are not in the workplace, they get their jobs done much better. Women going to work has complicated the way things are done in the workplace, and this has not been good for the men.”(4)