Author Topic: The Feminist Housewife?  (Read 15023 times)

Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2013, 04:55:03 PM »
ALL the couples I know who set out to "share the housework" fight a lot.  Because every little thing is a dispute.  Who's going to pick up after the dog -- "I did it last time."  Who's going to sweep the floor?  "It doesn't even need sweeping."  Growing up, I never considered it ideal.  I considered it a strange approach, because it wasn't how I was raised.

I've never had to fight about housework. Nothing is a dispute, because we are respectful and not nasty when we ask each other to do various things around the house.

How does it get decided, though?  Does each person have their own set jobs or do you work it out as you go along?  It seems to me that it would be easy to get bogged down in the planning and in trying to make it equal rather than just each doing their jobs.

Mostly we each do what we are the most efficient at, so we have more time to spend together and with the kids. For example, my husband is the fastest, and neatest laundry folder ever, so he folds all the clothes. On Saturdays, we go over what needs to be done that day, and just split it up (with the kids too, of course). We all make the messes, so we all work together to clean it up.

"We all make the messes" seems strange to me unless it also comes with "we all spend the money."
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline Magnificat

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2013, 05:27:20 PM »
I just thought it was nice that people finally seem to be catching on to some of the fallacies of feminism, that women in particular are realizing that the sort of life feminists have idealized is not so fulfilling in reality, and that being a wife and mother is being valorized again, even if not as fully as it should be or for all the right reasons.

Fair enough. However, despite the nod to sex differences, it's being framed, after the post-modern "more choice is always better" fashion, as a personal preference: "For some women, the solution to resolving the long-running tensions between work and life is not more parent-friendly offices or savvier career moves but the full embrace of domesticity."

So the foundation is erroneous. Maybe it is step one of the rectification, but likely not - it seems to lead more in the direction of "more choice [for women] is always better."

Though perhaps that will lead to them hearing us out and not just dismissing our ideas automatically.

You would hope so and I think it does bring a little more "softness" to many women when they can focus on their motherhood. But it does come down to a different, newer version of feminism that realizes they should keep ALL options open; hat they were being hypocrites to their own cause by essentially disallowing women to be stay-at-home moms. Though they are home, many still espouse all the philosophies of feminism. Because of that I find that I can only keep a more superficial friendship with the moms in my area. You can talk about your kids and temporal motherly issues but stay clear of any spiritual uplifting. And I mean spiritual as in Catholic spirituality. If you want to spout feel-good motivational quotes and mantras about some vague non-denominational spirituality, that's ok. But try and get down to the meat and potatoes that trad mothers live on, Catholic spirituality, our vocations as mothers, raising our children with an eye on eternity and sanctity, and it just doesn't fly.
 
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Offline Magnificat

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2013, 05:55:52 PM »
ALL the couples I know who set out to "share the housework" fight a lot.  Because every little thing is a dispute.  Who's going to pick up after the dog -- "I did it last time."  Who's going to sweep the floor?  "It doesn't even need sweeping."  Growing up, I never considered it ideal.  I considered it a strange approach, because it wasn't how I was raised.

I've never had to fight about housework. Nothing is a dispute, because we are respectful and not nasty when we ask each other to do various things around the house.

How does it get decided, though?  Does each person have their own set jobs or do you work it out as you go along?  It seems to me that it would be easy to get bogged down in the planning and in trying to make it equal rather than just each doing their jobs.

We share housework too but it's about helping each other out. My husband runs a business but is a terrible organizer. I keep him and his paperwork in the best order for him to be successful. In order for me to have the energy -- not so much the time, because I could just do it at midnight -- but the energy to do it all, he will pitch in with the kids or the house or whatever he can do to lighten my load. We work together. He is provider, business owner, I pitch in my strength. I am mother, housewife, he gets in the trenches to make sure I am not overwhelmed. He's an excellent cook and on some days, to have him take over preparing a meal, it makes all the difference in the world. Or maybe he'll do dishes or take the kids out of the house for a bit. I think that's what makes a team, knowing where you can lend the best support for the whole.

And kids make a difference. He was so much more "pampered"* before kids. :D But my health is not so great and it's worse during pregnancy, as well as about 6 months postpartum. We get help but not for the whole time. I am very lucky and so grateful that he pulls a lot of my weight when I am in such a vulnerable state.

It doesn't mean we've never argued or have never been overwhelmed or too exhausted to lift a finger, don't get me wrong! But I think whether a couple possesses a basic peace depends on their mentality behind it. We know he is the father -- the leader and provider, I am the mother, the housewife and nurturer. So we aren't trying to erase our natures or go against them, we are simply lending support where it is needed.   

*Edited to put pampered in quotation marks. A man who works hard and is shown appreciation by his wife is not pampered. It's only just. It might seem like a silly thing to edit as I meant it as a wink-wink but I have been trying to catch myself even in joking about putting down men. It's tough. I am surprised by how much I have to catch myself. You don't realize just how engrained it is in our culture until you really pay attention.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 06:29:36 PM by Magnificat »
 

Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2013, 06:21:04 PM »
I just thought it was nice that people finally seem to be catching on to some of the fallacies of feminism, that women in particular are realizing that the sort of life feminists have idealized is not so fulfilling in reality, and that being a wife and mother is being valorized again, even if not as fully as it should be or for all the right reasons.

Fair enough. However, despite the nod to sex differences, it's being framed, after the post-modern "more choice is always better" fashion, as a personal preference: "For some women, the solution to resolving the long-running tensions between work and life is not more parent-friendly offices or savvier career moves but the full embrace of domesticity."

So the foundation is erroneous. Maybe it is step one of the rectification, but likely not - it seems to lead more in the direction of "more choice [for women] is always better."

Though perhaps that will lead to them hearing us out and not just dismissing our ideas automatically.

You would hope so and I think it does bring a little more "softness" to many women when they can focus on their motherhood. But it does come down to a different, newer version of feminism that realizes they should keep ALL options open; hat they were being hypocrites to their own cause by essentially disallowing women to be stay-at-home moms. Though they are home, many still espouse all the philosophies of feminism. Because of that I find that I can only keep a more superficial friendship with the moms in my area. You can talk about your kids and temporal motherly issues but stay clear of any spiritual uplifting. And I mean spiritual as in Catholic spirituality. If you want to spout feel-good motivational quotes and mantras about some vague non-denominational spirituality, that's ok. But try and get down to the meat and potatoes that trad mothers live on, Catholic spirituality, our vocations as mothers, raising our children with an eye on eternity and sanctity, and it just doesn't fly.

Yeah -- I find it harder and harder to hang out with non-Trads.  Just, the things they say.  In my Novus Ordo days, I was much more "live and let live" about things like contraception (never abortion, though) and feminism and living together before marriage and the like. 

It's especially hard around other writers -- they often tell me to add sex scenes, etc.  The most wtfreak of any comment I ever got was about a character of mine cheating on his girlfriend by kissing another girl.  "Is it even cheating?  I mean, if he hasn't even had sex with [main character's name], then it isn't really a relationship, is it?"  I didn't even know that secular types took it to that much of an extreme.  The same critiquer wanted me to have the main character walk in on her (soon-to-be-ex) boyfriend actually having sex with this other girl instead of just kissing.  In a young adult book. 

My reply was, "When I was that age, I struggled to find books without sexually graphic material.  I'd like to give teens that option, so I choose not to include scenes like that."  It's *a* truth but it isn't *the* truth, if that makes any sense.  And that's how I often end up handling those situations, for better or for worse.
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline Magnificat

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2013, 06:32:18 PM »
I can see how that would also be difficult. It doesn't seem to matter what we are doing, we all face the same obstacles, just expressed in different ways.
 

Offline erin is nice

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2013, 09:09:43 AM »

"We all make the messes" seems strange to me unless it also comes with "we all spend the money."

I guess, if you look at marriage as some kind of business contract-- he makes money, you pay him back with cleaning and sex.

That idea of family disgusts me.

I was at Mass last night for the feast of St. Benedict, and part of the sermon was about how important it was to St. Benedict that people living together work together, especially in the kitchen. He believed it would foster a deeper spiritual bond.
 

Offline stitchmom

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2013, 11:44:25 AM »
If everyone in the home would spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before they go to bed doing some basic picking up after themselves there would not be overwhelming housework. I support a formal division of housework to the wife but I also think people can learn not to be slobs. There is no reason why everyone over 4 can't wipe down the bathroom sink after they brush, hang their towels back up, make sure their clothes get into the hamper, if there is no shampoo left to throw the bottle away, take out the trash when they leave the house, spend 2 minutes before bed picking up the water bottles and stray papers, things like that.
 

Offline stitchmom

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2013, 11:59:09 AM »
We all make the messes, so we all work together to clean it up.

I agree with this 100%. I think the home should be the wife's area but everyone can pitch in and for sure everyone can do small things to pick up after themselves.
 

Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2013, 01:54:30 PM »

"We all make the messes" seems strange to me unless it also comes with "we all spend the money."

I guess, if you look at marriage as some kind of business contract-- he makes money, you pay him back with cleaning and sex.

That idea of family disgusts me.

I was at Mass last night for the feast of St. Benedict, and part of the sermon was about how important it was to St. Benedict that people living together work together, especially in the kitchen. He believed it would foster a deeper spiritual bond.

I don't look at marriage as a business contract -- it's a sacrament.  You demean that sacrament when you suggest that a) everyone who follows a more traditional American model of marriage looks at it as a [only] contract and b) that this is somehow disgusting. (After all, arranged marriage has a history in the Church.  It may not be popular now, but it's certainly valid.)

I assume that the people who the good saint preached to had more than 4 feet of workspace, without the "panty" directly under said workspace -- don't get me wrong, I actually like having a small kitchen (more efficient), but the idea of working with someone else in it at the same time sounds like a recipe for a) a major slow down in the getting things done department, followed by b) war.

However, if the wife has the right to ask or demand help in the kitchen, then does the husband have the right to ask or demand help with his duties?  If not, why not?
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline erin is nice

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2013, 02:09:30 PM »
However, if the wife has the right to ask or demand help in the kitchen, then does the husband have the right to ask or demand help with his duties?  If not, why not?

No one but you has said anything about "rights" and "demands".  And what exactly do you mean by "his duties"? Yardwork? What?
 

Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2013, 02:16:34 PM »
If everyone in the home would spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before they go to bed doing some basic picking up after themselves there would not be overwhelming housework. I support a formal division of housework to the wife but I also think people can learn not to be slobs. There is no reason why everyone over 4 can't wipe down the bathroom sink after they brush, hang their towels back up, make sure their clothes get into the hamper, if there is no shampoo left to throw the bottle away, take out the trash when they leave the house, spend 2 minutes before bed picking up the water bottles and stray papers, things like that.

Well, I don't think it should need to take 20 minutes a day, especially if you do things "as you go," which my husband does.  But I also don't think we should kid ourselves about throwing away a coke can when you stand up being work.

As for taking out the trash, I always thought trash duty was man's work.  My husband was raised that way as well -- heavy lifting and trash are for the gents.  To the point that he was stunned to see women after a church supper dealing with HUGE bags of trash without any guys stepping in.  (We're fairly new to the parsh -- he stepped in, of course, but the fact that no one ever had before was a bit of a shock.) 

He does yard work, trash duty, and is our general Mr. Fix It (both for hardware and technology).  He also works 8+ hours a day and spends 2+ hours in the car.  I'd be remiss if I asked him for help with things I can do myself.
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2013, 02:18:13 PM »
However, if the wife has the right to ask or demand help in the kitchen, then does the husband have the right to ask or demand help with his duties?  If not, why not?

No one but you has said anything about "rights" and "demands".  And what exactly do you mean by "his duties"? Yardwork? What?

You seem to think -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that the wife can ask her husband for help in the kitchen and he should go for it.  So can he ask her to take over making the money for a while?
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline erin is nice

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2013, 02:37:22 PM »
However, if the wife has the right to ask or demand help in the kitchen, then does the husband have the right to ask or demand help with his duties?  If not, why not?

No one but you has said anything about "rights" and "demands".  And what exactly do you mean by "his duties"? Yardwork? What?

You seem to think -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that the wife can ask her husband for help in the kitchen and he should go for it.  So can he ask her to take over making the money for a while?

It would depend on if there were kids who needed someone at home, wouldn't it? I don't have a problem with a dad staying home with kids, I just think it's important for one parent to be there for them.

But if there are no kids in the picture, I think it's ridiculous for a woman to stay home and 'play house'. So lazy!

 

Offline OCLittleFlower

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2013, 03:11:10 PM »

But if there are no kids in the picture, I think it's ridiculous for a woman to stay home and 'play house'. So lazy!

There are a lot of factors in choosing to work or not, and children are only one factor.

In this economy, I would feel bad taking one of the jobs that I would be qualified for away from someone else who might be poor or need that job to get through school or something like that.  It would seem greedy to us. 

For the first part of our marriage, my husband was unable to renew his driver's license due to the Great Paperwork Mix-up -- so I was his ride to work for those four months.  It was too far -- and too much gas -- for me to go home and then come back to pick him up, so I spent a lot of time in the public library working on a novel.

When that came to a end, we went month-to-month on our apartment and threw ourselves full force into trying to find a house.  We'd considered my getting a job once we knew where we'd be living, but over time my husband decided that wasn't what he wanted.  He was enjoying food from scratch and would rather I work on editing the novel rather than working a low pay/part time job.  And, in the end, it was a relief to me -- working outside the home wasn't something I was attached to, by any means.
-- currently writing a Trad romance entitled Flirting with Sedevacantism --

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Offline erin is nice

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Re: The Feminist Housewife?
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2013, 04:16:15 PM »
Hey, if you have found someone willing to support you while you play Julia Child and "work on your novel", more power to you  :lol: