Saturday, March 15, 2008

Feminism - who needs it?

I once was a feminist. For a very short time, in high school, and in college, I thought that women were just as smart and just as capable as any man. "I can do anything he can do better, I can do anything better than he!" was my mantra. (For those of you younger than I am, that really was a popular song in the 60's.) I viewed my mother, who stayed at home during my growing up years, with a wee bit of contempt. I read Ayn Rand, and thought that her rabid feminism was right on. I was sorry for women who were "stuck in the home", and thought they were wasting their lives.

Surprisingly, I didn't act on my feminist views. I got married at the ripe old age of 18, and worked until my first child was born. I was blown away by how much I loved this little blonde beauty, with her sparkling blue eyes and tinkling laughter. Being a mom was great! It banished all thoughts of career or self-advancement. I was content to be the centre of Adeena's world.

Although I worked outside the home for a short time when Adeena was two, I soon conceived baby #2. It was during that pregnancy that God turned my world upside down, by calling me unto Himself and revealing to me Who He IS. Suddenly, being a mommy was a calling. It became my role and my blessing, as well as my joy.

My first baby will be 33 later this year. I went on to have 12 beautiful children, each one unique, each one precious.

My child-bearing years are over, and I have to say that I have no regrets.

I graduated at the top of my class in a prestigious boarding school. I was accepted into a major university. The world was my oyster, so to speak.

Yet instead of pursuing a medical degree, I settled down to bear children and guide my house. I carried them, birthed them, nursed them, trained them and taught them. Most important, I loved them.

I also, through it all, loved my husband. My early feminist views were a source of strife in our marriage in the early years. I expected my husband to help me with chores or dishes or laundry when I was overwhelmed with exhaustion during some of those pregnancies. I became resentful and angry when he didn't do what I expected him to do.

I also considered myself far more spiritual than he was. I didn't respect him as I should have. I thought highly of my own abilities, and figured "I could do anything better than he..."

I have feminism to thank for a lot of strife in those early years.

However, I have to say that God is a gracious God. He slowly and patiently taught me what it is to be a godly woman. I learned, along with that, to be a godly wife and mother. Through many toils and snares and trials and dangers, He led me and taught me His way.

I learned that the demands of feminism are foolish. There is no joy in wanting to control the world. Corporate boardrooms are full of strife and competition, stress and long hours. Why would I want that?

My home has been my castle for nearly 35 years. I have been the Queen, serving alongside the King of our little realm. I get to decide my schedule. I manage a group of other people. I encourage them to learn and to use their talents to glorify God. I am mother, nursemaid, decorator, cook, laundress, confidante, counsellor, gardener, assistant carpenter, teacher, seamstress, and so on. The list truly is endless. I have been able to develop my talents and pour my life into those people that I love the most in this world. How could I have been more blessed?

Phyllis Schlafly recently gave a talk at DePaul University in Illinois. The homemaker-turned-attorney raised six children and didn't get her law degree until after the age of fifty. At eighty, she is still growing strong. She believes that women should be given every opportunity to achieve success; she also believes that feminism is incompatible with happiness.

Read an article in the Chicago Daily Observer here:

My life isn't over at 53. I have plenty of years left before I reach the age that Phyllis Schlafly is. At this point, I am content to be a helper to my husband and a mother to my children. Some day, perhaps doors will open in other areas - missions, writing, publishing...who knows? Until then, I consider myself most blessed.

Most blessed, and very happy.

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