Gaye Landry knows she could have done all kinds of things. As a college student in the 1960s, she carried a double major in psychology and history. She was "president of this and president of that." She was also elected to go to a national leadership training program in Maine.
But after marrying her high school sweetheart, Mrs. Landry decided not to lead - but to follow. Once their first daughter was born in 1971, her husband said he believed she should stay home to raise their children instead of pursuing a career. She agreed, not only because she thought it was the right decision, but because as a Southern Baptist, she believes in a wife's submissiveness to her husband as the spiritual leader of the home.
The Landrys' Lake Charles, La., home is a long way from the front lines of feminism. Indeed, it's hard to imagine the word "submissiveness" coming up in any conversation about the movement. But while many feminists may not choose the path the Landrys have, Mrs. Landry believes she's doing what is right for her and fulfilling a vital role.
"There were probably times when other wives came in with their suits on, and I thought, 'I could be out there doing my thing,' " says Landry, who has four daughters. "Then I'd pray, and the Lord said, 'What you're doing is so important.' "
"I'm old-fashioned, and the reason is because it works," she adds.
She and her husband don't believe that women should not have careers. "Just because it's worked for me, I don't want to say everybody should stay home," she says.
Dr. Landry, whose mother was an all-state basketball player and whose sister is the first woman mayor of Lake Charles, says he and his wife have raised their daughters to use their talents in whatever way they feel led by God - which means, "If one of them felt led to become president of the United States, I'd support her," he says.