If I give in to “Biblical womanhood” and attempted to live my life according to the strict rigidity of traditional gender roles:

  • I would be trying hard to stay at home with my daughter instead of working, and would therefore miss out on the incredibly rewarding job I have of helping college freshmen learn to think and write. I am a good teacher, and I am so glad I don’t have to give up my love of teaching just to try to fulfill some version of the feminine mystique.
  • Without my job,  we would have zero discretionary income, as everything Chalupa makes goes toward living expenses and medical costs. We’d never be able to save for a house or have cars that actually work. We’d be constantly stressed about money. I’ve done fine on a strict budget before, and I made Ruthie’s first Christmas work when I had about $20 for her presents, but what a joy it is to know that if she needs some new pants, I can buy them for her at Target rather than waiting for hand-me-downs.
  • If I did need to work no matter what, I would feel guilty over sending my daughter to daycare, instead of celebrating how much she is learning there, and how happy she is having a dozen friends and loving a half dozen teachers the way she does.
  • I would feel weird about how often I have to attend family, church, and community events alone because Chalupa is at home, sick.
  • I would fear judgment from people about the fact that I attend church without my husband, even though the reason he stays home is that he is allergic to something in the building and can’t go without having an asthma attack that screws up his health for days afterward.
  • I would be intolerant of Chalupa’s physical restrictions and become frustrated that I’m the one who has to do things like mow the grass and shovel gravel in our driveway that has been messed up from a snowplow. I’d feel like he wasn’t living up to his end of the marriage bargain by taking care of me and our household.
  • I would be feel the need to hide and disguise my body rather than celebrate it.
  • I would want to perfect my body instead of realizing that it already does everything I want it to do, which is what makes it perfect.
  • I would feel weird that my daughter’s favorite shows are all in the boys’ aisle of Party City. Instead, I get to throw her a Diego party.
  • I would have to buy into the idea that my husband is supposed to be a wild-at-heart adventurer, and I am supposed to be a lady in need of rescuing, rather than what we really are: co-adventurers who have a lot more fun when we’re teaming up on a task instead of dividing up responsibilities into his-and-hers.
  • I would deny the unique personality that God gave me and try to be someone that I’m not.
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