This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: an unconventional non-believer in the home and
marriage, though these are really rare. The drinker, the roue, the wanderer, the selfish, the nonconventional,
the soarer, the restless, the inefficient and the misogynist all make poor husbands and fathers and find the
home a burden too crippling to be borne.
One of the outstanding figures of the past is the domestic woman, yearning for a home, assiduously and
constantly devoted to it, her husband and her numerous children. Fancy likes to linger on this old-fashioned
housewife, arising in the early morning and from that time until her bedtime content to bake, cook, wash, dust,
clean, sew, nurse and teach; imagining no other career possible or proper for her sex; leading a life of selfsacrifice, toil and devotion. Poet, novelist, artist, and clergyman have immortalized her, and men for the most
part cherish this type as their mother and dream of it as the ideal wife.
Perhaps (and probably) this woman rebelled in her heart against her drudgery and dreamed of better things;
perhaps she regretted the quickly past youth and dreaded the frequent child-bearing. Whether she did or not,
the appearance of a strongly non-domestic type is part of the history of the latter nineteenth century and the
The non-domestic women are, like their male prototypes, of many kinds, and it would be idle to enumerate
them. There is the kind of woman that "has a career," using this term neither sarcastically nor flatteringly. The
successful artist of whatever sort--painter, musician, actress--has usually been quite spoiled for domesticity by
the reward of money and adulation given her. Nowhere is the lack of proportion of our society so well
demonstrated as in the hysterical praise given to this kind of woman, and naturally she cannot consent to the
subordination and seclusion of the home. Then there is the young business woman, efficient, independent,
proud of her place in the bustle and stir of trade. She is quite willing to marry and often makes an admirable
mother and wife, but sometimes she finds the menial character of housewo...
View Full Document
- Spring '11