Status of Women in the West (2)
After the Industrial Revolution in 19th century, mottos were heard in European communities on freedom and rights of women. This trend was intensified in the 20th century especially during the two world wars which resulted in the killing of millions of men and shortage of manpower in factories.
Thus, factories were full of women who received half the wage of men. In appearance, the western woman was less independent on her husband as she earned money. But, in reality, this trend dragged woman out of the family and made her the tacit slave of her male counterpart in workplaces. American historian, Will Durant, writes, "Freedom of women is one of the outcomes of the Industrial Revolution."
Concurrent with the emergence of feminism, this freedom separated women from family and set the stage for breakup of family unit.
Now, we invite you to listen to the remarks of the specialist of the program, Ms. Akhundan on the impact of feminist movements on family unit in the west:
"The disintegration of all moral values remaining from the Christian era and western moral-oriented philosophers in the first half of the 20th century and the intellectuals and feminist zealots in the end of it presented justifications to normalize various corruptions and perversions such as homosexuality, cohabitation, disorderly sexual conducts, etc. This caused the collapse of all ethical infrastructures in society. This ethical collapse targeted the most important social unit: family. Family, as the first ring of the human society and first center of education of the next generations, will deliver educated and cultured people to the society only if it is robust internally in terms of morality and love. Or else, it will add aggressive and immoral individuals to the society. The family unit is so important that Islam describes the formation of family equal to half of a faithful's religion. Family, like a workshop, places the female by the male to complete one another. In fact, God has created the female fair and seeker of refuge; and the male seeker of delicacy and giver of refuge. Neither of these is needless of the other one because God's aim of creating them is to unite and interlink them. This is the point that has not been heeded in western communities and harmed the family."
Family is the most genuine and oldest institution in human communities. It secures one of the most natural and stable needs of human being. The need to tranquility is an important human need which has been fulfilled through creation of a pair by God. To regulate this natural need, God has made one way permissible, namely the formation of family. Mother is the main axis of the family unit and it is she who can bring up a committed and able generation. Penetration of feminist ideas among western women for the recent decades and their playing of the roles which have little conformity with their female character, diminished the status of family in the west and belittled the role of mother. This trend resulted in unofficial and illegitimate marriages, frequent divorces, birth of illegitimate children and formation of single-parent families. Ultimately, the ground was set for emergence of a vulnerable and pugnacious generation which opposes norms and social codes. According to the studies in 2016 in the United States, averagely one person has thought of divorce every six seconds and the rate of divorce has been announced 53% in the country. As for France, the so-called paradise of lovers, this figure is 55%. In Britain, the marriage rate has decreased to the lowest level since 1889 and the rate of divorce has increased 6 times. The cost of divorce has been estimated 4 billion pounds annually for the British society. The report of World Atlas has pointed to the role of lifestyle of individuals in spread of separation. It explains that dishonesty, lack of commitment to moralities, and mistrust have played a significant role in the rate of separation.
One of the repercussions of feminist ideas and ostensible freedom of women in the west is their inclination toward cohabitation. This way of living is rampant in Europe and the US. In this type of life, the male and the female live together without officially marrying. American psychologist, Dr. James C. Dobson, says on the crisis of family in the US, "The families that are run with unmarried couples have increased 72%. On the contrary, the number of traditional families has decreased to less than 25%."
As per the information released in the first of the 21st century, 1 out of every two American children belongs to the unmarried couples. In Ireland, too, the unmarried mothers are more common than the married ones. Psychologists opine that the relationship without marriage is carried out to meet the sexual and psychological needs and it will have destructive impacts on women since they lose their liveliness in the course of time. Thus, the male may gradually lose his love in her and be inclined to another woman. This has caused noticeable spiritual harms to women. Unwanted pregnancies and hygienic effects stemming from abortion are other consequences of such sordid relation. Children of these couples are the main victims of such illegitimate relations.
Today there are 13.8 million teenagers under the age of 15 in the US. This number constitutes 23% of the entire American children. 2.7 million of these teenagers live with their father and the rest live with their mother. In France, too, there has been a 50% plus increase in the number of single-parent families. In Britain the single-parent families have increased to nearly 25% of all families. This is due to the increase of the number of mothers who have never married. In Germany, the number of these families has doubled for the past two decades. Almost all of these families are administered by mothers.
In Australia, too, one out of every four children lives with one of the parents. According to a study, the number of these families will increase in Australia to 30-66% within the next 25 years. American writer, Bruce R. Joyce, is one of the people who are worried about this trend. He says, "The decrease of the number of families where both parents are present will result in the collapse of the American society."
Other researchers believe that traditional and solid families should be built up and persist throughout the life of the child. Of course, these plans are viable once western women understand the real status and value of woman and mother.
Returning of women to home and the warm unit of family is the only exit way from the critical condition that has gripped the western society.
We conclude this episode with a piece of poem by the American 19th century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.
Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.
Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.