Feminism Fodder

Grass is always greener

I watched 60 minutes last night and they did a story on how more and more women these days are choosing to be housewives. They claim that even most women who are working would prefer to stay at home. (No they didn’t interview me) Keep in mind, this is Australia we are talking about. Also keep in mind, this is something the media has looked into.

They featured 3 women and also spoke to Germaine Greer. Of the 3 women they spoke to, one of them scared me the most.

One woman is a housewife after giving up a job in the corporate world as an accountant to look after her children and husband. However, she has started a business from home and has written books about the same.

Another woman is the CEO of the Boost Juice company and manages to juggle home and work even if it is a struggle. But she won’t have it any other way. She gave a brilliant analogy of how life can either be a rollercoaster or a merry-go-round. And hers is a roller coaster.

The third one, the one that scared me, is a housewife who cooks and cleans for her husband and who looks after her child. She sees to it that his dinner is on the table by the time he is home from work.

“This is going to sound really old fashioned now – I believe that financially, if
you can afford it the woman stays at home, cooks, cleans, looks after the child,
the husband works, he comes home, you look after him when he comes home because he’s been out working all day and he’s the one who’s paying for…paying all the bills. That’s, I believe that that is the role of the women and the husband”

“He expects, he does, he expects his dinner to be on the table for him when he
gets home.”

A much bigger concern was when she said he was in charge of the finances. That he gave her the money to spend. And that she did not have a say in it. And she looked happy saying all this.

“Interviewer: So, when you say Frankie gives you the housekeeping every week how does that work?
Woman 3: Oh, Frankie just gives me a certain amount of money.
Interviewer: So does he decide how much you get, or do you decide together?
Woman 3: No, I didn’t have a choice in that.”

I wonder if she has heard of emotional abuse.

I’m not dissing women who choose to be housewives. Good on them if they are happy with their decision. But giving full control to your husband — there’s a huge power imbalance there! This woman doesn’t work and is totally and utterly dependent on her husband. I worry for her future.

My mum is a housewife. But the difference was that she was incharge of the finances. Dad would come home and give her his pay. So even though he was the one bringing in the money, there was no power struggle there. He never said that there was only a certain amount he would give her for “housekeeping” Plus my dad helped out with some household chores like dusting and ironing (Bless him!)

This woman and the first woman were complaining about what feminists did to them in that they are expected to juggle everything which is apparently not possible.

I’d like to ask them: would they be saying the same if they didn’t have all the opportunities we have now? Would they be saying the same if they were in a country where they were ruled like the Taliban?

Coming from a background where women are treated as second class citizens I know I am so fortunate for feminist movements.

For women’s rights.

For being able to be free.

For being able to voice my opinions.

For choice.

For the opportunities.

If my husband turns out to be like Frankie, he is going to get his arse kicked out the door. Then again, I wouldn’t go for a chauvinist any way.

I want my life to be a roller coaster.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Reply
    Shankar
    June 15, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Its womens choice.. if they are happy being house wives,well and good..
    But its bad if someone forces a women to be a house wife when she is interested in job.

  • Reply
    Nupur
    June 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Well, its not that strange to hear what Woman 3 has said in the interview. I mean there are hundreds of woman out there who would give the same answers and be happy about it..

    You ask why? Well there could be umpteen reasons..few which i think are: Education,Society, Obligations,Kids,No Support from other family members…etc etc…

    Today i’m thinking of quitting my corporate HR job and sitting at home for a while..a while? Not sure till when that while is going to last…but at least i don’t have this fear in my mind that my husband will treat me like Frankie treated his wife.. Why ? The primary reason being he is educated and sensible ! Second, his family values and so on and so forth…

    So how a person decides to live his / her life really depends on upon a lot of circumstances and conditions..right PB ?

  • Reply
    Ms.R.
    June 15, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I love your posts! I guess everything I read here makes me ‘tick Interesting’. Bless Dads like yours (and mine). It’s okay to be a housewife. She sounds so smitten and dumb. I could make a blond joke out of her. She’s got no say??? He gives her some amount to manage the house – that’s like she’s getting paid for the whole thing… B.A.D.

    PS I plan to be Case One 😛

  • Reply
    legallyalien
    June 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    OMG. I was having a major argument today about 60 minutes today. And was sorta making the same point.
    You know, that woman is a housewife and her husband has all the power. I have a friend who works at a bank, earns more than her fiance and yet at the end of the fortnight, she hands over all the pay to him and he decides how it is spent. And yes, she cooks, cleans, does the laundry and pretty much everything else while the guy just lolls about and gets fat.
    I agree, I’d rather my life is a rollercoaster and I too am so very fortunate for feminist movements.

  • Reply
    MilesPerHour
    June 15, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t want a feminist for a partner, nor do I want to be treated like someone’s “master”. I want a relationship with a true partner.

  • Reply
    amol.naik
    June 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    hey hey…someones’ angry!

    Nice post, good issue raised! My Q:

    What if the women are perfectly happy in giving their husbands all the hassles, and choose to live “dependent”?

    I mean the difference in Taliban and here is that women there are not happy to get what they get!!!

    Don’t judge me! I am perfectly OK with independent women!

  • Reply
    Solilo
    June 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    The place we live in right now have many women who left job to be with children. Then there are also families where at least one parents always stayed home. Like first couple of years of newborn the lady stayed home and then she left for work and the man stayed home and took care of children’s needs. It is nice to see that people are willing for such changes but then this always doesn’t work in woman’s favor.

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    June 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    @ Shanker: Welcome! I have no problem with women choosing to be housewives. It’s great if they want to. The point I was making here was the woman giving full control and power to her husband and two of them having an issue against feminists.

    @ Nupur: Welcome! I agree with you. It is likely this woman lacks education and more likely that she has self-esteem and self-worth issues which probably could be traced back to her developing years. As for the point you made about your family values — this guy Frankie apparently grew up in a house where his mum served his dad. Guess we know why he is the way he is!

    @ Ms R: Thank you! 🙂 This woman’s case does sound pretty sad…like I said to Nupur’s comment above, she probably has a whole lotta self-worth issues. And good on you for choosing to be like Woman 1. For the record, I will most likely be Woman 2. No way do I see myself giving up my career path. 🙂

    @ Legallyalien: I think it takes a certain personality type to be like that woman or your friend. And it’s unfortunate.

    @ MPH: Fair enough. But I think the term ‘feminist’ has got a bad rap as being a ‘man-hater’ which I don’t think is a case. I believe I’m a feminist but that hasn’t stopped me from going out with men. The thing I ask for in a relationship is equality — in terms of household chores, freedom etc.

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    June 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    @ Amol: Nah, not angry. You make a valid point — it’s a point my flatmate made as well. And I guess it goes back to the kind of women they probably are in terms of personality, education, self-worth etc.

    @ Solilo: It sure is nice to see a man taking time off to look after the kids! 🙂 But yea, lots of women take leave from work after the birth of a baby. But I guess this one woman on the show worried me and both their arguments against feminists did too.

  • Reply
    Archana
    June 16, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I definitely think finances between a couple is something that shouldn’t fall completely on one person’s shoulders – especially when it comes to deciding how to spend the money! And with the whole bread-winner & housewife relationship – – that creates a major imbalance if the man is calling the shots on exactly how much the woman gets to spend. That level of dependency is crippling. For Woman 3’s sake, I hope she has a long-lasting marriage.

  • Reply
    Ersa
    June 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    i wanna be the second one…i’m sure i’m not CEO material, but i don’t wanna give up a career after marriage / childbirth or what not…roller coaster ride, life must. nothing less 🙂

    and the third women, i can’t believe she’s happy being dependent. but hey, if that’s exactly what she wants, who am i to judge.

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    June 17, 2009 at 8:59 am

    @ Archana: Totally agree with you. The power imbalance becomes too much. It doesn’t matter whether the woman is a housewife, the finances should still be a joint decision.

    @ Ersa: I probably should stop being so judgemental, eh? I’m no CEO or managerial material and don’t even wanna go there…but like you, want my career for sure!

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