Is Feminism Helping Families or Creating Orphans?

Gender battle.A New York Times opinion piece says we need family friendly work laws for true gender equality. But equality in essence doesn’t necessitate equality in function.

Stephanie Coontz in her opinion editorial, “Why Gender Equality Stalled,” contends that long hours hinder dual income households resulting in role distinction. These laws have stalled the feminist movement as pragmatism forces more women to adopt historic roles.

She cited a 2010 Pew Poll which showed that “72 percent of both women and men between 18 and 29 agreed that the best marriage is one in which husband and wife both work and both take care of the house.”

If true, then both parents want to work in over 70% of all households. Does this show a shift toward true “equality” of function among the genders? Perhaps, but perhaps it just shows that we find our worth more in what we do than who we are.

A quote from psychologists Philip and Carolyn Cowan certainly gives that implication as they contend that traditional roles create tension in marriages. Look at why though…

The woman resents that she is not getting the shared child care she expected and envies her husband’s social networks outside the home. The husband feels hurt that his wife isn’t more grateful for the sacrifices he is making by working more hours so she can stay home.[1]

Society determines worth in what you do rather than who you are. True lasting worth comes from being created in the image of God. It doesn’t matter whether we hold high power jobs or stay at home equality of worth comes from our Creator.

If all we live for is this world and what others think of us, disappointment awaits around every bend in life. We must learn to live for more. We must develop an eternal perspective looking beyond the immediate gratification of modern society. We give so that our children can have a better future rather than spending on ourselves and letting our children inherit the debt. We demonstrate the selfless love of Christ in this world so that people may find eternal life instead of eternal damnation.

Coontz desires work-family policies that allow men and women to share functional equality. I think we need a return to the biblical model where men and women both find their worth in Christ–equal in essence and equally fulfilled whether as a stay at home mom or as a president of a company.

In trying to have it all, we have nothing. No joy now. No joy later. Stop the madness!

We send our kids to daycares, camps, and schools while complaining about how they are turning out. Who will take better care of your kids–you or an underpaid worker? I know what the answer should be. If we want a better future, we should spend twice as much time with our kids and half the money on them. We might be surprised at the happiness found in having less as 2 Cor. 6:10 says, “having nothing, yet possessing everything.”

This makes me wonder, do people really think feminism is helping families? Or does it just create orphans? Tell me what you think.

8 Comments

  1. The idea that women need to work outside the home in order to be happy is a shame (and wrong, if you ask me). It is rarely true but our society has done a fantastic job of telling women we can and SHOULD do a “man’s job” instead of doing the beautiful and IMPORTANT job of being a wife and mother. It IS a full time, btw, so why would a woman ALSO work outside the home? How is that going to pan out? With a stressed out family, from what I’ve seen and heard! :/
    You said, “We send our kids to daycares, camps, and schools while complaining about how they are turning out. Who will take better care of your kids—you or an underpaid worker? I know what the answer should be. If we want a better future, we should spend twice as much time with our kids and half the money on them.” Exactly right. We homeschool for many reasons and one of those is that WE want to raise our kids. Eighteen or so years isn’t much in life. And we can only do this once.

  2. Thanks for the comment Valerie, and I commend your commitment to homeschooling. That is a full time job. My wife and I have similar commitments. I pray God’s blessings upon you.

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