I’m just thinking out loud here…
After the lengthy discussion I had yesterday with some gracious gentlemen who frequent here I was trying to wrap my brain around the thoughts they introduced… I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. Pardon the rambling here. It’s late. I’m tired. But my brain will NOT shut off!
Where did women get so off track? Erik at DoubleMindedMan had an interesting article and some commentary that helped clarify some of my thought process. Not that I am doing a good job of clearly stating it.
In a quote from an article by George Will:
Women campaigning for sobriety did not intend to give rise to the income tax, plea bargaining, a nationwide crime syndicate, Las Vegas, NASCAR (country boys outrunning government agents), a redefined role for the federal government and a privacy right — the “right to be let alone” — that eventually was extended to abortion rights. But they did.
To me, it is obvious that when you start thinking about the fundamentals of the modern woman, you must consider suffrage as the beginning of this movement.
But what changed, in society, to encourage this type of activist mentality among women? What spurred them from the kitchen to the streets “demanding” this vague and distorted version of “equality”?
Now, feel free to laugh at me…
But I think it’s the Industrial Age and all of it’s conveniences. With convenience, gadgetry and machinists the Industrial Age boomed into our girlish mind with ferocity. Women were no longer tied to a washboard or a daily grocers run. They had Free Time. This became a force to be reckoned with as it was combined with a more “modern” approach to family dynamics and coupled with the division of the family as the beginning of the great exodus from the farm to the city brought a legion of wide-eyed engenue to the cosmopolitan scene. When families began to find it more fiscally beneficial to have the “job” and the “paycheck” for both parties, suddenly the women were free. Free to waste time, free to jabber endlessly and mindlessly. Free to develop a “life” outside of the home, the marriage and the family.
Lots of zeal + no wisdom = colossal failure. Every time.
Let me try to explain where I’m coming from.
My husband and I have a fairly unconventional household. For 2010. Notsomuch for 1910. My husband and I have been self-employed, working side by side 24/7/365 for almost 14 years. We raise the kids together, school together, run the business together… You get the picture. Yet, we still have very clearly delineated roles within the household. We are fairly sexist, I guess. I do the food. He takes care of the cars. I bandage boo-boos, he teaches them how to blow things up and the miracle of the magnifying glass/sunlight fire starter thingamabob.
In many ways we would appear to be “partners” in the modern sense. However, the reality is a lot more simple. And complicated.
How’s that for girlspeak…. Sorry guys. I’m tryin’ here!
As a result of our constant interaction, two things have very naturally happened.
One, my typical female responses to almost everything have always had a strong, male sounding board. This has tempered my reactions and refined my responses to the point that we can now engage in difficult discussions without resorting to name calling and slamming doors. I have gained tools and learned methods of assessment that do not come naturally. Secondly, his hard-core male logic has been softened a bit as he has had the time and the opportunity to understand my perspective and things which are not natural to him, like grace and compassion, are now more readily available.
I have clearly stated, understood and enforced parameters for my behavior. Not just because my husband demands it but because we have taken the time to study the Word and define it together. I am not driven solely by emotionalism, as many women are. Well, and these pansy men who make me gag. He, in turn, has the benefit of a more “intuitive” perspective. A softer approach. Which he can choose to use or disregard.
I’m pretty busy at home. I don’t have time to just drop by for a lengthy chat with a friend, spend hours on the phone, make playdates, etc. I just don’t have time. I have to carefully schedule my interaction with anyone outside my home. While this has caused me to not be able to maintain or even create some relationships with women, it has also saved me countless hours of the emotional drama women are prone to engage in. In my world, I have daily responsibilities that must be accomplished. Everyone does, but my “boss” is right next to me. 🙂
School, business, relationship maintenance with my husband takes time. And since we are in each others face constantly? It happens every day.
We don’t get a pass. I can’t call a friend and complain about the man who is working directly across the office from me… I have to deal with the situation, resolve the issue and rectify it in order to keep the day moving forward. We have to keep growing as a couple or we a) lose money b) lose momentum c) lose focus.
See what I mean?
After all these years I’ve become able to see that this”busy-ness” has become a safeguard. A hedge. I have “quotas” to reach, goals to achieve, behavior to answer for. Every day.
After 14 years? Things run themselves fairly smoothly. The boys growing up create the biggest struggles. Parenting a boy who thinks he is a “teen” at 12… And he’s bigger than me. *rolls eyes*
Sometimes, it feels as though we’ve been married far longer than 16 years. I think that is largely due to the fact that, on average, we’ve spent a LOT more time together than most couples married the same length of time.
I suppose, when it all boils down to it, I have had the privilege of developing a strong relationship with my husband. He has, repeatedly, proven himself stable, reliable, honest and trustworthy. He makes the hard decisions and gives me opportunities to grow beyond “what’s for dinner.” in a way that most friendships with women will never allow.
One of my husband’s pet peeves, when we were first married, was the “How I feel” conversations, which I will humbly admit to having far to many of… Finally, he said, “Tell me what you BELIEVE! That matters so much more.”
That’s part of the difference. I have never had a female friend challenge me at that level. But the only way I could have had this kind of relationship that altered my status quo in an honorable way was to have this relationship with my husband. Any other strong male relationship that could have sharpened and refined me would have been inappropriate.
One detriment to the closeness and refining of my world view has been that I find myself limited in my ability to relate to women and find myself more often with a group of male friends/acquaintances. Which can lead to an awkward pseudo-intimacy.
But that’s a thought for another day…