Should Women Further Their Education?


I'm sure that at least some of you clicked on this article to see if I could really be as chauvinistic as the title sounds. Like, why is that even a question I'm asking? Honestly, it actually hasn't been one I've asked myself too much, until recently. Being a woman, I did go to college, although I didn't finish. At the time I wanted to be a missionary, and thought saving money would be a better route for me. So, obviously I have nothing against women furthering their education. But the question is deeper than that. It's, "Should women further their education?"

A little backstory first: If I had the view that women should be career-driven, I probably wouldn't even be asking this question now. The answer would clearly be, "Uh, yeah." But, if you've read many of my past articles, I'm sure you are cognizant that I am a proponent of mothers staying home and raising their children, at least while they are young. Not that the momma can't work at all, I just see child-rearing (and all aspects of homemaking) as the more important task and should take the focus, rather than her career. This will look differently with each situation, but I believe children flourish in this environment, and we should try to plan to be with them, personally training them if at all possible. I'm not trying to be legalistic by sharing my view, but challenge what has become normal for women in our culture: choosing careers over personally raising their children. (If you're a single mom, I realize this isn't even an option.)

Now, having the view that women should consider being homemakers, you might have cause to think that I feel women furthering their education after high school isn't necessary, and a waste of money. I wouldn't have exactly said that before, but there was a flaw in my thinking that I didn't realize, until it was pointed out by Rebekah Merkle in her new book, Eve in Exile. Here's what she said:

"The feminists have argued that homemaking is a brainless job, requiring no actual education or skill and making no significant impact on the world... Fundamentally, girls who can't see how education will benefit them as homemakers are actually on the same page as the most hard-core of feminists, believing that a brain is a waste if you're 'only' going to be a wife and mother."

Maybe you wouldn't go so far as to say that young women who want to eventually be homemakers shouldn't further their education. But do you encourage her to go merely for the purpose of meeting her future husband, and then perhaps she could consider dropping out? Surely you wouldn't say the same to a young man! Do you encourage young women to go to college for the sake of having a decent job in case she doesn't get married for some time? Unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, I believe it was me that would allude to these things when giving advice to young women. 

Regardless of any thoughts on if the woman will have a job outside of the home, would you have said a woman should be educated for the very purpose of being a homemaker? And that isn't just in "home-EC" type classes. It's in whatever she wants to pursue and develop her mind in. Would you have valued homemaking as much as that? I thought I valued it, but I realized I devalued what it took to do it well. Anyone can stay at home and attempt to keep the family alive, but not just anyone do it in a such a way that uses her mind just as much as a career-driven life would have. A woman that is driven to develop her mind for the sake of raising her family well is a force to be reckoned with. We can be sure that she is taking her calling seriously, and doing it with her whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

So, should women further their education, especially if they are "only" going to be homemakers? If we really valued homemaking, we might be quicker to say a resounding, "Yes! Right alongside the fellas!" 

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