Over one hundred years ago, G. K. Chesterton asked: "Can anyone tell me two things more vital to the race than these; what man shall marry what woman, and what shall be the first things taught to their first child"? Chesterton goes on to comment that:
the...natural operation surrounded her with very young children, who require to be taught not so much anything but everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, a woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't...Our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world....But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean....If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge (at his work)....But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless, and of small import to the soul, then I say give it up....How can it be an (important) career to tell other people's children about mathematics, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?...A woman's function is laborious...not because it is minute, but because it is gigantic. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.