Thanks everyone for the happy birthdays, book recommendations, and most importantly the great comments on the Young Women's Lesson. I have been thinking about them all day (my job doesn't require a lot of brain power.)
I was just going to write a brief comment in response (I love talking) but it got really long, and I figured, hey, I'll make a whole other post about it.
Here are some thoughts-
1. I mentioned this briefly in the comments, but I feel like I need to emphasize the fact that I believe a person can be/become educated in a number of ways. One way can be through a college education, but it is certainly not the only/most important way. It's your life, and you have all made the best decisions for you and your families. Way to go. Based on the comments posted I am flattered that so many bright and thoughtful people took the time to talk to me. I don't want anyone "leaving" the discussion thinking that I only value one sort of choice/life path/whatever you want to call it. I also believe that learning is a life-long endeavor, which was another oft repeated point.
I think what bothered me about the lesson was not what it said exactly, but what was lacking. I don't dislike/not support the idea of being a "homemaker," if I did, and was annoyed with the lesson for those reasons, I agree, I would be acting overly sensitive. I was reacting to the manner in which home-making was discussed. If you read the comments in the original post, check out the one discussing how the children mentioned in the lesson missed the environment created by their mother, not necessarily the cooking or handicrafts themselves. That's a point I desperately wish had been in the lesson. That was the part I was reacting to most, it should have been included, especially in 1977, which, as many people pointed out, was a time when women were generally expected to be "homemakers." I guess I'm saying the lesson was lacking, even by 1977 standards.
2. I am aware that the church views have changed, and I am happy. I am also thrilled about the Supplemental stuff on lds.org, thanks Jenny and others for pointing that out. I am still a little miffed that there is not an updated manual, but I can live with it, and I also believe one of the reasons it may not be updated is because we are expected, as teachers, to add in the supplemental/new things in the manner best suited for the needs of our Young Women.
3. I agree with the importance of "homemaking" in terms of creating a loving environment in which to raise and support a family. Although good food and handicrafts are one way to do that, I think it is important to discuss other ways in which that can be accomplished, and many people also mentioned that in their comments. I've been in plenty of homes with delicious food and beautiful handicrafts where I didn't feel the sense of belonging that comes as a result of good "homemaking." I also would like to note that I believe the father plays an equally important role in "making" a home. Both parents are responsible for raising, loving, and nurturing children and each other. I think, should I ever teach this lesson, I would note that one way to "prepare to become an Eternal Companion" is to seek out a partner willing and able to be a "homemaker" themselves. That is certainly something my dad did when he would often come home from work a little early so he could be with his children before returning to work after we were all asleep at night to finish his work for the day.
So. I am done word-vomiting all over blogspot. Thanks for playing. You are welcome to continue to play, but since I will be out of town for a few days, do not be alarmed if your comments are late to show up. Fear not, you have probably not offended me mortally.
PS whoever offered to send me stuff on the it's/its problem, leave a comment with your email (please) I won't publish your address for the world to see, but I will email you so you can send me it. If you still want to. Please. Because I need the help. I am so sick of making that error that I am reduced to grumbling.