Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age

The Tradwife Movement Reminds Us of the Virtue of Service in Marriage

There seems to be what I see as the beginning of a substantial backlash against many things we have taken for granted in culture and society for the last five or six decades in the Western world, and particularly in America. One of these is the notion that motherhood and homemaking is an inferior, subordinate role that oppresses and demeans women, and that women should therefore eschew it, and join men in the workplace. The rise of the “TradWife” (traditional wife) movement is part of the kickback against this – and one with which, in large measure, I agree.

I was raised by a traditional wife and mother: Ma never worked outside the home during my lifetime, although she did work as an English teacher during the first few years of her marriage to Pa. But not long after my oldest brother was born, she left “outside” work, and returned to the home. And there is no question that I benefited – we all did – from her ability to devote her full time and attention to being a wife, mother, and homemaker. We had clean clothes, a clean house, healthy, delicious homemade meals, baked deserts, and much else, thanks to her not needing to squeeze such things around full-time (or even part-time) work.

I also have no doubt that I was saved from many opportunities to “sin and err” by the fact that I knew she (or if she had to be away, my grandmother) would be there waiting for me when I got home from school! And no matter how far I roamed, through the woods and fields near my house, I never seemed to be out of the range of her call (a resounding “Tooommmmmmmmmm!”), that echoed through the air, come supper time – to the awed amazement of my friends, who were shocked that such a small person (she was all of 5’3″ in height) could call so loudly.

I empathize with the nostalgia for the immediate post-WW II era. Although I was born in 1965, I was in many significant ways a “child of the 1950s”: Ma and Pa were married then, and both my brothers were born in the ’50s (I was a late-comer, and rather a surprise, at the time!). So I get it! My concern about the TradWife movement, however – despite my admiration for many of the women involved, and my agreement with the basic premise that both women and their families are benefited by them being at home with and for those families – is that many or most of them seem to take the 1950s as their template for what a “traditional” wife should be, and do.
Continue reading “Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age”

“For a happy home…”

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Source: Holy Motherhood | Facebook

“For a happy home, teach obedience, orderliness (first things first), truthfulness, courtesy, punctuality, attentiveness, thoroughness, neatness, purity, industry, integrity, respect, gratefulness, and diligence.”

— Karen Andreola

My dear late mother – Ma – used to hang out the wash every Monday and Thursday that the weather allowed (it smelled so good, having dried in the sun!), and in the summer, I often helped her. She also taught me all of the above, though I confess I have not always lived up to these ideals as perfectly and completely as I might wish…

But I keep striving!


P.S. From the comments:

When women knew the power of being able to raise the next generation one home at a time, kids had a respect for God and his order, respect for others, and pride in doing the humble things that keep life in order. The world was kinder and cleaner, healthier and safer than now, when schools raise generations like kids are assembly line objects, with the idea that nothing matters except that everyone feels good all the time and no one judges.

I cannot disagree!

 

Can America Become a Christian Society Again? | The Imaginative Conservative

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What is the status of Christianity in the United States today? Can there be such a thing as Christian society or culture?

Source: Can America Become a Christian Society Again? ~ The Imaginative Conservative

There are many points worthy of highlighting in this lengthy but excellent essay by Thomas Ascik – which I strongly encourage you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! – but here is one that jumped out at me, and not only because it features one of my favorite writers and thinkers, Tony Esolen:

“Focusing on the differences between men and women and between fatherhood and motherhood, Dr. Esolen goes into an extensive analysis of the contemporary American family. He argues that girls become women more easily than boys become men, and, thus, the redefinition of masculinity and the compromising of formerly boy-oriented institutions like the Boy Scouts has been catastrophic. As a summary of ‘the way of the world’ in modern times, he points out that the Industrial Revolution took the father out of the house and feminism took the woman out of the house.”

Think about that for a minute (and ponder it daily): “the Industrial Revolution took the father out of the house and feminism took the [mother] out of the house.” Who does that leave? No one, that’s who! Continue reading “Can America Become a Christian Society Again? | The Imaginative Conservative”

NYC School Cancels Father-Daughter Dance to Comply With New Gender Guidelines | Fox News Insider

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Source: NYC School Cancels Father-Daughter Dance to Comply With New Gender Guidelines | Fox News Insider

This came across my newsfeed, with the following excellent comment from one of my friends on Facebook, Lutheran (Missouri Synod) pastor, Pater Larry Beane:

“This is where ‘cultural secession’ comes in. Parents can opt out of the school’s and state’s approach to this and organize their own event. Communities used to do this kind of thing all the time. This is an example of what Tony Esolen calls for in “Out of the Ashes.” This is a golden opportunity to pioneer a new cultural paradigm.

Don’t just complain; fight back by ignoring the school and doing what you want. We’ve surrendered too much of our lives and sense of community to the government out of convenience. [emphasis added] Since when do DOE bureaucrats tell us all how to live? We don’t need them, and speaking of education, they need to learn that reality.

And there is always #homeschool as the ultimate act of defiance.”

And yes, I know not every daughter has a father available. That could be easily allowed for by including “grandfathers or other ‘father figures,'” rather than canceling the dance entirely. This is pandering to the concerns of a small slice of society by disrespecting one of the most key elements in human culture and society, the father-daughter bond. Unacceptable!

And Pater Beane is right: communities – by which I mean not just or even primarily geographical, but cultural – need to combat this by setting up parallel structures and events, not simply meekly acceding to the currently-dominant paradigm, which despite trumpeting “diversity” and “inclusion” is in fact deeply and intrinsically limiting, coercive, and enforcing of sameness.

Remember the words often attributed to Edmund Burke, that

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review (… with some thoughts on what to do about it)

Studies suggest that young American males are physically weaker than previous cohorts.

Source: Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review

I see this just in shaking hands with my male driver education students: many of them – too many of them – have the limp, “cold fish” handshake we used to associate with “girly men,” even when they are not obviously effeminate. Not all, thankfully! But many, especially among (I am sorry to say) my fellow Caucasians. And as this article points out, grip strength is just one marker of physical (and perhaps cultural) decline, but it’s a significant one. It is certainly a traditional marker of masculinity.

Is it any wonder that more Caucasian women are starting to heed the blandishments of a socially-engineering media (and their fellow-travelers in the academic and political worlds), and beginning to choose potential mates from other cultures, that are doing a better job of hanging onto the markers of masculinity than we often are?

It doesn’t have to be this way. It is a choice we make, and we can make other choices. For example: David French’s childhood was a mirror of my own… although I never liked Shannara, it was too obviously a rip-off of Tolkien. 😉 And while I did not change the family cars’ oil-filters on weekends, I did mow the lawn, rake the leaves, help with the gardening and pruning, shovel snow off the driveway, clean the gutters, clean the bathrooms, and do much else that contributed directly to the smooth running of the household.

I may not always have liked it, but I did it! And in the process, I learned both practical skills and the art of self-discipline – that sometimes it’s necessary to do things we may not enjoy, if it contributes to the common or long-term good – as well as exercised my body in the process.

I also, when not building plastic models, reading WW II books (or the Tolkien and McCaffrey French mentions), or playing D&D, was outside – hiking (even if I didn’t call it that, then), sledding, building forts, clearing trails, playing war, building and launching model rockets, exploring streams and marshes, playing pick-up games of tackle football, and yes, shooting: originally slingshots, then “graduating” to Daisy BB guns, Crossman air-rifles, and eventually .22s.

I was a Boy Scout, later in a “High Adventure” Explorer Post, where I did still more hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and much else. From my reading, I developed an interest in survival, and traditional skills, that continues today. I learned to make cordage, form pots from river clay, start fires with flint and steel (and later bow-drill), build a debris shelter, use a Dutch oven, and eventually (as an adult) to tan a deer-hide and shape a working bow out of a hickory stave. I learned how to cook over an open campfire – and how to clean up, afterwards.

In short, I learned to be a boy, which is the crucial first step in learning to be a man. Continue reading “Male Physical Decline: Masculinity Is Threatened | National Review (… with some thoughts on what to do about it)”