I am taking a contemporary British Lit class this semester-- it is fabulous. Not only is my teacher the definition of Marathon Woman, I really enjoy our class discussions, and the literature is rather enlightening.
Last week I got up on my feminist soap box when we read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, and how we might think we have moved so far from Woolf's time to think women have it great because we can get our bachelor's degrees, but really we have so much more progress to make, especially in church culture, where it is possible to get higher degree or have a career, but it is generally very difficult for it to be accepted. My teacher then pointed out that women typically want to have it all, and all at once. From her experience, she can say that it is quite possible to have it all-- just not all at once. You have to spread it out. She also noted that women who do try to attain educational or career goals will experience a lot of criticism, but, interestingly enough, it is usually from other women-- not men. (Obviously this is in general, not absolute.) She said she was highly criticized, usually until the criticizers got to know her children-- once they could see she was raising truly incredible kids, they dropped the criticism. She got married when she was 19 and had three children by the time she was 21. She continued in school and got her master's degree and her Ph.D. along the way. She also worked as an editor of sorts earning over $300,000 a year (and that was in the '80s). She was widowed when she was about 48, and then she was offered a job at BYU. So, now she teaches here. Seriously, she's amazing.
Okay, believe it or not, that was a side note. So, today, when I got to class, in the pre-class discussion this guy just asked if it was okay for him to be a stay-at-home dad if he knew his wife could earn more than he could and she was okay with it. Everyone generally agreed that this was fine-- as long as it really was okay for both parties. Then he said something about how the only downside was that he would have to do all the laundry, clean, cook, shop, etc. And so I said, "wouldn't you split the responsibilities?" And it basically went quiet. I thought that was odd. I mean, isn't it generally accepted that husband and wife should split household responsibilities? I said how I expected my husband to share in the chore duties-- and he does. He always cleans the bathroom (among other things). And he didn't mind.
I'm not sure what my question is for the point of this post. Basically, if you like, you can just respond to anything I have typed, or you can answer one of these two specific questions:
(1) The Proclamation to the World states that a woman belongs in the home, raising her familiy. Does this mean that the Church discourages stay-at-home dads? Do you think it is more important for the woman specifically to be in the home? Or do you think the key factor is a parent in the home and they just say it should be the woman because that is most typical? (Granted, I know some circumstances don't allow a parent to be in the home-- let's just pretend this hypothetical family does not need to worry about finances-- though do consider this option: the wife can make more at her job than her husband-- should the wife still stay home? We're talking wife is a business executive and the husband is a public school teacher.)
(2) Was I on some other planet when I responded that they could split the responsibilities? Should women be in charge of keeping a house clean, doing the laundry, etc.? Or is it fair to have the man share in the responsibilities?