Monday, April 22, 2013

The Traditional Family Roles

One of my favourite posts by Lady Lydia is this: Women At Home Save Men's Lives. Whether you agree with her nutritional advice or not, is not the point - the post stresses the importance of women staying home to take care of their family. Purely from the practical point of view, the traditional division of labour makes sense, as it allows the family to operate in a more efficient way.

Small children and babies need a lot of attention, but even when there are no small children in the family, someone still has to do the necessary shopping, cook the meals, wash the dishes, do the laundry, vaccuumclean etc etc. It's not for nothing that the wealthy career women hire full-time housekeepers and live in maids, because someone still has to run the house. It doesn't magically run itself.

Helen Andelin has a chapter on masculine and feminine roles in her book "Fascinating Womanhood", where she points out that these roles are of divine origin and that the woman "must nurture her young and run the household, to free her husband to function as the provider." (p.100, Bantam Books, 1992). She also points out that the division of labour works better than equality.

Contrary to what some people will say, a housewife is neither her husband's slave nor his oppressor. Her role is equally important to that of her husband, but different. Working in her own household, for the benefit of her family, doesn't make her dumb, either. In fact, home is the place where she can develop her talents. If you have some spare time, after your housework is accomplished, there is so much to do! You can read books, learn foreign languages, play some musical instrument, draw, sew, knit and crochet and so on and so forth. I think it was Tasha Tudor, who made a remark that the housewife can read Shakespeare while stirring jam - or listen to some classical music:


  1. Loved this post - and your pictures are so nice. Thank you

    1. Thanks! I have been collecting vintage ads for some time. They come in handy for posts like this.