Tag Archives: economic necessity

There Has Never Been an Easier Time For Women to Stay Home

Most of us today were brought up on the nonsense that it takes “two incomes” just to make ends meet. But I find it interesting how nobody ever cares to challenge this myth. In truth, that’s all it is, a myth. I’ve talked about it before here on the blog about how it was not the economy, but rather cultural and political factors, that forced large numbers of women into the workforce. It was only the middle and upper-class women that started entering the workforce during the time of women’s lib. The numbers of lower-class women working actually remained the same and they found themselves degraded in the eyes of society and their legal security ripped away from them.

The truth is, it is easier than ever before in history to live comfortably on one income. That’s not really because we make more money than we did before compared to the cost of living, but mostly because of the vast availability of cheaply produced goods. In the past some families were so poor they couldn’t even afford shoes for their children in the summertime. These days even the poorest of all families can at least afford a two dollar pair of flip-flops from Wal-Mart for all their children. I’ve had so many women try to justify their presence in the workforce based upon economic necessity yet when you look at the way they live their lives it seems outrageous. Most have high speed internet, Satellite TV, expensive cell phone plans with their smartphones, at least two different vehicles they are making payments on and their houses are more than adequate for their needs. I mean, these are things our ancestors didn’t even have in the past. They didn’t have inexpensive clothing from the store and all kinds of extra luxuries like air conditioning and clothes dryers and they lived just fine. Today the poorest among us in the Western world live like royalty compared to those in poor developing countries around the world. Our poorest today live like the middle class did only as little as 60 years ago. In truth, it’s never been easier for a man to support a family solely on his income alone.

Most married couples start out with very little at first, but over time they obtain more material goods and they become richer. My husband and I lived in a small trailer for the first two years of our marriage. It was a real eyesore but I still never worked even when the baby came along and yet we were still able to afford, on my husband’s then meager income, extra luxuries like Satellite internet, entertainment every couple of weeks (such as buying movies to watch) and air conditioning, cell phones, disposable diapers and the expenses of drying the laundry in an electric dryer. Of course, before we married we purposely picked out housing we could afford on one income. There were many places that we simply couldn’t afford to live. We also drove a couple of older vehicles but since I rarely left the house it wasn’t a problem if there was only one vehicle working. I have never had paid employment since being married (I worked as a teenager a little but I quit working several months before my marriage) and yet we have made it just fine.

Of course, we are much better off now. We live in a bigger home and have nicer vehicles to drive and can afford a few extra luxuries that we couldn’t then. My husband also has a better job as well and being married for several years has allowed us to collect more material goods than we had before. As well, I’ve learned extra tips and tricks to save money. Also, my husband has become more traditional minded as time has gone on. He’s always had traditional views on women and gender roles, as have I, but over time those beliefs have gotten stronger and even more conservative than before.

I’ve talked about this before, but men with traditional views on women tend to greatly out-earn men with more egalitarian views. This is a win for traditional women because it means we are better taken care of if our husbands have strong views in traditional gender roles. It means living on one income in a traditional male-headed family with the husband as sole breadwinner is even easier thus claiming it takes two incomes is even more illogical. It also shows what men can accomplish when their masculinity is uplifted and they are encouraged to be real men and be proud of being a man. Women need to encourage the growth of mature masculinity and uplift all of the stereotypical masculine qualities (such as physical strength, social dominance, etc…) so that men can become good providers and protectors of their families once again, so that all women can have security in the home and return to their traditional roles of wives and mothers.

Another thing I want to say to this is that sometimes a job can be unstable. Sometimes a husband loses his job. If this happens a wife shouldn’t just all of a sudden run out the door and start filling in job applications all over town the second her husband comes home unemployed. Let him pick himself back up and find new employment. He will be stronger because of it. I think it’s very important to men to be able to prove themselves and if his wife interferes and tries to help him it could actually be damaging to his ego. Her seeking employment because he has lost his job is her sending the signal to him that he has failed and she doesn’t have faith in his ability to take care of her and their family. Actually, her providing a second income also says she has no faith in him as provider. It may sound wrong in today’s world but a woman should not help her husband in this way. It’s not the wife’s job to shield her husband from the world or protect and support him. She can help by being supportive and making things more comfortable at home for him and cut back on expenses. I remember when my husband lost his job a couple of years after we were married. It never even occurred to me to look for a job, nor did he ever even give the slightest hint that he thought I should. He went off and found more work and now we are even better off than we were before. Both of us actually see his loss of the job he used to have as a blessing now. I was a little worried at the time but I knew he’d take care of us- and he did. With the wife’s constant presence in the home the husband never has to worry about who will watch the kids or do the housework, leaving him free to devote himself full-time to supporting the family or look for work if he is unemployed.

I really like what Lady Lydia has to say about a husband’s unemployment:

“There are husbands today who demand that their wives work and bring in as much income as possible. No one has the right to send a wife to work if she does not want to. God, the supreme being, has already mandated through his word, that women should guide and keep the home. Where God has already commanded, mankind cannot legislate. We do not need “permission” or “approval” from husbands or anyone else, to be the keepers at home that the Bible describes. Many women panic the minute their husbands lose a job, and start seeking employment outside the home. I lived in an era where men were often unemployed, because there were many jobs that were seasonal or temporary. Yet, women seemed to be able to adjust to this, and even expect this. Still, they didnt take matters into their own hands and get jobs. For one thing, jobs were usually available for men, and women prefered to be home.

What has happened to convince women to leave their homes to work? It has been a massive word campaign, which I called “word-ology” since the 20th century, to persuade women that they are being cheated by being “denied” jobs, or by “having” to stay home. When words are emphasised or twisted a certain way, people start believing lies.

Men need the responsibility of being providers. It gives them something to excell in, gives them pride in their families and gives them something worth living for. Work is good for them, but they need women at home helping to make that money stretch, and make a man’s work worthwhile. When he sees her doing her best to save money and be creative and resourceful, it makes his burden lighter. Yes, women can stay home, but they need to make it a lifestyle that is simple and inexpensive, so that money does not go back out of the family coffers as quickly as it comes in. The family economy is an entire skill that each generation has to learn. It requires knowing how to make things from the raw materials and how to be innovative.

What used to be the inconvenience of temporary employment for men, has now become an “emergency” and women feel they have to fill in the gap. Men are now “falling back” on their wives, wanting them to work. If a woman will work outside the home, a man will let her.”

In our world today it’s also easier for a family to live on one income because even men who are not in perfect health can still find employment to support their families, as most jobs no longer require the same level of back-breaking work as they did in the past. These days a lot of men have jobs in an air-conditioned office or building that don’t really demand any physical labor, and even those jobs that do require much physical labor are still made easier oftentimes by power-tools and machinery. They even have air-conditioned tractors with MP3 players these days. There is also social security and other welfare benefits for when men are sick or injured and can’t work. On all levels, there has never been an easier time in all of history for women to be in the home and for men to be sole providers of families.

Recommended Articles:

Yes, High Numbers of Women Working IS a New Thing

Questioning Economic Necessity

Yes, You Can Do It!

Marriage is Masculinity and Coverture

Questioning Economic Necessity

“It has been estimated that by 1960 a family wage was paid by 65 percent of all employers in the United States, and by over 80 percent of the major industrial companies. Although feminist historians today call the family-wage ideal a “myth” designed to keep married women oppressed, few myths have come closer to becoming a reality.”[1]

The feminist conviction is that the “good ole life” where married women did not work is a myth. In their view of history, married women staying home is somehow a new thing in human history that was invented in the 1950s. They also stress that it is the economy that flushed women out of the home and into the workforce during the revolution years.Today they say it is just too bad and even if married women wanted to go back home it is impossible because of the economy. Their views and assertions are, however, pretty far removed from reality. In fact, in the grand old 1950s there were even more married women in the workforce than in previous times in American history. All the way up until the year 1900, only 5.6% of married women were in the workforce. By the year 1910 that number had climbed to 10.7%. In the 1950s, 23% of married women were in the workforce. [2]

Feminists also like to chime in and tell us all about how it was only middle class white women that were able to fulfill the role of housewife. But unless 90% of married couples were middle class and white this remains to be seen. Generally, feminists like to plead economic necessity so as to ensure that married women with dependent children do not feel guilty about going off to work and leaving their children in the care of someone else. Mainstream feminists propaganda says that it “takes two incomes” just to make ends meet. Yet, in the vast majority of cases this is not, nor has it ever, been true.

“When the mother in a two-parent family chooses to work, economic necessity (as opposed to advantage) is more likely to be the rationalization than the explanation for her decision. Feminism’s effort to bring about the demise of the full-time housewife required diminishing the guilt felt by working mothers. Thus began the constant effort to depict a two-income family as economically necessary when in most instances one income would provide the basic necessities of life-food, housing, and clothing. That the best-educated and highest-paid women are the ones who return to work the soonest after birth of a child makes clear that something other than economic necessity has impelled women to abandon child care in favor of the workplace.” [3]

Moreover, it was not the economy at all that forced women out of the home. No, the influx of married women into the workforce was deliberate and the intended outcome of the women’s liberation movement. One really does not have to wonder what the word “liberation” in the phrase “women’s liberation” is referring to. It refers to nothing more than the “liberating” of women from sexual morality and the bonds of marriage and child-rearing. Women were not forced out of the home because the economy was going in the gutter. The feminist movement created the economy we have now. The influx of married women into the workforce lowered men’s wages and devalued the housewive’s role. It was the women with highly-educated husbands- the women who could least claim “economic necessity”- that left the home first. Poorer women were still in the home caring for their children.

“In 1962, only 37 percent of all wives worked for pay outside the home. The wives of high school- and college-educated men were hardly more likely to work for pay than the wives of men with only a grade school education. Between 1962 and 1978 the proportion of wives working for pay rose from 37 percent to 58 percent. This growth was concentrated among wives with highly educated husbands, for whom the economic pressures to work were lowest. Among women whose husbands had only a grade school education, 34 percent worked for pay both in 1962 and in 1978. Among women whose husbands attended college, 38 percent worked for pay in 1962, but this had grown to 65 percent by 1978…

In the 1950s, to preserve their own self-esteem, they extolled the virtues of work in the home. By 1980, they saw matters quite differently. A job once perceived as noble now seemed distinctly plebeian. Thus, homemakers suffered a tremendous loss in social prestige in two decades. Sociologists call this phenomenon “status degradation.” It happened to these homemakers through no fault of their own. As the paid labor force offered urban, educated women attractive options the more rural, less-educated women round the world judged the traditional job of homemaking less attractive. Middle-class women who chose to stay in the home began to feel déclassé. Women’s magazines began to print outraged letters from homemakers who now found that they had to describe themselves as ‘only’ a housewife, not only to men but to other women.”[4]

On top of the status degradation of the housewife’s role, feminists forced other pressures onto women to abandon homemaking. The housewife started to be seen as a “deadbeat.” Indeed, still today mothers who aren’t financially responsible for the family are seen as “deadbeats.” This is how feminists wanted women who were not in the workforce to be seen. From the traditional perspective, however, the only “deadbeat” wife or mother is the one who is not in the home caring for her young children. The only “deadbeat” mom, from the traditional point of view, is the one who IS in the workforce. But, of course, to feminists, the paycheck is all that matters. The very thrust of the woman’s movement was to flush women out of the home and into the workforce as full time homemaking was incompatible with the movement.

“…The very existence of full-time homemakers was incompatible with many goals of the women’s movement, like the equal sharing of political and economic power. Women can never hold half the economically and politically powerful positions in the country if a greater proportion of women than men withdraw from competition for those positions. More important, if even 10 percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are very young…Thus the more full-time homemakers there are, the harder it will be to break traditional expectations that homemaking ought to be a woman’s career. This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about child care and housework, the movement as a whole had reasons to discourage full-time homemaking.”[5]

The period after the 1970s marked the decline in men’s wages. This too was deliberate and the intended outcome. Most protective legislation for women did not discriminate against women. But in the area of pay discrimination against women was necessary to protect wives and mothers from the harsh necessity of wage work. Unequal pay for equal work was necessary. Many women who would be shocked to work for anything less than equal pay to a man simply do not realize that, even though women now make more to the dollar than their grandmothers did, they are not keeping any more of that paycheck. The few extra cents to a dollar that women are making as the result of the feminist movement are simply going to pay for women’s newfound financial obligations in the family and to supplement her husband’s diminished paycheck. There has been nothing tangible gained for women when everything is added up. Feminists campaigned against protective legislation for women. They saw it as “sexist” and campaigned that protective legislation was simply designed to keep women “oppressed.”

Moreover, “no-fault” divorce legislation ripped away the economic security that housewives once enjoyed- financial security in their marriages that made it safe for a woman to stay in the home with her children and now women are held women equally financially responsible at divorce. Being a homemaker is a risky endeavor for a woman, as the new divorce laws made very clear:

“The economic messages of the new law are clear: it no longer ‘pays’ to invest in the marital partnership- to be a faithful breadwinner or a devoted homemaker. Ones economic ‘take’ from the marriage will be the same no matter what one has done.” [6]

Of course, feminists like Weitzman believe women’s newfound economic predicaments as the result of the new divorce laws are simply because women have not reached “full equality” yet, or the courts are not treating women “equally” yet. But it is the very essence of gender equality in our law codes that is causing women hardships and scaring them and shaming them out of the housewife’s role. Moreover, the mass media creates the image that, in order to be successful, a woman must have a full-time career and a fancy college degree. Also, modern women are pressured and made to believe that if they do not use their college degree for something “worthwhile” (ie., a fancy career outside of the home) then they are wasting their knowledge away and being unproductive.

“The female role models held up for veneration and imitation by the popular media are almost exclusively highly educated, independent, career women. Bucking the trend to devote oneself exclusively to home and family today requires extraordinary self-confidence and fortitude on the part of young women who must be prepared to endure both the censure of their culture and the disapproval of their peers. It is no wonder that most college women pursue a course of study that will put them firmly on the full-time career path when they graduate; they are simply following their culture’s prescription for success and acceptability. And since no-fault divorce, by undermining all claims of a wife to her husband’s income, has eliminated the economic security that marriage provided for women in our society, it is hard to blame young women for hedging their bets by setting out on the career path sooner rather than later.”[7]

Thus, it is not the economy that has forced women into the workforce. It was a deliberate attempt by the leaders and those who funded the women’s liberation movement to get and keep women in the workforce. Traditional divorce law protected women by ensuring her support from her ex-husband (providing she was not at fault) until she at least married another man who would become responsible for her support and almost all states protected the family home so that the mother could live there to raise her children at least when they were young. But, to feminists, this was holding women back so protective legislation had to go.

“The protections the law once afforded to women who made economic sacrifices for their families no longer exist. They were abolished when we rewrote the divorce law in the name of equality. When a marriage breaks up, as two out of five marriages now do, a wife will seldom be entitled to alimony, no matter how much less she may earn than her ex-husband. In the 1970s, feminists campaigned against alimony on the explicit grounds that its elimination would flush women out of the home and into the workforce, where they belonged…A divorced couple usually sells its home and divides to proceeds, after which the woman survives on what she can earn- not much if she’s getting on in years and has been out of the workforce for any significant amount of time.” [8]

To drive home the main point, the economy did not flush women out of the home, but the feminist movement did. This was to ensure that women did not depend upon men but instead became self-sufficient. There is nothing that women have gained from the modern feminist movement (1960s- present). Women have been the losers. Women, by nature of our biology, are different from men. We have different needs and different vulnerabilities and burdens to bear than do men. Our laws used to understand this. But now feminists have forced women into the workforce and left women vulnerable by knocking down protective legislation for women. Women’s problem today is not that we are not treated as equal to men, but that we are.

“The political rights of citizens are not properly dependent upon sex, but social and domestic relations and industrial activities are… Women cannot be made men by act of the legislature or by amendment to the Federal Constitution. The inherent differences are permanent. Women will always need many laws different than those needed by men.” [9]

As a final point, many women have learned that a second income is not all it is cracked up to be. Oftentimes, the woman keeps very little of that second income when all expenses are added up. In one conversation I had with a woman she confessed that when her and her husband added it all up, she found she was literally working for about a dollar an hour. Moreover, a woman can save a lot of money by doing things more old-fashioned around the house. She would not have the time to do all of this if she were working full time. When there are young children involved, it does not pay for a woman to be in the workforce. But, rather, the economic advantage is greater if she is at home (unless she makes a six-figure salary, which most women do not).

“Most women make clear and purposeful choices — regarding sex, whom to marry (that’s a biggie), work, geography, etc. — that allow them to be the primary caregiver in their children’s lives. Others learn the hard way that it costs to have both parents work. The money from a second income — unless it’s a six-figure salary — is usually eaten up by commuting costs, child care, eating out, work attire, dry cleaning, convenience foods, and, of course, taxes. By the time you add it all up, there isn’t much left.”[10]

 

Notes:
[1] Roberton, B.C., “Forced Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 63. Spence, 2003.
[2] http://www.freeby50.com/2010/10/historical-look-at-womens-participation.html
[3] Graglia, F.C., “Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism,” p. 72. Spence, 1998.
[4] Mansbridge, J.J. “Why We Lost the ERA,” p. 105; 107-108. University of Chicago Press, 1986.
[5] ibid., p. 99-100
[6] Weitzman, L.J., “The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America,” p. 30. The Free Press, 1987.
[7] “Forced Labor,” p. 38-39.
[8] Crittenden, D., “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman,” p. 98-99. Touchstone, 1999.
[9] “Forced Labor,” p. 60.
[10] http://www.nationalreview.com/home-front/295943/feminist-war-women/suzanne-venker#

© 2013 What’s Wrong With Equal Rights. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

Where are the Men?: The Case for Male Breadwinners

“…Your grandfather returned from World War II, got a cheap mortgage courtesy of the GI bill, married his sweetheart and went to work in a factory job that paid him something like $50,000 in today’s money plus health benefits and pension. Your father started at the same factory in 1972. He was laid off in 1981, and has never had anything like as good a job ever since. He’s working now at a big-box store, making $40,000 a year, and waiting for his Medicare to kick in. Now look at you. Yes, unemployment is high right now. But if you keep pounding the pavements, you’ll eventually find a job that pays $28,000.”[i]

When one thinks of the words “feminism” and “women’s rights” many things probably come to mind. Among the many visuals and other associations that go along with the modern “women’s movement,” women in the workforce and women’s wages are sure to be at the top of the list. But, feminists and other women’s rights advocates have not always been so adamant about getting women into the workforce and dealing with issues such as “equal pay for equal work.” In fact, before the 1960s (the dawn of modern feminism), women’s organizations strongly advocated for paternalistic treatment of women, protecting mothers and wives from the necessities of wage work, exalting the irreplaceable role of at-home motherhood and advocating fiercely for protective legislation for women. This protective legislation included protecting women by instating “women’s only” hours, Mothers’ Pensions and ensuring a family wage to be paid to married men. This protective legislation was meant to give women security within the family and within the home by reinforcing the traditional view of husband as breadwinner and wife as homemaker. Protective legislation secured the wife’s invaluable role within her family.

Today, one reads everywhere- from school textbooks, to internet blogs, to magazines and popular articles and opinion pieces- about a woman’s “subordinate” position within the family pre-women’s liberation, how feminism has finally given women “options” and how society now finally (after centuries of “oppression”) finally recognizes the wife’s status as an “equal partner” within the marriage. Feminists celebrate that they are part of a long line women’s rights advocates and have convinced society that since the early days of the 19-century feminists they have fought for nothing more than equality with men and it has been a long struggle over the centuries but they have finally achieved what women’s rights advocates have been fighting for since the beginning. They celebrate every step of the way as another “milestone to equality.”

“The true history of the women’s movement in the United States and its attitude toward the domestic realm is strikingly at odds with- and more interesting than- this standard feminist picture… In fact, the impetus for the original involvement of women in public affairs in the United States- and the driving force behind most of their policy initiatives- was to protect women from the necessity of involvement in the labor force and to preserve the special realm of the domestic from the economic and social pressures that would interfere with the mother’s primary task of bringing up her children well.”[ii]

This convoluted re-interpretation of history as “milestones to equality” conveniently ignores what the earlier feminists were really fighting for. By putting pretty labels on the modern feminist movement such as “the women’s movement,” “women’s rights,” and “women’s liberation” they appeal to the general public as though this is what all women want and as though their movement had the best interests of all women in mind. In fact, the modern feminist movement did not give us the right to have careers, have a bank account, own property or receive an education. While there was a different set of laws applying to married women (which we have explained in other articles), the single woman has always had the opportunity to pursue the kind of life she wanted and marry whom she wanted.

“Within the memory of no one living today have the barriers of society been strung so tightly that women could not pursue careers if they chose to. From the time in middle school when I decided to become a lawyer (that was in 1941) until I left my law firm to raise a family, I encountered no barriers, but only support and encouragement. Living on the edge of poverty in the working class with my divorced mother, I could not have succeeded otherwise.

When I entered college in 1947, I knew that women were in all the professions. The doctor who performed my pre-college physical was a woman… My mother’s divorce lawyer in 1936 was a woman and a mother. And the president of the bank where I opened my first account in 1942 was a woman and a mother, Mary G. Roebling, who said American women have “almost unbelievable economic power” but “do not use the influence [it] gives them.” Women’s failure to pursue opportunities in the workplace has always been much more of a choice than feminists admit. The most significant barrier to a woman’s market success is her own unwillingness to constrict her maternal, marital, and domestic roles.”[iii]

Modern feminists believe that “equal treatment” is essential to women’s advancement in the workforce. Yet, in abolishing protective legislation that early feminists had worked so hard to enact for women, they have hurt those women wanting to be housewives and stay at home mothers. Despite feminists constantly insisting women’s rights means equal representation in higher paid jobs and equal representation in politics, a growing number of surveys over the past few years have been showing that women favor homemaking over full-time workforce participation.

It is conceivable that women are beginning to figure out that the dream of “having it all” is simply not reality. Women today are beginning to wake up and realize that feminism has sold them a pipe dream. Compared to men, women’s happiness has been constantly declining since women’s libbers took to the street campaigning for “equal rights” at the expense of women who wished to retain the benefits of protective legislation.[iv]

Beyond women’s declining happiness, society as a whole is not fairing too well either. Marriage rates are down, cohabitation, divorce and out of wedlock births have been on the rise. There is a civil war waging between the sexes and crime is on the rise (I trust I don’t need to cite statistics here on this particular issue, but they are easily available from many government entities for those who aren’t convinced).

The egalitarian era has been a catastrophe. To remedy society’s problems, women’s increasing unhappiness, our children’s emotional/behavioral problems and men’s apathy towards work and marriage, the traditional family unit must be revived. When divorce rates started climbing and married women began to enter the workforce in record numbers, men’s wages began declining to the point that it is now very difficult (although still not impossible) for a man to support his entire family on one income.[v] While theoretically the woman certainly could be the breadwinner for the family, most women would simply not be happy with such an arrangement for very long and men have generally been found to be resentful of their breadwinner wives[vi] and divorce rates are the highest where the wife makes more money than the husband.[vii] There is also a strong correlation between reversal of gender roles and bad health. Moreover, recent evidence has been shedding light that stay at home dads are simply not the best thing for children, boys in particular, who have been found to do very poorly in academics when raised by stay-at-home fathers when they are young.[viii] Add to this the fact that most violent infant deaths are caused by male caretakers while the mothers are off at work and we have a complete catastrophe. Also, reversing of gender roles is not leading to men doing more housework and becoming more involved parents. In fact, it is having precisely the opposite effect:

“…Moreover, a recent study by psychologist William T. Bailey at Eastern Illinois University indicates that fathers who take on the primary childcare role are actually less responsive to the needs of their children than those fathers who are less directly involved in caregiving. Statistics also indicate that husbands working full-time whose wives do not work spend considerably more time with their children than do husbands with working wives, presumably because the mother at home makes more demands for his time and effort with the children. The conclusion is as striking as it is disturbing: at a time when children’s well-being has been declining according to every measure, their primary caregivers- married mothers with dependent children- account for most of the influx of women into the workforce, and married fathers have not discernibly made up for the diminishing maternal care.”[ix]

Society as a whole has a major stake in ensuring that men have all the tools necessary to become the breadwinners for their families and mothers can stay home with their young children and depend upon lifetime support from their husbands. Reversing traditional gender roles has led to absolutely nothing productive and will in fact end up destroying a once civilized and prosperous society. Though many will scream sex-discrimination, it is imperative to ensure that young men in particular can excel in education and the workforce.

“…The society thus has a much larger stake in employing young men than in employing young women. The unemployed man can contribute little to the community and will often disrupt it, but the woman may even do more good without a job than with one. Her joblessness may spur new efforts to induce a man to work, supporting her own crucial role as a mother.”

The woman’s financial superiority thus leads to a society of sexually and economically predatory males. The sexual power of women, if combined with economic power, leaves many young men with no civilized way to achieve sexual identity. If they cannot be providers, they resort to the primal male assets, wielding muscle and phallus for masculine identity and attacking the fabric of society…What Mead concluded from all her other studies as well, the New Gunea experience affirms: Males always require a special arena of glorified achievement from which women are excluded. Their concern with sexual differentiation is obsessive. Men can be passive without grave psychological damage only if the women are passive also. Aggressive and competitive women, unconcerned with motherhood, produce more ruthless men- and a society so competitive that it disintegrates. Men, on the other hand, when passively preoccupied with child-rearing, become incapable of effective sexual behavior and paranoid about aggressive women. A society with a great emphasis on child-rearing will, however, be exceedingly generous and cooperative. In none of the tribes Mead studied is there the slightest evidence that roles, however created, through culture or biology, can be switched back and forth or that the aggressiveness and volatility of males can be ignore by any society”[x]

The need to ensure a proper role for males within society depends largely on the role they play within the family. The civilizing of men into appropriate roles in society largely depends upon the willingness of women to demand both commitment and support from them within the confines of marriage. Though no law or social custom can currently force a man to support a woman, they could if we wanted them to. The stability of families depends upon male breadwinners. Without a strong family unit and a man that is able to carry the load of supporting a wife and children, society will continue to face increases in the feminization of poverty. Without the income of a husband, a woman will have a very hard time giving the necessary care to her children and will more than likely depend on the taxpayers at the expense of single-earner families where the husband is the breadwinner.

There simply is no replacement for maternal care and it is doubtful that modern science will ever truly be able to match the benefits of nature in the conceivable future. Within minutes of the birth of a baby the child forms an instant bond with its mother and when the child is breastfeed, the suckling strengthens even more the mother-child bond that is so crucial for healthy development. Yet, the surge of mothers into the workforce has further eroded this bond as many women no longer breastfeed due to the demands of joining the workforce.[xi] In order to ensure healthy families and proper development of children, it is essential to strengthen marriages and the role of the husband as breadwinner.

Women are recruited and exploited in the workforce for corporate greed and for tough competition in a global economy. Yet, when women are pushed into the workforce, the family unit disintegrates, women suffer physically and mentally and the morals of a society plummet.

“In answer to the heresy of conservative individualism, we must clearly enunciate the principles of a new economy ordered toward the good of our citizens rather than toward merely abstract goods like growth, efficiency, profit, and productivity. As elements of an economy that serves the interests of real people, real families, and real communities, those concepts have value; if they simply dictate a bottom-line approach to economics that views persons as a means toward achieving some unspecified and perpetual goal of directionless economic expansion, they are worse than useless; they are positively dangerous. The economy exists for man, not man for the economy- a fundamental idea often ignored in discussions of economy which tend to revolve around the almost mystical concept of ‘growth.’”[xii]

So what is a family wage and what led to its decline? A family wage is “…an income sufficient for a man to support a wife and children at a certain minimal level of comfort…with the explicit purpose of protecting mothers from having to contribute to the family income out of economic necessity.”[xiii] Before the surge of women into the workforce and the feminist quest for equal rights the family wage “…was paid by 65 percent of all employers in the United States, and by over 80 percent of the major industrial companies.”[xiv]Despite feminists insisting that the good ol’ life of women not having to work to support the family never even existed, there has never been so many married women in the workforce as there was post WWII all the way up to today. The percentage of married women in the workforce remained at about 5% throughout U.S. history all the way up into the early 1900s, when the number of married women in the workforce started increasing gradually. The 1950s actually saw more married women in the workforce than in previous generations (though generally not out of economic necessity).[xv]

1960s feminists and beyond worked relentlessly to tear down the legal protections that early feminists had secured for women. They did not rest until they tore through, one by one, the pillars upon which the family wage rested:

“…The family wage was effectively abolished as a result of three distinct changes in policy: 1)the dismantling of legal barriers to women’s employment (protective legislation) and the phasing out of direct wage discrimination (unequal pay for equal work) against female workers in the 1940s; 2) the collapse in the late 1960s of long-standing labor union opposition to wage equality; and 3) the end of job segregation by gender as a result of an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and its subsequent application by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which had the effect of undercutting job discrimination by gender and striking down all state laws granting special protection for women, the very “protective legislation” that social feminists had worked so hard to enact.” [xvi]

One way or another, traditional men and women must work together to reverse the harmful policies of women’s liberation. We need families to stay together and we need male breadwinners. Traditional Women’s Rights Activists must make the case for protective legislation and the family wage.

Notes:

[i] http://www.familyinamerica.org/files/FIAFall2012Files/FIA.Fall12.Patterson.pdf

[ii] Roberton, B.C., “Force Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 40. Spence, 2002.

[iii] http://www.mtio.com/articles/aissar85.htm

[iv] http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2009/oct/09102911

[v] Roberton, B.C., “Force Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 36. Spence, 2002.

[vi] http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/laws-desire-does-making-more-money-less-sexy-182700208.html

[vii] http://www.divorcesaloon.com/2010/09/10/new-york-cornell-university-study-shows-that-divorce-rates-are-higher-for-women-who-make-more-than-their-husbands-higher-infidelity-rates/

[viii] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-494864/Why-stay-home-dad-bad-boys-girls.html

[ix] Roberton, B.C., “Force Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 15-16. Spence, 2002.

[x] Gilder, G. “Men and Marriage.” Pelican, 1993.

[xi] Roberton, B.C., “Force Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 19;28. Spence, 2002.

[xii] ibid., 176.

[xiii] ibid., 42.

[xiv] ibid., 63.

[xv] http://www.freeby50.com/2010/10/historical-look-at-womens-participation.html

[xvi] Roberton, B.C., “Force Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 105. Spence, 2002.

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