This is a famous lithograph by Currier and Ives which depicts the stages of a woman’s life from cradle to grave.It reflects the thoughts of the society in 1850.
Could we apply any messages of this picture to the current day? It appears that the highest station involves motherhood. Even today, I believe that many women see that still at their greatest calling.
The question is, can we create a culture where we reestablish a culture which encourages more of the kinds of scenes that are depicted on the left of the lithograph. Those images reflect the purity and abstinence that was more common in this time.
Now, it is not realistic to assume that we could completely return to that culture, and it is very good that we have a greater sensitivity to women on the right side of the picture, though more has to be done.
But if we could encourage women to address their lives in a more natural manner, being proactive in their medical care, and protecting their reproductive systems from adolescence on, we could truly impact the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer, and perhaps also other diseases and cancers. If we could identify medical problems such as endometriosis early in it’s development and treat and maintain these conditions from earlier ages, we could significantly reduce the incidence of infertility. And if we could encourage women to identify their potential spouses by the things that keep marriages together for a lifetime, namely their hearts and souls instead of their bodies and “how they are in bed” we would probably see an earlier age of marriage, and an improvement in the fertility phenomenon.
This can all be done without minimizing the potential of women to be anything that they want. In fact, it might lead to less objectification of women, and more women in better positions for them and their families. All people should be educated to the heights that they can reach. And it seems ludicrous to me, as it should to just about everybody, that women should earn anything less than men for the same position.
It all starts with one family encouraging these universal values. And a center which encourages all of these things and more. That, God willing, could be coming soon!
St Gianna, Pray for us!