Commentary

More women are asking: Why should I suffer?

October 31, 2017

Marriage is an institution that forms the foundation of society. Marriage provides order, security, and protection through stable relationships and deep ties to other human beings. Ideally, it also provides love and companionship. But I would never suggest —along with the author of the Unexpected Legacy of Divorce (who painted a grim picture of life after divorce for the products of those broken unions), that anyone should sacrifice their personal happiness in marriage for the greater good of upholding the institution. No one wants to go back in time to a place where women stayed in bad marriages primarily because of the social stigma attached to divorce, this is part of the reason the divorce epidemic becomes a difficult problem to address. On a societal level, divorce is bad (One reason among many, it increases the number of children living in poverty who will then need to rely on government assistance —our tax dollars, see how personal decisions affect the whole?), and we need to address how we can decrease its occurrence, but on an individual level, no one can tell a woman or man who wants to divorce that they shouldn’t. No one knows the individual pain that both parties have suffered and so the decision is theirs alone.

It’s ironic that many magazines, publications, and speakers focus on how a woman can “keep a man,” in reality, there should be more of a focus on men “keeping their women,” since 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Women are often the ones to identify issues in the marriage, initiate resolution and initiate divorce when they feel the time is right. In reflecting on why this might be the case I came to the conclusion that many women may come to a point where they simply ask, Why should I suffer?

Despite the popular depiction of men having to be dragged to the altar, it’s actually men and not women who benefit most from marriage. Married men make more money than their unmarried peers (An average of $16,000 more), “In general, marriage seems to increase the earning power of men on the order of 10 to 24 percent,” as cited in the National Review (1). They also have more and better quality sex than their unmarried peers (51>39). Lastly, they’re healthier than their single male counterparts. Strange enough, the comment section of this National Review article is filled with men regurgitating negative stereotypes about marriage despite having just been given evidence that marriage benefits men… I guess ignorance really is bliss?

But what about women? Well, their health doesn’t seem to benefit, they make less, not more money —not due to a “pay gap” but to the fact that, “women, more so than men, subordinate themselves and their careers to their relationship, their children, and the careers of their husbands.” Along with this, “Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals for marriage.” (2)

This is part of the reason why I focus so much on the value of housewifery if you’re a woman who’s not only working but also contributing far more to housework and childcare (while also stalling your own career success to do so), eventually, you may not see much value in marriage. And statistics reaffirm my gut feeling, “Compared to non-working women, those with a full-time job have a 29 percent higher odds of divorce. Women who work more hours are found to have a higher divorce risk.” (3)

Marriage no longer has a unique benefit to women —most men are no longer primary breadwinners while simultaneously not doing an even share of housework and childcare, is it any wonder that once the love is gone, women ask themselves why they should suffer, and find no reason why they ought to? And while children are still a good reason to suffer through a less than satisfying marriage, the social stigma of divorce —even when children are involved, has largely been removed, as Eleanor Holmes Norton puts it quite plainly, “With children no longer the universally accepted reason for marriage, marriages are going to have to exist on their own merits.” If we want to keep this institution alive, maybe there need to be more national conversations on how men can “keep your women,” otherwise women who don’t seem to reap many benefits from marriage will continue to walk away, and that’s bad news for all of us.

Sources:

1— Hey Guys, Put a Ring on It, bit.ly/2lupgha

2— Women are less happy than men in marriage, but society pretends it isn’t true, read.bi/2gVQWyC

3— Working women more likely to seek divorce, ind.pn/2zkoEFD

4— 1 in 5 Women Experience Post-Divorce Poverty, bit.ly/2z1sVuU

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Tuning out the kids

August 21, 2017

In 1965, mothers spent a daily average of 54 minutes on childcare activities, while moms in 2012 averaged almost twice that at 104 minutes per day. Fathers’ time with children nearly quadrupled — 1965 dads spent a daily average of just 16 minutes with their kids, while today’s fathers spend about 59 minutes a day caring for them.

Parents fifty years ago spent less time with their kids than parents today. That’s a bit surprising since it was more likely for a mom to stay at home back then and people, in general, worked fewer hours, yet somehow parents didn’t use their extra time back in the day to spend with their kids.

How is it that parents spend more time with their kids today than in the past? And how is it that increased parental involvement -which usually means better outcomes for kids, has occurred in the same time period in which childhood psychopathology has increased? From a basic human point of view, the more scarce time is the more you’ll try to jam pack into it. So maybe precisely because parents have less time, in general, they attempt to spend that extra time with their children.

Then there’s the fact that these days a lot of marriages end in divorce. The time that you might have allotted to your spouse now gets allocated to kids. But there’s also something else -people are quite afraid to let their kids be kids.

In today’s world, the idea that you’d simply let your child go outside and play is losing traction. Going outside to play has been replaced with organized activities and accompanying parents, hanging out with neighborhood kids has been replaced with organized play dates and accompanying parents.

And this may also answer my secondary inquiry -could it be that in our modern environment children are increasingly being treated like adults and therefore once innocent childlike behaviors are seen as serious cause for concern? Maybe a part of preserving childhood is the adult’s ability to tune out children. Kids are noisy, weird, a bit too talkative and a myriad of other characteristics that aren’t acceptable for adults. But if we give them a bit of space the kinks will probably work themselves out.

Bipolar disorder -a mood disorder in which you move between euphoria and depression, changed is diagnostic qualifications for kids in the 1990s to include children who had highs and lows in a matter of minutes -instead of weeks at a time as diagnosed for adults. Unsurprisingly this led to an increase in the disorder being diagnosed in children and them subsequently being prescribed medication for it, yet the behavior -going from crying one minute to being elated the next, isn’t new in children -but the way we view it is.

ADHD is another questionable disorder that has had a dramatic rise in children -kids not being able to pay attention for very long is nothing new. The adults viewing the children and their environment is what’s new, kids are still just kids. Maybe -and this feels ironic to say as someone who undoubtedly supports stay at home moms, especially in the early days of childhood, it might be said that one skill needed in in all caregivers is the ability to tune kids out. Maybe we need to spend less one on one time with them -while still being available, so we’re not so stressed out by their mood swings that we go to the nearest doctor to medicate them.

And it’s also true -though I won’t expand on it much now, that our environments have changed too dramatically and become far too unfriendly for children. Maybe we ought to forget spending more money on computers in the classroom and instead invest that money into playgrounds. It’s not normal for children to have the pressure of adults hovering over them so often and increasingly have little time to just be kids, use their imagination, explore their surroundings and have some screen free fun.

 

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Want to learn more about childhood and society? See my upcoming course, here: nooralshadhili.com/childhoodandsociety

Thought crimes of a concerned citizen

August 15, 2017

Unsurprisingly the word “bigot” was thrown my way after writing last week’s post about liberal attitudes towards transgender people. In one sense it’d be fair if I assumed the person who thought that insult appropriate couldn’t have possibly read my entire essay –but I’m not that naive. If homosexuality or transgender(ism?) is questioned in even the most thoughtful of manners people will assume that you are only dressing up your hatred. As I heard someone say, some time ago, “Why don’t you just admit it, you think homosexuality is gross”. Who knows, maybe that’s true, but even if it were true, arguments deserve to be defeated by counter arguments not merely by accusations concerning the beliefs and character of the arguer.

Yet something more than that concerns me when even an inquiry into the LGBTQ movement or why someone might choose that lifestyle is shunned the shunners are also doing some dressing up of their own. Their acceptance is only a dress up for their apathy, it’s to say I’m not interested in why you are the way you are because I don’t care so let me instead pretend as I “accept” you. When in reality, I couldn’t’ care less about you –which is why I’m not interested in hearing your story.

I recall sitting in a class in grad school where we were discussing the case of a promiscuous homosexual man. I brought up what I thought was an obvious point but had thus far been ignored in the conversation, which was to inquire as to whether or not this man being abused as a boy –by an older man, and his father being promiscuous (with women) might not have led to his current behavior.

The professor began to agree with me before quickly stopping himself and saying we shouldn’t “pathologize homosexuality”, discussion over -I’d committed the thought crime of going against the “born this way” ideology by suggesting that past events could affect current behavior-which would have been an acceptable line of thought on almost every other topic except sexuality.

So whether a man has become homosexual in connection with being abused as a child or a woman is promiscuous in connection with being raped as a teenager, we’ll never know –and no I’m not suggesting a simplistic  if x, then y explanation for all sexual behaviour –human being is far more complicated than that, but if we’re not even allowed to ask those questions -who does that serve? And how accepting we you really if we don’t even care to know.

Commentary: If “Transwomen are women” what do they have to “reveal”?

August 8, 2017

Liberals have been pushing the idea that, “transwomen are women” anyone who —daringly or mistakenly, “misgenders” them ought to be ready for the wrath that will ensue. Transwomen are women (they say). Youtube channels like Queer Kids, in fact, encourage us to ask strangers what pronoun they’d like to be called in the same way we’d ask someone what their name is. Gender is no longer an obvious link to biological sex, it is whatever anyone feels themselves to be. They’ve so beaten this idea into us that even conservatives politely refer to Caitlyn Jenner as “she”.

So those of us on the outside of their movement are particularly baffled by the score of articles and arguments from liberals that a transperson not “revealing” their trans identity would be deception. The heart of the backlash came after an article entitled, No, I Don’t Have To Tell You I’m Trans Before Dating You by Tiffany Berruti. In the article Berruti explains that many cis people (their term for men and women who align their gender with the sex they’re born in to, i.e. us regular folk) believe a transperson to be “lying” (her quotes) or deceptive when a transperson does not reveal that information. She states:

“Their argument is that they aren’t not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren’t attracted to. The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn’t be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren’t attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren’t attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.”

According to liberal logic, she’s right. If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman just like any other woman —as liberals insist, if trans women are women, then what exactly is a transperson to “reveal”. According to liberal logic a trans woman is just as legitimately a woman as I am. Now the same liberals who chant “transwomen are women” simultaneously purport that a transwoman who doesn’t tell her date that she is trans is deceptive? That’s mind numbing. They either are a real woman or they’re not. If they are, then straight liberal men should have no problem dating them. If they aren’t, well deception would be an accurate description of their behavior when they don’t reveal their identity. Not just in dating but when they use bathrooms, go in to dressing rooms or attend “women only” events. You can’t have it both ways, they’re either real women and should be treated as such in every aspect of their life or they’re men playing dress up and consciously deceiving everyone they do not reveal their identity to.

As I wrote in my article on transgender people some time ago:  

“I will concede that I find something quite insulting about the entire phenomenon. It is an insult to the other sex to think that by “dressing like them,” “talking like them,” or claiming to “feel like them,” you can therefore be them. Being a man is about more than wearing a suit, and being a woman is about more than putting on makeup.”

A trans woman dating a man without revealing her full identity is deceptive precisely because transwomen are not women, it’s unfortunate liberals are too busy deceiving themselves to admit it.

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Toxic masculinity, well -what’d you expect?

May 22, 2017

It isn’t uncommon of liberal ideology, in general, to try and piecemeal ideas of the past, without realizing that they worked within an entire way of life -attack religion then try to piece together spirituality and morality, and be left utterly confused and constantly spun around because you lack any core values -homosexuality is good because hey it’s not hurting anybody… transgenders should go in the bathroom they like because of freedom of choice (but women don’t get to choose if they want transwomen in their bathrooms?)… pornography is good because it’s liberating (or bad because it exploits women…?) It’s no wonder those of us who are conservative -I use that term in a nonpolitical sense, or religious wonder “what’s next?” since there seems to be no underlying theory behind their movement, except maybe that what is old is quaint and what is new is good. But how do they formulate these new rules concerning goodness and who gets to formulate them? The feminist movement (which is part of the liberal movement) suffers the same confusion -chivalry is bad because it implies that women are weak, modesty is bad because it exerts male control over women, making any distinction between women and men is bad because it allows us to not be treated equally. Then comes the piecemealing, men should not be aggressive to women, show sexual attraction or hit on them because that is sexual harassment. Yet, when there were clear rules regarding male and female interaction there was no need to threaten men with lawsuits, chivalry was expected -and men who dared cross the line were swiftly dealt with, by other men.

But once we as a society take on the feminist assertion that chivalry is sexist, what exactly do we expect will follow? If men are asked not to treat women with any deference because they should treat them the same why are women fighting for things like sexual modesty, honor, and respect? These things can never be given in a vacuum. Men have been convinced -as have women, to believe that men and women are the same -so why are men simultaneously being asked to hold women to a higher standard than themselves?

Women are sending men mixed messages, and I personally feel bad for them. I remember a guy in grad school musing that he didn’t know if he should hold the door for women -is it sexist and offensive or is it still considered good and chivalrous? What I remember is (the classroom filled mostly with women) laughing, but was it really funny? Just the basic rules of conduct between genders have been lost and men, as well as women, are confused. I recall thinking of men who didn’t hold the door as rude but simultaneously feeling bad when they did –You don’t have to do that, I’d think. And no, it’s not as simple as “people should hold the door for people”. Obviously, there is a common level of courtesy that we should all exert to one another, but there is a very big difference none-the-less between common courtesy and chivalry. Holding the door long enough for the person behind you to come in is one thing, but chivalry is a man opening the door for a woman and letting her go first.

But who cares, right? We can all hold our own doors.

And this is why we have “toxic masculinity” (“Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression.”). Firstly, let’s be clear that the term is clearly women’s experience of men, it is not objective. And that is partly the point. If and when men treat us equally, we feel the force of their masculinity as brutish. In reality, they are just being themselves with no consideration for you, just as requested -equality. Why do I and many other women experience something as simple as a man not holding a door as rude? Because men have a superior physical strength to women and doing things like holding doors is a symbolic gesture that says “I choose to use my physical strength to protect you not hurt you”. When the door closes in our face or even when they simply hold the door only long enough for us to grab on and hold it for ourselves instead of opening it and allowing us to go first, it signals to us that we are not protected and if it comes down to physicality, he wins.

For the first time in Jordan, I experienced another chivalric gesture. Anytime a man saw me -or any woman, waiting for an elevator, they’d take the stairs. We didn’t have to spend two minutes of discomfort together in a small square space, I didn’t have to worry about sexual assault or rape -no, I don’t think those things are so common that one should worry about it every time you enter an elevator, but it was a signal from those men to us women that we were safe from them. It was also a small sacrifice to say they’d rather the bother of taking steps than making any woman feel uncomfortable.

When men are able to recognize their superior physical strength and use it to protect women, they do not need laws and conferences to scold them about toxic masculinity. But when women make men afraid and ashamed of their physical differences, when they belittle them by asserting that chivalry is no longer needed. Then we begin to experience men, full strength and unfiltered. It is similar to what has happened with women, we were told modesty is blasé so we began to strip ourselves of our clothing and put our full feminine beauty on display, now men experience our complete lure, the veil of modesty has gone so they are no longer inspired to court us, they instead ogle and pant like hunting dogs -what we call sexual harassment.

Male aggressiveness and female sexuality were dressed in the cloaks of chivalry and modesty for a reason. The world without both is one filled with chaos where men don’t know how to treat women and women don’t know what to expect from men. You cannot piecemeal aspects of chivalry through and ever growing list of laws and academic terms and expect to piece together an honorable man. Nor can you preach that women should be able to do whatever they want and still expect the full respect of men. Chivalry and modesty go hand in hand -if you want one you better be working for the other as well. We’ve gained nothing but broken societies and confused people when we pretend men and women are the same, we are not, we’re different in important ways and once we value that women will no longer have to fear men, for they will use their strength to protect us.

Another post about hijab

May 20, 2016

jersey-hijab-for-women-13First, let’s just face the fact that hijab may for eternity be a topic of discussion. As much as we may attempt to declare that it’s just a choice or just a scarf the questions surrounding hijab continue. Recently one of my Facebook friends who is somewhat of a public figure decided to take off their hijab. I wrote a comment of support under her post. Not support of her taking off her hijab but the support of her choice to make a decision based on the circumstances of our time.

When it comes to wearing hijab in the modern age -if you live in the West, I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all solution. Hijab is an obligation and no reputable scholar (that I’ve come across thus far) has said otherwise. Not wearing hijab -I refer only to the headscarf as hijab in this post, is not listed in the section of enormities in Reliance of the Traveller, one of the greatest books summarizing Shafi’i law. The only time I’ve heard it mentioned as a major sin is when it is mixed in with a hadith mentioning women who are clothed yet naked not going to paradise:

“There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen: men in whose hands are whips like the tails of cattle, with which they beat the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, maa’ilaat mumeelaat, with their heads like the humps of camels, tilted to one side. They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance.

But it seems like a far stretch to categorize women who don’t cover their hair with the women the prophet, peace to him, mentioned in this hadith. So I mention it as not being a major sin just to put it in perspective that we are not talking about a sin akin to blasphemy or adultery. Strictly speaking, a woman is ordered to cover everything except her hands and face -some scholars include feet in what can be shown, some exclude it. For this reason, I never understood the stress on covering the hair in particular. Many women feel comfortable showing parts of their arms, neck, ears, legs, chest and would in the same breath condemn women who show their hair.

“Asma’ bint Abi Bakr entered upon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wearing a thin dress. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from her and said, “O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of puberty, nothing should be seen of her except this and this” – and he pointed to his face and hands.”

Yet my issue with hijab -or rather my issue with the way the Muslim community deals with hijab, is largely my feeling that it comes from a place of sexism and control. Imam Zaid and Shaykh Rami Nsour are two of the few scholars I’ve heard encourage men to also wear something on their head in solidarity with Muslim women. But far too many men demand of women a strength in the face of hardship that they do not demand of themselves. Far too many men are not interested or concerned about the safety of their Muslim sisters as much as they are about her covering. Far too many would rather judge a woman who decides to take off her hijab instead of understanding why she has.

If we approach this issue with an intention of understanding  we wouldn’t be surprised when women choose to take off their hijab or struggle to wear it. Our beloved, peace to him, promised us that Islam would become more difficult to practice as time moves forward:

“There will come a time of patience when the one who adheres steadfastly to his religion will be like one who holds a burning coal.”

This is not an excuse to take off the hijab but it is a reminder to men and to women who find hijab easy to wear that they should approach women who take off hijab and struggle to wear it with kindness and understanding, maybe for them wearing hijab has become like holding a piece of hot coal.

I don’t know what the world will look like in the coming years, but chances are things won’t get easier for Muslims living in secular societies. At some point we may have to hide our faith, leave our countries, or live in seclusion. But what we must keep hold of is our prophet, peace to him, and God. We have to continuously attempt to do our best and be sincere. And that will look different for each of us.

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In The Days Of Noor: The Impact Of Mothers

March 27, 2016

Have we begun to devalue the importance of mothers and does in align with the social science data on the impact of mothers on their children? That is what this episode explores.

Prefer YouTube? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KFz7Y8IO7k

In The Days Of Noor: “Male Abortion”

March 15, 2016

If you’ve benefited from this audio please consider donating, I’m currently studying Arabic abroad and would appreciate your financial support. Thank you. Donate here: bythefigandtheolive.com/donate/

“Don’t kill your children out of fear of poverty…”

March 14, 2016

smiling-babyAbortion is a difficult and emotional issue. It is far too often empty of concrete facts and statistics. In a typical pro-life vs. pro-choice debate -when pro choicers seems particularly desperate for an argument they’ll site incest and rape -“Would you force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s baby?” And we are often told abortion is not an easy decision for women to make. The typical ‘her body her choice’, can’t honestly continue in our current scientific environment when we know a separate heartbeat is developed only weeks after conception.

I first doubted how often women aborted their children because of rape or incest and secondly the idea that often seems all too insensitive -that many women abort their children out of convenience, seemed like a real possibility to me. After all in an environment of sexual promiscuity it is more than likely that the man a woman decides to have sex with is not the man she wants as the father or her child, it is also highly likely that in this environment she is having sexual intercourse with a consequence free mindset and the child she conceives is neither planned no wanted, i.e. a big inconvenience.

Accordingly to a study by Finer, et. al. entitled “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” The tragic picture of a rape victim conceiving her rapist child as a reason for abortion was %1 -abortion as a result of incest was less than .5%. The first and primary reason women gave for abortion was precisely inconvenience, 74% felt “having a baby would dramatically change my life” (which includes interrupting education, interfering with job and career, and/or concern over other children or dependents)”. 73% -most women gave two or three primary reasons for their abortion, reported, “…they “can’t afford a baby now” (due to various reasons such as being unmarried, being a student, inability to afford childcare or basic needs of life, etc.)” Other reasons included not wanting others to know they were pregnant, not wanting to be a single mother, being finish with childbearing, not feeling mature enough to raise a child, partner or parent wanting them to have an abortion, not feeling mature enough to raise a child and health problems with themselves or the fetus (See a full summary of results and percentages here).

When we hear of a poor family giving off their young daughter in marriage in some far away country, we cringe. When we hear of a new-born being left to die because of fear of poverty, our heart breaks. We sympathize with the family, the woman and their hardship but we are still able to recognize their injustice and qualify it as immoral. Is the silence of the baby in the womb the only reason we cannot realize the injustice of killing them? And now that we know “The fifth week of pregnancy, or the third week after conception, marks the beginning of the embryonic period… when the baby’s brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form…” (2) We can no longer pretend the baby is a mere attachment of the woman’s body, that is simply antiquated and unscientific.

There’s a character in the book ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison who, upon the fear of being enslaved, kills her children. This horrendous scene sparks in me an unbearable amount of sadness. The enslavement of Africans in America is one of the most horrendous crimes to happen on the face of this planet. The character Sethe who decides to kill her baby knows that pain first hand -a lifetime of forced work, abuse, and rape. If there is any scenario in which one could empathize with a mother killing her children this would be it. But our empathy for this character does not overrides what we know as a moral truth, the basic human right to life. When she is imprisoned we sympathize, but we clearly acknowledge what she did was a crime.

In the holy scripture that serves as a blueprint for my life, God says “And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Quran, 17:31). In the depth of our souls I think we all can agree killing another human being for no just reason is a moral sin and a heinous crime. But before we attempt to or even become interested in reversing roe v. wade we have to tell the truth, the truth about life, the truth about why woman have abortions and the truth about morality. We should not be interested in simply making abortion illegal which may only cause abortions to go underground, we have to be interested in opening people hearts and minds, we have change the culture, the pro-choice movement cannot continue under its cloud of fallacies but the pro-life movement will never reach the masses if it does not understand why women end up in the abortion clinic in the first place.

Image source: here

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Commentary on work vs home

November 17, 2015

tumblr_m9fi3fUZ4H1r7v8w6o1_540“I would argue that, if anything, the fact that she raised five children and devoted her life to providing them with a safe, secure, balanced family life is a tribute to her.  She has contributed greatly to society by creating self-sufficient, independent children who are self-reliant and, hopefully, good and decent folk.” Link

This argument has been my battle cry since I was a kid though it’s more of a whimper now -women should “stay” at home. In Islam women are not obligated to work to financially maintain themselves or anyone else -no it doesn’t matter if she’s a widow, unmarried, young or old, she is always under the care of the men in society. Of course we know this is not always followed but this is a part of the Islamic tradition. When women dare desire to be a stay at home wife we’re often met with retorts of how impractical that is these days. Polygamy in the west is just as impractical but you’ll find few Muslim men berate the institution. In my former blog I wrote quite a bit about this topic and was always very clear about my views on women working which have been negative for some time. But the truth is that the argument is unnecessarily polarized.

There’s no way I’d finish my degree in psychology at my current masters level or at the doctorate level then proceed to get married have kids and never use those skills I worked so hard to obtain. The question is not really and either or but a how, when and what. In no uncertain terms I believe as per my faith and my personal conviction a women should never be forced to work to provide income to her family that is her husbands’ responsibility. To think otherwise is to degrade the institution of marriage, family and femininity. To say that the women should work also is to imply that if she stays at home she’s not working, lazy and needs to be an adult get a job and contribute. But women in the home do contribute, they are responsible for the running of a household, for looking after others, and creating an environment of solace and peace for their spouse and children. Would anyone think a women running a small business is lazy? Yet a stay at home mom does equal if not more than a CEO of a small business so how is her work devalued? She not only runs the household management but cooks, cleans, decorates, plays conflict resolution and ensures the well being of those in her household, yet somehow this deserves no credit?

So women work, women will always work no matter the setting and whether or not there is monetary gain. But I think it’s important to note that not working a 9-5 does not mean not working in any way to for monetary gain. Though I desire to primarily stay at home when/if I get married and have children I also plan to work in some way all my life. In the beginning of a marriage I imagine having a job as a part time professor, writing, teaching various Islamic studies, and continuing to explore the world of online business. If there are young children I’d stop working outside the home to primarily be at home with them, teaching would stop but maybe I’d have some online classes, I’d still be writing, online business would hopefully keep going. To keep within the psychology field I probably attend monthly lectures to be in the loop and maybe do a speaking engagement here and there. When the kids got older if they were in school I could resume some teaching outside the home assuming they may have there own classes to attend or could sit down and be still while I taught. When they’re much older I’d be free to work outside the home if I choose though flexible time would remain important, etc., etc. The point is working or staying at home aren’t really at complete odds. Women with degrees shouldn’t throw it all away if they can avoid it but they also shouldn’t feel pressure to dive in an ignore the call of domesticity, wifehood and motherhood.

In reality I think we should all work more flexible hours both men and women. There is so much life to live, so much to explore, and when you have little people around why resist the urge to give them the best you can, they’re only young once. Though I promote, support and believe in men as bread winners and women primarily as domestic engineers in reality it is both women and men who have forgotten the importance and primacy of the family. We’ve all left the home to financially support it but who is supporting the spirit of the home? If both men and women are working 9-5, watching 3 hours of TV a day while Jimbob’s (naturally your kid’s name) is on the computer, the answer is simply ‘no one’ how is that a decent trade off for a few more bucks?

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