Tuesday

New Series - Modern Motherhood and Connecting with our Past

Modern Motherhood is a new series that came to mind the other day while I was studying the book of Genesis. I thought to write some blog posts on motherhood and relate the modern woman's plight to that of ancient society.

Firmin Baes - Sweet dreams

That sounds like a paradox. How can the mothers in Genesis who lived in a patriarchal society that viewed them as property, relate to the modern mother who is able to vote, work outside the home and enjoys increasingly equal status with her male counterpart, even though society in some respects has not caught up with the concept of equality?

The women of Genesis were considered property. They had no legal rights. Their husbands could order them about as though they were indentured servants, and even mistreat them if they disobeyed. These women worked from before sun up to sun down doing the laundry, gathering food and raising their children. They spoke a different language, knew nothing about appliances and wore clothing that was completely made by hand. A woman living in that patriarchal society suffered ruin if she was raped, meaning that she would never get married. If she became pregnant out of wedlock, she could be killed along with her baby - never mind the man who put her in that position. If a woman married, she would probably be one of several wives and it was her job to have children. Women who did not have children suffered ridicule from others and also dealt with psychological pressure based on the importance of bearing children in their society. A woman who was widowed could face starvation and death if there was no one to take care of her.

Yet, women have survived and have flourished despite the obstacles surrounding them on every side.

Wikipedia
For a modern woman, life is a bit easier. She is not considered property by most governments. In many countries, a woman has full legal rights. She can vote. She can own a business, own a house, she does not have to get married in order to survive or garner status. She can gain an education, work outside her home, have sex without worrying about getting pregnant (I'm just stating fact. I'm not saying that it is right). If she is raped or otherwise abused,  there are many resources available who are ready to help her both psychologically and physically. She may even see her rapist brought to justice. If she marries, she can expect to be the only wife and she and her husband can choose whether or not they will have children; they can wait and they can decide how many children they want to have. Women who cannot have children do not face ridicule; however, women who have children outside of wedlock may face some societal disapproval. Life is difficult for them, but the government has food stamp programs and work programs so they will not face starvation. If a woman becomes a widow, the government (in the U.S.) will make sure that she and her children receive her husband's Social Security benefits. In comparison to the past, life is pretty good for the modern woman, in many societies.

Motherhood has not changed much over the years. In this regard, we have much in common with the women of Genesis.
There are other traits that we modern women share with the women of Genesis as well and we will think about them as we progress. So I hope you enjoy this series. I will also be relating my own experience as a mother of three boys, ages 20, 18 and almost 15. They are turning out well so I hope that my experience can add something positive to the discussion.