I take your point, BUT, I think there're two separate issues here.
To take women back 500 years and to be totally obedient to their menfolk, just isn't on. These poor women in under-developed countries have to suffer all sorts of things at the hands of their dominant partners, but fortunately for us, Germaine, and the rest of us, live in societies where we have a choice, although undoubtedly there're still men around who think that us females serve only the basic purposes - breeding, cooking, cleaning, end of. An educated woman might be seen as a threat, god forbid!
On the other hand, because I'm a stay-at-home wife, I can empathise with those who're in the same position and enjoy their role, as I do, and I know a few women who work full-time, who say they'd love to be given the opportunity to stay at home with their children, especially whilst young.
From my own point of view, I think it's right that women should have freedom of choice. In fact, in the UK this's being taken away from them, with women almost being expected to go back to work asap after having their families, which I think's wrong.
Where a person feels they have little choice in the matter, I think it's a shame, because many COULD stay at home, but obviously their lifestyles dictate that a second income's important, and yes, it is, but not at the expense of having kids to palm them off as soon as they're born. No, I don't agree with that at all. What's the point of having children at all if you're never there to spend quality time with them?
For me, marriage meant trying for a family and being there to look after them. If I'd wanted a career, I wouldnt've got married when I did, but I'm far from an idle person, and probably work more hours than if I was out in the world working for someone else.
My situation suited me. I've always been around for the kids and haven't had to rely on outside help even when the going was tough. I brought my children into the world on a planned basis, and consider it my duty to be here for them.
However, this isn't possible for a lot of people, and others couldn't/wouldn't put up with it. I admire anyone who can work hard and yet still find time to play with and care for their kids, because if someone goes out to work as well, it must be exhausting.
This's also the sort of sentiment that was being posted by women opposed to Germaine's outlook. Myself, I think it's up to the individual, but in my own case, what I've done's been right for myself and my family.