I just got a wild hair up my ass and decided to repost a couple of blog entries I wrote about Lori Alexander, otherwise known as The Transformed Wife. I am reposting them because sometimes it’s handy to be able to link to old posts from my original blog, particularly where Lori Alexander is concerned. This first one was originally posted May 14, 2018. It made quite a stir three years ago.
First thing’s first. I need to state upfront that I don’t regularly follow The Transformed Wife, which is a blog written by a Christian woman named Lori Alexander. I had never heard of this blog until I started following the Duggar Family News group on Facebook. I did see a recent post by The Transformed Wife where I felt compelled to leave a comment, only because she’d misspelled “censorship” in her title and it was making me twitchy (sorry). But no, I don’t regularly read her blog because I’m pretty far from being a devout Christian. Sometimes people share her more ridiculous posts, though, and that’s usually when I take notice.
This morning, someone shared Lori’s thoughts on women doctors. She writes, “women are destroying the medical profession.” To back up her claim, she cites a five year old opinion piece done by the U.K.’s Telegraph. That piece is about female doctors who only work part-time because they are raising families. It’s apparently causing a problem in countries around the world because part-time doctors lead to a shortage. The opinion piece, written by Max Pemberton, is actually pretty sensible. He writes:
…attempts to raise these issues are routinely met with accusations of sexism. But it’s not sexist to acknowledge that women, more than men, often appear to place family life ahead of their career. Nor is it a bad thing that women want to focus on having and bringing up their children, and caring for a partner. Underlying this is a larger debate about the 24/7 working environment and lack of affordable child care that leaves so many women torn between a career and a family. This is where the real sexism lies. But until there is a shift in the way that domestic responsibilities are shared, we need to accept that most women want to work part time so they can combine a career with family life – and, in medicine at least, start preparing for it becoming the norm.
But then Lori Alexander writes:
Men were created to be the supporters of families and women were not. Women are taking men’s positions in medical schools that should belong to men.
Hmmm… very interesting indeed. I happen to know a couple of women doctors who are raising families. One is a very successful trauma surgeon. Her husband is an Episcopalian vicar and takes excellent care of their two kids while his wife works to save lives. The other just recently had her sixth baby. And yet, according to Lori Alexander, these women are absolutely wrong to pursue careers in medicine. Alexander reminds readers…
Men can be doctors but they can’t be mothers. Only mothers can be mothers and NO ONE can replace a mother in a child’s life.
What exactly makes someone a mother, anyway? Is it the simple act of giving birth? Because if that’s the case, adoptive mothers are apparently worthless, according to Alexander. Is it simply being female? Are women inherently more nurturing than men are, simply because they have female parts? What about fathers? Can they be replaced? Actually, Alexander would probably say fathers can’t be replaced, but apparently they aren’t as important as mothers are. Why is that? Is it because they aren’t nurturing? I would challenge anyone who has ever met my husband, Bill, to compare his nurturing instincts to mine. (ha ha ha) But then, I know that Bill is a pretty rare individual, especially for a military veteran. He’s unusually nurturing and kind. He’d probably be a better mother than I would, though. Or, at least he’d probably be more like the type of mother idealized by folks like Lori Alexander.
Lori continues with the following thoughts…
No long-term good comes out of women leaving their homes. Nothing. Satan convinced women to spend years and a lot of money getting a higher education and then a degree. When they finally have children, they still have their God-given instinct to care for their children, thus they are in conflict with what they were convinced about concerning their career and being with their children. Their children are the ones who suffer and society is suffering too.
Oh… so it’s the fault of women that society is suffering? That sounds pretty familiar. Women get blamed for all kinds of shit. That’s been going on since the dawn of time. But then Lori ends with a quote from Proverbs:
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
I wonder what she’d think of an overeducated housewife with no children whose housekeeping skills are lacking…
In fairness to Lori Alexander, I don’t know her at all. I have no idea what shaped her opinions about woman in the workplace, other than her obvious love for the Bible. My guess is that she’s actually against women who work, not just women who choose to be doctors. Somehow, her blog has attracted a lot of attention. This particular post has been shared well over 1500 times. Maybe I should start writing really badly written provocative stuff that causes outrage. And… to be honest, I don’t necessarily disagree that children in the United States need more exposure to their mothers. Actually, I’d argue that they need more exposure to BOTH parents.
What I like about Europe is that the powers-that-be have recognized that young children need their mothers and fathers, so employers here allow them to take time off from their work to take care of their kids. That time off is paid, and they do have jobs to go back to when their time off is finished. But this generous leave has nothing to do with religion. Instead, it’s a simple product of common sense.
Europe, in general, is also a bit less work happy than the United States is. In the United States, there’s this idea that one must constantly be working in order to keep their jobs. Plenty of folks who are lucky enough to have jobs with benefits, to include paid vacation time, are pressured not to take any leave. Those who dare to enjoy their lives off the clock are often considered unproductive and poor performers. They don’t tend to climb the ladder of success the way their more driven colleagues do.
In Germany, workers get more time off and shorter work weeks, yet the German economy remains very strong and the people, by and large, seem to be a lot happier. I think Germans tend to work smarter, too. They focus is less on how long a person works and more on the quality of their work. I would imagine that having time to rest allows them to work smarter. It’s probably better for their overall health, too, including their mental health.
Let’s face it. Living in the United States is very expensive. A lot of families need both parents to work just to be able to pay their basic bills. The need to work makes it harder to focus on the family. And yet, we keep voting in Republicans, who are in bed with Christians, yet seem hellbent on making money and ruining any family friendly programs that might make it more possible for one parent (not necessarily the mother) to stay home and take care of their kids. The United States is not a community friendly country. Many people are focused on their own needs and things that only benefit them personally, rather than society as a whole.
But… in fairness to my countrymen, I can understand where this attitude comes from. And now that I don’t live in the United States, I can also see where people like my Italian friend, Vittorio, see the United States as a “weirdorama” country. We have all these God fearing people who don’t seem to love their fellow man very much at all… unless, of course, their fellow man lives in a way that they claim is Biblical. It doesn’t seem logical to me.
Anyway, allow me to go on record as saying that I think it’s great that women are following their career dreams. I also think it’s a good thing that so many of those women are focusing on their own fulfillment. Perhaps that means they have fewer children or none at all. But, as Alexander points out in the comments section of her post, women doctors are here to stay. Women will keep going to medical school. So… I guess in her opinion, the medical profession is on its way to being well and truly fucked. She’s entitled to her opinion. I’m not sorry she wrote her post, even if I disagree with her. She gave me some food for thought.
I think I need an aspirin now.