Daughters and Careers
Here's the Fascinating Womanhood chapter on girls and careers.
You may think your daughters should prepare to make a living in the event of widowhood, divorce, or other compelling emergencies. Consider the
seriousness of this step from the following viewpoints:
1. Makes her independent: If one of the features of femininity is dependency, it doesn't seem wise to direct her to a career which makes her independent. By so doing she loses her need for manly care, one of the charms which attracts a man to a woman. She is also in danger of
acquiring masculine efficiency, a fault of so many professional women. There are, of course, some professional women who manage to stay feminine, either through a nature so strongly feminine that it cannot be
subdued, or by conscious effort. But it seems a mistake to encourage a girl in the direction of a career, when disadvantages arise which she must work to overcome.
2. Encourages Her to Work: Training for careers encourages women to continue working after marriage. The intensive training seems wasted if put on the shelf. They are tempted to use their knowledge, whether they
need to work or not.
3. Training Becomes Out of Date: Qualifications for a job change from year to year. The woman who is qualified at one time may be out of date a few years later. When she marries and has children she drops out of the work force. When she returns she must take further training to
qualify for her work. Was the earlier training worth it? Could her timein college have been better spent in other subjects?
4. Easy Escape From Marriage: The independence which results from the ability to make money can be a dangerous thing for a woman, serving as an escape. When difficulties arise in marriage the woman who is independent has less incentive to make the adjustment. Since she can support herself, divorce seems an easy way out.
5. Deprives Her of a Liberal Education: It doesn't seem logical for a woman to train for a career in the event of widowhood or a rare emergency, if by so doing she bypasses a rich cultural education which would make her a better wife and mother. A man may as well train for
motherhood and homemaking if this logic is sound. The best education for a young woman is a broad, liberal, education. It better prepares her to understand her children, and help them with their education and their
life ahead. It helps her equally as a wife. She is more interesting, more open to new ideas. She has a better understanding of the world and is therefore a better citizen.
The woman with a liberal education is actually better prepared to meet an emergency than the woman who has been trained for a career. Her broad education is more inclined to develop creativeness, intelligence, sound reasoning, and wisdom. When faced with an emergency, she has more ingenuity to solve problems. If she must work, she can find her way into the working world and qualify for a job better than the woman who trained
for a career ten years earlier and now finds it out of date.
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