This incendiary title needs explaining.
What I mean by the statement “women shouldn’t work” is that women shouldn’t work in the same capacity as men, or to be more specific, women shouldn’t be breadwinners. In extraordinary circumstances such as poverty or war women may be called upon to work in the same capacity as men, but in the normal course of life women should not work as men do.
It is usually not true economic need but feminist ideology—that to be fulfilled a woman must have a career—that drives women to the work world. Some women aren’t even aware of the ideology, but blindly follow what feminism has set as the norm for the modern woman—that she has her own pay cheque and can support herself.
Also, I write “women” as opposed to “mothers” should not work quite on purpose: the primary reason women should not work as men do is not because most women have children who need their mother’s care (although this is a good reason for women to not work), but because women working displaces men from their traditional role of provider, protector and cherisher of women. This displacement of men from their traditional role diminishes their place in society and tramples on their manhood. For individual men this is painful, but for western civilization it is catastrophic.
When men are displaced from their traditional role as head of the family, the right ordering of marriage and family life is abolished. Instead of husbands and fathers being authority figures that demand respect—and are even feared on occasion—they are reduced to one part bumbling idiots ruled over by their wives and children, and one part big “softies” that give in to the whims of the women and children in their lives.
The state of a country’s men is reflected in the state of that country—in particular how it governs. If men cower in the corner from their wives and children, countries will shrink from their responsibilities. If there is chaos in the family, there will be chaos in the government. The main unit of society is the family, and when the family is destabilized, society is left open to decay and invasion.
Although it is said that a civilization is ruined through its women, it is the weakening of men that leads to a civilization’s demise. It is the role of men to protect civilization from internal decay and external attack. Weak men don’t make good warriors. What is more, they will fail to recognize that warriors are needed.
Destabilization of the old order officially began with the French Revolution and has continued down to today in many guises—feminism being one of them. Traditionally, men were called upon—expected to—lead, fight and protect—not so anymore. The importance of men’s role has been undermined by feminism—for woman’s emancipation depended upon her being treated like men and her acting like men and eventually usurping them. This usurpation has led to a subversion of sex roles—stay-at-home dads and ambitious career women—that is key to the chaos we now find in Western civilization.
Women have a fixed feminine nature and men have a fixed masculine nature each of which correspond to particular roles and duties. For example, a woman cannot lead and protect as a man can—for she, although she can adapt herself for combat whether in the desert or the boardroom, is still a mother. Mothers cannot lead companies or countries because they are required in the home to guide the daily lives of their children. Mothers cannot protect their country from invasion because they themselves need protecting. A woman can adapt herself to a masculine role by educating herself, assuming an aggressive disposition, and by ridding herself of her children through abortion or by abandoning them at daycare. The fact remains, however, that women are suited to home life; a woman with babe in arms cannot fight in a battle.
While feminism encouraged women to become more aggressive, it discouraged men’s aggression resulting in a figurative castration of men in the West. Men’s aggressive nature though, is not necessarily a bad thing, and repressing it is ignoring that it exists for some reason (like fighting for the Truth when necessary). Men’s aggression simply needs to be channeled properly—how this can happen if men are put in a corner and asked to rock the baby to sleep because their wife is at a board meeting is difficult to fathom.
A crucial point that is being ignored in our feminist-ruled world is that men develop and reinforce their masculinity through “male bonding” which is only possible in male-only settings. Inserting women into what were considered the male professions and also into men’s clubs and sports teams has therefore had the effect of emasculating men. Ideologues infused with feminism advocated for women in politics, “co-ed” facilities such as college dormitories and so on under the auspices that women “civilize” men. Women do help to civilize men, but this was done quite effectively through marriage and family life. There is no reason why the good influence women can have on men need happen in any arena other than marriage and family life. Women breaking into men’s spheres has only masculinized women and feminized men. Early feminists created the myth that men are naturally barbarians and women are naturally angels, but both sexes are capable of good and evil.
The flipside of the destruction of manhood is the destruction of womanhood, which is also happening. For women to compete with men they must emulate them, which means divesting themselves of their natural softness and vulnerability. Although there has been a general feminizing of all of society under feminism, masculine traits continue to be of primary importance and so, women now ape men. It is difficult to have sympathy for women who are caught in the dilemma of trying to be both woman and man, because for most women, an active choice was made to join in the feminist vision, if not the movement proper. For most men, though, feminism brought on a kind of forced march away from their masculinity—it was either accept and fit into the new, feminist order, or be branded the dreaded label, “male chauvinist.”
Feminism sought to, and still does, “emancipate” women by destabilizing sex roles. This destabilization of sex roles has amounted to a destabilization of family and society by casting men’s masculinity and women’s femininity into chaos. The woman’s rights movement was aptly called a revolution even by the early suffragists who may seem quaint by 21st century standards but were radicals and knew it.
The main reason sex roles have been destabilized is because of feminism. No organic progression of humanity is behind these changes as some historians or sociologists would like us to believe.
Ideologues point to the changing social and economic conditions of the 19th and 20th centuries as the reason why women left the home to work, which disregards the role feminist activism and ideology had in convincing women to leave the home. The ideologues want the working mother to seem inevitable instead of forced by feminist ideology.
Yes, industrialization changed patterns of family and work life, and yes, advances in technology made housework easier, and yes, wars brought women into the workforce in a new way. However, it was the feminist idea brought forth in the 19th century by activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton that called on women to break the so-called bondage of traditional womanhood—this bondage being domesticity and lack of political and economic power. Key to breaking this bondage was changing the traditional division of labour between the sexes, thereby blurring the clear-cut sex roles of man as provider and woman as mother.
Before the 1960s and second wave feminism, women worked outside of the home earning their own pay cheques in greater numbers than some may realize. What irked the feminists of the second wave is that working women were typically in positions of little power and remuneration, under the direction of men, employed in what are considered the traditional jobs for women such as secretary, nurse and teacher. Feminists didn’t care if women suited these roles and were contented in them; they wanted “equality,” which for feminists means power (over men) and economic independence (from men). Feminists couldn’t tolerate that women were nurses, serving male doctors, or secretaries, serving male bosses. Feminists were and are thoroughly ideological people, and so, they don’t care about reality. The reality is that women, because of their nature, do better in “serving” roles than in leadership roles. Women, when they allow themselves to be themselves, flourish in roles such as nurse or secretary because they are most fulfilled when they are taking care of people.
Men are fit to lead and fight whether in the desert or around a boardroom table. Women are not—they should be cherished and protected to bear and raise children, to nurture family life, and yes, to take care of men. This latter role, the one that has become completely unacceptable under feminism, is perhaps woman’s most important one: for it’s through a wife’s service and obedience to her husband that her children learn to respect authority. Further, a wife who puts her husband before herself gives her children a concrete and powerful example of humility, obedience and self-sacrificing love. The chaos of today’s world begins with the chaos in the home where woman frantically attempts to fill the role of both homemaker and breadwinner.
It should be noted though, that in the wake of the 1990s backlash against feminism it became acceptable for women to stay at home to raise their children. However, the acceptableness of the stay-at-home-mom is merely an extension of feminism and is still dictated by feminism. Stay-at-home-moms are not necessarily anti-feminists or liberated from the ideology of feminism—they are asserting yet another “right” of a woman, in this case to raise her own children, among the multitude of assertions that women now make for themselves.
In this backlash against feminism, some traditionally-minded conservative women have supposedly taken a stand against feminism by deciding to be “stay-at-home-moms” while their children are young or not yet in school. Yet, even arch-feminist Betty Friedan allowed for women to care for their children while very young. The condition for such an “indulgence” was that the woman must have other interests and goals which she will follow up on as soon as her children are in school and supervised by the state instead of by herself. Feminism insists that a woman has more of a role or identity than that of “mom,” or else she is somewhat less than human. According to feminist ideology, “mom” can be part of her identity, but it can’t define who she is.
However, what is absolutely forbidden by feminism is for a woman’s primary or sole role to be that of “wife.” It is okay to sacrifice one’s career or outside interests for a while for one’s children, but it is not okay to make any sacrifices to be “just” some man’s wife. So, the new stay-at-home-mom does not really challenge feminism since it can be reconciled with it. The stay-at-home-wife, however, is almost incomprehensible in our feminist-designed, feminist-ruled culture. The stay-at-home-wife cannot be reconciled with feminism because a wife is a woman whose identity and role are defined by a relationship to a man, her husband. The main function of a wife is service to her husband—this is anathema to feminism which requires women to be independent, in control and empowered.
In the androgynous marriage, on the other hand, both men and women earn breadwinner incomes and neither is truly dependent on each other. They do not live out their masculinity and femininity since they are filling the same roles at the same time. There cannot be true complementarity of the sexes in this situation. It is chaos, not complementarity. While both quest after breadwinner status, the role of homemaker is neglected, and looking after a home becomes a list of chores to be divided up. When there is no one making the home, what becomes of it? It is destroyed. It becomes a place to rest or consume in between running around to one’s job, school and extra-curricular activities, the latter of which the modern family seems obsessed with. The home is a comfortable, well-decorated rest-stop on the highway of achievement and fulfillment (with the emphasis on the achievement and fulfillment of the females of the family).
The success of feminism is all around us: working moms, androgynous marriages, daycare and nannies, stay-at-home-dads, assertive women and nurturing men, etc. The deed is done, but beneath the façade that it’s one big glorious success of an enlightened society and that men and women are happier than ever, chaos reigns and is only kept in check by the high material standards by which most of us now live, which calms and comforts us and keeps us from suffering and from the ultimate truths.
When wives stayed home (not that they were ever chained to the house as feminists like to depict) and husbands went out into the world, there was an alignment with the true natures of men (providers) and women (nurturers) which created right order within the family. Again, the chaos that now reigns is only kept in check by the soothing effects of material comfort and the ability to constantly lose oneself in some form of digital technology.
However, the check of material wealth can only go so far and last so long. The barbarians within and the barbarians at the gate know about our destabilization, and are fully prepared to take advantage of it—they already are. The fact that our men have been displaced as fighters and protectors by weaker, feminine versions of themselves, that is, by women or emasculated men, means no one is guarding our women and children. The emasculation of Western civilization is complete, and it’s only a matter of time. That is why every woman who truly shuns feminism and chooses to deny herself to serve her husband is serving a much greater cause—that of manhood, and thus civilization as we once knew it, as we hoped it would be.
A Note for Catholics:
A Catholic might argue that “things change” and God does not expect us to stay in the so-called “dark ages.” Indeed, things do change. But we must realize that the way we live now, in the modern world, was not instituted or built by Catholics, but by those who professed views inimical to Catholicism. The way we live now is a result of the thoughts and ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers and the political and economic systems the Enlightenment bred. Modern society descended from the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the American Revolution.
Feminism is a daughter of the Enlightenment, birthed by Protestants in the 19th century that took up Enlightenment ideals and made them the heart and mind of America, and of the American sphere of influence in the world. We live in a social order where Protestantism, Liberalism, secularism and pluralism reign. In essence, the West has become anti-Catholic. Following a modern tenet such as women should work outside of the home is following ideas bred in a thoroughly anti-Catholic milieu. Why would a Catholic follow such ideas? So the world has changed, but we by no means must change with it. To the contrary, we must stand firm in the face of man-made ideologies that seek to destroy the Truth. We shouldn’t simply “Catholicize” Protestant, secular, anti-Catholic ideas. We should start “fresh” from the Catholic tradition that was strong and obvious before it became obscured by modernity.
A Note for Single Women:
This essay assumes that most women will marry, but still, one might ask, “what about single women?” Single women are forced by their circumstance to support themselves financially—to be their own breadwinner so to speak. Regardless of a woman’s marital status, though, she either is or is not a competitor with men depending on what work she chooses and how she conducts herself. A woman can either help or hinder the masculinity of the men she comes into contact with.