As a young woman who has had a secular education, I've heard my fair share about the so-called "feminism" movement.
I never claim to be a feminist, but in fact, feminine.
Nevertheless, it still grates me when I read an ultra-conservative article about femininity (say for example, one about how women shouldn't be soldiers) and they make heavy-handed arguments that a woman's role is strictly domestic.
I should make very clear that I don't believe married women with children really should be working unless it is under dire financial circumstances. Their primary focus should be the home and family, because that's what they chose as their vocation.
I firmly believe, however, that all single women (unless they be full-time housekeepers for family) and new brides/older wives with grown children should at least consider at least part-time if not full time work. Especially in our rather unsustainable economy....
Now, I'm not going to get into the argument of natural talent vs. natural inclination. That is a very sticky argument that is difficult to objectify without dipping into liberal ideology. Instead, I'm going to focus my argument on the role of women in the professional sphere - using the following quote from St. Edith Stein as my main "thesis":
Occupations such as police, military, heavy industry, etc. are much more suited to men than they are to women for a variety of credible reasons. In a lot of these types of jobs, the bodily danger involved and the physical strength that is needed make it doubly dangerous for a woman to take such work.
But....does that mean that women should be excluded from these professions entirely?
Let me use the police force as an example. When people think of the police, they automatically think a very manly man going bravely into a dangerous situation to extract a dangerous criminal from hurting civilians.
But that's not everything that a cop does....anyone who has seen reality-based TV shows like Adam-12 will know that. So, what is the woman's place in the police force?
It is the support roles, which include (but are not limited to):
1. Female prison wardens. This is probably more appropriate back in the olden days when prisons were according to sex, but I think it's still accurate. Having a female warden better preserves the dignity of the female prisoner and could lead them to rehabilitation. Yet, these girls still must be tough and strong - after all, we are dealing with female criminals here. (yikes)
2. Juvenile workers. Women understand children more than men do, let's be honest. We know how to calm a child down, take care of an abandoned baby, and deal with misbehaviors - leaving the men free to go after the perpetrator who caused the problem in the first place.
3. Clerical work. For crying out loud, do y'all know just how much paperwork and legalities that goes along any legal profession?? Not to mention the eensie weensie details that muss everything. Being detailed-oriented, females are much more capable of keeping everything straight.
In each of those examples, specific talents held by women are in demand. They also cultivate the nurturing, maternal side of womanhood. They, as well as countless other examples in similar industries, prove that women do have a place even in the hardest of masculine industries.
God, in His Infinite Wisdom, knew that men couldn't survive without a helpmate. When women take these complimentary roles in the professional sphere, we are acting as helpmates to our professional men. And it is a part of femininity that isn't explored quite enough....
What do you think about the idea of women working? Is the vocation of "singlehood" not discussed enough? Please, share your thoughts!
In Corde Mariae,