Barefoot and Pregnant: an Ideal Image of a Happy Woman

barefoot and pregnant

«The only way to keep a woman happy is to keep her barefoot and pregnant,» wrote the horse-and-buggy doctor from Kansas Arthur Emanuel Hertzler. The variant of the end of this phrase is often associated with the expression «Kinder, Küche, Kirche» (translated “children, kitchen, church”) used in the German Empire to describe a woman’s role in society.

Ok, the words «children and kitchen» don’t raise any questions, but why barefoot? Because, according to Hertzler’s opinion, a woman should only keep the house and take care of the children. So, what for will she wear shoes? It’s ok to walk barefoot. It’s warm enough at home.

A whole century has passed since that time. Women became outstanding astronauts, presidents, scientists. Judit Polgar beat Kasparov and Karpov at chess. Marilyn vos Savant was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as a human with the highest IQ level. But many of us still see the smiling and content men who have just heard about «barefoot and pregnant».

barefoot and pregnant at home

Forever pregnant

A lot of men nowadays also consider that a woman should necessarily have a lot of children like she is «forever pregnant». Of course, the women who agree to have many children and enjoy being pregnant exist. But still, the majority of women has a different point of view and don’t understand such an old-fashioned idea. And it’s natural. Every woman wants to thrive as a person and to have other interests besides kitchen and children. Sometimes the situation even exacerbates when, for example, a woman doesn’t want to have children or isn’t yet prepared for this and feels like she is abnormal in the society she lives in. But, in fact, abnormal is the society if it doesn’t accept different lifestyles and points of view. Every woman is free and has a full right to decide when she wants to get pregnant and whether she wants it at all.

a pregnant woman with a child in the kitchen

Pregnancy is not only an important life choice but also an uneasy challenge for the female body. Unfortunately, some men have forgotten about it. They want to see their wives pregnant (and barefoot, of course) throughout their whole life. And a lot of men are puzzled when an «ideal» model collapses and doesn’t coincide with the reality. Of course, here we can see psychological reasons for such behavior. A man who wants to see his wife only «barefoot and pregnant» isn’t confident enough to allow his woman to be strong and independent. Fears are also the reason for such views. The fear of becoming weaker than your wife, the fear of losing your beloved forever, and the fear of public opinion. But the truth is that pregnancy is not a tool to make your wife a perfect woman. And no matter how many children you have: it is your attitude to life that makes you happy and your relationship harmonious.

Anti «barefoot and pregnant»: how to reach a compromise?

anti"barefoot and pregnant"

Actually, both men and women are human beings. A woman shouldn’t be afraid to have her own opinion and a man should understand that giving birth to a child and keeping the house are not the main purposes in the life of a woman. Talk to your partner openly and sincerely. Tell each other honestly about your fears and desires, and you will understand what you both really need. And, of course, remember: pregnancy shouldn’t be a tool to get something – it should be a happy and desirable event.

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