“Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question– ‘Is this all?”
I came across this well-known quote from Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique some months ago, and it has kind of been under my skin ever since. But I haven’t been able to put my finger on why for some time…
Is it that Friedan reduces the work of a stay at home mother to the mere physical tasks she completes?
Is it that I’m in denial myself – afraid to ask “the silent question”?
Discussion about terrorism (particularly as it pertains to ISIS) has centred recently around the subject of radicalised youths. Especially after a 15 year old boy shot police employee Curtis Cheng earlier this month.
Everyone is concerned about these young people who are turning to radical Islam, often very secretively, and then going off to join ISIS overseas, or plotting their own acts of terrorism or joining in on acts planned by adults.
Everyone is asking why and how? Why are these young people turning to such a radical, violent faith? How is this happening under our noses?
But I have to say, when I think about these radicalised youth – willing to leave home and family to join a cause they believe in passionately – I kind of get it. I get why they do it.
They’ve grown up in a culture that says “there is no truth” and “everyone’s beliefs are to be respected”. They live in a world that is steeped in immorality, but completely lukewarm on actual moral boundaries (unless it’s the “cause of the day”, of course).
You know, it’s ironic to me that ISIS has been referred to as a “death cult”, by those who would hold up Australian culture as a shining example of what life is all about. But the Australian way of drinking, and working hard to buy more stuff and settle down with a family, and then have a nice retirement with some nice travelling around the country, is just as much of a “dead” way to live as the ISIS way of life.
The world these youths live in is dead, and some of these young people are waking up enough to see it.
I think Betty Friedan saw it too, along with the “suburban wives” she wrote about. I think they sensed the deadness in their lives. They had lots of nice things. They should have wanted for nothing…. and yet they did.
But like the young people going off to join ISIS, bored housewives who abandon the care of their homes and families to search for “emancipation” will not find life… just more death. Death in a different form.
Youths who are disillusioned with a lukewarm culture…
Housewives who are bored with a lukewarm lifestyle…
Anyone who is sick of all the death, and wants to find true life…
There is only one place it can be found:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”