Women's Work

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
Whereas my thread on "female heroes" seemed to bring out the desire in a fair majority of people to delve into the details of what ought to be normative in society with regard to the various duties and roles of women, whereas this is a matter I am also interested in discussing, whereas the "female heroes" thread is intended for discussion of what is exceptional rather than normal...

Let's talk here about what exactly "women's work" is.

We might be talking cross purposes so this might be just for the record: women only consecrate to the Lord the fullest measure of their talents, gifts, skills, in the domestic sphere. No where else.
^^^ This is what got me really thinking about it.

I can't necessarily say that I disagree with the sentiment of this statement. At the same time, I think it is an idealistic statement, meaning that it presupposes the existence of ideal circumstances or perfect opportunity for every woman - when in fact, this is statistically quite far from being the case in reality.

But more importantly, this call into question: what exactly is - and what ought to be - included in "the domestic sphere" - ?

"The Manosphere" at large is pretty firm in the assertion that women don't belong in institutions and industry -- but how do you account for the fact that so many industries and institutions were essentially and effectively hijacked FROM the home, FROM the domestic sphere in the first place?

How do YOU define "women's work"? And have you considered how this definition would stack up against the sorts of duties and responsibilities women have had through the bulk of human history?

A good example of what I'm getting at is the OBGYN/Midwife divide. A few generations ago, if you had a male doctor delivering your baby it was because something was wrong. If you were going to a HOSPITAL it meant that something was REALLY REALLY wrong. The vast majority of births were attended at home by midwives who were trained primarily by way of apprenticeship. Fast-forward to now. It's easy to say that a woman has no business going to medical school and becoming a doctor... but the medical establishment has entirely commandeered and/or outlawed one of the most ancient domestic industries known to womankind. I daresay one of a handful of "professions" to which women are absolutely and without a doubt better-suited than men, on the whole (barring situations where medical intervention is necessary).

How do we reconcile traditional and appropriate roles with the realities of modernity?

OR - if you'd rather not delve that deeply into it, this is also a good place for us ladies to talk about what OUR jobs are - in the home AND outside of it. :blush:

As for ME...

When I HAD to work, when I HAD to earn money to get by as a young divorced mom, I did make a pretty conscious decision to stick to things that fit with my domestic skill-base. I went looking for a part-time job as a dishwasher... and after a few months was all-but-forcibly promoted to managing an entire cafe. I HAVE the skills for this job, but it made me want to stab frown at people, and I eventually noped out of there in favor of moving back in with my dad for a little while. Then I got roped into running not one, but TWO small bakeries (not at the same time, but one right after the other, lol), almost entirely on my own. I could have legitimately rocked at that job, if I did not have severely hyper-mobile joints - and maybe if I hadn't gotten sick.

I definitely consider the possibility of running a bakery with my boys one day. I was able to bring them to work with me fairly regularly, and a lot of their "education" during that time was based on observing, and helping out with things not involving food-handling. They've both expressed an interest in owning and operating a bakery someday, which I think is pretty neat (especially since they have a very practical notion, rather than romantic, of what it's actually like). This is another one of those areas where the domestic sphere collides with "industry." My best role as grandma may someday involve business management.

But for now I get to be "just" a stay-at-home-mom and a homemaker again. My job description is basically a whole lot of exactly what brings me joy: taking care of my home and my family. I do all of the cooking and cleaning (aside from what I have the kids do), unless I'm sick or my husband really wants to cook or clean something for me. I do all of the laundry. I do the vast majority of the shopping and ordering for food and household supplies. One of my husband's favorite things is that I make his coffee every morning. But I also do a lot of things that a lot of women would relegate to their husbands as "men's work," I suppose. I've had my husband literally step in and (gently) remove tools from my hands when I went to get under the sink and remove something from the U-bend, without even thinking to ask him to do it for me. Does that make me a feminist? I dunno. :laughter:

I mean, sometimes my husband even... asks me to drive. I've driven myself to most of my appointments this year. One time, I actually drove his car all the way into town to have the tires changed, because he was really busy in the shop that day. I don't even think women should be allowed to drive. How am I supposed to feel about THAT? The cognitive dissonance is real.

I guess another really relevant question for the ladies might be: do you feel like your personal situation is consistent with your own ideal, in terms of your role and your responsibilities in life as a woman?
 

EntWife

Robin
Woman
Women should prioritize their husband and children. A job can really interfere with that. In your case, you had to work after divorcing your first husband for gross sexual immorality.

There are women who go nuts at home 24/7 with small children. A woman I used to know worked part-time for that reason. She was a very good mother and did make her family her main priority. She just needed two or three mornings a week in a different environment.

Women used to have more opportunities for charitable work and church activities, especially after the children were older. A lot of that has disappeared. Can you imagine a Ladies' Aid Society or a committee to re-upholster the church pews? Anything like that would die from lack of participation. That need for adult connection that often isn't being met drives some women back into the workforce.

Overall, I do think we women do our best at home focusing on our families. I understand that some women's circumstances don't work out that well though.
 
Women should prioritize their husband and children. A job can really interfere with that. In your case, you had to work after divorcing your first husband for gross sexual immorality.

There are women who go nuts at home 24/7 with small children. A woman I used to know worked part-time for that reason. She was a very good mother and did make her family her main priority. She just needed two or three mornings a week in a different environment.

Women used to have more opportunities for charitable work and church activities, especially after the children were older. A lot of that has disappeared. Can you imagine a Ladies' Aid Society or a committee to re-upholster the church pews? Anything like that would die from lack of participation. That need for adult connection that often isn't being met drives some women back into the workforce.

Overall, I do think we women do our best at home focusing on our families. I understand that some women's circumstances don't work out that well though.

Grandma and other female relatives can help with the children. I see no reason why wives have to have sole responsibility for children 24/7 at home.

Bearing the burden alone for too long is too much for anyone. And our current atomized situation compared to the more extended families in the past isn't good.

I think grandparents would be very happy with that arrangement too. Its a good opportunity for the necessary sabbatical every week to allow for refreshment.
 

Jessie

Sparrow
Woman
Grandma and other female relatives can help with the children. I see no reason why wives have to have sole responsibility for children 24/7 at home.

Bearing the burden alone for too long is too much for anyone. And our current atomized situation compared to the more extended families in the past isn't good.

I think grandparents would be very happy with that arrangement too. Its a good opportunity for the necessary sabbatical every week to allow for refreshment.

It is a very good thing for the children, if the grandmother and aunts are a good influence. Moms are ideal, but everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. I love that my children are exposed to the strengths of my mom and sisters in areas where I’m weaker. I don’t often leave my children with them, but I wouldn’t see any harm in it if I had to.
 

Luna Novem

Kingfisher
Woman
Whereas my thread on "female heroes" seemed to bring out the desire in a fair majority of people to delve into the details of what ought to be normative in society with regard to the various duties and roles of women, whereas this is a matter I am also interested in discussing, whereas the "female heroes" thread is intended for discussion of what is exceptional rather than normal...

Let's talk here about what exactly "women's work" is.


^^^ This is what got me really thinking about it.

I can't necessarily say that I disagree with the sentiment of this statement. At the same time, I think it is an idealistic statement, meaning that it presupposes the existence of ideal circumstances or perfect opportunity for every woman - when in fact, this is statistically quite far from being the case in reality.

But more importantly, this call into question: what exactly is - and what ought to be - included in "the domestic sphere" - ?

"The Manosphere" at large is pretty firm in the assertion that women don't belong in institutions and industry -- but how do you account for the fact that so many industries and institutions were essentially and effectively hijacked FROM the home, FROM the domestic sphere in the first place?

How do YOU define "women's work"? And have you considered how this definition would stack up against the sorts of duties and responsibilities women have had through the bulk of human history?

A good example of what I'm getting at is the OBGYN/Midwife divide. A few generations ago, if you had a male doctor delivering your baby it was because something was wrong. If you were going to a HOSPITAL it meant that something was REALLY REALLY wrong. The vast majority of births were attended at home by midwives who were trained primarily by way of apprenticeship. Fast-forward to now. It's easy to say that a woman has no business going to medical school and becoming a doctor... but the medical establishment has entirely commandeered and/or outlawed one of the most ancient domestic industries known to womankind. I daresay one of a handful of "professions" to which women are absolutely and without a doubt better-suited than men, on the whole (barring situations where medical intervention is necessary).

How do we reconcile traditional and appropriate roles with the realities of modernity?

OR - if you'd rather not delve that deeply into it, this is also a good place for us ladies to talk about what OUR jobs are - in the home AND outside of it. :blush:

As for ME...

When I HAD to work, when I HAD to earn money to get by as a young divorced mom, I did make a pretty conscious decision to stick to things that fit with my domestic skill-base. I went looking for a part-time job as a dishwasher... and after a few months was all-but-forcibly promoted to managing an entire cafe. I HAVE the skills for this job, but it made me want to stab frown at people, and I eventually noped out of there in favor of moving back in with my dad for a little while. Then I got roped into running not one, but TWO small bakeries (not at the same time, but one right after the other, lol), almost entirely on my own. I could have legitimately rocked at that job, if I did not have severely hyper-mobile joints - and maybe if I hadn't gotten sick.

I definitely consider the possibility of running a bakery with my boys one day. I was able to bring them to work with me fairly regularly, and a lot of their "education" during that time was based on observing, and helping out with things not involving food-handling. They've both expressed an interest in owning and operating a bakery someday, which I think is pretty neat (especially since they have a very practical notion, rather than romantic, of what it's actually like). This is another one of those areas where the domestic sphere collides with "industry." My best role as grandma may someday involve business management.

But for now I get to be "just" a stay-at-home-mom and a homemaker again. My job description is basically a whole lot of exactly what brings me joy: taking care of my home and my family. I do all of the cooking and cleaning (aside from what I have the kids do), unless I'm sick or my husband really wants to cook or clean something for me. I do all of the laundry. I do the vast majority of the shopping and ordering for food and household supplies. One of my husband's favorite things is that I make his coffee every morning. But I also do a lot of things that a lot of women would relegate to their husbands as "men's work," I suppose. I've had my husband literally step in and (gently) remove tools from my hands when I went to get under the sink and remove something from the U-bend, without even thinking to ask him to do it for me. Does that make me a feminist? I dunno. :laughter:

I mean, sometimes my husband even... asks me to drive. I've driven myself to most of my appointments this year. One time, I actually drove his car all the way into town to have the tires changed, because he was really busy in the shop that day. I don't even think women should be allowed to drive. How am I supposed to feel about THAT? The cognitive dissonance is real.

I guess another really relevant question for the ladies might be: do you feel like your personal situation is consistent with your own ideal, in terms of your role and your responsibilities in life as a woman?
My personal situation (homeschooling mom) is virtually 100% consistent with my own ideal. Not only am I able to raise and care for my own kids, but I am able to mostly not socialize. I am an INCREDIBLY introverted person. I would hate to be in an office or something with the constant socialization.

What's your reasoning for not thinking women should drive?
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
I think grandparents would be very happy with that arrangement too. Its a good opportunity for the necessary sabbatical every week to allow for refreshment.
It is a very good thing for the children, if the grandmother and aunts are a good influence.
For much of the year, my boys go out to visit with my dad and stepmom for one overnight per week. I don't know that I need this so much as I think it's good for the kids AND the grandparents. On the other hand, my mother has asked in the past about having them come out to visit her and my stepdad on their farm for a week or two, when they were old enough. Well, now they're old enough... but no. flipping. way. Not if I'm not there also. My mother can be a good influence in a whole lot of ways, teach them a lot of good things... but she'll sneak in her lefty-globohomo-feminist agenda everywhere she can.

I've come full circle in a lot of ways. Long before I had children, it was: "psh, I don't need people to watch my kids for me, I'm going to do it ALL MYSELF." Then I was persuaded by a whole bunch of folks that "it takes a village to raise a child." NOW, when people say "it takes a village" - my automatic internal response is "Oh yeah? Which village? GREENWICH VILLAGE?" (historical hotbed for degenerate/"Bohemian" ideology).

I truly don't understand or relate at all to the "need a break from my kids" mentality. Maybe it's because I'm blessed with exceptionally good kids (my older boy snuck out of bed in the wee hours last night... and loaded the dishwasher). Maybe it's because I grew up hyper-aware of the way various adults in my life tried to influence ME when I was a kid. And MAYBE I'm also a little bit paranoid. :blush:

My personal situation (homeschooling mom) is virtually 100% consistent with my own ideal. Not only am I able to raise and care for my own kids, but I am able to mostly not socialize. I am an INCREDIBLY introverted person. I would hate to be in an office or something with the constant socialization.

What's your reasoning for not thinking women should drive?
I relate so hard to extreme introversion and not wanting to socialize. The WORST part of working outside the home was never actually having other people watch my kids (they were ALWAYS either with my dad/stepmom or with their dad - who isn't a great influence but he's their dad) -- it was having to deal with people.

As far as women driving... TBH that's less of a hard-line position of "women should NOT," and more of an "IF - THEN" line of reasoning. IF women were not allowed to drive, THEN I could not be socially or culturally expected to do a whole lot of things that I don't think women ought to be expected to do.

ALSO, hate to say it, but... on the whole, women are crappy drivers. Some men suck at driving, too, yes. But every. single. time. I have personally witnessed any kind of egregious incompetence/error in judgment from a driver, it's ALWAYS (always always always, literally zero exceptions) been a woman. But that's more of an aside. Mainly I'm just resentful that it's become normalized to the point of being expected. I get told by a lot of people that I'm a very good driver, but I hate driving. It's one of three YUUUUGE social expectations I've identified as being chiefly responsible for what I see as the systemic degradation of women (plucking women out of "women's work" and the traditional roles they're suited to, and converting them into atomized units of expendable un-gendered human labor). These are: drive, vote, make your own money. I take a pretty extreme stance against all of these things, on principle - even while acknowledging that there ARE exceptional women who are quite suited and capable.

We went from: "omg aren't you so mad that you're not ALLOWED to do masculine things even if you're really good at them? omg sexist."

to: "lol these things are all called adulting now and they're mandatory for everyone."

It was a trap.
 

Luna Novem

Kingfisher
Woman
For much of the year, my boys go out to visit with my dad and stepmom for one overnight per week. I don't know that I need this so much as I think it's good for the kids AND the grandparents. On the other hand, my mother has asked in the past about having them come out to visit her and my stepdad on their farm for a week or two, when they were old enough. Well, now they're old enough... but no. flipping. way. Not if I'm not there also. My mother can be a good influence in a whole lot of ways, teach them a lot of good things... but she'll sneak in her lefty-globohomo-feminist agenda everywhere she can.

I've come full circle in a lot of ways. Long before I had children, it was: "psh, I don't need people to watch my kids for me, I'm going to do it ALL MYSELF." Then I was persuaded by a whole bunch of folks that "it takes a village to raise a child." NOW, when people say "it takes a village" - my automatic internal response is "Oh yeah? Which village? GREENWICH VILLAGE?" (historical hotbed for degenerate/"Bohemian" ideology).

I truly don't understand or relate at all to the "need a break from my kids" mentality. Maybe it's because I'm blessed with exceptionally good kids (my older boy snuck out of bed in the wee hours last night... and loaded the dishwasher). Maybe it's because I grew up hyper-aware of the way various adults in my life tried to influence ME when I was a kid. And MAYBE I'm also a little bit paranoid. :blush:


I relate so hard to extreme introversion and not wanting to socialize. The WORST part of working outside the home was never actually having other people watch my kids (they were ALWAYS either with my dad/stepmom or with their dad - who isn't a great influence but he's their dad) -- it was having to deal with people.

As far as women driving... TBH that's less of a hard-line position of "women should NOT," and more of an "IF - THEN" line of reasoning. IF women were not allowed to drive, THEN I could not be socially or culturally expected to do a whole lot of things that I don't think women ought to be expected to do.

ALSO, hate to say it, but... on the whole, women are crappy drivers. Some men suck at driving, too, yes. But every. single. time. I have personally witnessed any kind of egregious incompetence/error in judgment from a driver, it's ALWAYS (always always always, literally zero exceptions) been a woman. But that's more of an aside. Mainly I'm just resentful that it's become normalized to the point of being expected. I get told by a lot of people that I'm a very good driver, but I hate driving. It's one of three YUUUUGE social expectations I've identified as being chiefly responsible for what I see as the systemic degradation of women (plucking women out of "women's work" and the traditional roles they're suited to, and converting them into atomized units of expendable un-gendered human labor). These are: drive, vote, make your own money. I take a pretty extreme stance against all of these things, on principle - even while acknowledging that there ARE exceptional women who are quite suited and capable.

We went from: "omg aren't you so mad that you're not ALLOWED to do masculine things even if you're really good at them? omg sexist."

to: "lol these things are all called adulting now and they're mandatory for everyone."

It was a trap.
Haha, I will never claim to be a really good driver. Driving was, in fact, a huge hurdle for me. I didn't get my license until the age of 26 and then I didn't drive on the freeway until 35. I still won't drive in snow in 90% of situations.
But as a stay-home mom, not driving would be awful. In fact, SINCE I didn't drive until 26, I can say this from personal experience. I had two kids who I dragged around on city buses. And that was in my past life in the suburbs. Now that I'm in a small town, there are no buses. Grocery shopping; kids' doctor and dentist appointments; baseball practice; playdates; ballet, etc. are all things I'm so grateful for my ability to drive to!
 

Jessie

Sparrow
Woman
Haha, I will never claim to be a really good driver. Driving was, in fact, a huge hurdle for me. I didn't get my license until the age of 26 and then I didn't drive on the freeway until 35. I still won't drive in snow in 90% of situations.
But as a stay-home mom, not driving would be awful. In fact, SINCE I didn't drive until 26, I can say this from personal experience. I had two kids who I dragged around on city buses. And that was in my past life in the suburbs. Now that I'm in a small town, there are no buses. Grocery shopping; kids' doctor and dentist appointments; baseball practice; playdates; ballet, etc. are all things I'm so grateful for my ability to drive to!

I think it would be hard for me, too. I like hanging out with my girlfriends while our kids are doing their activities and co-ops.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
I’m not sure if this applies, but I watched one of those authentic recreation shows a few years ago. In this one two couples were given supplies and dropped off in the middle of nowhere to recreate a mid 1800s pioneer experience. The younger woman made the comment that it helped her understand how our roles evolved. She wanted to be in the field plowing and digging and chopping, but she couldn’t due to simply not having the physical strength. And so she was in the kitchen making stew and biscuits.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
My response is that if women weren't "allowed" to drive, our communities would still be walkable.

Technology initially afforded us the LUXURY of traveling between "Point A" and "Point B" much faster. But once the tech was normalized, it became justification for moving "Point A" and "Point B" farther apart.

This is one of the reasons the Amish use buggies, to keep their community close.
 

Jessie

Sparrow
Woman
My response is that if women weren't "allowed" to drive, our communities would still be walkable.

Technology initially afforded us the LUXURY of traveling between "Point A" and "Point B" much faster. But once the tech was normalized, it became justification for moving "Point A" and "Point B" farther apart.
This is one of the reasons the Amish use buggies, to keep their community close.

Do they, though? The Amish ran out of land and many of their children have to move to other states to find homes. And I don’t want to live in a city, so out in the country I’d be super isolated. I don’t know. I suppose there is a much better way, but I’m not sure how to make it happen.
 

TheMaleBrain

Kingfisher
Gold Member
From my experience, most of the females I have met did not want to work full-time. I'm not saying all, I say MOST.
Women tend to burn out more quickly them man in the work place.

If you are married, you may need to work. In this case going part-time or Out-of-the-home type of business may do wonders for you. If you are divorced, you probably need to work to support your family. Again in this case I'll recommend either a part-time job (if it fits the circumstances) or a flexible job (where you may work from home).

Living next to the extended family is also crucial. This is why I chose (with my Ex) where we reside. You are going to need help for sure.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Do they, though? The Amish ran out of land and many of their children have to move to other states to find homes. And I don’t want to live in a city, so out in the country I’d be super isolated. I don’t know. I suppose there is a much better way, but I’m not sure how to make it happen.

We moved to the country this year, and I’m struggling. The country is beautiful but can be lonely, and I’m an extreme introvert.
Anyway, it’s the reasoning behind a lot of their rules, to keep their community insular. They're struggling with keeping their standards/traditions just like so many are though.
 
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