Once upon a time, there was a village … well, actually, there were lots and lots of villages. I’m also willing to bet that, in many parts of the world, that ‘time’ there was a village is right now.
In this village, there was a symbiotic thing going on. Each person within the village played an important role within their community, that ensure not only the survival of individuals within the community, but ensured the safety and well being of all members of the community.
It was a thriving, functional community.
I don’t want to appear deluded and portray this village and its community as some sort of Utopia, as I’m sure it was not without its problems. I’m sure there were environmental factors as well as personal behaviours and personalities, and everything in between, that impacted upon the functionality of the community in some way or another.
Anyhoo, males/men aside for the moment; not because I don’t think they are important, nor that they did not contribute, but because it doesn’t fit with where this post is going.
Women, now the women all played their bit.
There were a group of women whose responsibility it was to craft clothing and blankets, perhaps aid in some way with the construction of shelters for the village, to prepare the feasts from the game brought back from the men whom were the hunters (for men also had their specialities) and who cared for the children of the village, whether those children had been born from their own loins or form those of another female villagers loins.
(Because even in this village, where it is not a Utiopia, males still lack the ability to bear children.)
Perhaps some groups of women did all these things, or perhaps there were sub-groups who took responsibility for various tasks. I guess, and please forgive me as I am generalising grossly and utilising a word I am not a fan of, but I guess, comparing it to our current day, Western society, one could consider it “home making”?
Another group of women, in these villages, would wander away and collect water, and perhaps some berries or nuts and other, plant based food, or items which could be used to turn into food. They would also gather items to aid those “home makers” (sorry!) and the men of the village, in order that they may perform their duties in the most efficient manner, for the benefit of the community as a whole.
Many of those women who walked away for the day, gathering that which required gathering, had birthed children form their very own loins, and left them with those women whom were tasked with caring for the children of the village, to ensure their adequate growth and development, learning and so forth, so they may become adults and contribute to the functioning of the village community as the elders before them had.
In our current society, we are not too different in some ways. We have women who choose to stay home and care for their offspring, to spend each day with their children, caring for them, doing things like painting and going to the zoo and that sort of thing, preparing meals for these children and, in many cases, the father of their children, who goes off each day to work and returns, hungry and grumpy.
We have other women who chose to leave the home for long hours during the week, leaving their children in the nurturing care of relatives, or establishments designed specifically for the care and nurturing of children … and there are a variety of those … women whose role it is to answer phones, provide customer service needs, provide emotional, psychological and/or physical care for your family, to educate your children and a great multitude of other things.
Although similar to the village mentioned at the commencement of this post, where some women perform the role of “home maker” (again, really sorry! Please work with me here!) and others head off in order that the village may be provided with all those things the village needs to survive, the major difference is, at least, according to the discourse we are fed, is that those who choose to remain at home are “a drain on society” and those who choose to work are considered a “bane on society”.
Those – again, according to the rhetoric, not suggesting this is true for everyone, or even most – who choose the stay at home seem more content to care for their own kids, but view those who work as ‘wrong’ and, rather than providing care “for the children of the village” condemn, complain and judge.
Those who choose to work, rather than ask for help with care from those ‘villagers’ who prefer that role, would appear to view them as ‘lazy’ and wonder what they do all day, whilst they are providing services much needed by the village.
I, personally, view these roles as exceptionally important to the betterment and development of our society (even if, right now, other circumstances, like political decisions for example, are doing a damned good job of slowing or halting this betterment and development … but that’s for another time) and that working together, rather than this mostly media and righteous-person fuelled divisiveness and debate that is occurring. The alleged “mummy wars”.
Once upon a time there was a village that worked together to ensure the survival and sustainability of their society.
Whilst that village is now, in this time, sadly, for the most part, it is not here, in this place.
Sad, really, and so simple to rectify.