We are two part-time academics. Ellen teaches in the English department and Jim in the IT program at George Mason University.

Jenny Uglow's _Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories_ · 4 February 08

Watercolor of Elizabeth Gaskell by her daughter, Meta, 1865

Dear Anne,

I said I would record all books I read through intensely and enjoyed: so the other day finally finished Jenny Uglow’s A Habit of Stories: Elizabeth Gaskell. I felt sad as I closed the book not only because the quiet understated lucid style of the final chapter which tells of Gaskell’s sudden but not entirely unexpected early death so that, like many other Victorian writers, she too died with a book unfinished, a masterwork, Wives and Daughters, but because the book came to an end.

I wanted it to go on and on.

Now I’ve got to find another as superior to replace it for late night reading.

Among the remarkable feats Uglow performs is that she gets past a huge lack of intimate letters. Gaskell is another Victorian writer who wrote probably thousands of letters, most of which were burnt or destroyed. What was saved were the apparently cheerful or contented ones; Charles Eliot Norton, the American scholar, did save all his from her, but he is rare, and Uglow uses his letters a good deal, but he was a distant friend and acquaintance. Nonetheless, the real woman emerges, also her ambivalent marriage (Uglow shows how much time they spent apart after
the births of the children), her deeper inner currents of feeling and thought giving rise to her novels, and much of her daily life is
felt. The chapters on the books are so good that I want to read much more of Gaskell than I’ve done as yet, especially we could do the short stories which fit naturally into list rhythms. The style throughout is understatted and quiet and lucid, and yet rooted in deep affection and passions too—about social justice and women’s causes and literature and art.

Uglow shows how Gaskell formed important relationships with women, which ones these were and how they fit familial patterns, and how Gaskell’s friends stimulated her to and enabled her to write (by helping or taking care of her children with her). There’s a beautiful tone of sympathy and woman-centered point of view when it comes to telling of Gaskell’s life which reminds me of Margaret Forster in Lady’s Maid and as well as her biography of Daphne DuMaurier.

Elizabeth Gaskell cannot be understood apart from her unitarian
background. The religion itself was a de-mystifying one, optimistic, reforming, and progressive, and some of the finest figures of the Enlightenment, men and women (Mary Wollstonecraft comes to mind) were strongly influenced by unitarians. Gaskell was very sympathetic to the ideals of the French revolution; one of the things she was willing to do as a young housewife was run a Sunday school to teach working class boys and girls to read. Not just learn religion, but read. In her My Lady Ludlow (the last Gaskell novel I finished), the central character could not be further from the outlook and personal history of the writer. There is a strong tendency for readers to assume (no matter what one says to the contrary) the central female presence of a male is to be a surrogate for the author (as the central male one is for the male author—and people can also write in drag, from the point of view of the opposite sex or homosexual person). The whole mindset of Lady Ludlow is thus one she’s entering into from the outside.

I’ve scanned in the few pages from Jenny Uglow’s biography of Elizabeth Gaskell where she analzyes and expatiates on this novella. Her perspective adds to Nick’s comments on Trollope-l on the film adaptation, Cranford: I think in the movie we similarly see that a woman’s ethic and psychology (different from a man’s) is more creative, and makes for community and also is the unrecognized basis of society; the ethic here is that outlined by Carol Gilligan in her Psychology of Women, not competitive and aggressive, but one of endlessly trying to make and be part of partnerships, one with a language and outlook its own (mocked by the macho male culture dominated by individualism that capitalism demands).

Uglow suggests that Gaskell veers between this vision of creativity and one of victimization where women are preyed upon by a male hegemony backed by complicit women who survive by acting out the behests of powerful men, especially when they find themselves having a high rank.

I particularly like how she shows a female aesthetic lies behind the structure of stories within stories, the tone, the sentence
structures, use of narrator, and the imagery and open-endedness of the story. I find this in her Cousin Phillis whose sensual idyllicism is repeated in Gaskell’s Mr Harrison’s Confession, and I find the same sort of thing in other women’s tales and novellas (A. S. Byatt, Isak Dinesen: think Babette’s Feast and her winter’s tales). The same interest and a feminist-socialist use of the French revolution is found in Suzy McKee Charnas’s Dorothea Dreams (which I so loved a couple of years ago).

Uglow is at her best when it comes to analyzing and discussing Gaskell’s fiction. Her style is lucid, plain, easy to follow, graceful. Such a style permits Uglow to present complicated and subtle ideas and lots of information in enjoyable sentences. She is informative and perceptive not only on Gaskell’s intellectual and emotional life but her books. Her section on Cranford is just superb. She does not at all remain at the literal story-telling level, but brings out the serious themes of the work (caught up in its peculiar vein of irony and humor) and also (revealingly I suspect) shows how Mr Harrison’s Confession fits right into Cranford. It’s an early dry run from a male point of view. I wonder if Thomas, Conklin and Birtwistle got their idea for their mini-series from this book. Uglow even brings up the idea that the women of Cranford reveal how upper class women lead stifling and self-destructive lives when they adhere strictly to their class privileges as a mode of safety and for dignity: this would bring My Lady Ludlow right into the purview of the material, for Uglow also discussed LL just in this vein.

She retells the Cranford stories in a way which (from the point of view of someone who has seen the series—not yet in existence when this book was written) suggests that the film-makers were in some ways truer to Gaskell’s purpose than Gaskell. That can happen. I’ve thought the original film of A Tale of Two Cities brings out the Sidney Carton Dickens meant to bring out—more deeply.

She analyzes the short fiction and novels in a way that makes the story plain (so if you haven’t read it you can read it) and thoroughly and humanely—without becoming boring or tedious. I would now like to read her book, Ruth, a tragedy about an unwed mother (based apparently on a tale by George Crabbe). Most of all there’s a beautiful tone of sympathy and woman-centered point of view which reminds me of Margaret Forster in Lady’s Maid and as well as her biography of Daphne DuMaurier.

Tomorrow or the next day a review and some stills from the film adaptation of Cranford, My Lady Ludlow and Mr Harrison’s Confession.


Posted by: Ellen

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  1. From Barbara J on Trollope-l:

    As I wrote when you first mentioned this book, I too was enchanted. And inspired to read all of Gaskell’s novels last summer.”
    Elinor    Feb 4, 10:51pm    #
  2. Here is the inset essay, JUglow, A Habit of Stories pp. 467-72:

    Two of Elizabeth Gaskell’s short works, My Lady Ludlow (1858) and ‘Lois the Witch’ (1859), show this polarity between female creativity and victimization very clearly. The former illustrates a gradual growth from patriarchal aristocratic power to a more democratic, outward looking ‘maternal’ ethos. The latter shows a rigid religious society, ruled by Puritan elders, destroying itself by inward-looking fanaticism, making women its victims and scapegoats. While My Lady Ludlow celebrates the open, sympathetic vision found in the apparently unsystematic detail of women’s letters, ‘Lois’ condemns the male ‘texts’ and authorities which are so often distorted to justify cruelty. Both stories open in the Warwickshire countryside, the scene of Eliot’s and Gaskell’s youth, but whereas in My Lady Ludlow Gaskell starts from the daily lives of women, in ‘Lois’ she suggests there is another mode of ‘women’s writing’, moving from the real to the surreal that invades it. This was a voyage Eliot would take a year later, tentatively, in ‘The Lifted Veil’ (r860), and which would carry her, finally, to the engulfing seas of Daniel Deronda.

    My Lady Ludlow is the least regarded of Gaskell’s longer works. Yet this novella, often criticized for its shapelessness, is far cleverer and more experimental than first appears, as if Gaskell were trying to prove George Eliot’s belief, expressed in ‘Silly Novels’, that women’s writing could have ‘a precious speciality, lying quite apart from masculine aptitudes and experiences. No educational restrictions can shut women out of the materials of fiction, and there is no species of art ,so free from rigid requirements. Like crystalline masses, it may take any form, and yet be beautiful – we have only to pour in the right elements – genuine observation, humour and passion.’

    My Lady Ludlow creates such a feminine fiction. It is flexible and detailed, and both its argument and its form arise naturally from the memories and daily lives of particular women. Formally, the experiiment does not altogether work, but it is original and brave. The structure, like that of Cranford, has the unstable mobility and focus of memory. Doors open further and further into the past as each person’s tale unreels. Even Lady Ludlow’s melodramatic account of the fate of two young French aristocrats – which sets the trauma of revolution against the rhythm of gradual change – relies on piecing together the remembrances of different witnesses.

    When this story was republished in Round the Sofa, where it is presented as the elderly Mrs Dawson’s reminiscences, the perspective becomes still more subtle. The invisible female narrator attains personality and the written tale is seen to copy the loose, circling shape of conversational storytelling, of stories within stories. The effect is heightened by juxtaposition with the next piece in the collection, ‘An Accursed Race’, a catalogue of persecutions recounted by Mrs Dawson’s brother. The brother’s contribution is a formal paper ‘rather dry in itself’ prepared for the Edinburgh Philosophical Society. The sister’s narration, by contrast, is far from dry. It has all the variety of reminiscent speech: nostalgic, satiric, tragic and comic by turns. It can even encompass, as an image of the atrophying powers of the aristocracy, an evocative Lamb-like digression on scent, deftly tied, through the mention of a copy of Bacon’s ‘Essays on Gardens’ lying on Lady Ludlow’s table, to its own literary pedigree. Gaskell uses these blended modes, which make critics dismiss the piece as hybrid, to write of change, loss and the rebirth of hope. Through the events in a small village she presents a span of social, religious and economic history in which the old order slowly allows in the new.

    Both Lady Ludlow and the other principal female character in the story, Miss Galindo, are single women, one a widow, the other a spinster, who care for the daughters of others. Lady Ludlow educates a group of needy young gentlewomen, Miss Galindo adopts the orphaned, illegitimate child of the man she once loved. Their maternal roles extend outward~ to the community via Lady Ludlow’s feudal responsibilities and Miss Galindo’s bossy, well-meaning interference in village life. But when the story opens, Lady Ludlow is found clinging to remnants of a masculine authority, as if that were her true strength. In fact her power is already eroded: her husband has mortgaged Hanbury to cultivate his Scottish estates ‘after some new fashion that required capital’; her beloved younger son has drowned at sea; her elder son is absent and will die on the Continent. The Gothic convention of the crumbling mansion and the aristocratic line falling into decay lies behind this tale: lacking an heir, the family has dwindled to a frail old lady with a gold-topped stick, who lives in a house full of relics while her estates fall into neglect. Even the medicines her wards prepare are mere placebos, ‘but we were very careful in putting labels on them, which looked very mysterious to those who could not read, and helped the medicine to do its work’. Lady Ludlow’s rule is built on the sands of ignorance and habitual submission.

    She tries as hard as she can to insulate herself from change, snubbing the Baptist baker who buys land nearby, pretending that Miss Galindo’s ward, the illegitimate Bessy, is invisible. Upset by the sermons of the new Evangelical clergyman, Mr Gray, she has the ancient Hanbury family pew glazed in. A window is left open so the service can be heard:

    ‘But if Mr Gray used the word “Sabbath”, or spoke in favour of schooling and education, my lady
    stepped out of her corner, and drew up the window with a decided clang and clash.’ (Ch. I)

    A marvellous image, apt and trange, encasing and encapsulating.

    No one can stay behind glass for ever: this story is yet another of Gaskell’s variations on Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. As in the fairy tales, Lady Ludlow is awakened and brought back into the world by men, principally by the eager, consumptive Mr Gray. (The comic description of Hanbury’s sequence of vicars is another nod towards Scenes of Clerical Life.) The men in this story effect change not through rational argument but through feeling. Lady Ludlow hotly disputes Gray’s passionate objections when a local poacher is imprisoned, but she is piqued enough to seek out the Gregsons’ hovel. The dismay she feels in this personal encounter with rural misery drives her to speak out against her fellow-magistrate, defying her peers and distinguishing between justice and ‘law’: ‘Bah! Who makes laws? Such as I, in the House of Lords – such as you, in the House of Commons.’

    Other men play their part in her awakening: the steward Mr Horner, with his tender hope of educating young Harry Gregson, the poacher’s son; the boisterous, open-speaking Captain James, Lady Ludlow’s dead son’s friend, who dares to introduce new farming techniques. When these fail, he does even worse – he takes advice from the Dissenting baker from Birmingham with his efficient model farms. Despite Lady Ludlow’s disapproval change cannot be balked. By the end Mr Gray has his village school, with Harry Gregson as star pupil, and the illegitimate Bessy, Miss Galindo’s protege, as his fellow teacher and wife, while Captain James marries the baker’s daughter. The farms and the village are, however gently, revolutionized. The final scene, a woman’s tea-party, may seem trivial and domestic, but when Lady Ludlow takes her pocket handkerchief and lays it on her lap as a napkin, deliberately copying the baker’s wife to save her from ridicule, we recognize a fundamental change – in the person and in the society. Nothing, and everything, has happened.

    My Lady Ludlow is far from an unselfconscious effusion: within it even writing itself is suspected and redeemed. Gaskell, of course, makes fun of Lady Ludlow’s certainty that literacy is doom:

    “Has your ladyship heard that Harry Gregson has fallen from a tree and broken his thigh-bone and is like to be a cripple for life?”

    “Harry Gregson! that black-eyed lad who read my letter? It all comes from over-education!” ,

    Her story of the young aristocrats, Pierre and Virginie, in which a servant’s ability to read indirectly causes their deaths, is designed to prove the equation, Rousseau + Education = Revolution. As sugggested by the deliberately mysterious labels on the salt and water medicines, literacy threatens because it destroys the credibility of the powerful.

    The argument about writing and power extends naturally from class to gender. Lady Ludlow believes that women should cultivate a fine old-fashioned hand, but their writing must remain decorative, personal and social. They should not cross boundaries: when Miss Galindo acts as a clerk, she sticks her pencil behind her ears and whistles, in the vain hope that Mr Horner will not notice she is female. But even she was nearly a writer once. As a girl she had been taught music by Dr Burney:

    “And his daughter wrote a book and they said she was but a very young lady, and nothing but a music-master’s daughter; so why should not I try?”


    “Well! I got paper and hal£-a-hundred good pens, a bottle of ink, all ready – ”

    “And then – ”

    “0, it ended in my having nothing to say, when I sat down to write.

    But sometimes, when I get hold of a book, I wonder why I let such a poor reason stop me. It does not others.” , (Ch. 9)

    In Lady Ludlow’s view it was just as well it did stop her. ‘I am extremely against women usurping men’s employments, as they are very apt to do.’ The account of anbury’s final transformation, and of that significant tea-party, is given in a letter from Miss Galindo, apparently artless and inconsequential, mixing births and deaths, kittens and bulls, marriages and manners. Yet the #8216;heterogenous mass of nonsense’ (as Henry Holland described Gaskell’s own letters) contains all we need to know. Furthermore it loops back to the narrator’s opening memory of her girlhood: ‘letters were letters then; and we made great prizes of them, and read them and studied them like books’. It seems that Miss Galindo, who thinks she has nothing to say, is an authoress after all.

    My Lady Ludlow replaces autocracy with association. It holds violence in its midst, but it is a gentle, rural, wished-for revision of history, deliberately removed from open hostility and suffering. Most of the stories Gaskell wrote in the 1850s and early r860s reverse the pattern, presenting the threat and the darkness as the dominant force, returning relentlessly to an examination of power and the way it is imposed and accepted, with an almost sado-masochistic emphasis on domination and submission. Rules and ritual codify control. Institutions enforce and maintain it, relying on mystique to compel unquestioning acceptance. This is true of the law (in My Lady Ludlow … )

    So Gaskell’’s gothic shows the destruction of women—and that is what happens in “Lois the Witch” where a woman is burned for being a witch, is scapegoated.”
    Elinor    Feb 4, 11:03pm    #
  3. I am reading an article for one of my classes about adolescent girls. The article is by Linda Kreger Silverman, PhD., Licensed Psychologist.

    The article says that for girls, “adolescence is a time of self-doubt, narrowing aspirations, observing instead of fully participating, accepting limitations, learning what it means to be feminine and how to fit into the prescribed roles of women in our society. It is a time of lost dreams.”

    The article says that between 11 and 17, girls are robbed of their sense of power.

    The article says that girls are handicapped by being female.

    Then the article says, “The doctrine of the natural inferiority of women has been so thoroughly ingrained in our psyches for thousands of years, it is little wonder that once confident girls begin to have serious doubts about their abilities. Women have been told that they are innately less intelligent than men, incapable of invention, genius, eminence, by the most revered men in history – Buddha, Confucius, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Mohammed, Martin Luther, Shakespeare, Milton, Immanuel Kant, Darwin, Freud.”

    The Sadkers (1994) asked elementary,secondary, and college students to name 20 famous American women in 5 minutes, excluding athletes and entertainers. On average, students could only list 4 or 5 women from the entire history of the nation.

    I don’t know whether I can do any better. Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Rosalind Franklin (who isn’t even recognized; Watson and Crick are the ones who are recognized), Hillary Clinton, Amelia Earhart. That’s all I can think of. I did the same as average.

    The reason is that history textbooks only devote 2% of their space to women.

    The article says that as women gain more rights, to education, to own property, to speak in public, to work outside the home, to vote, to hold public office, bias becomes more covert instead of guaranteeing equality of opportunity for women.

    Girls have a developmental advantage, they learn to talk, count, and read earlier. Throughout elementary school, they surpass boys in grades and achievement tests in all subject areas except science. The developmental advantage has been dismissed as either irrelevant or interpreted in a grossly distorted manner.

    There is a considerable loss of self-confidence and achievement in girls as they move to adolescence.

    The article says that the reason for this is that gender role socialization tells girls that they are only valued for their appearance and socialization. Girls are less valued for their achievements, so girls place less value on their achievements themselves. A study found that nearly half of 5-8 year old girls believe that greater popularity can be achieved by being slimmer. This leads to eating disorders.

    The article also says that all but the most brilliant determined young women find it necessary to downplay their intelligence in junior and senior high school.

    If girls decide to be true to themselves and honor their drive for achievement, they will face disconnection, taunts, and rejection from both male and female peers. If they focus on becoming attractive to the opposite sex, they will be accepted and rewarded for their efforts.

    Girls with higher grade point averages were significantly more depressed and had more psychosomatic symptoms and had loewr self esteem than their male counterparts.

    Girls have higher grades than boys, but boys outperform girls on SATs and other similar tests. The question in the article is whether the boys did not develop their intelligence as quickly as girls, but then they took their natural lead over females, or whether the females of equal ability moved over and gave them the lead. (The author of the article had quotation marks around the word natural).

    The article says that girls learn that it is best to not work outside the home, but if they choose to work outside the home, they should choose between a limited number of options. That is not at all my experience. In my high school, both boys and girls were expected to choose a career. There was no mention of girls being stay at home moms. I happened to be interested in a traditional woman’s career, teaching, and now that I don’t want to be a teacher, I happened to choose another traditional women’s career, nurse practitioner. Is there a reason that the careers I have been interested in have been women’s careers? When I was a child, I would always pretend to be a nurse when my brother was sick. I would bring a glass of water to him in his bed. My friends and I played that we were teaching a school, and my dolls were the students. So, maybe there was something about my childhood that made me interested in women’s careers. Maybe I learned in childhood that women are supposed to be teachers and nurses. Nurse practitioner is a good career for me, because it will allow me to teach people how to be healthy, and it will allow me to see improvements in people’s health.

    Quotes from boys and girls about how their life would be different if their sex were different:

    “I would consider careers in math or science.” (10th grade girl.)

    “I wouldn’t be able to keep my job as a carpenter.” (12th grade boy).

    “If I was a boy, I’d drop my typing class and start taking really hard classes, since my Dad would let me go to college and he won’t now.” (11th grade girl.)

    “It would be harde to get a job and I probabaly would be paid less.” (11th grade boy.)

    “I think I’d be more outspoken and confident.” (9th grade girl).

    “I’d have to be more ladylike and trampish.” (9th grade boy).

    “If I were a boy, I could go hunting and fishing with my dad.” (6th grade girl).

    “If I were a girl, I would not be able to help my dad fix the car and the truck and his two motorcycles.” (6th grade boy).

    “I’d get away with a lot less” (11th grade girl.

    “As a boy, I would be treated with less respect” (10th grade girl.

    “If I were a girl, I would be treated like a normal human being, not an animal or anything else” (8th grade boy).

    “If I were a girl, I’d be stupid and weak as as strong (6th grade boy).

    “People would take my decisions and beliefs more seriously” (11th grade girl).

    In another study, 40% of the girls saw advantages to being male, while 95% of the boys saw no advantages to being female. 16% of the boys described ways which they would escape from the condition of being female, usually suicide.

    Girls said they wouldn’t have to worry about their appearance, while boys said they would have to start worrying about their appearance. Girls said they’d have greater freedom, while boys mentioned all the restrictions they would face as girls.

    Girls saw many advantages of being male, such as being able to be governor or president, being taken seriously, having a secretary, and making more money. For boys, the thought of being female is appalling, disgusting, and humiliating, it is completely unacceptable.

    I love being a woman. I am happy that women value self-disclosure and intimacy in friendships. Friendship is very important to me, and I like telling my friends about my thoughts and feelings. I like it that women have more social support from their friends than men have. I like it that friendships are important to women. The only benefit of being male would be that I’d be able to have sex whenever I wanted with whoever I wanted. Virginity isn’t important for men, and virginity is important for women. My virginity is very important to me as a woman.

    The article also says that leadership is perceived positively in boys and negatively in girls.

    Math teachers said that they attributed boys’ success to capability, and girls’ success to effort. Is there any reason that I disliked math in high school and I wasn’t good at math, but in college when I have taken Calculus I and now I’m taking Calculus II, they have been easy for me, I am good at them, and I enjoy them? Do some people find calculus easier than geometry, algebra, and trigonometry, or is it because my math skills have improved over time, or does it have something to do with girls in high school being expected to not be as good at math as boys? In my high school math classes, the students were supposed to work on math problems as a group so that if people were having trouble with the problems or didn’t understand something, the group could help each other. The girls in my group answered my questions, but the boys in my group were unwilling to help me with the math.

    I’m more confident in my math skills, my writing skills, my contributions to class discussions, my reading comprehension has improved (I don’t know whether that’s related to confidence), than I was in high school. Maybe I was affected by people assuming that girls aren’t as capable as boys. Maybe because I’m at a women’s college, girls are expected to be capable and that increased my confidence. Or maybe since I have been away from my parents, I don’t rely on them as much, so my confidence in my abilities have increased. Or maybe my skills in math, writing, reading, and speaking have increased as a result of the classes I have taken and the practice I’ve had with those skills during college.

    The article says that people should start complimenting women for their achievements rather than for their choice of clothes and weight loss. My mom, my dad, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents all value me for my achievements. My mom constantly tells me that I need to lose weight. So, I’m mostly being told that my achievements are important, but I’m also being told that my weight is important. I asked my friend Jeff, “Am I too fat for you to want to be in a romantic relationship with me?” And he said that he thinks that I am overweight. I’m happy with the way I look, but it is difficult for me to be happy with the way I look with Jeff thinking that I’m overweight and my mom constantly complaining about my stomach being too big and saying that I need to eat less and exercise more. My great aunt and one of my friends said that I look good the weight that I am, but I’d look even better if I lost weight. They weren’t encouraging me to lose weight, they were saying that it’s not necessary for me to lose weight but if I do lose weight I could look even better than I already look. My great aunt compliments me on both my achievements and my appearance, but it seems that my achievements matter more to her than my looks do. The messages that I am getting from my friends and family is that my achievements/accomplishments and my looks are both important, but my achievements and accomplishments are more important. My friends want me to improve my eating habits and exercise more because they want me to be healthy, not because they want me to lose weight to look better. My mom’s reason for me eating healthier and exercising more seems to be only for the reason that she wants me to look better. I think that mothers who are concerned about how their daughters look are concerned about how the mother herself looks. Why do mothers start being concerned with their daughter’s looks and their daughter’s weight when the mother is concerned about her own weight? Why do mothers put so much energy in trying to change the daughter’s behavior and weight instead of putting effort into changing their own behavior and weight?

    This article is useful for me, because it is reminding me that my accomplishments are important. People will appreciate me for my accomplishments more than they will appreciate me for my looks. Even if looks will make guys attracted to me, the relationship won’t last very long if it is only based on the way I look and not based on the person who I am, my interests and accomplishments. So I shouldn’t worry about how I look, I should only worry about working toward my goals and doing the things that I like to do.

    I think that the reason that women are expected to achieve less than men is that men don’t want to lose power. More achievement and intelligence from women means less power for men. Men will feel less intelligent if they are not ahead of women in intelligence.

    Men want women to be stay at home moms so that men can devote all of their time to gaining power instead of devoting their time to taking care of children. It seems that men think a women’s role is to support her husband. Men (well, not all men, just some) think that women are supposed to help men achieve power.

    I might have told you about a book that said that the way for women to worship God is to help their husbands gain power. Supporting the husband and helping him achieve power is how to be a good wife.

    I don’t see any problem with women helping their husbands, as long as men also help their wives. Women’s lives should be as important as men’s lives. Both spouses should work toward their goals and work to have the kind of life that will make them happy. Both spouses should help their spouses work toward their goals and have the kind of life that will make them happy. It shouldn’t be that the only purpose of a woman’s life is to help her husband achieve his goals and be happy.

    It is still very true that girls/women are complimented more for their looks than their accomplishments, and women are taught that they can’t achieve as much as men can, but I think it is less true now than it used to be. Plenty of men think that men and women are equal, and plenty of men think that women are not less capable of achieving than men are.
    Jennica    Feb 6, 4:34pm    #

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