zaterdag 4 januari 2014

Is Housework Real Work?

Is the work which women traditionally do around the house real work? I think the question is easy to answer. If you have a child, and hire a babysitter or bring him to daycare, do you have to pay? If you hire a cleaning lady does she clean for free? If you go to a restaurant, does it cost you any money?

Apparently, when you outsource parts of what traditionally was considered woman's work to others, they consider it "real work" and expect monetary rewards for doing it.

The next objection to the existance of housewives is that due to the modern conveniencies, housework has become so easy that  women "really don't work as hard as their grandmothers used to." The answer to this is that most men also don't work as hard as their grandfathers used to, but nobody tries to denigrate men's work (that is, except feminists, but we are talking about normal folks over here).

The problem with housework is that too many women slack and do the bare minimum of chores necessary for the family to survive. The fact that there are such women, or even that a majority of women is like this (I personally don't believe it, but let's for a moment suppose that it's true), doesn't make the role of housewife obsolete, it just means we should raise our daughters to take their domestic responsibilities more seriously.

By the way, even if women's work in general is easier than men's work in general, it doesn't mean that the woman's role in the home should be denigrated. The Scriptures call the woman a weaker vessel, so it's only logical that she is more suited to easier work.

Were there some women who worked in the coal mines and in the fields in the past? Yes, there were. There were also some women who were prostitutes, but it doesn't mean that it's OK to be one. Those who attack housewives always come with some extreme example of a woman forced into an unnatural role through extreme poverty or other unfortunate circumstances and pretend that it's an ideal to follow, or that because some woman somewhere is forced to perform hard labour, housewives everywhere should seek out employment in solidarity.

As Christians, the Bible is our guide and it's clear on the role of the (married) women:
1Timothy 5:14 says "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."

It's a quite clear instruction, imho, and one must be willfully blind to disregard it. Lady Lydia has a great post on her blog about the distinction between rules and principles, which is applicable in this situation. Married women being housewives is a principle, which means that there always will be some exceptions, but we should strive for the ideal, not the second best.

If as a woman you want to be a homemaker, search for a man who appreciates the traditional female domestic role, not the one who dismisses it as unimportant and wants his kids to grow up in a day care.

15 opmerkingen:

  1. Well said! I got put down by two working mothers who put their kids in day care for being a housewife. I think day care is horrible for kids! I went to day care for only three weeks as a child and I hated it. Their kids don't seem very happy to me.

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  2. There was a research done in UK some time ago which proved day care was detrimental to children, especially babies. It should only be used as the last resort, imo.

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  3. I know! They used it when each child was only six weeks old...I once saw the father be happy that he didn't have to pay for daycare anymore. It is expensive! But what about their soul lives?

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  4. I though daycare was free in Quebec? It's only fair that it is expensive, after all, dual income couples have well, 2 incomes, let them pay the full price. As of now, they are subsidized by the government.

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  5. No, it's 7$/day here, but what I was saying happened in the USA as I lived there for a few years! There, it's like $1200 a child! Crazy!

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  6. Why have kids if you're not going to actually raise them? I guess I'll never understand...

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  7. Here it's expensive, too, but the government pays a part of the expenses, according to income level. They just decided to compensate high income dual earners again (a couple of years ago they abolished daycare compensation for couples above certain income). A lot of women who choose to work find their kids boring, I guess. They all say that they need to go and find themselves, and the husband loves extra money the wife brings.

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  8. All this is exactly about choosing the first best option. If you do your best God also does His part in providing for your family. Homemaking is just a chain in the whole problem of surviving as Christians. Who is superficial in a small problem will be in a great issue as well. Modern families want everything at the highest standards possible, but why don't we dare for more when it comes to God's will? The food struggle is not a human struggle, but God's problem, our duty is to do God's will and the necessary food and things will be covered through men's work and women's work. Men's work as providers of money and women's work as keepers of money and nurtures of the household. The problem starts when we want luxuries and live according to manufactured demand. We want things because things are well advertised and sold. Nobody wants us to need things, but to desperately desire to own them.

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  9. Yes, it's a spiritual problem, you are right!

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  10. Today people refer to the proverbs 31 woman to justify the women having a career. What they do not notice is that the Proverbs 31 woman gave her handmade merchandise to the merchant, and HE took it to the market. She did not tend a shop all day.

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  11. I just was going to write a post on the very same topic, btw Prov 31 was OT, we live under New Testament, I see nothing in St. Paul instructions about women earning an income. Of course, it's not wrong if they make something and sell, or write a book as I did, but they are not under obligation to be a breadwinner.

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  12. Prov 31 must be the most feminist chapter of the Bible, together with a story of Deborah, which is used to justify women in combat. Personally, I'd rather deal with secular feminists than the Christian variety, at least they don't distort Biblical commands.

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