"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chesterton's Thoughts on Women

Yesterday, during my eldest daughter's piano lesson, I continued to read Chesterton's What's Wrong with the World. I found myself wanting to make note of a lot of what I was reading in his chapter, "The Emancipation of Domesticity". I was happy to finally learn where the following famous quote could be found:

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: Collected Works, Volume IV, pp. 118-119

In his chapter on "The Coldness of Chloe", I could not help but think of some discussions that have taken place regarding skirt wearing. Only Chesterton could expound on skirt wearing in this way:

...a little while ago it was common for an "advanced" woman to claim the right to wear trousers; a right about as grotesque as the right to wear a false nose. Whether female liberty is much advanced by the act of wearing a skirt on each leg I do not know...It is quite certain that the skirt means female dignity, not female submission; it can be proved by the simplest of all tests. No ruler would deliberately dress up in the recognized feters of a slave; no judge would appear covered with broad arrows. But when men wish to be safely impressive, as judges, priests or kings, they do wear skirts, the long trailing robes of female dignity. The whole world is under petticoat government; for even men wear petticoats when they wish to govern.
~p. 128

In "The Pedant and the Savage", Chesterton's insights seem particularly acute for a man.;)

...the woman does not work because the man tells her to work and she obeys. On the contrary, the woman works because she has told the man to work and he hasn't obeyed.
~p. 130

I am looking forward to reading more of this book.


  1. Anonymous10:56 PM

    I must admit, I love the idea of wearing skirts rather than pants, but I have problem feet. They become rather painful to me unless I'm wearing sneakers, and I don't like how sneakers looks with skirts other than jeans skirts. I guess I need more than one jean skirt! :->

    I do love Chesterton, so I guess I'd better look more seriously at other shoe options. Though, right now I'm pregnant, and as my clothes are hand-me-downs, I'm stuck with pants and shorts rather than skirts.

    Lisa Roberts

  2. Lisa, like you, I wear pants sometimes. Many of my clothes are hand-me-downs from my sisters that include pants. Since the birth of our last child, most of my pants no longer fit and so I have been happily forced to wear skirts.

    I will keep you and your little one in my prayers.

  3. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Thanks, Christine. We appreciate your prayers. So far this pregnancy is going very well. We were nervous since we lost the previous pregnancy. Right now, at 21 weeks, I am concerned about fitting a third kid into the same room with the other two. I'm having to devise some creative storage solutions. :->

    Lisa Roberts


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