Over the weekend the fight for women’s equality suffered some impediments from within its own ranks. You won’t find me claiming to be an expert in the current ‘women’s liberation’ movement. Yet, as a Bible-believing Christian who sees the damage that the current movement has upon the culture, I am qualified to offer up some discussion points. And those discussion points have been many after editor-in-chief of Stellar magazine (Australia) Sarrah Le Marquand shared her own thoughts on the subject.
Utilizing her position and spotlight, Le Marquand, writing for the Daily Telegraph, took it upon herself to dismantle the dignity of women while trying to proclaim superiority for women. Her statement that women should be required by law to work if their children are of school-age garnered the most attention. However, the entire article is quite telling and worth evaluation from two viewpoints: the illogical statement and the irreverent statements.
The Illogical Statements
Earlier this week I wrote of the great need for logic to be reemployed into our culture (click here to read the article). In light of my desire that be a legitimate means of communication within our culture, reading the author’s words was extremely frustrating because of the fallacies she employed. Playing loosely with words (a dangerous thing to do when your job is to guard the usage of words) the result is a slew of unverifiable claims and constant contradictions. Rather than go claim by claim, there are three particular areas that are noteworthy.
First arguments of economics. Throughout much of the article Le Marquand laments the losses that take place in the economy as a result of women not working. She goes on to say that they are the greatest untapped potential is inactive or part-time working women, especially those with children (at one point, to confirm the economic drain, she briefly insinuates that mothers receive governmental aid if they are not working; I mention this only to give benefit of the doubt to the argument and say that it is one I am intentional in not choosing to discuss because of three reasons: first, she writes from an Australian perspective and I am unfamiliar with their policies; second, many countries are different in how they operate in this area and it would profit little to discuss each one; and third, in those cultures that operate this way, certainly not every women chooses to take those benefits if they qualify). Never mind the fact that mothers can impact the future generations, thus directly impacting the labor force and having an effect. Instead, such an argument is simply misleading because it fails to take into account that women who stay at home to be with their children have often done so by choice. In other words, they would rather not work. In that case, to force them into work may be counter-productive and result in a further drain on the labor force.
Her second argument is one of equality. In her own words she indicates that women’s rights is not about choice, but about equality. Such a statement denies equality! First, the statement dismantles the abortion argument in that the whole argument is that women have a ‘choice’ of options at their discretion. Even the naming of that movement, which is often included in the women’s rights movements suggests that this is about choice. However, taking that argument off the table and giving the author the benefit of the doubt, there comes another conflict. Men have been given the right to choose whether or not work (I know several stay-at-home dads) so to deny women the right to choose denies them equality.
Finally, we come to an argument of equity between roles of men and women. Le Marquand states, “As long as women don’t work fathers will feel insecure and thus work more spending less time at home.” This touches on a very important issue that must be discussed: the general lack of fathers’ involvement in a child’s life. While important, her proposed solution doesn’t provide a solution for the problem and actually worsens it. Rather than have at least one parent at home with children, her solution now removes them both and limits them to time with their children outside of working hours. The result is a net loss of parental involvement in the lives of children.
While trying to proclaim stay-at-home mom’s as damaging to the culture in which we live, her proposed solution to the problem does not actually make the situation better, but actually makes it worse by damaging the family unit.
Aside from the lack of logic employed by suggesting that being a stay-at-home mom, the far greater issue is the irreverent attitude displayed by Sarah Le Marquand. In fact, throughout her argument she illustrates a constant disregard for others. There are three distinct groups she disparages (one of those groups is the very one she is supposedly seeking to condemn). Thus, a reading of the article reveals the following:
- A Dismissal of the Value of Women: It seems based upon the premises presented by the author, a woman’s value is found in her work, not in her other activities or skills. Are we then to assume that those with a lesser valued job in the eyes of society is of lesser value than a woman in the corporate ladder? Are those who do not work at all of no value then? The obvious answer should be “Of course not!” However, her presentation equates woman’s equality and value only in terms of the work they do and thus Sarah Le Marquand can only answer those questions one way unless she wants to contradict herself.
- A Dismissal of the Value of Mothers: The goal here is to have equality for women, at least that’s the argument. However, by giving fathers the choice to work or stay home with their children and forcing mothers to work, she has actually elevated men’s rights over women’s. The greatest concern here though is that she has dismissed the importance of a mother’s role in the lives of their children. If a woman’s value is equated to the work she does, and motherhood is not considered work to her, then mothers have no value. Even more, her less than persuasive argument risks shunning a whole portion of women who have chosen to stay home with their children.
- A Dismissal of the Value of God: Finally, in such an argument as this, there is a complete disregard for families as God intended. I don’t even have to talk about the divisive topic of gender roles to assert this point. In her article, Sarrah Le Marquand has undervalued the importance of any parents at home with children. She sees work as the primary motivation for people and family as secondary. Unfortunately, the breakdown of the family unit is the reason for such a decline of cultures, and it is perpetuated by thinking such as this. When you bring down the family as God intended it, then everything else breaks down as well.
Therefore, there is only one conclusion to the article published in the Daily Telegraph: People, specifically women, in this view are only as valuable as how much they produce. She has shown a great disrespect for women, mothers, and God.
In no way am I advocating that women can’t work here, nor am I minimizing women in any way. In fact, I would argue quite the opposite. Instead, it is important for us to evaluate such views from a biblical standpoint, and using the logic that God gave us, just to see how flawed these premises are and how perfect God’s will is.
There is much that could be said about Sarah Le Marquand’s article and we simply don’t have time to pull out all of the fallacies of her thinking. Instead, we must recognize that when we are outside of God’s will, the end result is conflict, and that’s what we have here.
To see the article by Sarah Le Marquand, click here. You can also see a follow-up story by Fox News by clicking here.
Photo “Scattered Innocence” courtesy of user Giannis Veronis and Flickr.