LAF Theme Articles
Home is the true wife's kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful."
~ J.R. Miller, Secrets of Happy Home Life
"To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."
~ G.K. Chesterton.
"A beautiful woman is a practical poet, taming her savage mate, planting tenderness, hope and eloquence in all whom she approaches."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. “Beauty,” The Conduct of Life (1860).
"There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves."
~ Thomas Wolfe
"God protect us from the efficient, go-getter businesswoman whose feminine instincts have been completely sterilized. Wherever women are functioning, whether in the home or in a job, they must remember that their chief function as women is a capacity for warm, understanding and charitable human relationships."
~ Agnes E. Meyer (1887–1970), U.S. journalist. Out of These Roots, ch. 16 (1953).
"I am every day more convinced that we women, if we are to be good women, feminine and amiable and domestic, are not fitted to reign; at least it is contre gré that they drive themselves to the work which it entails."
~ Victoria (1819–1901), British monarch, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Letter, Feb. 17, 1852, to Leopold I, King of the Belgians. Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol. 2, Ch. 21, eds. A.C. Benson and Viscount Esher (1907).
O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you.
Angels are painted fair, to look like you:
There’s in you all that we believe of heaven,—
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
~ Thomas Otway, Venice Preserved, Act i. Sc. 1.
A good woman is a wondrous creature, cleaving to the right and to the good under all change: lovely in youthful comeliness, lovely all her life long in comeliness of heart.
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Life of Tennyson, Vol. I.
"Marriage and motherhood have their trials and tribulations, but what lifestyle doesn't? If you look upon your home as a cage, you will find yourself just as imprisoned in an office or a factory. The flight from the home is a flight from self, from responsibility, from the nature of woman, in pursuit of false hopes and fading fantasies. If you complain about servitude to a husband, servitude to a boss will be more intolerable. Everyone in the world has a boss of some kind. It is easier for most women to achieve a harmonious working relationship with a husband than with a foreman, supervisor or office manager."
~ "Choosing a Career" by Phyllis Schalfly (1977)
As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto the man is woman;
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draws him, yet she follows;
Useless each without the other!
~ from "The Song of Hiawatha" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Part X: Hiawatha's Wooing)
"I have nowhere seen women occupying a loftier position [than the one they enjoy in the United States]; and if I were asked, now that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: to the superiority of their women."
~ Alexis de Toqueville (1833)
"The career of motherhood and homemaking is beyond value and needs no justification. Its importance is incalculable."
~ Katherine Short
"I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of 'Women's Rights,' with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to 'unsex' themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection."
~ Queen Victoria, March, 1870.
"The Liberation Ladies will lead to generations of women willing to support a tired husband, and provide for his old age. He can be snug-abed in the morning while she pounds off in her thick boots to her job or carries a briefcase to her office. And when she comes home at night - she can cook his dinner, too, and wash and iron his shirts. She can do the housework, while he watches TV and complains of the pain in his back - which she will eventually rub away at bedtime. Women wanted careers, didn't they? They can do a man’s work, can't they? Well, let 'em do it, and be glad they were able to get a husband besides, even if they have to take care of him! Men, in short, are licking their lips and, for the first time in history, are readying themselves to be the exploiters in their turn…. Mom's out there, plugging and 'fulfilling' herself, and why should Pop worry? He's had it coming to him since Eve...."
~ Taylor Caldwell in "They're Spoiling Eve's Great Con Game," American Opinion, September 1970, p. 6.
"Maybe our grandmothers weren't as stupid as we thought. The family, volunteer work, religion, shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation-maybe all that can't be reduced to just 'shining floors and wiping noses.'"
~ Myriam Miedzian, describing the lives of mothers who don’t have careers, in Wendy Shalit's A Return to Modesty, page 216.
"In the first institution of marriage, when there was no father to give consent, then our Heavenly Father gave His consent: God supplied the place of the father, and brought His daughter unto her husband, and ever since, the father after the same manner, hath offered his daughter unto the husband.... [A] man hath the disposition of his own substance, so he hath the disposition of his own children...therefore in Matthew 24:30 the wife is said to be bestowed in marriage, which signifieth, that someone did give her beside herself.... [I]t is a sweet wedding, when the father and the mother bring a blessing to the feast, and a heavy union which is cursed the first day that it is knit when the mother and father are absent. Marriage should hath need of many counsellers, so dost thou count [her] father too many...which is like the foreman of thy instructors? Mark what kind of youth they be, which have such haste, that they dare not stay for their parents' advice, they are such as hunt for nothing but beauty.... [T]herefore honor thy parents in this, as thou wouldest that thy children should honor thee."
~ from Henry Smith's A Preparative to Marriage and Two Other Sermons (1591) and Wm. Gouges Of Domestical Duties (1622)
"The alternative to submission is exploitation, not freedom, because there is no true freedom in anarchy. The purpose of submission is not to degrade women in marriage, nor to degrade men in society, but to bring to them their best prosperity and peace under God's order. In a world of authority, the submission of the wife is not in isolation, nor in a vacuum. It is set in a context of submission by men to authority; in such a world, men teach the principles of authority to their sons and daughters and work to instill in them the responsibilities of authority and obedience. In such a world, inter-dependence and service prevail. In a world of moral anarchy, there is neither submission to authority nor service, which is a form of submission. A husband and father who uses his authority and his income wisely to further the welfare of the entire family is serving the welfare of all thereby. But in a world which denies submission and authority, every man serves himself only and seeks to exploit all others. Men exploit women, and women exploit men."
~ R.J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, page 338. (Available from Chalcedon.edu.)
"Women make both the manners and the morals of a people. Neither rises higher than the gauge which women set in a community.... Where a woman has bad manners, it always has in it an element of vulgarity which is more painful than it could be in a man. The result will be a society hopelessly vulgarized...with no end but to sink in an ever deeper abyss of vulgarity."
~ Thomas Nelson Page, 1911.
"It is not surprising that feminists, who misconstrue so much, misconstrue the nature of the opposition to them. Since their position requires a comprehensive and minute system of ideological regimentation they assume antifeminists must also be aspiring tyrants. They thus recreate their opponents in their own image. In fact, to be antifeminist is simply to accept that men and women differ and rely on each other to be different, and to view the differences as among the things constituting human life that should be reflected where appropriate in social attitudes and institutions. By feminist standards all societies have been thoroughly sexist. It follows that to be antifeminist is only to abandon the bigotry of a present-day ideology that sees traditional relations between the sexes as simply a matter of domination and submission, and to accept the validity of the ways in which human beings have actually dealt with sex, children, family life and so on. Antifeminism is thus nothing more than the rejection of one of the narrow and destructive fantasies of an age in which such things have been responsible for destruction and murder on an unprecedented scale. It is opening oneself to the reality of things."
~ Jim Kalb of The Anti-feminism Page
"Do the women’s liberationists want to be liberated from being women? No, they would say, they want to be liberated from society’s stereotypes of what women are supposed to be…. Some very interesting facts have been uncovered by scientists which will feminists will have to treat very gingerly for they show that it is not merely society which determines how the sexes will behave.... The idea of matriarchy is mythical, I’ve learned, for not one that can be documented has ever existed. Doesn’t it seem strange that male dominance has been universal if it’s purely social conditioning? One would expect to see at least a few examples of societies where women rather than men held the positions of highest status.... Isn’t’ it really much easier to believe that the feelings of men and women throughout history bear a direct relationship to some innate prerequisite? ... It was God who made us different, and He did it on purpose. Recent scientific research is illuminating, and as has happened before, corroborates ancient truth which mankind has always recognized. God created male and female, the male to call forth, to lead, initiate and rule, and the female to respond, follow adapt, submit."
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman, pages 58-59.
"If you women continue to demand your choice to work, you will so upset the economy of this country that the time will come when you will not have a choice. You will have to work."
~ Helen Andelin of Fascinating Womanhood.
"A woman will not understand what true dependency is until she is cradling her own infant in her arms; nor will she likely achieve the self-confidence she craves until she has withstood, and transcended, the weight of responsibility a family places upon her -- a weight that makes all the paperwork and assignments of her in-basket seem feather-light."
~ Danielle Crittenden, What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us, page 74.
"The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."
~ Margaret D. Nadauld
"I act for money, no other reason. Since I made my first picture in 1941, I haven’t done a thing worthwhile. I have never enjoyed making films, and I don’t like being a so-called film star. I haven’t the emotional make-up for it, nor the love of exhibitionism. I am much too shy. [I’d rather find] one good man I could love and marry and cook for and make a home for, who would stick around for the rest of my life. I never found him. If I had, I would have traded my career in a minute."
~ Ava Gardner, arguably one of the most beautiful and talented women to grace the "silver screen," quoted in the Arizona Republic’s article on her death, January 27, 1990.
"I love peace and quiet, I hate politics and turmoil. We women are not made for governing, and if we are good women, we must dislike these masculine occupations."
~ Queen Victoria
O, thou for whom
And from whom I was formed flesh of thy flesh,
And without whom am to no end, my guide
~ Eve’s first greeting to Adam in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV
"[F]eminists who ceaselessly inveigh against their own oppression by men (often hardly specifying its exact nature) would ignore how they themselves have oppressed … feminine women. It oppresses a woman who could delight in domesticity to tell her that her domesticity makes her a parasitic inferior to men. It oppresses a woman who yearns to stay home with her children to tell her she is worthy only insofar as she achieves in the workplace."
~ F. Carolyn Graglia, A Brief Against Feminism, page 349. (Available from Chalcedon.edu.)
"[W]hat a traditional woman did that made her home warm and alive was not dusting and laundry.... Her real secret was that she identified herself with her home, [and]...it is illuminating to think about what happened when things went right. Then her affection was in the soft sofa cushions, clean linens, and good meals; her memory in well-stocked storeroom cabinets and the pantry; her intelligence in the order and healthfulness of her home; her good humor in its light and air. She lived her life not only through her own body, but through the house as an extension of her body; part of her relation to those she loved was embodied in the physical medium of the home she made. My own experience convinces me that there is still no other way to make a good home than to have attitudes toward home and domesticity modeled on those of that traditional woman.... Advertisements and television programs offer degraded images of household work and workers. DIscussions of the subject in magazines and newspapers follow a standard formula.... It is scarcely surprising, then, that so many people imagine housekeeping to be boring, frustrating, repetitive, unintelligent drudgery. I cannot agree. (In fact, having kept house, practiced law, taught, and done many other sorts of work, low- and high-paid, I can assure you that it is actually lawyers who are most familiar with the experience of unintelligent drudgery.)"
~ Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, pages 9-10.
"The feminist movement as we have come to know it in recent decades is fundamentally a "con." It is as filled with falsehood, inaccuracy, and foolishness as astrology or parapsychology. As it is considered treasonous to criticise a sister feminist, no standards of accuracy or honesty are ever enforced. Hyperbole and deceit thus become the formula for success, "peer review" playing no role in reining in misinformation. Any would-be feminist who raises scholarly objections to the rampant misinformation (Christina Hoff Sommers , Camille Paglia , Elaine Showalter , Erin Pizzey , Elizabeth Loftus, etc.) is branded an 'enemy of women' and is drummed out of the movement."
~ Robert Sheaffer of Patriarchy.com.
"The idea of woman’s emancipation is based upon a profound enmity between the sexes, upon envy and imitation. Woman becomes a mere caricature, a pseudo-being."
~ Russian philosopher Berdyaev, quoted in Elliot's Let Me Be a Woman, page 158.
"A recent incident on a railroad train justly illustrates the result [of women’s 'rights']. A solitary female entered a car where every seat was occupied, and the conductor closed the door upon her and departed. She looked in vain for a seat, and at last appealed to an elderly man near her to know if he would not ‘surrender his seat to a lady.’ He, it seems, was somewhat a humorist, and answered: 'I will surrender it cheerfully, Madam, as I always do, but will beg leave first to ask a civil question. Are you an advocate of the modern theory of women's rights?' Bridling up with intense energy, she replied, "Yes, sir, emphatically; I let you know that it is my glory to be devoted to that noble cause.' 'Very well, Madam,' said he, ‘then the case is altered: You may stand up like the rest of us men, until you can get a seat for yourself.' This was exact poetic justice; and it foreshadows precisely the fate of their unnatural pretensions Men will treat them as they treat each other; it will be 'every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.' … [A]nd the society which will emerge from this experiment will present women in the position which she has always held among savages, that of domestic drudge to the stronger animal…. [S]he will reappear from this ill-starred competition defeated and despised, tolerated only to satiate the passion, to amuse the idleness, to do the drudgery, and to receive the curses and blows of her barbarized masters."
~ Robert L. Dabney, “Women’s Rights Women” in Discussions, Volume 4, pages 503-504.
A woman mov’d is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty,
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labor, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience -
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And wen she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And no obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I asham’d that women are so simple
‘To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions, and our hearts,
Should well agree with our external parts?
~ Kate in Act V, Scene ii of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew
"Equality is not really a Christian ideal. It is, in the first place, very hard to get at what people mean when they speak of equality. Surely they can’t mean that men and women are like two halves on an hourglass or an orange…. Men and women are equal, we may say, in having been created by God. Both male and female are created in His image. They bear the divine stamp. They are equally called to obedience and responsibility, but there are differences in the responsibilities.… The statement, 'All men are created equal' is a political one, referring to a single quality for a single purpose. C.S. Lewis called this a 'legal fiction,' useful, necessary, but not by any means always desirable. Marriage is not a political arena. It is a union of two opposites. It is a confusion to speak of 'separate but equal' or 'opposite but equal' in referring to this unique union of two people who have become, because they were made different in order that they might thus become, one flesh."
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman, pages 126-127.
"[I]t would not be hard to show, did space permit, that this movement [women's suffrage] on the part of these women is as suicidal as it is mischievous. Its certain result will be the re-enslavement of women, not under the Scriptural bonds of marriage, but under the yoke of literal corporeal force. The woman who will calmly review the condition of her sex in other ages and countries will feel that her wisdom is to 'let well enough alone…'. Under all other civilizations and all other religions than ours, woman has experienced this fate to the full; her condition has been that of a slave to the male-sometimes a petted slave, but yet a slave. In Christian and European society alone has she ever attained the place of man’s social equal and received the homage and honor due from magnanimity to her sex and her feebleness. And her enviable lot among us has resulted from two causes: the Christian religion and the legislation founded upon it by feudal chivalry. How insane then is it for her to spurn these two bulwarks of defense…? She is thus spurning the only protectors her sex has ever found, and provoking a contest in which she must inevitably be overwhelmed."
~ Robert L. Dabney, "Women’s Rights Women" in Discussions, Volume 4, pages 502-503.
"What a source of steadying and of strength it is to me in such seasons of too intimate self-questioning to have one fixed point of confidence and certainty-that even, unbroken, excellent perfection of my little wife, with her poise, her easy capacity in action, her unfailing courage, her quick efficient thought-and the charm that goes with it al, the sweetness, the feminine grace-none of the usual penalties of efficiency-no hardness, no incisive sharpness, no air of command, or of unyielding opinion. Most women who are efficient are such terrors."
~ President Woodrow Wilson, writing to his wife, Ellen.
"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."
~ Samuel Johnson (1709-1784 - British author, compiler of the English Dictionary)
"So long as we insist upon defining our identities only in terms of our work, so long as we try to blind ourselves to the needs of our children and harden our hearts against them, we will continue to feel torn, dissatisfied, and exhausted…. The guilt we feel for neglecting our children is a byproduct of our love for them. It keeps us from straying too far from them, for too long. Their cry should be more compelling than the call from the office."
~ Danielle Crittenden, What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us, page 143.
"Those who would defend anti-feminist traditionalism today are like heretics fighting a regnant Inquisition. To become a homemaker, a woman may need the courage of a heretic.... Feminists claimed a woman can find identity and fulfillment only in a career; they are wrong. They claimed a woman can, in that popular expression, ‘have it all’; they are wrong - she can have only some. The experience of being a mother at home is a different experience from being a full-time market producer who is also a mother. A woman can have one or the other experience, but not both at the same time. Combining a career with motherhood requires a woman to compromise by diminishing her commitment and exertions with respect to one role or the other, or usually, to both."
~ F. Carolyn Graglia, A Brief Against Feminism, pages 369-370. (Available from Chalcedon.edu.)
"Women are told today they can have it all-career, marriage, children. You need a total commitment to make it work. Take a close look at your child. He doesn’t want you to be bright, talented, chic, or smart-any of those things. He just wants you to love him. He will be the one who pays the price for your wanting to have it all. Think carefully about having that baby. Not to have it would be a great loss. To have it too late greatly increases the health hazards for you and the child. To have it without a commitment to it would be a great tragedy."
~ Beverly Sills, addressing a graduating class of Barnard College in New York.
"Seen from the outside, housework can look like a Sisyphean task that gives you no sense of reward or completion. Yet housekeeping actually offers more opportunities for savoring achieveemnt than almost any other work I can think of. Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed. These routines echo the rhythm of life, and the housekeeping rhythm is the rhythm of the body. You get satisfaction no only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy those benefits."
~ Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, page 10.
"The best happiness would result if women would continue to let this be a man's world and continue to provide a bower of bliss at home. Her greatest career is to help her husband and to start her children off in the right direction. Women should be reminded that they can have just as much pride saying, 'Look, I helped my husband and I have raised some decent children.' I don't think women can do any better than that. That's more important than winning the Pulitzer Prize or the Nobel Peace Prize."
~ Richard Armour, author of My Life with Women: Confessions of a Domesticated Male
"Remember this: The strongest sign of the decay of a nation is the feminization of men and the masculinization of women. It is notable that in Communist nations women are exhorted, and compelled, to do what has traditionally been men's work. American women, some of them, feel triumphant that they have broken down the ‘barricades’ between the work of the sexes. I hope they will still feel triumphant when some commissar forces a shovel or an axe into their soft hands and compels them to pound and cut forests and dig ditches. I hope they will be ‘happy’ when a husband deserts them and they must support their children and themselves alone. (After all, if a woman must be ‘free’ she shouldn’t object to men being free too, should she?) I hope they will feel 'fulfilled' when they are given no more courtesies due to their sex and no kindnesses, but are kicked aside on the subways buses by men, and jostled out of the way by men on busy sidewalks and elevators…. I hope, when they look in their mirrors, that they will be pleased to see exhausted, embittered faces, and that they will be consoled by their paychecks."Editor's Note: Oh, if only it wasn't true!
~ Taylor Caldwell in "They’re Spoiling Eve's Great Con Game," American Opinion, September 1970, page 8.
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