Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Household Work

There was a statistic given within our lecture that really stood out to me. After marriage, women gain 14 hours of household work on average. Men gain 90 minutes. Now I can argue that this is a male chauvinist construction and how society tells women that the completing the household duties is characteristic of a ‘good wife’, but I won’t.

Instead, I will say this. Women should not have to think that household work is their responsibility. Sure, it’s great if a woman knows how to cook and clean and maintain a nice household for the family. But the same goes for a man. If the man knows how to cook and clean and maintain a nice household for the family then heck yeah, that’s great too. But I know that a lot of women in this day and age don't necessarily have the domesticated skills that a husband looks forward to having in his wife.
From my experience/knowledge on this subject matter, women tend to learn this type of lifestyle after marriage; and the statistics above can be processed accordingly. So as a woman in her first few months of married life, aside from maybe understanding that whites and colors should be separated when doing laundry, you and your newlywed are on an even playing field. It’s new to both of you; so why should the responsibility fall on you? It doesn’t necessarily have to. You have a choice in the matter. And most certainly if the man you now call your husband is not willing to take on these responsibilities WITH you, then maybe you should have kept looking.

On the other hand, maybe you enjoy this lifestyle of household work. That’s definitely alright. I know after moving in with my boyfriend, I was proud of myself for learning how to cook and stuff like that. I felt a sense of domestication about myself that I was able to accomplish those things. I don't see anything wrong with that at all. Just the same, my boyfriend has learned these same things after moving in together. Although he has felt as sense of manliness from them, the same feelings of accomplishment and domestication have come over him as well.

My point here is, this household work isn’t a demand or expectation put on females and newlywed women. In our country, we have a choice. And so goes it for your relationship. You have a choice in the matter. Doing this type of work isn’t necessarily wrong or giving in to gender norms. It only becomes that when you don't make the decision or don't stand up for your own opinion in the matter.

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