A couple of days ago, I found an interesting article through LAF. The article is a bit long, so for those who don't have time to read it all, I'll explain briefly: a group of feminists protests against the simple fact that many top positions require insane hours in order to be successful. Their solution – instead of acknowledging that not many women are ready to sacrifice everything else in order to reach the top of the ladder – would be "creating a field that allows them to score the same number of points while spending less time in the game".
I liked the article, but even more, I liked a comment that was made by a reader who described herself as an "old-fashioned feminist". It was long and elaborate. Here are a few parts of it:
"Personally I think it's about bloody time that women woke up and realized that you can't ride two horses in two different races and win them both.
As an old fashioned feminist, I long ago realized that a high-pressure, long-hours, irregular working day business is something that is suitable for men and for women who are willing to work like men. I choose to work like a man."
When I compared myself with this woman, I thought we are completely different on many things – our aspirations, ambitions, hopes, ideals, decisions, choices, way of life, and the list goes on. She chose to work like a man. I refuse to do that – because I don't want to, because I don't think it would be good for myself, my household or my family, because that wasn't God's design. Even if I never have a husband and will have to work to support myself, it won't be a time-consuming, competitive career that will require me to work and behave like a man.
But we do agree on one thing. I, too, think it's impossible to "ride two horses in two different races and win them both". A career woman who keeps her home reasonably clean and supplies meals on time might proudly claim she "has it all", but is it true?
In her comment to my post, "Living on One Income", Candy wrote:
"And how in the world do they keep up with their homes and meals? I always wonder that.Because if I had to work, I would have to hire maid service to keep up my home. I don't know… unless they are supermoms or something, I just don't get it."
"I believe it is technically possible to deal with cleaning, provide meals etc, while working full time. A woman COULD come from work around 6 or 7 pm, rush through the house with a vacuum cleaner and mop and pop some convenience food into the microwave. But that doesn't equal the time and effort a homemaker puts into making her house a home. When I visit, I can tell the difference between a house that has peace and order, that has been lovingly arranged and which smells of fresh cookies, and a house that has been grudgingly cleaned when the woman is exhausted and frustrated."
I'll say more. Hiring a cook and a maid can turn a house into a perfectly clean hotel room. A homemaker is something completely different – her loving presence, her sense of creativity, her attention to the family's intimate needs nobody but her could know – all those make the spirit of her home. In the past, rich ladies had maids, cooks, nannies and private teachers, and they didn't feel they have nothing to do at home. They occupied their time by managing and organizing their household, being there for their family, pursuing feminine arts; many of them could play the piano and spoke several languages (no brainless doormats here!). And nobody asked them what they "do". Their presence was what mattered. Without it, we don't have a home. Money can supply elaborate meals, squeaky clean windows and professionally decorated interior. But not a place we can call home.