The value of a worthy woman is far beyond pearls. She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. She picks out a field to purchage; out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard. She is girt about with strength and sturdy are her arms. She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed. She puts her hands to the distaff and her finers to ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. She fears not the snow for her household; everyone is warmly clothed; She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel.
Women's efforts at sustaining hearth and home are less rewarded now. When money is the measure of a task's worth, unpaid labor is devalued and even derided.
So sad, so true.. and the saddest and truest thing is that women ourselves believe this... and society upholds it, in many ways, and mostly in the name of feminism and equality.
Okay - let's start by saying first off that I'm not against feminism, and I'm not against equality... just that to me, equality does not necessarily mean men and women doing exactly the same work, for the same financial reward... and feminism is not all about burning one's bra and being militant for women's rights. Women's rights, like anything else (including the rights of men) must be earned.
So... having established I'm anti-female-establishment... let me explain myself. Men and women are equally valuable in the male/female balance within life = equality. They may do different jobs - they may choose to live their lives in different ways to the traditional/expected, but each has their own worth in their own ways. Equality. Sure if Dan and Danielle have the same job in a firm, perform the same tasks, with the same level of competence and qualification, then of course they should be compensated fairly - equally. It would not be equal if Dan got a greater level of compensation simply because he does not have breasts and does not have to sit down to pee (unless he's really drunk and just can't handle standing). Equally it is not equal if the firm practises 'positive' discrimination and rewards Danielle more simply because she does, and can... and lets face it, since when has any discrimination been positive?
Standing up with a clear voice to speak for all that it means to be female = feminism. It is certainly not about putting men down. Nor is it about bitching and moaning about the inequality shown to women. It happens. It will always happen. Get over it. It happens the other way around too. Did you know that as a male, you cannot be a daycare teacher and be alone with chidren? You cannot sit a child on your lap, or put your arm around a child to comfort them if they are crying in class... accept a hug from a child who is simply happy to see you in the morning - most inappropriate - NOT! So... let's not heap the pot'o'blame on men. Rather, actually, the 'blame' is our own if we really want to blame anyone at all....
But... I somewhat digress...
When did it suddenly become 'uncool' to be a 'housewife' and mother... even a working one? I mean whether it's the woman or the man that does the home-making, and whether they work as well or not, when did there cease to be honour and value in what is an essential part of protecting and nurturing a family.
During the summer, and at other times when I am in NC, I spend my days engaged in those domestic activities. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, sewing sometimes, shopping for groceries... and I find it very empowering. I don't feel devalued or derided by it at all, no matter what society might think. Empowered by the knowledge that I'm keeping the home, looking after my guy... it might sound small, but there's great energy and life in that... at least for me.
I wonder if society realises how much it is stifling itself, it's own creativity in destroying this balance... The balance of male and female energies within each individual, as well as within couples - whether they be heterosexual or not.