Are housewives boring? Some people think they must be since they aren't doing anything productive with their life, besides washing dishes and changing diapers.
Personally I have acquaintances among both housewives and women-who-work-outside-home and whether they are interesting people or not doesn't at all depend on whether they are employed. I have yet to meet a housewife who spends the whole time talking about dirty diapers, but there are enough career women who talk about nothing but their office problems and how their colleagues are such horrible people.
If something, a housewife with school-age children has much more time to read and study and stay on top of modern politics than a mother who has to juggle her work outside home and her domestic duties. There are simply so many hours in the day, and as you get older you need more rest. That is not to say, of course, that there are no boring housewives, but I'm pretty much convinced that they still would be boring if they had jobs. If a person is narrow-minded, he won't change because his circumstances changed.
One thing people often forget nowadays is the fact that men and women are different, which means that they ought to have different functions in society and that as the result of it, they often have different interests. I have read discussions where men complained that their girlfriends weren't interested in weapons. Well, guess what? My husband isn't interested in knitting and make-up! It's normal for a mother to talk about her children and her housekeeping and it doesn't make her any more stupid than a woman who keeps talking about her power-point presentations at the office.
The truth is that most people, both men and women, don't really have very exciting jobs worth talking about all the time. The only difference between a woman employed in a day care centre where she has to change the diapers all day long, and the mother at home doing the same with her own kids, is the paycheck. And herein lies the crux of the matter: our society only respects people as long as they are "economically productive", "contribute to GDP growth" etc etc.
Never mind that the majority of women who work outside home are employed in the taxpayer-subsidized industries and hence cost us all money in the long run, they earn a paycheck which means their lives are not worthless! Never mind that those who have "a successful home business" often lose money on it and have wealthy supportive husbands who make it all possible, at least they aren't spending their time at home actually doing any housekeeping (some ladies with home businesses argued online that vaccuuming once every three weeks was a proper way to run your house).
I may be wrong, but in my opinion, what people are trying to say when they accuse housewives of being boring, is that they find home life itself boring, but it doesn't have to be! That's why the role of a homemaker is so very important, she doesn't only do the dishes and mop the floor, she creates a peaceful home atmosphere. Man makes a living, woman makes the life worth living, or so it should be.
There are housewives who consider they did wrong by choosing to stay at home because they did this just for the little children's benefit, older children don't need a mother at home, they presume. Childless stay-at-home housewives are very rare and your previous post about them is clear enough. Housekeeping is boring for women who cannot manage a home properly, vacuuming, cleaning, bleaching anything is boring because working outside the home made it impossible to balance both pallets of activities and the housekeeping standards have decayed in time. It's a question of patience, organizing a house, keeping a daily routine that cannot be done by a full-time employed wife. Even wealthy women in the past had to keep things well even if they didn't do the work in the house. But I guess there are more and more women who claim that housewives are boring because they have a feeling that something is missing in their lives, a husband to provide, order in family life, courage to change a career-oriented life towards a more simple and productive life at home. People usually criticize things they cannot achieve but this happens due to personal failure in the middle of a very feminist society. Few women are focusing on the means they have to change a feminist life style and start a traditional life at home. They might feel very unhappy and frustrated about their messy and tiresome life. But we mustn't forget that there still are societies where women have to earn a little money just to help because that specific country is poor and men don't earn enough even if they take a second job, homemaking is perfect but not everyone can afford this, it depends on the husband's income and the possibility to cut and trim costs in order to make it doable in that specific circumstance. Most societies can afford stay-at-home wives if women and men wish to live more traditionally, the question is: Do they really want to do this?ReplyDelete
As I see it, the problem often is that nowadays people see men and women as interchangeable. They are supposed to have the same interests and fulfill the same roles in society. Often, even conservatives who claim that they are pro-family will state that as long as one of the parents has to stay home, it's O.K. and it doesn't matter whether it is the father or the mother. On the other hand, the fathers who work long hours are criticized by the same conservatives for not contributing to raising the children. Excuse me, but the father who works hard and enables his wife to stay home is contributing enough, even though he doesn't change the diapers!ReplyDelete
I say men and women are different, and should be judged according to a different standard to some point. Long live sexual dimorphism!
It's very true that men and women are considered to be interchangeable and this is very seriously attacking normal life. If women start behaving like men their androgenes' levels rise and viceversa for men, there are studies to prove this but unfortunately nobody promotes them. Women nowadays have problems with their progesterone levels at different stages, some have just a little hormonal imbalance, other don't ovulate anymore, others have cysts on their ovaries etc. There are theories that say men have problems with their lower and lower testosterone levels due to chemicals and estrogen-like substances, but it's certain that women suffer under feminism and their bodies feel that in time.ReplyDelete
I have to say that selfishness plays a big part in the idea that housewives are boring. We are taught nowadays only to think of ourselves. The idea of serving others or thinking about the needs of others is not considered. Nowadays, it is all about Me,Me,Me! Maybe that is also why we pack our children off to strangers as soon as possible. Maybe it is "boring" to think outside of our own self-gratification? Yet, there is nothing more joyful and gratifying than loving and serving our families, running our homes with love and caring for others. It is also a better cure for the blues than a doctor's prescription. Thank you for all your thoughtful posts. Lesley - (Heart for home-making blog)ReplyDelete
You are welcome! BTW, what happened to your blog?ReplyDelete
Alexandra, this is very interesting.ReplyDelete
But wouldn't being a boring housewife be peaceful, even potentially exciting?ReplyDelete
"there are enough career women who talk about nothing but their office problems and how their colleagues are such horrible people."
See, if you were a boring housewife, you could skip those office politics. You would be so dull, no one could (or would) gossip about you long, and when they find out that all you can talk about is the laundry, they won't want to stick around to argue with you. Maybe people would put less demands on your time and talents (you know the old, "You could make fifty of these and sell them") because they think you don't have any talents. They may quit calling you with those one-hour-whiney phone calls when they find out all you can talk about is the dishes and diapers.
Then when everyone is convinced of your boring-ness, you can be free to go and enjoy life without them-- be as wildly creative as you want-- think of all that free time!
Exactly it's all about a paycheck. What most don't realize is that was the point of feminism. All that matters these days is that both parents contribute economically to the family. Who cares if the family stays together or who (if anyone) really looks out for the kids. In the modern world all that matters is that both sexes "do their part" by taking on traditional masculine duties and all men become pansies incapable of leading and taking charge. Surely things cannot exist this way forever as family breakdown is now become a real social problem and costing billions of dollars. Surely women contribute better without paid employment than with it. I have absolutely no paid employment no home business or nothing. I depend completely on my husband. I'm not a perfect wife but the home is my top priority.ReplyDelete
Home businesses are not for everyone. I don't think a woman should be pressured into having one, unless there is a financial need. I have also seen wealthy women with husbands earning a lot of money who start a home business "so that she isn't just a housewife". No wonder homemaking is in such discredit! It appears to be O.K. to stay home as long as you don't do any actual housekeeping...ReplyDelete