So I read this article from the Times this morning, and it really got me thinking. I realize I’m going a little off point here, but you know how it works when you get to thinking about something and it takes you all over the board. Call me old-fashioned, but I really don’t feel the need to “have it all” in the way women these days are supposed to. I’m good at my job, and I enjoy being financially independent, but when I have children, as long as it’s financially feasible for me and my partner, I’d much rather stay home and take care of them than continue to work, or only work part-time, or work from home – you get the idea. That’s not to say that people who don’t stay home with their kids don’t have their priorities right. It’s just that everyone is different, and given the choice, I’d rather be a stay-at-home mom.
I’m all about equal partnership, but I don’t think that necessarily means going 50-50 on income and housework. It seems to me that with mutual understanding and respect, any income:housework ratio can work. Every couple is different, and being progressive just for the sake of being progressive seems counterproductive. As “modern women”, we’re supposed to be able to juggle a career, kids, and housework so we can prove to the world that we can do it all just as well as any man. That pressure, to me, is more entrapping than being a homemaker or staying home with the kids. I think I would feel more empowered making the decision to be a housewife without being judged or disparaged by the hordes of hyper-feminists. Every woman is unique, and has unique desires and needs. Telling me that I’ve been brainwashed by the media and society and calling me a traitor to women doesn’t make me sympathetic to the feminist cause – it shows me that you’re just as closed-minded and pigeonholing as the gender- and heteronormative roles you look down on. All you’ve done is create a new standard that’s just as limiting as the old one.
Why does there even have to be a standard? I think the best thing we as women could do to further our cause is to stop judging each other. Let’s just each make our own choices about how we want to live our lives, and be supportive of one another in whatever we choose to do. That would show the world that we’re empowered enough to do whatever we want to do because we want to do it, not because we feel we are supposed to. If you want to be a career lady and your husband stays home with the kids, and that works for you guys, more power to you! And if I want to work from home while I raise the kids, and that works for us, more power to me! Or if Suzie Q is a powerhouse career lady and president of the PTA, and that works for her marriage, more power to her! Who’s to say that in a marriage situation where income earning is 70:30 and childcare/housework is 30:70, that the “power balance” within the marriage isn’t still 50:50? To bring it back to the Times article, raising children/managing a household is a full-time job in and of itself. Speaking from personal experience, working 80 hours a week sucks. So the idea of working full-time outside the home, then working full-time at home, is less than appealing for me, and the findings of the studies they cite about decreased sex drive totally make sense to me.
I know I only addressed about 10% of what the article actually talks about, but it’s early and I’m just trying to open up a discussion here. Thoughts?
PS. I haven’t forgotten about DisneyQuest, I just suck at life. It’s coming soon, I promise.