Phi Beta Cons

I’m Thankful for These Students

My essay on the NAS site reflects on the time-management issues that are created by the (sometimes) thankless job of undergraduate essay grading in a business school. It’s easy to fall into a pile of negativity when thinking about everything that is wrong with higher education these days.  

Here’s something that’s right. I thank my MBA student for allowing me to share his short reflection assignment with you:

In class, we discussed the roles of men and women in society and why these roles have changed.  There are many reasons for this shift in society such as materialism, rising costs, circumstances, and personal preference, but one of the saddest reasons is that being a housewife has been degraded to a gentle way of saying “slave.”  The truth is that being a housewife is one of the most important professions in history.

Every day, as an engineer, I go to work to solve problems, assist people, and stare blankly at a computer monitor, wishing I could be making a meaningful difference.  In 50 years, I probably will not remember where I worked in 2011 or what I did (and I bet I will not care either), but I will have my children.  In fact, that will likely be the only thing I have other than my spouse.  As a stay-at-home-mom, my wife does not simply walk around in her slippers with nothing to do; she is raising the future of our nation, our most precious possession.  Since when did such an enormous responsibility become menial and degrading?  It is tragic that today’s society has made the housewife into a victim instead of a hero.   

If I told people that my wife does not work, I would be lying.  She has one of the most important and difficult jobs in existence.  Not everything can or should be measured in dollars and cents.  I know that I could have my kids in daycare and my wife earning money, but what we would give up is far more valuable than the extra income.  I would much rather drive used cars, live in a small house, and eat beans and rice than give up one of my greatest responsibilities as a parent – raising my children.  I am not against women having equal rights, a career, or anything like that.  I am against feminists who claim that being a housewife is akin to being a slave and then have the audacity to look down on any woman that would submit herself to such “degradation.”