Tag Archives: history of women in the workforce

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

Yes, High Numbers of Women Working IS a New Thing

On the one hand we are told that women were always oppressed in the home and never allowed to have careers. Now after the feminist movement historians have been trying to constantly convince us that women “always” worked and the 1950s were some kind of cult of domesticity where women were forced to stay in the home but before that women were always out in the workforce and plowing the fields and were always “equal partners” with their husbands so feminism wasn’t really even necessary after all because women have *always* worked. One can read a five hundred page history book today and most generally the authors will spend half the book talking about “male divorce power” and the sexual double standard and how adultery was never a crime for husbands, only for wives and so on and so on. They will spend half the book trying to convince us that women have always been forced to work and bear children (that they never had rights to) and live under the rule of men. Barely a word is ever spoken about men’s duties to their wives or the truth about hardly anything. This is what women today are fed and why so many undoubtedly turn to feminism:

“For more than five thousand years, men—fathers—were legally *entitled* to sole custody of their children. Women—mothers—were *obliged* to bear, rear, and economically support their children. No mother was ever legally entitled to custody of her own child.” (1)

This, of course, is a complete lie. See here how they first try to convince us women were never *allowed* to work and then they turn around and tell us that women *always* worked, were forced to work. Then historians will now try to convince us that all women worked in the factories and plowed the fields even when heavily pregnant, then gave birth in the fields and got right back up and went right back to plowing! Another thing undoubtedly many have heard is a story that goes something like this: First, man marries woman for dowry, then proceeds to squander it all away within a month, then man goes and gets drunk every night and heads to the local brothel to have a good time (because adultery wasn’t a crime for men!) then man comes home to beat and rape his wife. But, realistically, the husband would only really uncover the wife just enough to penetrate her to do his “duty” to procreate and have legitimate heirs (because women knew nothing about sex and were clueless about their own sexuality and body until feminists came along and sexually liberated them) and then it was back to the brothel! Of course, women had no rights and men could use and abuse their wives as they pleased. They could do anything they wanted because women were less than chattel and marriage was nothing but slavery for women. The description of the book “Love, Honor and Obey” tells a 100% accurate description of life for women before feminism:

“In 1889, women were chattel, prized solely for their physical attributes, the contents of their dowries, their skills at the helm of the family’s wood-burning cook stove, their capacity to conceive endlessly and their willingness to endure marriage and miscarriage in silence. Women could not vote or smoke in public. Motherhood was sanctified and only the whores ventured out unescorted after dark, dyed their hair and wore make-up.Blissfully young and naïve, Emma Miller nearly lost herself in Edward Richardson’s seductive blue eyes until the reality of her husband’s alcoholic rampages began to erode her cherished dream of marriage. Like the practiced coward that he was, Edward abandoned his wife and children in the dead of night, taking with him their horse and their cookie jar savings.Emma had willed herself to survive Edward’s beatings but could she survive life as a single parent with three children? At a time when women were to be seen but never heard, Emma marched boldly into the dawn of a new era for women. Emma defied polite society by embarking upon a career, taking a lover and refusing to bend in the face of personal and professional conflict.” (2)

What women wouldn’t be a feminist after listening to that? Historically the dowry was always something the groom paid to the father of the bride for her hand in marriage. Often it is called a “bride price.” Later the dowry came to be something that the bride brought into the marriage from her family. Historians don’t know why, some speculate that the absence of eligible men for marriage started the tradition of the bride’s family dowering the daughter instead of it coming from the groom. Some other historians point out that bride-price seemed to be the way in polygamous societies and dowry coming from the bride’s family the way in monogamous societies. A bride price is where the groom pays the woman’s father a sum of money for her hand in marriage or, in some societies, the money would go to the bride herself. A dowry is a sum of money, property or other goods given to the groom upon marriage for no other purpose than the maintenance of his bride. In some societies the bride still controlled the dowry and in others the groom controlled the dowry. If divorce should occur or if the bride was widowed then the dowry had to be returned intact to the bride and her family. Dowry was always a way of signaling social class and the woman’s status in society and the larger a woman’s dowry the wealthier a mate she could be expected to attract (social class was always very important to people and everyone was generally expected to marry someone of their own class). Traditionally a young woman would be dowered by her father or sometimes other male family members. Ancient Rome even had laws requiring that fathers provide dowries for daughters. A poor peasant girl whose family could not afford to dower her might either marry without a dowry or work before marriage to provide for her own dowry. In other cases sometimes donations were made to poor girls’ dowries to help them get married. The dowry, however, did not mean the husband did not have to support his wife. The dowry would help the woman get settled and start a new household. Also important was the woman’s dower, the portion of her husband’s property that the wife would inherit to be used for her support upon her husband’s death. A man could not get rid of his own property nor his wife’s dowry without her consent, which had to be given without coercion as she could reclaim her third (or in some societies half) of her husband’s property that he could not take from her.

After marriage a man was by law required to provide for his wife all of her necessities. There were no obligations upon a wife to support her husband or pay the family’s bills until very recently with women’s lib where the law became bastardized as support being something both spouses “owe” each other and the egalitarian vision of the mother working equally as the father to support the family. Of course, throughout history women taking on masculine responsibilities does resurface and it always seems to correlate well with societal decline. Feminism is not a new thing. All throughout history women have tried to usurp their husband’s authority and men have tried to evade responsibility. From the fall of Rome in the fifth century to the crumbling of the monarchy in the tenth and eleventh centuries and the ending of Anglo-Saxon rule in England, women taking masculine responsibilities and husband and wife being “equals” sharing in rights and responsibilities resurfaces and usually destroys society. Usually once a great empire falls, it never regains its former power or glory.

The role of housewife for women is not new. Modern technology has made the work easier than what it used to be, but the idea that this “50s housewife” ideal is a new thing is a lie. Families have been organized in many different ways throughout time and in different societies but the modern idea of the “traditional” family of a husband, wife and their kids living in one household apart from any others is not a new thing. Speaking of the Western world specifically here, people living together with their extended kin in one household seems to resurface throughout the centuries but the nuclear family of husband, wife and kids in one household with the man standing alone as sole provider for wife and children has been around for centuries. Barbara A. Hanawalt speaks of the life of a medieval peasant woman in England in her book “The Ties that Bound; peasant families in medieval England”

“Women’s daily household routines are very well summed up in the ‘Ballad of the Tyrannical Husband.’ The goodwife of the poem had no servants and only small children, so that her day was a full one. She complained that her nights were not restful because she had to rise and nurse the babe in arms. She then milked the cows and took them to pasture and made butter and cheese while she watched the children and dried their tears. Next she fed the poultry and took the geese to the green. She baked and brewed every fortnight and worked on carding wool, spinning, and beating flax. She tells her husband that through her economy of weaving a bit of linsey woolsey during the year for the family clothes, they would be able to save money and not buy cloth from the market. Her husband insists that all this work is very easy and that she really spends her day at the neighbors’ gossiping…”

This woman sure sounds like a housewife to me, only without the modern-day convinces of an electric cookstove, washing machine and prepared food from the grocery store. Coroners’ reports reveal a clear pattern of traditional gender roles for the medieval wife and mother. The same as we see today, women who were rich in the past could afford to hire a wet-nurse and have a maid to do the household chores and watch the kids. Poor women were in the home doing all these things themselves.

In America, as well, there is no evidence to suggest women were out plowing fields or all women were out in the workforce. In America there is actual statistical and census data to show that only 5% of married women were actually engaged in “gainful occupation” (as opposed to 96% of married men) in the 19th century and single women only worked at a rate of around 45% which is much lower than the rates of even married women working today.(4) Also many left journals describing their daily lives as housewives which correlate very well with what Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of American women (in 1830) in his book III of “Democracy in America:” (emphasis mine)

“In no country has such constant care been taken as in America to trace two clearly distinct lines of action for the two sexes, and to make them keep pace one with the other, but in two pathways which are always different. American women never manage the outward concerns of the family, or conduct a business, or take a part in political life; nor are they, on the other hand, ever compelled to perform the rough labor of the fields, or to make any of those laborious exertions which demand the exertion of physical strength. No families are so poor as to form an exception to this rule. If on the one hand an American woman cannot escape from the quiet circle of domestic employments, on the other hand she is never forced to go beyond it…

Nor have the Americans ever supposed that one consequence of democratic principles is the subversion of marital power, of the confusion of the natural authorities in families. They hold that every association must have a head in order to accomplish its object, and that the natural head of the conjugal association is man. They do not therefore deny him the right of directing his partner; and they maintain, that in the smaller association of husband and wife, as well as in the great social community, the object of democracy is to regulate and legalize the powers which are necessary, not to subvert all power. This opinion is not peculiar to one sex, and contested by the other: I never observed that the women of America consider conjugal authority as a fortunate usurpation of their rights, nor that they thought themselves degraded by submitting to it. It appeared to me, on the contrary, that they attach a sort of pride to the voluntary surrender of their own will, and make it their boast to bend themselves to the yoke, not to shake it off. Such at least is the feeling expressed by the most virtuous of their sex; the others are silent; and in the United States it is not the practice for a guilty wife to clamor for the rights of women, whilst she is trampling on her holiest duties…

As for myself, I do not hesitate to avow that, although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is in some respects one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked, now that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply – to the superiority of their women.”

Now everyplace in the world has had their own traditions, but I speak not of every place in the world. I speak of the Western world, of Europe and the Americas and my own ancestors. High numbers of married women in the workforce is a new thing. I personally am American and American women were always sheltered from the workforce and masculine duties as well as any dangerous jobs or jobs that required hard physical labor. On the other hand, every occupation has long been open to women. The only exceptions I could find in American history were the obvious prohibitions of women to be in the military and women were prohibited from being coal miners and being bartenders unless they were the wife or daughter of the owner. I have found no other exceptions in our history. Obviously there is always going to be your amazon woman out proving she can work like a man, but she would have been the rare exception, not the rule. I know personally from those I’ve talked to how much neighbors would try to help a family who’s husband was injured or gone and could not work to take care of the family. Women were never left out on their own to fend for themselves and their children as so great was the ethic of providing for and protecting women until feminism came along.

But let’s just say those attempting to redefine history were actually right. Let’s say women have always worked in the fields and in the home and borne the babies and this housewife thing is new. Does that mean we should destroy a cultural and legal ethic that did shield women from the masculine burdens just because women in the past were in the fields? Does that justify tearing down a system that actually worked well, even if it was a supposedly new and temporary invention? What sense does that make? Surely if something better had been invented to protect women and families it would only makes sense to embrace it, not destroy it. Only a fool would think otherwise.

Suggested resources:

Women Plowing

Woman Suffrage and the Laws

Doctrine of Necessaries Law & Legal Definition

Questioning Economic Necessity

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#

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