If Women Stayed at Home III (or if we all did!)

From a 2003 interview with Alice Von Hildebrand upon publication of On the Privilege of Being a Woman.

Von Hildebrand: The poison of secularism has penetrated deeply into our society. It did so by stages. Men were its first victims: They became more and more convinced that in order to be someone they had to succeed in the world. Success means money, power, fame, recognition, creativity, inventiveness, etc. Many of them sacrificed their family life in order to achieve this goal: They came home just to relax or have fun. Work was the serious part of their life.

Innumerable marriages have been ruined by this attitude. Wives rightly felt that they were mere appendixes -- a necessary relaxation. Husbands had little time for loving exchanges, as they were too busy. The children saw very little of their fathers. That wives suffered was not only understandable, but also legitimate. . . . The amazing thing is that feminism, instead of making women more profoundly aware of the beauty and dignity of their role as wives as mothers, and of the spiritual power that they can exercise over their husbands, convinced them that they, too, had to adopt a secularist mentality:  They, too, should enter the work force; they, too, should prove to themselves that they were someone by getting diplomas, competing with men in the work market, showing that they were their equals and -- when given opportunities -- could outsmart them.

They let themselves become convinced that femininity meant weakness. They started to look down upon virtues -- such as patience, selflessness, self-giving, tenderness -- and aimed at becoming like men in all things. Some of them even convinced themselves that they had to use coarse language in order to show the "strong" sex that they were not the fragile, delicate, insignificant dolls that men believed them to be.

The war of the sexes was on. Those who fell into the traps of feminism wanted to become like men in all things and sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. They became blind to the fact that men and women, though equal in ontological dignity, were made different by God's choice: Male and female he made them. Different and complementary.

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