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.