Modernism, Traditionalism, and the Role of Women

There are forces at work that have been quite successful at convincing women that they can “have it all” and be anything they want to be – all without any penalty. This is like telling an eight-year old that he can do anything he wants to do. He straps on a towel, imagining it to be a Superman cape, then jumps off a roof because he believed he could fly. Is that really all that different from telling women that they can spend their youth getting an advanced degree, work their way up the corporate ladder to financial success – and have a happy marriage, and have children, and have a nice house, and have a rewarding life, and, and, and… It’s not going to happen. You can’t have it all. Any building contractor can tell you that “You can build it fast. You can build it cheap. You can build it right. Pick two.” Choices must be made.

Defining the roles that women and men have in a society is far too narrow to be truly helpful. We need to think in the broader terms of what kind of world we want to live in – social roles flow from that in an orderly manner.

The polarization that we see in the Western world is not just the political Left vs. Right. It is modernism vs. traditionalism, urban vs. rural, chaos vs. order, hedonism vs. morality, Secularism vs. Christianity, egalitarianism vs. hierarchy, and many others. Men vs. women should not be part of this polarization, yet that is precisely what feminism has done. The role of husband and father has been replaced by government social programs. Government has become the surrogate husband – the provider. What better way to turn half the country into dependable supporters of big government and socialism than to make women dependent on government programs rather than on husbands?

Where do men fit into this? We cannot be just bystanders when it comes to the role that women have in society. Men need to not only change, but restore their natural role as leaders and force that cultural shift. Where to start? How about ending the “hook up” culture and the “Pick Up Artist” culture that says women are there to be used for sexual gratification, then discarded for the next one. When men start treating women with respect, and with the attitude that “this may be my future wife and the mother of my children,” then things will begin to change. We need to give women back what feminism took away from them – their high position as keepers of the home and those responsible for raising the next generation.

Aside from the obvious differences, men and women are not interchangeable parts in a society. Yes, other than work that requires a lot of upper body strength, many jobs can be done just as well by women as by men. It is also irrelevant. Life is so much more than employment and economic matters. Modernism would have us believe that life is little more than one big shopping mall. Traditionalism tells us that life has a far deeper meaning than that; it tells us of the spiritual aspects of life.

Modernism tells us that we are all interchangeable economic units whose worth is best expressed in dollars. Traditionalism tells us that men and women were both made for each other and made to fill their own unique roles.

Where do we go from here? What should be the role of women in our culture? What should be the role of men in our culture? The answer lies in restoring the traditionalism that has guided our people for thousands of years.

“Nothing can compare in beauty, and wonder, and admirableness, and divinity itself, to the silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women bringing up their children to honor and virtue and piety.”

– Henry Ward Beecher, November 3rd, 1872.