Monday, December 16, 2019

Should All Women Stay Home?

Whenever the issue of the traditional labour division in society is discussed, there is always somebody asking a question about nurses and women in similar professions and how we would deal without them.

While some of these people are probably just trolling, the question itself is valid and deserves an answer instead of a dismissal.

I should say let's look at the historical precedent first. In the Middle Ages, and later in Catholic countries up to and including the WWII period, the care of sick and elderly, when it could not be done by the family, was the domain of nuns and monks. Early childhood education, idem ditto. There is a 1960s (French, I think) movie about British pilots whose plane has been shot down by the Germans who for  a time being hide in a Catholic hospital where all the nurses AND the doctors are nuns.

While there were no convents or monasteries in Lutheran countries, from what I've read, there were groups of women called holy deaconesses who basically fulfilled the same function, but for a limited time and could marry afterwards, if they so desired.

The traditional Catholic doctrine distinguishes between the women who have a religious vocation and whose duty it is to serve the society, and all the rest whose place is in the home whether they get married or not. I believe this doctrine has a Biblical basis since the Scriptures teach us that there are some people who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom. Now one could argue whether a eunuch could mean a female in this context, but we all know that throughout the ages they have been women who showed very little interest in marriage, children and family life in general.

So if the Western society ever becomes traditional again, we'll probably go back to an arrangement of the similar kind, with family taking over some of the care tasks (that's already happening right now with homeschoolers or those who let their aged parents move with them).

In the meanwhile, there are many single women out there, who necessarily (unless they come from a very wealthy family) will look for a job. Now if these women decided to quit all other industries which could do just fine without female labour (did you know that a secretary used to be a male job?) and all became nurses/gynos/doctor's aides/special police forces who deal with women and children/school teachers etc, I do believe they would fight to get a job, because currently there are more working women than the positions in these branches. And, btw, nurses dealing with men could be male, too, you know.

It is my opinion that a society needs some female labour and that's why I disagree with all this piling on single women which happens on the dissident right. Not everybody is called to marriage and family life, plus there have always been women who used to marry late  and spent their early years working, especially in Northern Europe.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!


  1. If God is the Creator of every life, and we know He is. It seems worse than useless to waste any gifts of life that He so generously chose to intricately imbed within the body of every woman (medical exceptions of course) He creates. So to the contrary, if you've got a V and U … He created you for a specific purpose. Is that the only purpose, for sure, no. But it is the primary one and one of most importance, as those eggs have a shelf life.

    If you call yourself a believer, what is wrong with using the good judgment to sequence a career after you've grown in faith, love, and holiness -- the self-sacrifice (as Jesus did) for others weaker than us.

  2. Robyn, I'm not exactly sure what are you trying to say. Obviously, by various reasons (though marriage should be the norm)not all people are going to get married. Personally I don't think that a woman who dedicates her life to serving her community caring for the sick and elderly is wasting her God-given talents. I sometimes think that this reductionist view of women as the sum of their reproductive organs is the primary reason feminism became so prominent in Protestant and not Catholic countries since the latter always respected the vocation of religious devotion, whether in women or men. BTW, they used to have higher birth rates, too, so it made up for "lost eggs".

  3. Sanne, it seems by your comment you know exactly what I'm saying. Also, I didn't say "talents" I said eggs that were placed within her body at her creation. I don't think that a maple tree giving sap is anymore of a reductionist view than a woman moving and being in her complete feminine ability and power to make a human. On the contrary to seeing it as reductionist … I see it as an amazing AMAZING gift to have been chosen to be created as a female! A rare and beautiful gift. When things (creatures) choose to be something other than what they were created to be; how udderly sad to see a daisy moo-ooing like a cow. Or, the clay saying to the Potter, I'll do whatever I want. Just because God has an order and plan for His own creation doesn't mean small or little or less valuable. Feminism is a great gift to the Church -- it separates Christians from true believers.

  4. I do hope you are consistent in your views and never use services of any female professionals and that none of your relatives will ever enter a hospital or a nursing home. Or is it OK for women to work as long as they aren't "true believers?"

    There is more to a woman's body than just her eggs, btw, and some women who choose to stay single may be unable to have children. I guess in your worldview they have no reason to exist.

    1. You've extrapolated to the negative. I never said there's nothing more to a woman's body. what I did say was that, there's no reason not to sequence her life by putting a family first, for self-sacrifice. a career is not self-sacrifice … you do it for a paycheque. I don't have a world view Sanne, I have a Christ view. Of course there are women that cannot have children, that is why I stated, if you'll read back, medical exceptions.

    2. Well, Robyn, then I suggest you open hour Bible and read 1Cor7, especially the verse 34:

      There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

      There is no one rule fit for all in the Scriptures and nearly 2000 years of Christianity in the West agree with it. There is a difference between a woman who stays unmarried for self-glorification as in having a fabulous career and the one who chooses to serve God and community in an unmarried state.

  5. Basically, I agree with you, Sanne.

    Where I stand on feminism and its madness is not a secret. However, I don't think that in this age where it is harder than ever for young men to carve out a livable wage for family support so that they feel confident to marry (which is also a driving factor in the marriage delay despite the right-wing crowing that women are the sole drivers), it stands to reason that young women are going to have to work on jobs somewhere if and until they are blessed with a marriage and family of their own.

    Yes, some women are delaying for careers and college, but some are simply making use of their talents in other ways because their desire for marriage is going unfulfilled.

    I am highly sympathetic to your position Robyn, as I'm sure you recognize in our years of online acquaintance, but surely it is possible to acknowledge the beauty and awe-inspiring privilege women are blessed with as potential mothers without reducing down to the sum total of our reproductive parts.

    I've known several married women (as I'm sure you have) who struggled with infertility (a couple of them quite young), and the idea that they are somehow less valuable if they don't conceive. I am know that's not what you meant, but that's the natural conclusion to reach when we say that a woman's total and complete purpose for living is to give birth. That perspective is a disservice to women made in the image of God with intellect, insight, sentience, and to whom He gives His Holy Spirit.

    Do I believe married mothers belong in the home? Absolutely I believe it! With every fiber of my being. Children should be raised in families, not institutions (someone might want to share that with the average man, by the way). But to leap from that very Biblical and solid belief to the assertion that woman is only useful insomuch as her uterus is used is not a position that be defended from the Bible.

    Christianity is an extreme enough counter culture, a narrow enough road to walk. I fear that sometimes, in our justifiably forceful rejection of feminism, we create an ideology that swings the pendulum so far in the other direction that we, too, miss God's directives.

    I offer this -my relatively worthless opinion- from a heart of mutual faith and love, and hope it is received as such.

  6. Theoretically speaking, any society needs some degree of female labour, you can't build one totally without, and even in a harem (as shown in the TV series I once wrote about) they had female doctors. The question is then who is going to perform it? Should it be a married woman and even worse, a mother of small children who will necessarily leave them in the care of others or should it be a single lady?

    Throughout the ages, there has always been a percentage of women who stayed single, by various reasons. Some chose the convent, others were unable to find husbands. There usually were less available men around since more of them died in wars and work-related accidents than women did in child birth. Unless you allow polygamy, you will usually end with a surplus of women.

    Also, I didn't mean to say that a woman should stay perennially single. Some women marry young but others marry later in life, and it's always been like this. The Scriptures don't command every single person to marry, they do command single people of both sexes to stay chaste.

    Also nowadays we all are taught to think in the terms of "careers" A career or family? I'm talking about a religious vocation as in being called to serve others.

  7. A single woman, btw, could also be a childless widow (or one whose children are grown) who chose not to remarry but to become a caregiver. I'll give you two examples. One was a lady who early in life learned that she was unable to have children so she studied to become a midwife and delivered thousands of babies. There was a TV program about her. The other was also a midwife, but lived in the 17th century. Her husband died and instead of remarrying she chose this path of helping other women. It's much more Biblical for a single woman to work outside home than for a married one, but again, I wouldn't say it's a must. I have nothing against stay-at-home daughters. It's just not a reality for the most people who simply can't afford it. In a Christian society, the caregiver type of jobs would go to ladies who had a vocation for this type of thing, that's all.