Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A Thoughtful Comment on Educating Girls
My heartfelt gratitude goes to Mrs. Haggard for this wonderful comment on my Role Models post.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph
I can relate! This is exactly what I have ALWAYS said! I have seen girls struggle, and pitied them greatly, over high school advanced math and science and then become enslaved to studying for a good SAT score and go off to college and then scratch their heads trying to figure out what kind of a man's career they want, what they want "to be". Some of them are honest at least and say, "I just want to get married and be a wife and mother." God already told them! It's our evil culture that wants them to be second-rate men. God made women to live either consecrated lives as nuns or to be mothers. (Marian Horvat says correctly that there's room for a third role in society - the single woman who helps her family and extended family.) Also the "motherly" roles of teaching and nursing [but that has problems associated with it nowadays] or any "helpmate" role is valid for girls - but this is all from God! I help my husband in his business but -- it's not "my career" - I'm just helping!
Meanwhile, due to not being forced to spend hours on math and science classes, MaryAnna has been happily pursuing during her high school years her own interests, such as languages, music, sewing, learning about herbs, organic cooking, the reading of every classic you could name, etc. She gives tea parties in which the girls are told to wear hat and gloves, (at Easter she outfits all the younger girls in hats and gloves for Mass) and at which she teaches them manners (a lost art in our days if ever there was one!). She practices the "lost art of letter writing" [buys books on it and studies it]and has even gotten her brothers to send letters every now and then as opposed to emails!; wrote and produced a play about St. Monica; our priest wrote a play on Our Lady of Guadalupe and asked her to produce it, which she is now working on; started and now runs a children's choir; has time to scour the resale shops picking up decent clothes or ones that can be remade - you can't find them in the stores! ; has been an immense help to me in helping with homeschooling the others and running errands; taught her younger sister a course in French and Greek and helps her with piano and music theory; was asked to teach Latin at a homeschool "school" (Protestant) next year; does all the grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking. [When I married I didn't know how to cook [but hey I knew calculus!] and my poor husband had to suffer through many bouncing meatballs :D] And because she's at home and not in college she's able to help and does help many other friends and relatives.
My point is - and I think about this all the time - all the wonderful useful, helpful, good things she's been able to do above - none of them would have been possible had I made her struggle with the typical full time high school load. She would have been miserable - just like I was in my "Catholic" girls high school - being forced to take Calculus and Physics. I see many TC moms who make their daughters struggle with this and I think - why? This isn't for girls! (At least not girls who haven't believed the lie that they 'want' a man's career in the world.) I don't remember any of it and couldn't teach it to my sons for the life of me. After Algebra I I realized, she'll never use Algebra, all the math she'll use is basically percents and decimals which we covered in 8th grade, and let her quit math (I never made her do science) and pursue her own interests in a classical education.
Now that she's out of high school she also doesn't want to go to college and is definitely counter-cultural by staying at home and helping out wherever she's needed - while still managing to pursue her own interests and hobbies. (My husband actually gives her a generous allowance for all she does for us - which she is saving.) She will be much better prepared to be a wife and mother than I was with all my math and science! We get comments from relatives that she needs to get a degree "just in case". In case her husband dies. In case she gets divorced. In my family "everyone" goes to college. On the "just in case's" -I say - we can't live our lives based on all the things that "could" happen. God takes care of His servants (although He never promised us we would not have to suffer) and St. Joseph would be able to find employment if need be for a bright, hard-working woman.
Besides, college is not an education - it's a last chance to brainwash and propagandize, to corrupt and prepare for life in the New World Order all those students who didn't get enough of that in high school or who somehow escaped it altogether if homeschooled. Only it does it at a higher level of "sophistication". I fear for my sons who want to go to college and who want a true education - it's not out there; this is not the Middle Ages with the true liberal arts university. Boys and girls receive the exact same education yet God made them with such opposite functions in society. It just doesn't make sense! Bishop Williamson said, and I agree, that college is no place for girls. They aren't scholars (most of them)(because God didn't want them to be!)and are a distraction to the boys who need to focus on their studies.
I wasn't reared traditional Catholic so I had to ask around about this but I did and learned that the "old" way, in Catholic cultures, was the children - boys and girls but esp. girls - lived at home until they married and saved their money rather than throwing away money on rent. To live alone or with roommates was scandalous. It just wasn't done. Even when my dad came to Houston to work in the 1940's, he lived with his aunt and uncle. Why, I asked? Not just because of the need to save money but because the Church has always said you should live under a sacramental roof - that is, under a roof, in a home, sanctified by the sacrament of Matrimony.
I applaud you with what you're doing with Emma. It IS a good example and one even traditional Catholics need. I admired the dress she wore at the social at that Lutheran church recently. I've seen a "worldly" trend in even traditional Catholic girls. Maybe they don't realize it or see it or maybe it's just that it's so hard to find the right things - but it seems like I see too many short skirts and too many "t-shirts" on girls - which are either too tight(immodest) or too masculine looking or just ugly and sloppy looking! (God is beauty; Satan is ugliness.) These are not traditional Catholic! Yet here they are being worn among us. The knit and spandex fabric is Satan's fabric - too clingy and form fitting - yet, I sympathize - try to find a feminine blouse these days that has no knit or spandex! And the t-shirt is actually an undergarment. More good sources of modest, feminine clothing are really needed - maybe Emma or MaryAnna or another artistically-inclined girl could one day start a local cottage business and design and sew such clothing for the busy moms who don't have the time and energy needed to scour the resale shops or to sew and who just "give in" and buy "what's out there" for their daughters...
In the reign of the Holy Ghost,