At the risk of coming across to all my friends, especially the female ones, as a retrograde, anti-progressive, misogynist, male chauvinist pig neo-conservative macho man, I feel that I have a confession to make.

I’d like to know if you at all feel the same way. I feel that this now ubiquitous term known as something to the effect of ‘work/family balance’, especially for women, is but a myth. After speaking at length with members of my family, friends, acquaintances, listening to testimonials on radio phone in shows, TV talk shows, reading statistics, etc, I’ve come to the stark conclusion that the whole idea of both spouses working full time, equally-high paying jobs, and having kids, is an ultimate recipe for disaster.

Ultimately, there is not enough time for everything, and often there is no time for anything. Women have been taught to go out and ‘break the glass ceiling’ and be equally ambitious for temporal power, prestige, property, and money, and I feel that it has driven a wedge between the sexes, causing such a high level of inter-gender conflict, that the entire edifice of the nuclear family has for all intents and purposes come unravelled, or worse yet, been torn to shreds.

The whole notion of ‘equality’ has been distorted by women’s rights activists to now be defined as both genders wanting to be ‘equally dominant’ in the spheres of earning power, psycho-social and psycho-sexual domination or control. This thereby causes not only unprecedented levels of spousal breakdowns, but worse yet, an unwillingness, especially on the part of a growing segment of the male population, to even contemplate engaging oneself in a spousal relationship, for fear of having to navigate through the now ever more perilous minefield of spousal issues related to psycho-social, and psycho-sexual control issues, control over money, property, prestige, decision-making, care and raising of children, etc.

I feel that women have been ‘sold a bill of goods’ by the secular, anti-patriarchal women’s lobby, who seem hell-bent on deconstructing what little seems to be left of the traditional nuclear family. I feel that my mother and father’s marriage worked so well because they opted for a traditional, Roman Catholic spousal arrangement: My father worked outside the home and my mother worked at home raising her four children, leaving her paid employment when she got pregnant.

She never gave up the option of returning to paid employment, exercising said option in 1979, when, once her youngest was 14 years old and able to look after himself, she returned to work as a secretary, a job she held until her retirement. What I feel worked so well with my parents is that they each had explicitly-predetermined sovereign jurisdictions over certain aspects of their relationship, and the running of the house.

My father was the uncontested main breadwinner, and my mother never chose to seek out a style of employment or career which would contest his earning power, or which might put their relationship in a psycho-sexually, and socio-economically contentious position of perhaps forcing my father to follow my mother to another city because she got a promotion in her career, which often happens now.

My father, on the other hand, humbly submitted to my mother’s better judgement and authority in all matters concerning the raising and disciplining of the children, paying bills, etc… My father dutifully handed over his pay check every two weeks to my mother into a joint account and my mother ruled the roost. My father loved, trusted, and had absolute faith in his love that he even put the house in her name,especially since my mother had put up her own money to purchase it, knowing that if anything ever happened to him, she’d be protected, and would continue to be able to live in the manner in which she’d grown accustomed to, which is precisely what happened, by the way.

My mother deferred in all things to my father when it came to manual things, including the car, fixing the house, maintaining the property, and she would of course have the final say on what colour the rooms would be painted, and what colour the wall paper would be, which my father would dutifully execute.

All in all, it seems to have worked out. They were happy and even had their own TV rooms in separate parts of the house, and would talk to each other from their separate rooms, turning down their TVs so that they could understand what the other was saying. They knew that after supper, they needed some time to chill out each on their own after dealing with supper, the kids, etc…

So, I’ll say it again another way: Am I out of line here? Or is it society that has gone completely wacko? I feel we have power-hungry people all around us, pushing their agendas through lobbying groups of all sorts, and if you say something contrary to what they have imposed as the ‘party line’, then you get shouted down and marginalized.

Changing the official tone of public discourse is very difficult. I wonder what my parents would think of this whole ‘work/family balance’ thing: If I think back to exactly 40 years ago this summer, our family’s version of ‘work/family balance’ was packing all six of us into my Dad’s 1967 Rambler, with no air conditioning, and driving to PEI for 10 days and staying on Mac Millan’s farm, picking potatoes out in the fields, going for a hay ride, etc…

Now that’s balance, folks.

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