People in the neighborhood where I grew up looked askance at my mother. Why? She was the only working mother. She didn’t, however, demand recognition or proclaim any kind of independence . . . We needed a second income to survive and pay bills so she found a job and quietly went to work every morning.
She continued in the same job for over thirty-five years keeping herself far, far away from the growing keening of women suddenly discovering they needed to find themselves and heading for the healing side effects of jobs and the rite of passage into becoming superior to men.
Growing up in those years were interesting in observing how women were making their presence known. First, many left their housework and children to do other people’s work and forgot the art of being a happy homemaker and degraded any woman who found satisfaction in caring for their family. And, before the world could acclimate to this reorganization in the female population, the hippy agenda came into play and in order to be truly free females, chastity, God, soap and water often went by the side of the road as younger women experienced ‘freedom’ and discovered how low men came in human classification.
The roaring women grew louder and their voices more shrill and determined with leaders taking the reins and saying they wanted a world where all women would be in the workplace . . . whether they liked it or not. The new breed of the female species sported hairy legs, burned their bras, and threatened any male who forgot himself and held a door open for them.
Next on the evolution of the ‘modern woman’ was the subject of abortion. Working and free association with anyone they chose, caused problems like pregnancy so abortion and birth control were welcomed into their battlefield for freedom.
The Church did not escape unscathed. Suddenly women were at the altar, serving Mass and being put into the position of making decisions that used to belong to the pastor. Family planning was of utmost importance as work and babies don’t always work well and Catholic families decreased drastically. All this brought into play smaller families which didn’t encourage vocations. Females taking over the Readings and Mass serving tends to keep males away lest they do something to go against the ‘free the females’ agenda.
The world is certainly in a mess today and the women still blame the men even though the men have constantly succumbed to their presence in all aspects of life. The children are in day care and after-school activities so Mom can make a difference in the world.
I worked the first two years I was newly married. My job was a challenge and I learned a lot that is still useful, today. It was hard quitting as one gets used to the idea of being needed and appreciated. I found out I was pregnant a couple months after I ‘retired’ and never thought about the work since. And all the women I worked with who told me I had to think of myself, first, and keep working, got lost in the shuffle of major changes in the office and lost their jobs. Employers are not like husbands and children and to be ashamed of putting them first over a pseudo-independence ends up being a dry, empty way to spend one’s life.