[Posted with permission]
Dear Dov Bear,
In the most recent Miriam Shear thread the question was asked how the Haredim can justify the kollel world being sustained by wives working while asserting that the Torah mandates that women be private and stay at home raising a family. The response was "eis laasos" . Whether or not explicitly proclaimed by a specific Rav that does appear to be the rationale.
I have many concerns about whether it makes sense or is viable and would like to see it discussed . To work in the current society requires a formal education. There are not enough teaching positions for all the kollel wives to teach and they do not pay well. The assumption that women who have serious education and function actively in the work force are not changed by their experiences is hard to believe. To demand that they be both the wage earner and the one taking care of the home and family is to exploit them.
The very fact that they succeed in both their education and employment contradicts the claim that it is against their basic nature. Balancing the halakhic status of women with their changing role in society is a challenge to all elements in Orthodoxy. However, to adamantly deny that Judaism is open to women playing public roles while depending on their doing so while employed to function particularly problematic.