In her latest, baseless screed against feminism, Christian blogger and professional mommy-shamer Lori Alexander (a.k.a. “The Transformed Wife”) claims that women with careers “waste” a lot of money by paying for things like childcare… therefore the solution is for all women to be stay-at-home moms.
It’s a solution that barely made sense in the 1950s, where her mind still lives, much less today.
In the olden days, women could not be career women. Life was far from easy. The woman’s work was needed in the home just to survive. There was no running water, no restaurants, no gasoline, no dishwasher, no washing machines, and so on. There was also no birth control, daycare centers, nor public schools. Women were NEEDED at home.
Enter the Second World War, which sent women into the workforce and fundamentally changed society as we know it. Alexander must not have heard of it.
Keep in mind these, to her, are the good old days. Even if you’re nostalgic for this past, though, the very next statement should admit that it is possible to be a career woman today for a number of reasons. It is not.
Many women tell me that they can’t afford to be home. Most of these women actually could be home IF they were willing to give up some of the modern conveniences.
When [another Christian blogger] decided to get married, she and her husband decided they would never have debt. If they couldn’t afford something, they wouldn’t buy it, so they learned to live on a lot less, and live simply and frugally with what they did have.
That makes about as much sense as telling Millennials they could totally buy a new house if they just gave up on avocado toast. The problem has nothing to do with cutting back on frivolous wants. Even if you don’t have student loan debt (another thing Alexander believes is wasteful for women), everything is so much more expensive now than it was when Alexander was a stay-at-home mom herself. For starters, the cost of rent has skyrocketed — even for small apartments, not “extravagant” ones by Alexander’s standards. The same goes for the cost of gas (and cars), medical care, child care, etc. It’s just not possible for many couples to get by on one income alone.
It doesn’t help that wages haven’t increased with time. A job that could provide for a small family a few decades ago would barely cover a mortgage these days. Being frugal isn’t going to make up the difference.
I thought how much money career women must waste in order to be career women. They must make sure they have the proper clothing and shoes. Their hair and makeup must be just so. They need maintenance and gas money for the car. They don’t have time to make things from scratch such as food, clothing, candles, and other things. They must buy all of their stuff. They don’t have time to shop for deals. They must pay someone to care for their babies and children.
Shed a tear for all those poor young women who don’t know how to make candles from scratch anymore…
In any case, if Alexander is upset about career women needing proper hair, clothing, shoes, and makeup, she should blame sexist work standards, not the careers themselves. (Oddly enough, you know who had a career selling much of those things Alexander mentions? The famous “Proverbs 31” woman from the Bible. And she’s praised for it, not condemned.)
If they would sit down and figure how much they actually make after subtracting all of these things, most of them would see that it’s very little. It’s impossible for career women to live simply and frugally. They simply don’t have the time! They need all of the modern conveniences in order to be career women.
It never crosses Alexander’s mind that having a career is itself worthwhile to many women. As with men, it gives them a sense of purpose and value. It’s fulfilling! They didn’t choose their careers just because they forgot to sit down and work through a budget.
None of this is meant to mock or criticize stay-at-home moms. There’s nothing wrong with women who choose that path for themselves. But Alexander, as usual, believes her way is the only acceptable one for all women. Those who choose a professional path are dead to her.