Feminists Four Letter Word: Housewife

Here’s a photo of me this morning, readying the family for Easter. Shopping for the Sunday meal, getting eggs and dye in for the little ones, ironing the linens for the table, like any good housewife would do. Housewife??? What’s a housewife?
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I don’t believe the term exists anymore, probably removed from the dictionary, yet I see it as a perfect descriptor of me, and proudly so. I think I even use that word (shhh, housewife) on forms when asked my profession. I alternate it with Homemaker, but yikes, that to today’s women is probably far worse a word than Housewife.

Today, just watch television to see the evolution (or devolution in my way of thinking) of women’s role at home. Long story short, she’s NOT at home, she’s NOT doing laundry, she’s NOT taking care of the kids, she’s NOT cooking. Media has told women to Lean In, to be a doctor, lawyer, computer coder, President, CEO, astronaut. Mom? Not so much.

Just witness the change in how women describe themselves being a mom. It used to be Mom, just regular Mom, now today it’s the god-awful PC crap, Stay At Home Mom, as if being a mom isn’t good enough for feminists who want women to have it all. Hint – you can’t have it all.

Then enter what the media has done to men. They’ve become The Housewives, and seemingly proudly so.

They teach their daughters how to shave legs. Really girls, you need to be taught this, and by your dad? My MOM never taught me. I took the razor and shaved. Wow, that was tough.

Men on TV do the laundry too – they are miracle workers!

Men are the primary caregivers in many ads, they say goodbye as the wife/mom leaves in the business attire.

Watch carefully in this Cheerios How To Dad ad – if you blink you’ll miss the mom – she gets a cameo appearance, being handed a cup of coffee as she heads out the door to the office while DAD does all the rest.

 

Okay, call me old. Call me old-fashioned. Call me crazy even, but I think women are being sold a bill of goods by FemiNazis.

Sure, what women doesn’t like a man who can cook and it IS dreamy when they say, dear, sit down, let ME do the dishes tonight, but folding the laundry, teaching daughters to shave their legs, being it ALL, I don’t find that remotely appealing in a man.

I think sons should be taught how to do the laundry, how to sew on a button, how to cook, and how to wash dishes. Daughters should be taught how can change a tire, how to handle a gun, and a must, how to drive a stick shift. I think both sexes should learn a lot, but that doesn’t mean I think the division of chores in a marriage or relationship should be such that women become men and men become women. Sure, have a career. Sure, have kids and a marriage too. Balance it, juggle it, it can be done, many women do it and do it well, but to lose your identity over being politically correct, I don’t get it.

What do you guys say about the ads with men doing it all? Do you think it’s about time? Do you say sure, we should do it all? Is it emasculating at all? Or about time men stepped up?

Now while you chat, pardon me while I go finish the laundry, set the table, make the bed, marinate the lamb, polish the silver, scrub the kitchen floor…. 🙂

Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend peeps. And of course, Happy Passover too!

11 thoughts on “Feminists Four Letter Word: Housewife

  1. It’s a generational divide. You were raised by a woman who was prized for being a wife. You yourself were at the cusp of women going to work in droves and the 30-somethings today find it akin to heresy to stay home. The husbands willingly share chores because they feel it’s the right thing to do. I know many 30-40s men who do more house chores than their wives. It’s a movement that’s here to stay.

    1. I’ve seen a handful of young women, my own children’s married-with-children peers, opt to stay home with the children. I don’t know if they are making the choice because their moms did work or if their husbands didn’t want them to work, if that’s even a thing anymore. Of course, it’s a financial decision today as much as anything and those who do stay at home have a spouse who earns enough to allow that luxury. Not easy in this economy, especially in the northeast corridor.

  2. If I’m allowed to man’splain here, I am the lucky husband of a traditional wife who excels at taking care of the home, the children and me. I do what I can, when I can, take out the trash, do the dishes, tackle chores around the house. She never felt I wasn’t doing my fair share. I never felt I wasn’t holding my own.

    My son and his wife are the exact opposite. He’s like the men in the video clips. He does the laundry. He cooks most nights of the week. He does much of the grocery shopping since he does the cooking and plans meals. I keep my mouth shut but I grit my teeth because their arrangement works for them.

  3. I grew up in the 80s and 90s as the child of a stay-at-home mom. It was quite apparent at the time that my mom was completely unfulfilled by her day-to-day: picking up dry cleaning, volunteering at school, paying bills, cooking, etc. She was constantly looking for outside hobbies and interests to keep herself busy, but never went back to work because she saw it as declasse. I also had a traditional father who was an executive — rarely home for dinner, spent at least a week a month traveling, and thus had basically no idea what was going on at school or in my life. They were quite unhappily married, but never divorced because my mom had no way to support herself given that she was out of work for 20+ years, and my dad had no practical skills, having been catered to for his entire life.

    I love both my parents, but based on my experiences I would never want the life that they had and would only marry someone who will go relatively even-steven on it all. I’m sure for some staying at home remains fulfilling. But for many, it isn’t — particularly in a society where, unless you have a 40-room mansion, housekeeping is no longer a full-time job given the advent of dishwashers and washing machines, not to mention the informality of modern living and the fact that you can have everything from groceries to dry cleaning delivered.

    I see the ads as reflecting reality, not shaping it. In addition to more two-parent-working families, there are lots and lots of divorced parents who are in the position of sharing parenting responsibilities and working. A dad who has his kids every other week better know how to cook and clean!

    1. Most excellent comment and perspective. Thanks for taking the time to pen it so eloquently.

      As for the ads reflecting not shaping society, society, I have to wonder if some of the ads do indeed shape young minds, teen women and men, who see the ads and think what it means for their future as a partner in a relationship.

      I guess I’m in the minority, not once feeling unfulfilled as a full time mom. I never pined for a job. I was happily busy doing what felt right for me. But that’s just me, and I understand I’m likely in the minority.

  4. What’s this ‘unfulfilled’ stuff, anyway? It never occurred to me to feel that way. I was too busy raising children, running a household, managing money and yes, volunteering for organizations where I had useful skills while Mr S was bringing home the means for all of us to enjoy a darn nice life. Sure, both of us could have had high powered careers but that didn’t make sense for us.
    Now, however, I’d like to have a job that pays me in dollars. I’d find that fulfilling.

      1. To be fair, he annoys his kids too – but, look at all that sweet YouTube money rolling in!

        What do you think? Women issues, men issues…on a personal level, the most important thing is your relationship and time together?

        1. I’m speechless at that video. Never sure what to expect from you (I mean that as a compliment), and after the Batman Dad clip, I figured Snooze Time would be annoying. Just the opposite. Beautiful. Touching. Moving. True. Poignant.

          Yes, time together is always a good thing for me and people who have great marriages and relationships. But time together if you are unhappy, well, it’s just biding time. Sad.

          My mother is at the age when everyone around her is dying. She’s close to being the last man standing. Her three best friends growing up are all dead. Most of her bridge group ladies are dead. And one of the three women 99 year olds who she considered a dear friend, died Monday. All their husbands are long gone, a decade or more ago. The third woman of mom’s buddies is only half-there, mentally in and out of making sense. It’s hard for my mom to have all of her marbles, all of her ability, and wait for her Snooze Time clock to stop. Oh my.

  5. My take on the ads is they are geared to the single dad or gay husband, both probably a huge draw for advertising dollars.

    I do the laundry and much of the cooking. My wife has the more time consuming job but we’ve agreed that when we have children, she’ll stay home and also take on more household tasks. Those decisions need to be hashed out before marriage and before having children.

    I like the ads. Shows the softer side of men.

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