Sunday, March 02, 2008

Graglia against Feminism: 2

A continuing series; see here for the introduction, and here for more on feminism in the Catholic Church in the UK. The feminist argument that the role of a housewife is fit only for the mentally sub-normal is the reverse of the case. In the 1950s and '60s the very complexity of the role and its importance for the happiness of a family was unnerving for married women, who were often cut off by geography from their extended families, and assailed by the gloomy prognostications of popular psychologists.

From 'Domestic Tranquility' p48.
Lopata [a sociologist] concluded that working women, many of whom were not deeply concerned with the housewife's role and performed it minimally, believed the role required no special skills; but those who were "performing the role of housewife in a complex and creatively competent manner see it as requiring many different areas of knowledge". ... Because of its indeterminacy, the housewife's role very likely requires more self-motivation than any other. A homemaker has maximum freedom to define the scope of her duties and obtain whatever knowledge she believes their performance requires; hence her dilemma. Sociologists have established that much is expected of a housewife; surely, it is she who must actualize for her family all those "goods" being analyzed and quantified. Yet she is never told exactly what she is expected to do or how she should go about doing it. In the 1950s and 1960s the fact that upwardly mobile suburbanites has often abandoned their ethnic subcultures exacerbated the difficulty of assuming this burden of freedom, for the older generation that had traditionally helped the housewife was much underutilized.
[The mother's] role had recieved the most attention from psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers of the "helping professions", who made it abundantly clear that the liklihood of performing this role successfully was slim indeed. ...a view that seriously undermined the ordinary mother's confidence in her own ability to do the job properly.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen