Guest Post: A Convenient Truth?
Corktree is an emerging Feminist struggling to find peace as she seeks truth. She has three strong headed daughters, an infant son and a patiently supportive husband. Aside from her family, she is passionate about science and natural health practices and hopes to merge those with her Feminist vision by going into practice as a Midwife when her children are all in school.
What would you do if your house literally cleaned itself? What if you never had to go shopping because you could program a machine to make your dinner out of nothing but raw molecules, and you had about 75% more free time on your hands?
I’ve been thinking about the role that technology and human innovation plays in our lives as mothers, wives and just women in general. Has anyone studied how much more free time we have today compared to 2000 or even 200 years ago, all because of modern conveniences? Just a few generations ago, the lives of women were still completely bound to housework and all that was required to keep a family alive, clothed and fed. No one asked how their day was or what they did all day, because everyone had pretty much the same routine of living (barring the disproportionately wealthy, of course).
In many ways, the issues of gender equality were hard to imagine, because the roles that men and women played were largely determined by biology. Even though most household duties could physically be performed by a man, the act of child bearing and nursing could not, which is what put women (and kept them until recently) in the home. Their sphere of influence, and the jobs they could perform grew naturally from this center and kept them from moving too far away from it. It also kept them busy with these chores from dawn to dusk.
Until progress came along. Washers, dryers, vacuums. All to aid in shortening a woman’s workload. The inexpensive food and product industries allowed home production to become a luxury, not a necessity. Birth control gave us the freedom to choose our children. Even formula, though debatable as a superior food source, has allowed women to cut the chains that kept them home, if needs be.
More and more, the roles that we play can be acted by men. And vice versa. And I’m of the mind, that as long as SOMEone is filling the role of nurturer, it doesn’t matter who. It is also my opinion that technology and progress, when properly employed and treated as a stewardship, are given to us for reasons. They are part of the plan, and they are the tool of blessings when in the right hands. So why has God allowed for “women’s work” to become so automated? Are we obsolete? Is it a compensation for the billions of women that have had so much less than we? Is it a reward for making it this far down the evolutionary path?
Or is it a tool placed in our hands that allows us to move further upward? Are we supposed to do more with the time that has been freed? I’m not against the increase in self indulgence or the return to self reliance. I think it’s essential to find passion and fulfillment. For some that will be in a return to home production and crafty skills. For others, it will be a time to increase education. But for some, could it mean that we are finally in a position to change the world? That with all the time that we have that our foremothers didn’t, we could be doing more to influence the future of this planet and it’s vast inhabitants? Could that be God’s plan for us? Could it be that the natural order of progress demands that we step up and push for the change that everyone else will soon be ready to embrace? We are a church of line upon line, precept upon precept. And I think the world is finally ready for us to take the next step. To add the next line.
When I look at the history of this world and how things have changed, this is what I see as the next step in our collective earthly progression. I see our gifts of time and resource and knowledge as responsibilities to those who have, or have had less. Who knows what the future will really look like? I don’t, but I like to imagine. I do know that it will follow this trend. That our daughters will have more of all that we have, and that they will do and see more than we will. We are not inherently incapable of doing all that we deem possible. And in my crazy view of the future, it isn’t hard for me to imagine a woman as President, Prophet or Pope.