Tuesday, March 09, 2004

An topic that has been a source of must debate over the past few months is the question of working-woman, feminism, and domestic life. Most notable is an article in the Atlantic Monthly by Caitlin Flanagan (who has been publishing there for a while now and will soon be jumping over to the even trendier New Yorker) and various attacks throughout the internet inspired by her essay.

Now given that the Orthodox community takes six months to a year to catch up on any trend, I would like to take the initiative to launch the discussion.

In addition to the responsibilities of career, education, and raising children, most Orthodox Woman (modern and otherwise) have the challenge of making Shabbos/Shabbat weekly and other communal responsibilities (Shaloch Manos/t, Meals-for-Mom, Sheva Brachos/t). Furthermore, unlike the non-Orthodox population they tend to have larger families, ranging from 3-5 for MO to 5+ for the Yeshivish families, which just ups the ante on all accounts including paying for a lifestyle which includes Day Schools, Yeshiva, and Summer Camps. Throw into this mix the idea of women's learning (who has time for any serious engagement with text, if she doesn't have time all her regular responsibilities).
Though interestingly, none of this has been talked about in any public forum, Modern Orthodox or otherwise.

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