Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Problem Of Our Age?

 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

Have you noticed how so many women nowadays are restless? Part of this restlessness is probably inherent to human nature, but I do believe that it's mostly the result of the current climate in society and even deliberate attempts on the part of  some. I remember reading an article about India once, where the journo described with gleeful satisfaction how women in an obscure Indian village were "getting restless" and not content to be "mere housewives" any more.

Thirty years ago, it was perfectly normal for a married woman and mother to be a full time homemaker, even in my liberal corner of the country, but the same men who were proud to support their wives, raised their daughters to have a career. How did it all change so quickly?

The part of the problem are the women themselves. These early GenX/late boomer housewives were quite unlike their own mothers. While one could say lots of the negative stuff about baby boomers proper, their wholesale embrace of liberalism and the way they taught their children that life was all about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll enjoying themselves, the women of that generation, at least in my country, mostly lived a pretty traditional life.

Their daughters and younger sisters, not so much. Though they stayed home, they often exhibited this Peter Pan mentality of never growing up. They wanted to be homemakers with doing as little homemaking as possible. They wanted to combine motherhood with going out clubbing and getting drunk, and to have a 2 income lifestyle on one income. They wanted to have their cake and eat it, too, and if it didn't work out, they either went back to work, or deeply resented the fact that they were "stuck at home", dependent on their husbands, and taught their daughters to hate the traditional lifestyle.

And, of course, their husbands resented the fact that they had both to make a living and "help out" with housework and child-rearing, since wifey couldn't be bothered.

She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12Now is she without, now in the streets

However, it's not entirely these women's fault. Yes, some are generally lazy and some are busybodies and worse, but how were they supposed to know any better when their own mothers (and in too many cases,  fathers) taught them from the cradle that their life should be one big whirlwind of fun and excitement, and they had a right to as much material stuff as their hearts desired? Their husbands, on the other hand, had been taught never to exercise any form of authority in the family, as it would be "oppressive".

Schools indoctrinated them in equality and the TV and pretty much all the media ridiculed any woman who tried to do a decent job at home as "a Stepford wife." Traditional female occupations which women engaged in when their children became older, like gardening, knitting, drawing or playing the piano, disappeared as well, and they were left in  sort of a domestic limbo, with nothing else to do but watching TV and kinda hanging around.

This all gave homemakers a really bad name. An "older woman" shouldn't be restless.  If anything, she should create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, so that her house feels like a cosy retreat from the troubles of the outside world. It's hardly possible when her life is chaotic. All of us need some structure built into our day, and we also need something to occupy our hands and thoughts and support of good friends and family.

Being a housewife is essentially being self-employed. I remember a discussion on the internet where a woman wrote that if she didn't work outside home, she'd be too lazy to get out of bed. If you need a boss to tell you what to do every minute of the day and to force you to be productive, you'll never be happy as a housewife...


  1. This is a wonderful article. Thank you. I think something went terribly wrong when women, young and old alike, quit taking the raising and mentoring of children seriously. It is a full time effort to teach and train children not to mention making and maintaining Home. Without a solid foundation the fulltime mothers provide, there is an unsettling of society. We are seeing the "fruits" of it all around. It would also be better to see Grandmothers positively guiding the younger generations as well, instead of wearing trendy ripped up jeans with spiky hair, pretending to be young.

  2. You are welcome, Rachel, I'm glad you liked it!

    I find it especially sad when babies as young as three months are left in the care of others, for the sake of vacations, going out and big mortgages...