donderdag 29 januari 2015

You Don't Need A Permission To Stay Home

I noticed that a lot of ladies quietly sabotage the society's idea about all women having to work outside home. Sometimes they'll quit their job and would say that they are going to start their own business (which they never do), or they get a burnout after the birth of the second child, or they state that they are searching for work but can never find it.

What I'm trying to say with this post is that it's OK to stay home as a married woman, if you wish to. There is no need to invent excuses and you really don't need the permission of your colleagues, parents or in-laws. There is no law in Western countries which demands married women to hold a job so it's perfectly legal to be a homemaker if you choose so. The only person in your life who has to agree with your choice is your husband, and most husbands find it a great idea as long as their wives don't turn into domestic slobs, do some housekeeping regularly and are careful with money.

You also don't need to have children to stay home. Some ladies who wanted to stay home but couldn't get children went as far as to adopt which costs a lot of money, right after which they turned in their resignation letters. It's not that I'm against adoption, I'd just like to point out a simple fact that having children isn't a precondition to staying home. Adoption is a very serious business and one shouldn't feel pressured into it, for whatever reason.

Our society prides itself on such things as "choice" and "freedom" and "tolerance", which means that any lady who desires to be a housewife is free to choose this option and that her choice should be tolerated. If people harass you for your choice, kindly ask them to mind their own business. Really, you don't have to try to please your whole extended family or all the acquaintances, as long as your husband is fine with your choice, they'll have to accept it just as you accept the fact that they might choose differently.

Women who desire to be homemakers should come out of the closet really, as they have nothing to be ashamed of.

maandag 26 januari 2015

Why Some Men Keep Dreaming About Polygamy

There are quite a lot of (Western) guys who keep dreaming about various polygamous arrangements while simultaneously complaining about Western women, gold-digging, the state of marriage and how the family can't survive on one income so that their wives have to work.

Those same men often complain how modern women are delusional and overestimate their attractiveness, while they themselves seem to be living in a dreamworld of their own making.

Apart from the question whether polygamy is allowed in the Bible (I believe it's not, but let's say it's irrelevant for the present discussion), how are they planning to support four or more wives if they can't afford to have even one at home? Here comes the most ridiculous part of the whole scheme: some of them are so deluded that they imagine themselves staying home while their wives go out and earn the living, which is truly pathetic, in my opinion.

Polygamy, as we all know, is practiced in (certain) Muslim countries, so how does it work? First, to be able to marry at all, a man has to pay a bride price and it can be very high. It often happens that poorer men can hardly afford to marry at all, while wealthier men have several wives. Second, if Western women are supposedly gold-diggers then you surely haven't met any Eastern ones.

Here is an article by an Iranian man (warning:language) which throws some light upon marital arrangements in his country. I'd just like to quote a part of it:

The husband is, by law, responsible for every dime spent in a marriage. According to Islamic law, the husband cannot ask his wife to spend a dime, or even consult her on how she can spend her money. Money for the expenses of life is called nafaqa, and the husband is mandated to give that money to his wife. She can sue her husband for not paying, and the court will order a monthly amount to be paid to the wife by her husband as her nafaqa. 

Here is an even more interesting part: The amount of nafaqa depends on the class of the woman, but is mandated that it should not be lower than her standard of living prior to marriage. Meaning that if she used to have maids, the husband now should pay for maids. This helps to make it clear that in Iran, “deprivation” of a wife from her husband’s wealth is Islamic laws, a woman’s possession is her possession, but a man’s possession is the family’s possession.

The author of that article isn't thrilled with such patriarchal arrangements. Something tells me that the men who complain the hardest about life in the West wouldn't like Islamic patriarchy, where the man is responsible for everything, either.

Guys, be careful with what you are wishing for!

vrijdag 23 januari 2015

Feminine Manner, Part 1

Since there is so much interest in the topic of femininity I'd like to write more about it using Helen Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood as a guide. Last year I did a post about feminine appearance based on her book (for those interested, search the label Fascinating Womanhood), but she also devoted a whole chapter to the feminine manner and another one to the feminine nature. 

Mrs Andelin points out that a woman can dress feminine, but if her manners and behaviour are not, it will produce a comical effect. She also explains that men find the feminine manner attractive since it forms contrast with their masculinity.

She gives practical advice about hands, walk and voice (don't gesticulate wildly, don't pound on the table, don't slap people on the back, don't walk like men do, avoid talking too loud, but also avoid mumbling or speaking in monotonous voice) and suggests reading aloud to improve one's manner of speaking (Fascinating Womanhood, pp. 256, 257, Bantam Books, 1992).

Another thing to be avoided is to laugh in masculine manner, such as roaring with laughter, and certain facial expressions, such as deep frown and hardness in the eyes. Mrs Andelin states that such unfeminine facial expressions often are a result of a harsh, overtly critical character and suggests working at improving both.

She also gives some hints on how to bewitch a man you love by the way you talk to him and behave (p. 258, 259).

Helen then takes on feminine conversation. She warns women against talking too much and being self-centered in their conversation (talking only about one's own children, husband, problems etc), because it's boring to other people. A woman shouldn't try to dominate the conversation or speak in a vulgar, crude manner, and she should try to avoid making catty remarks about persons she dislikes. A feminine woman will also show tenderness towards children and those less fortunate and avoid heated arguments (pp. 259, 260)

In my next post I'll discuss refinement and feminine wiles.

maandag 19 januari 2015

Can You Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too?

The article has been making rounds which illustrates what exactly is wrong with modern "conservatives". It appears that a pastor in NYC wrote a post advising Christian men which women to avoid. As usual, he got lots of "hatemail" from offended females which hastened to point out how wrong he is to state that men should have standards when choosing a wife, and that they themselves are all "in great marriages" though they are loud-mouthed feminists. This is hilarious in itself and provides for great entertainment value, but I would have never mentioned it if not for one thing.

The supposedly conservative pastor makes the following point:

There is nothing wrong with a woman who works (Acts 16:14), what’s wrong is a woman who puts her career ahead of her family.  Modern American society might hate to hear this, but God made men to be the providers and women to be the nurturers of the home (in most instances).  It’s okay for a woman to be a doctor, attorney, or any other professional.  However, if her career is coming at the expense of her home, then something is wrong.  If day-care is raising her young children while she’s working, then something is wrong. 

The statement in itself is problematic. First, a homemaker works at home, every single day, or at least, she is supposed to do it. I can't believe that the good preacher uses the story of Lydia and totally ignores the command given in Titus 2 which for centuries has been understood as teaching that the married woman's job is to be a keeper at home. The Scriptures often describe people in less than ideal situations, it doesn't mean we should follow them when there are clear commands on how to behave.

A famous Bible scholar, John Gill, has the following to say about Lydia:

whether Lydia was a maid, a wife, or widow, cannot be said; it looks, however, as if she had no husband now, since she is mentioned as a trader herself

Obviously, if a woman is single she'll have no other choice but to work, unless she is independently wealthy. Further, the pastor correctly states that there are distinct sex roles, but then suddenly adds that it's OK for a woman to be a professional, unless her home life suffers because of it. How can one be "the nurturer of the home" and a doctor or a lawyer at the same time, is never explained. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Since he is not afraid to make unpopular statements, such as the one about divorcees, he probably believes that a woman can have it all together, which makes him indistinguishable from feminists he set out to criticise. The choice isn't any more between Western tradition and feminism, instead it's between feminism of the Right or of the Left. It's like watching Tweedledum and Tweedledee fight. It's little wonder the Right keeps losing. At least, the other side comes with a whole freebies package.

vrijdag 16 januari 2015

Feminine Clothes, Part 2

So today I finally have time to upload the pictures I took two days ago. Here are examples of different styles from an old copy of Verena, my favourite knitting magazine.


Formal, evening variety:



Sportive (a skirt is a bit on the short side, but you get the meaning):

The styles are obviously different but still distinctly feminine.