Sunday, August 20, 2006
UPDATE: Rivky is fine. Now back to our regularly scheduled post.
During shabbos lunch, Chaya announced; "I'm not good at sports, I'm a girl." I was startled. I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. "Why are you not good at sports?" I asked. "Because I'm a girl," she answered matter-of-factly, as if sports and girls were diametrically opposed. "Girls can be good at sports," I said, "Like golf," Yaakov conceded. "Or swimming!" I rejoined. "You're a fish Chaya, you love to swim." Thus ended the topic of girls and their sporting abilities.
Truthfully, I don't really care so much that she had this idea. I was just startled she had it so young, and I wondered where she picked it up from. Could it be Zalman's clothes? Footballs and baseballs? Trains, trucks and cars? Is she sensing from such a young age that G-d created girls and boys to be different from each other?
I have written before about gender roles, and I believe in them. I'm not one of these ranting femininsts - although I used to be - who thinks women should be able to do everything men do. In fact, we learn in Torah that the hardest labor we had in Egypt is when Pharoah assigned men to do women's work, and women to do men's.
I think the best thing we can do for ourselves as women is to reclaim our femininity. Revel in the things we do best. There's no shame in staying home and taking care of our kids, husbands, and families. I really think a large part of the degeneration of our society is that women have abandoned their vital roles.
I'm not saying women shouldn't work - sometimes there are very valid reasons. Sometimes the mother is the sole supporter of her family. And not every woman is home with youngsters either. But I stopped working the moment I had Chaya (I had my first contraction with her while working overtime). It was never an option to go back. We went into debt, suffered unemployment, struggled at times (and still do). But I have a full time job - my kids.
Now before you call Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura (eww) and tell them you found them a new poster girl, I assure you I'm not so conservative. But I'm not telling you why - A girl's gotta have her secrets.
It's part of her Feminine Mystique!