I was listening to NPR this morning on my way to Mass and briefly heard an interview with author, Lisa See, who has written a series of historical novels set in China, with the primary characters as women. According to one part of the interview that I heard, Ms. See refers to one of the characters in her novel as little more than a servant and baby maker. I have heard this phrase many times before, and unfortunately, it is often used by pseudo-feminists to describe the traditional role of women who tend the hearth and home. Perhaps, Ms. See just misspoke and was not describing her own view of the traditional role of women, I don't know.
It is true that women have been oppressed and demeaned in every time and place, that is nothing new. The sad thing today is hearing those who would consider themselves enlightened disregarding the indispensable role women have in their families. In many places and times, a woman's role in her family is her only source of power and esteem, and some would take even this from her.
I am certain some would consider me likewise, as little more than a servant and baby maker. It is true, I do little more than serve my family and care for my children. But, to consider me "little more than" this is judgemental and demeaning. In fact, it demeans the contributions of many strong, intelligent and virtuous women who have persevered in many cultures, places, and times through history doing the significant and timeless work of raising the next generation.
Can you imagine the phrase being applied to a person in another vocation? He was little more than a janitor. She was little more than a police officer. He was little more than a teacher. She was little more than an author.