What do you think about housewives and feminism?

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OliveOilMom
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01 Jul 2015, 11:44 pm

I'm a housewife by choice and also a feminist. I've gotten flack all my adult life about being a housewife because I'm told I'm hurting the feminist cause. I'm told that I should be out working and not staying home because I now have a right to work. I'm told that I'm enforcing gender based stereotypes when I cook and clean and wait on my husband when he comes home after 8 hours of hard physical labor. I'm told a lot of s**t about my choice.

I don't buy into their rhetoric at all, but lots of people do. I'd like to hear ya'lls views on it. I'm certainly not submissive and quiet by any means and I wear the pants in the family and make the decisions, and that was a mutual decision between my husband and myself as well. It was based on the fact that not only does he dislike doing the decision making and bill paying etc, but he's no good at it and he knows it. While I may very well be dressed like a 50's housewife most times, I'm certainly not thinking or acting like one beyond the cooking and cleaning. I do this because I like doing it, not because I'm forced to.

Then again, I also used to be told that I couldn't possibly be pro choice and the mother of four kids and not using birth control. People have a very strange idea of what having choices means it seems.

So, opinions?


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creativeconsumption
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02 Jul 2015, 12:27 am

Feminism is not forcing women to work, but allowing us to have a choice. Anything else is just stupid. You made the choice, go you!!



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02 Jul 2015, 2:50 am

There is nothing anti-feminist about choosing to be a housewife. Yes, you have the right to work but if the work you want to do and makes you happy is managing a household you have the right to do that. If want to dress in vintage 1950s garb, you have the right to do that. Feminism is about equality, men and women being equal and having the same right to chose for themselves how they want to live their lives. Forcing a woman to stay at home and be a housewife is anti-feminist because it denies her the autonomy to choose for herself how she wishes to spend her time. Thus logically, telling a women she has to work and can't be a housewife if she wants to, is also anti-feminist because it too is taking away her right to chose for herself how she wants to spend her time.



MjrMajorMajor
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02 Jul 2015, 5:22 am

It's all about having options. You made a choice which is what the feminist movement is really about. Everyone loves to tell you how to live....screw em.



nerdygirl
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02 Jul 2015, 5:36 am

I agree with everything everyone else has said.

I have also gotten heat about staying home/not working a job. I was told I was wasting my brains and education.

I stayed home with the kids for various reasons, some of which were "traditional." I am neither a "feminist" nor a "traditionalist" whatever those terms mean - I am just using them to bring to mind anything stereotypical. I do not fit in a box and I hate it when people make assumptions about me either way.

It turns out that the life I live is the one that is *perfect* for me, and for our family. Do I work? Yes I DO! And I'm not just talking housework, though that is completely legitimate. But, for the sake of arguments with *my* family, I also bring in an income (part-time) by working for myself from home. My type of work and working from home is perfectly suited to me and allows me to be home with my kids (who I homeschool.) So there!

Each person/family should be allowed to make the decisions that are best for them without judgment from others unless it causes them to be intruding on other people's lives.



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02 Jul 2015, 8:37 am

I'll tell you what:

It's much better for a young person, until preschool, to be with his/her mother rather than in some amorphous "day care." If the family could afford it, it helps the kid if at least one parent is home.

By the way, this is frequently harder work than work outside the home.

Once he kid reaches preschool age, it's much better if the kid starts going to nursery school.



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02 Jul 2015, 5:20 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
I'm a housewife by choice and also a feminist. I've gotten flack all my adult life about being a housewife because I'm told I'm hurting the feminist cause. I'm told that I should be out working and not staying home because I now have a right to work. I'm told that I'm enforcing gender based stereotypes when I cook and clean and wait on my husband when he comes home after 8 hours of hard physical labor. I'm told a lot of s**t about my choice.

I don't buy into their rhetoric at all, but lots of people do. I'd like to hear ya'lls views on it. I'm certainly not submissive and quiet by any means and I wear the pants in the family and make the decisions, and that was a mutual decision between my husband and myself as well. It was based on the fact that not only does he dislike doing the decision making and bill paying etc, but he's no good at it and he knows it. While I may very well be dressed like a 50's housewife most times, I'm certainly not thinking or acting like one beyond the cooking and cleaning. I do this because I like doing it, not because I'm forced to.

Then again, I also used to be told that I couldn't possibly be pro choice and the mother of four kids and not using birth control. People have a very strange idea of what having choices means it seems.

So, opinions?


I must not hang around harsh people.
I know many women that work @ home, we view them as working women...full stop.
The fact that they have no employer and are not paid is irrelevant.



Crazypandalady
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02 Jul 2015, 10:14 pm

It's really cool to hear people who also share my views on feminism.
Feminism is about CHOICE. For me I can't work when I have children it will be too much. I also want to do what's best for my children (been trying to Conceive for 3 yrs now - Endo) and I am OK with not being Superwoman. Women can be really judgemental and harsh in our judgement of each other. Most women are coping the best they can.



OliveOilMom
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02 Jul 2015, 10:31 pm

When I first decided to stay home it was because day care cost too much. I'd be working just to pay day care really. By the time all the kids started school I had noticed that we were all much happier with me at home all day. I got a lot more done and was able to do more with my kids and have quality time with them when other moms were still trying to catch up from coming home from work, etc. I was the mom that actually had warm cookies there waiting on my kids, the mom who spent the day making their Halloween costumes or putting together things for holiday celebrations or just to make things nicer at home. I was the mom who could spend all day researching topics of interest and learning about things I was interested in and who was able to have some "me time" while the kids were at school. I enjoyed it. We were able to afford for me to continue to do this and it would have actually been more difficult for me to go to work once we moved to the country because there isn't much in the way of jobs in this town either.

Over the past five years of so all of my kids has said at one time or another how they were glad that I had been home all their lives. They said that nobody else really had that, the moms who did stay home were there because they were either out of work or on disability and so it wasn't a choice to be there for their families. They have also told me that they are about the only kids they know whose original parents are together too. Out of all their friends, there are maybe three kids who live with their biological mother and father. None of those families had a stay at home mom either.

The other day one of my oldest daughters friends told me how he had always been jealous of her when they were kids because she had both her mom and dad and she had one of those "classic old school mom's like on TV". He said he always wanted that and nobody had it but her. He also said he's not the only one who felt like that, and I've heard similar comments from other kids. They say they wish their family was like ours. We are far from a perfect tv family, but we do have some good things going other than just being together and me staying home. My kids are all close with one another and they choose to spend time together and do things with one another and they invite each other to their parties or whatever, or just to come hang out. They even always say "Love you" when hanging up the phone after any phone conversations or text conversations with each other, and they hug before they leave. Everybody is close, and that's good. I don't know if thats because I was always home and was able to create that atmosphere or whether we just lucked out and had four great kids that care about each other.

I do know that my kids don't think of me as second class to their dad. They know that I make the decisions and wear the pants and they know that it's because 1 my husband doesn't want to do it and 2 he's not good at it so it's a mutual decision. So I'm not seen as "just a housewife" to any of them. That doesn't mean I'm not taken advantage of or always appreciated either, but that happens to all moms no matter what, at times and isn't a big issue to me even though I get pissed about certain things sometimes, but we work it out.

So, I don't see why some other feminists get all up in arms because I chose to spend my life doing what I wanted to do, even though it was the same exact thing that women had been limited to doing for centuries. Just because some women didn't have other choices doesn't mean that some other women might not choose that very thing themselves.

It's the same as having four kids and being pro choice. People would always accuse me of being a "breeder" because we had four kids. We would have had more except I had a prolapsed uterus after my last baby. It was best we stopped then and we did. We never used birth control though because we wanted a big family, not because we thought it was wrong to use it. Choice is the important word there, and if someone else can choose to not have kids or choose to only have one or two I can certainly choose to have more than that.


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Zajie
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02 Jul 2015, 11:04 pm

I think the woman should be the one choosing whether she would work or be a housewife and that she shouldn't be forced to be a housewife or be forced to work.



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03 Jul 2015, 4:52 am

Zajie wrote:
I think the woman should be the one choosing whether she would work or be a housewife and that she shouldn't be forced to be a housewife or be forced to work.


It should be a joint decision. Her desire to stay home or work shouldn't be forced upon her husband, either.



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03 Jul 2015, 4:57 am

Wouldn't these so called "feminists" be destroying their "movement" or whatever feminism is by saying "you're a woman you have to do this"? Isn't that just going back in time? The people telling you that are a bunch of idiots and exactly why I can't stand most "feminists" - they are huge hypocrites and doing exactly what they should be against.



OliveOilMom
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03 Jul 2015, 4:02 pm

iliketrees wrote:
Wouldn't these so called "feminists" be destroying their "movement" or whatever feminism is by saying "you're a woman you have to do this"? Isn't that just going back in time? The people telling you that are a bunch of idiots and exactly why I can't stand most "feminists" - they are huge hypocrites and doing exactly what they should be against.


I agree completely, but try and point that out to the ones who scream that about my decision. They are the type of people who are made because they haven't changed how someone thinks. The fact that I don't see housework as demeaning is what pisses them off I guess.


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The_Face_of_Boo
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03 Jul 2015, 7:31 pm

Collectively speaking; housewives do hurt equality... in the wage. They hurt working women's pay; lemme explain why:

Because the stay-at-home dads are still unicorn cases (and often by unemployment not by choice) - even in Australia are like 2% - in Sweden maybe is bit more.

I recall I've read from a reliable source about a global phenomena: married men earn more than single men - and interestingly- married men with non-working wives earn the most among married men.
The wage difference between single men and single women is minimal, in some industries, single women earn more than single men.

That clearly shows, that employers , whom most them are men, feel subconsciously that married men need more money - especially if they are the sole earners.

In my former workplace; where it was going through crisis; I've objected once for not getting paid fully while my supervisor did; boss was like "I am really sorry, but he's married and has a baby, please understand".
He didn't expect me to complain as much as him because he believes that I don't need much money as much as him.

And I bet that is the same mindset of many employers when they decide how to divide the salary budget; it's not like they are being nice and more generous toward married men, but they give more money to them at the expense of women(assumption: can rely on their husbands' pay) and single men (assumption: they have less bills); and they believe (and for a very logical reason) that married men more likely to need bit more to make them accept the job or to make them not complain or quit for a better paid job later on - while women and single men wouldn't be as aggressive for extra few hundred dollars. It's not always about sexism, but they are being pragmatic, discriminating still based on assumptions, but I can't deny that most of these assumptions are realistically true in most cases.

When like 40% of women choose to be housewives even in the most advanced countries while barely 2% of men choose to be housedads; then of course male employers would still develop such attitudes.

So probably this what your feminist buddies meant, yes, housewives do harm working women indirectly.



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03 Jul 2015, 7:59 pm

Or maybe causation works the other way round: only men who earn enough have kids; only women whose husbands make enough become housewives; men and women who don't think they'll be able to afford to raise kids for the time being are less likely to get married.


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Zajie
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03 Jul 2015, 9:31 pm

nerdygirl wrote:
Zajie wrote:
I think the woman should be the one choosing whether she would work or be a housewife and that she shouldn't be forced to be a housewife or be forced to work.


It should be a joint decision. Her desire to stay home or work shouldn't be forced upon her husband, either.

Yeah, I think they should both talk and plan about this before getting married to get to their own decision.