“If a wife works to produce more income for the family, it is important to analyze exactly how much income, after taxes and expenses, her work contributes to the family. Couples often are surprised to learn that this income is not as much as they had expected” – Howard Dayton
I couldn’t help myself with this one. I’m sitting at my desk researching some personal finance topics when I ran into this one article from Howard Dayton (go look him up). In this article, he talks about his beliefs on women in the workplace. Now, mind you this is a reference I pulled from the book “Your Money Counts.” The biblical guide to earning, spending, saving, investing, giving and getting out of debt.
He starts off by giving us some revolutionary facts about a women’s circumstances on working; I won’t spoil them for you, so please read this book if you’re curious. He then throws in a little sentence about a study Stanford University did on women who worked and who were also dedicated to their housework. The study says the women who worked full-time jobs and came home to clean worked over 70-80 hours a week. He then insinuated that women should be at home when her children were home as a result.
Now I know and understand that a lot of people agree with this train of thought, especially here in the South. My mother worked 80 + hours week, most weeks. I was a latchkey kid growing up.
My parents both owned and operated a travel agency after my dad got laid off from Coke. I’m sure they weren’t planning this path but took the responsibility of providing for the family. My mother was the manager, while my father took care of the admin and finances.
I witnessed at an early age the power of hard work & initiative. I learned early about the sacrifices that were made and benefits of having both parents who worked. From a provisional standpoint, all bases were covered; we had food, lived in a nice house, etc., etc. But it wasn’t all roses and sunshine. I got into a lot of trouble, and when my parents came home, they brought the office drama with them. It wasn’t easy, but we made things work.
I’m not writing this article to condemn anyone or to get out my violin but instead thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about conformity. Should women work outside the home falls under too many personal beliefs, ideologies, and circumstances. And has less to do with the woman and more to do with the family unit. Men are fully capable of sharing the workload – both inside and outside the home. I think the question should be rephrased by asking how we as men should be supporting our women regardless of their activity and their proximity to “the house.”
Growing up I was taught that women didn’t have a voice and that I was always wrong. I was taught that women served men and if they didn’t they could easily be replaced. The author of this book hides behind scripture, but it’s obvious he’s got an agenda. I read this book several times and it’s funny because it’s true, the majority of men I know feel this way about women.
Titus 2:4-5 “Encourage the young women to love their husband, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home.”
I said I’d never reference scripture but I’m telling you if women lived by this one scripture alone US space exploration wouldn’t have happened. Rosa Parks would have never been on that bus and history as we know it would be completely different.
“Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Now, this is a quote I can stand behind because it speaks to conformity and the unwillingness to be silenced. Women that have followed this logic created the world as we know it today. Here’s an example: Ruth Wakefield, inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, Mary Anderson who invented windshield wipers, the list goes on.
The truth is, is that women should be praised for their accomplishments and supported for thinking outside the box. I hope more women will take the initiative to get into the workforce and become professionals in their fields. And I hope the men in their lives can support them equally.
If you’re interested, please read Howard Dayton‘s book, let me know what you think. The more conversation we have about this, the better. And if I’m honest I’ll admit there are many things my wife can do that I can’t. Life without her wouldn’t work, and I’m thankful for that.