5/13/17

"A woman’s function is laborious"

"TO be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute."

~G.K. Chesterton: 'The Emancipation of Domesticity,' in What's Wrong With the World, Part Three, Chapter III.

The Hard-working Mother, by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.
Oil on canvas, 1740; Musée du Louvre, Paris.

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