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Another "Dumb Woman"

September 1, 2011 - Jodelle Greiner
Reading Jenn Brookens’ “Dumb Woman” blog made a bunch of different things run through my head.

I totally agree with her that our society focuses waaaaaay too much on how girls look and nowhere near enough on developing their character and what they can do and that’s a very dangerous thing.

If you’re raising your daughter to pay attention to all the latest fashion trends, but not to know how to balance her checkbook, you’ll probably wind up with an adult daughter who has to move back in with you because she’s several tens of thousands of dollars in debt — but she has closets full of very pretty clothes, not to mention tackle boxes full of makeup.

We here in the Midwest pride ourselves on being practical and we laugh at all the antics of the spoiled socialites on the coasts, thinking our kids have so much better common sense. But it wasn’t that long ago that the men took care of all the finances and when they died, often their widows had never written a check and didn’t know how. (And on the flip side, the women did all the cooking and when they died, their widowers didn’t know how to boil water.)

I remember when I was graduating from high school, almost every girl in my class was going on to school, either college or vo-tech training. Back in my mother’s day, girls who were graduating were usually making plans to be married before the year was out.

I’m not criticizing those who get married young. But it’s unrealistic to expect someone to take care of you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, divorce is a fact of life these days and people get divorced for any number of reasons. What I think is terrible is when women stay in an abusive relationship because they are convinced they will never be able to support themselves and their kids because they never learned a trade and never did any kind of work before.

Even if you love each other and have a happy marriage, things can happen. Your husband could lose his job and be out of work for a long time; all too common in today’s economy. Sometimes the husband gets sick and can’t work. I knew a couple where he couldn’t work for medical reasons; she fortunately had a job in a good-paying field.

Sometimes “’til death do us part” doesn’t mean after 50 years. Accidents and illnesses can occur any time and take someone’s life. In addition to grief, the widow is now having to handle all the practical aspects of life, including supporting herself and any children she might have. Do you think you can live on survivors’ Social Security benefits?

There are no absolute answers to handle every problem, but it’s imperative that women realize they can stand on their own, we are smart and we can get the job done. And we are so much more than the way we look.


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