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Does a Full-Time Homemaker Swap Her Mind for a Mop?
Family life can be just as intellectually rewarding as work.


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Dennis Prager

I periodically write, and regularly broadcast, about male–female issues because I want to help men and women, especially husbands and wives, to get along better. But I have developed a secondary reason: to elicit left-wing reactions. They reveal an enormous amount about how the Left thinks. For example, one of the biggest left-wing websites (Daily Kos) wrote that “Dennis Prager advocates marital rape.” Why? Because I wrote a column in which I suggested that if a woman loves her husband, and if he is a loving and good man, she might not want to be guided solely by “mood” in deciding whether and when to have sex with him.

And just a few weeks ago, the same website declared me a misogynist for my column on what I believe to have been four negative legacies of feminism for women. I actually wrote the column on behalf of women, yet I was labeled a misogynist. Why? Because I suggested that feminist pressure on women to emphasize career over finding a husband, career over marriage, and career over child rearing has not been good for most women, or for society. That means, according to the Daily Kos writer, that “basically Prager is upset with contemporary women because they seek a life beyond being confined to domestic space and swapping their brains for a mop.”

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To suggest that children benefit from having a full-time parent — which will usually be the mother — is, in the eyes of the dominant intellectual culture, equivalent to advocating suppression of women and “swapping their brains for a mop.” The Left views full-time homemakers as individuals who, because of patriarchy and other nefarious forces, have abandoned their minds to the lowest intellectual activity the human being can engage in — homemaking. Being a full-time homemaker, mother, and wife is the Left’s vision of hell.

Why that is so is not my subject here. Rather, I seek to refute the idea that full-time home making is intellectually vapid and a waste of a college education.

Let me first state that I have no argument with those mothers who need or even just wish to work outside the home. My argument is with those who believe that staying at home is necessarily mind-numbing.

Nor do I wish to romanticize child rearing. As a rule, little children don’t contribute much to the intellectual life of a parent (although older children who are intellectually curious can spur a parent to seek answers to challenging questions they may not have considered before). Any intellectually alive woman who is a full-time mother must therefore find intellectual stimulation elsewhere.

The point is that she can find such stimulation without leaving her house. Furthermore, the intellectual input she can find is likely to be greater than most women (or men) find working outside the home. There is a reason that about half the audience of my national radio show is female — they listen to talk radio for hours a day and broaden their knowledge considerably. To the Left, the notion that talk radio enhances intellectual development is akin to fish needing bicycles. But that is because the Left’s greatest achievement is demonizing the Right, and because they never actually listen to the best of us.



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