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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Value Of a Housewife - Things I Wonder About

Recently I picked up a used book from the early 90s at my local Vons during one of their used book sales (a veritable gold mine for the retro-researcher) titled (rather inappropriately): Women, Men, and Society. - (My suggestions for more accurate titles include:
  2. Why We Hate White Males, or
  3. Symptoms Of The Grass Is Always Greener Syndrome.)
It is all about so-called gender inequality.

Gender inequality. Just to recap, by that the authors mean that men's lot in life is better than women's. They also complain a lot about how men always get to do the important things, while women get stuck with the boring old jobs that men don't want. This book was in use as a college course text book, and has been used (and still is being used) to brainwash an entire generation of Americans.

So as a result of this, women have run out and busied themselves with getting to do important things too. Which has resulted in some oddities, like women getting the "right" to go get themselves killed in war, (Too!) If men decided to feed themselves to lions, I guess the authors would want women to start slathering themselves up with BBQ Sauce next?

With this I mean to point out that most men, once faced with the realities of war, would rather not be shot at or blown to bits, but sign up for the job anyway because they have a sense of honor and duty to protect their home and family.

So I had this funny little conversation running through my head:

Authors: "But women have a sense of honor and duty tooooooo (whiny 2 year old voice)."
Me: "Yes, I know that, dear, but somebody has to care for the things we are fighting to protect."
Authors: "But men get all the important jobs (remember to invoke the 2 year old)."
So that got me thinking about what is important. Health, Home & Family and hopefully enough resources to live comfortably and maybe enjoy a few of the finer things in life. Pretty much everything else in life, from international politics to molecular biology, is a means to achieve those ends.

So in reality, women throughout history have been entrusted with caring for the very things that we value most. Men have been our servants, our laborers, whom we have tasked with obtaining the various items on our list that we require to care for home and family.

We had the Grail and we tossed it in the garbage so we could go look for it.

Now I understand that the search can be part of the fun and all that, but that does not mean that the Grail is worthless! Does it?



Jessie said...

What do they mean by important? The way I see it, SOMEONE has to run the gas station or else nobody will be going anywhere in their car any time soon.

Someone has to be trained in the medical field or else we wont have doctors.

Someone has to run the dishwasher every night or else everyone will get sick from mold, and furthermore have nothing to eat from.

Every job is important, THATS WHY ITS CALLED A JOB! They dont normally appoint people to positions that arent benneficial in some way. Normaly. Im not talking politics here.

katydiddy said...

Just recently came across the Retro Housewife website & blogged about it.

Erin D. said...

THANK YOU for that post! :O)

Oh boy those kind of people drive me nuts! Where has that thinking got us? Now women can be as sexed up as men and embarass themselves on tv, great.

great comments too Jessie, I agree, all jobs are important, including a housewife. But not everyone can do everything, people are different, and so are men and women, why can't some women just embrace who they are instead of trying to do EVERYTHING and trying to be just like a man? Some women can do the same job as a man, but some can't, but that's okay.

Love your blog! :O)
from a happy housewife!

Anonymous said...

I think what is a bit sad here is that there was indeed a huge power imbalance before feminism. For so long both women and men have devalued the work of caring for children and the home. Yet I have left a successful career etc to care for my children and to nurture the things that are important to me. If I were trapped here due to unequal economic power, poor or non-existent childcare options, was not employable due to lack of work history edcuation and basic respect for my abilities or my marriage was a bit rocky then staying home would be a nightmare. Please don't trivialise what the feminist movement has done for women. When you call it whining you devalue the legitimate experiences of women who lived in a less than ideal time. I am a stay at home mum who cares for hearth and home but I will never forget what so many women have given up to provide safeguards against adversity etc and to provide me with a choice that doesn't become a prison.

Retro Housewife said...

Anonymous: I have always maintained that women should have options, it would be foolish not to pursue an education and get some work experience.

What gets my goat is the perpetual women as victims, oppressed and helpless whining that is done by "intellectual feminists". What has happened is that the option stay home and be a wife and mother has all but become impossible because safeguards have been removed in the name of equality, and it is financially
impractical because for many of life's necessities, housing for example, you are
competing with 2 income families. Also, by devaluing traditional women's work,
it is seen as time wasted on a resume (this was the case before the feminist
movement as well, which I also complain about.) If women were properly respected
for performing the traditional roles, a feminist movement would not have been
needed. What is happening now is a ghetto-ising of any profession that becomes
primarily female. By this I mean lousy pay. Examples: teaching, secretaries
(used to be male).
Finally, for those of us with educations, our husbands leaving is not such a
disaster because we have options. Since in the US about 40% have higher
education, the other 60% are in the same boat they were in before, only that
they are now far more likely to be divorced. Anyway, the feminist movement
served the educated, wealthy women quite nicely. Not so sure about the rest...
It destroyed black families.

Anonymous said...

For me, staying home and caring for my children and nurturing my marriage and my home is my priority. So I think that we have some shared ground here. I believe that my children cant thrive if I am distracted by the pressures of work and too tired to cook real food etc. And yes I am educated and very employable. Unfortunately what I think is that women had to pull men into the 21st century, show them what they could do ie be equal, run countries, industry and be Drs etc in order to be listened to. This is unfortunate but men didn't see any point in women doing these things so we weren't allowed to do them!!! Without these strong, determined women 'whining'about their circumstances we still would not be allowed to attend university, be Drs, run countries etc. If we are not allowed then we don't have a choice do we? But I am with you all the way when it comes to valuing what women do, the best decision I ever made was to stop neglecting my children and my real life, come home and be a mum. But I value the rights I have been given by the feminist movement which has involved pushing, fighting and maybe some whining at times.

Rebekah said...

I just found your site and I love it.

twinklemom said...

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a well educated SAHM with two (yes two) master degrees and led to me writing a post on my blog that talked about how we basically felt that we are turning into a genderless "it' society similar to "Brave New World" where the word, mother and father become vulgar words banned from society in an attempt to equalize people.

I think we are seeing it happening everywhere, where it's even no longer "okay" for mom's groups that are labeled as mom's groups to be all women but must include men because "they can be mother's too...uhm..right..when they can go through 9 months of pregnancy, I will believe that".

It's feminism to the extreme and where we sought to show women can make "CHOICES" we are forcing an opinion on everyone and that opinion is that we have no gender...we are all same..

We're neutering men and trying to create blobs of non-individuals...everyone cut out of the same cookie differention of sex.

People can no longer think for themselves and it's no longer "okay" to be different.