This blog post is about a contemporary issue that is being debated all over the world. Many working mothers are criticized for going back to work for many reasons. Some believe that women are meant to be homemakers, while they’re spouses are breadwinners. Others believe that not only is it possible for women to both, but necessary for a mother to balance a career and motherhood. In this blog post, readers will be able to see both sides of this argument through a mock conversation between W.E.B. Dubois and Martin Delany.
Martin Delany: Du Bois, I still do not understand why women are so upset? They are allowed to work and have a family! I just don’t see why they would want to work. Wouldn’t women rather be at home raising their children? Look at the current state of black families. In order for us to rise as race, we need black mothers to stay home so they can raise and teach their children to be better. In my book, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States I stress the importance of the mother child relationship, “Raise the Mothers above the level of degradation, and the offspring is elevated with them.” (Delany, 215) By having the mothers at home teaching our children, we leave less room for them to be raised in the streets. Our children need their mothers’ lessons and discipline in order to make it in America. They already are starting off with a strike against them just by the color of their skin.
Du Bois: Martin why are you saying this! Women can have careers and still be amazing mothers. Why must she choose? Black women are resilient and beautiful creatures my friend. Even with the odds stacked against them, many black mothers still manage to be the sole financial provider of their families and make it to every recital, every parent teacher conference, and can provide food and shelter. If there is anything that I have learned from this era is that our women can do it all. In my piece The Damnation of Women, I explain how and why are women are so strong. Even back then, black women were the back bone of our communities, “Black women (and women whose grandmothers were black) are today furnishing our teachers; they are the main pillars of those social settlements which we call churches.” (Du Bois, 768) Black women built our churches and educated are children and they are still doing so even today. Even beyond this they are our lawyers, doctors, teachers, directors, and even our CEO’s.
I am not denying these fact Du Bois. However, there are many black children who are of low socioeconomic status and come from broken homes without anyone to teach them how to break away from the poverty cycle. There are black mothers doing the best that they can to raise their children on their own, but the stress of having to financially support their families is taking away from them being present as a mother. Of course our mothers to be educated, but they need to utilize that to teach our children. I believe, “ Our females must be qualified, because they are the mothers of our children.” (Delany, 215) Mothers are a child’s first teacher and should lay the foundation for them in order to prepare them for the hard real world. As we have seen, the streets have been raising our youth because of the absence of their parents. Obviously there needs to be someone providing financial support, but that’s why women have husbands. It is the man’s responsibility to take care of his family.
I don’t understand how you could say that about OUR WOMEN! Even now they stand with us, advocate for us, when sometimes we as black men might not deserve it. For us to try and put a leash on their abilities and potential will only be doing a disservice for us and for future generations to come. If there is one thing that we have learned about our women is that there is no stopping them, Martin. They are force not to be trifled with. The are resilient creatures, “They represented the problem of the widow, the wife, the maiden, and the outcast.” (DuBois, 760) Even through all of that, they have risen. Our women have been raising their children and other children AND worked the plantations and the house. It is just crazy that you think that they can’t handle a 9 to 5 and be home to cook dinner and tuck their children in bed at night.
It isn’t just my viewpoint there is proof W! Look at this article I saw searching the Google. Is that what you call it? Never mind, it doesn’t matter just click the blue underlined words. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-30342/Working-mothers-risk-damaging-childs-prospects.html. I love our women, but we must focus on the men first before we can try and equal the playing field for them. We need their support more now than ever, but that is best utilized taking care of the children who happen to be the future leaders. We are doing them a disservice with both parents out of the home. You’ve seen the current state of the U.S. public education system, how can we expect them to succeed in a mess like that? Like I have said, “What we most need then, is a good business practical Education; because, the Classical and Professional education of so many of our young men…” (Delany, 215)
Let me stop you right there Martin. That is junk science and there is no way that the idea that working women are doing damage to their childs development. It has been proven that, “the future woman must have a life work and economic independence.” (Du Bois, 761) Mothers have been balancing work and family for generations. Women do not need to be confined to homemakers. They are a vital part of our worlds progression. I don’t see why they should stop just because you feel that the male ego is being bruised. Get over it. I was just reading this article I found on a progressive website, I’m sure you have never heard of it. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/06/23/3451313/working-mothers-children/.
Sir! Why must we put that burden of career and home? Being a full time mom is a job. Women are finding it extremely difficult balancing a career and motherhood. Check out this link: http://www.voanews.com/content/mothers-working-career-home/1658972.html. It would be best if they just focused on the home and the kids. They could teach them so much and give them the upper hand as they are learning in school. “As mothers are the first nurses and instructors of children; from them children consequently, get their first impressions, which being always the most lasting, should be the most correct” (Delany, 215) By starting with our young men, we can begin to lay foundation and eventually help the women gain more respect within society.
Why are you trying to perpetuate a patriarchal society? If I didn’t know I would think that you believed women were lesser beings then their male counterparts. In my essay, The Damnation of Women I wrote, “They existed not for themselves, but for men; they were named after the men to whom they were related and not after the fashion of their own souls” (Du Bois, 760) Women are just as great as men, maybe even better to be honest. Women do not exist FOR man, they exist WITH man. They are supposed to be our partners Martin and by trying to restrict their growth as people is wrong and saddening. We should be supporting them as much as we can, even if that means sharing the parental responsibilities.
You are putting words in my mouth. I do not think then men are better than women. Of course we need to support each other, “Raise the mothers above the level of degradation, and the offspring is elevated with them.” (Delany, 215) Helping our women will directly help our children. I just believe that women can do more in the home. It doesn’t matter what I think though, it seems that mothers believe that working and motherhood are something that can be balanced and will continue to do both. The least I can do is try and support them in the process.
Wow are you some what agreeing with me? That is a first! The black community is dealing with a lot of racial injustices and it seems that they are still fighting the same fight from over 300 years ago. I think that this quote is still extremely relevant today: “The uplift of women is, next to the problem of the color line and peace movement, our greatest modern cause.” (Du Bois, 769) Dealing with the mass murders of black children by the hands of the people who swore to protect and serve our communities takes priority. Mothers need our support more than ever since their children are being stolen from them left and right.
Citations for photos:
Davis, Kellie. “Getting Over Mom Guilt and Taking Care of You.” 2015. Mother Fitness. Web. 11 May 2015.
National Park Service. “W.E.B. Dubois.”National Parks Service. 11 May 2015.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. “VA Hudson Valley Celebrates Black History Month.” 2015. Hudson Valley Virginia Government. 11 May 2015.