Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 72 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read an essay called "Housework: Slavery or Labor of Love" by Betsy Warrior (published in <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Radical Feminism</span>, from 1973).<br><br>
Here is the premise: that marriage is a <span style="color:#FF0000;">patriarchal tool of oppression</span> used to keep Womyn in their rightful place -- subjugated to <span style="color:#FF0000;">MEN</span>, working as <span style="color:#FF0000;">unpaid labor</span>, with high expectations and little to zero compensation.<br><br>
The author argues that the "patrilineal" model of family is the basis of the subjugation of Womyn and must be abolished ~ that we must redefine gender roles and re-lay the socioeconomic groundwork to be able to eventually claim full equality.<br><br><br>
Selected quotes:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The failure of men to use their power to improve the situation of the houseworker is also due to the fact that they rightly feel that any major changes in this area would undermine male supremacy.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It has been suggested that women will gain equality only when they are all employed in the "public" labor force and that this step will by some magic free them from the status of unpaid domestic slavery. The solution to this dilemma can't lie in the hope that all women will leave the home and join the outside paid labor force. First of all, women working outside the home receive the lowest wages and fill the lowest positions in the paid labor force. Secondly, even in time of economic expansion when new jobs are created, there aren't enough jobs to go around.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In other countries attempts have been made to improve the status of women and release them from their unpaid drudgery by drawing them into the paid labor force. These attempts failed and were doomed to failure from the outset because no adequate provisions were made for housework or the care of children.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">To offer the illusion that women will be equal by receiving equal pay for work that is also done by males, is a conscious effort to keep women's slavery intact.</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
Keeping in mind that this was written in the 1970's...<br><br>
1) How do you think it applies to the current role of Womyn in our society?<br><br>
2) Do you feel that housework is a form of enslaving Womyn?<br><br>
3) How do you feel about the way we define Family now, as opposed to the common definition in the 1960's - 1970's (ie., Step families / blended families / gay-parented families / single-parent families Vs. the Traditional Nuclear Family mythos)?<br><br>
4) On a far more shallow side: do you enjoy housework? Do YOU consider it slavery? Would you rather be fairly compensated for the work you do within your own home? Is your home routinely sparkling? Would Martha Stewart cringe if she saw your kitchen, or would she happily set to work baking an apple pie with you? If you're in a partnered relationship (dh / dw / dp / SO), does your SO help with the housework? How do you feel about it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,101 Posts
I certainly don't ENJOY housework...but I do it. DH helps alot & works. I don't see it as slavery in ANY way & quite honestly think someone (the author here) needs to find something better to do. Some people take it way too far. DH works all damn day - what should I do? NOTHING until he gets home, in the name of not being a "slave?" It's called partnership & we all do our share.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First, I would just like to say I absolutely love using the phrase "Patriarchal Tools of Oppression." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Second I would like to clarify that I am in the United States, so my responses reflect our current socioeconomic structure. I understand that in other parts of the world Womyn have achieved far greater equality!<br><br><br><b>1) How do you think it applies to the current role of Womyn in our society?</b><br><br>
I think for many Womyn, they really are still "enslaved" to this system... that even working mothers, when they come home they're still the ones in charge of the laundry, dishes, and child care while the men relax or "take care of their own work." I hear this a lot from so many SAHMs and WOHMs... and it was my own experience as well. There is still an enormous amount of faith placed in traditional gender roles... I think we have a lot farther to go before we can claim full equality.<br><br><b>2) Do you feel that housework is a form of enslaving Womyn?</b><br><br>
On the one hand, yes. (See #1, above.) But on the other hand, it's really nice to have a clean home. And even if I were to hire a housekeeper, it would more than likely be - a WOMYN. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> I don't think there's any getting around the idea that is still so engrained in our society that we should be the ones taking care of the home and the men should be the Hunters. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br><b>3) How do you feel about the way we define Family now, as opposed to the common definition in the 1960's - 1970's (ie., Step families / blended families / gay-parented families / single-parent families Vs. the Traditional Nuclear Family mythos)?</b><br><br>
We've come a long way toward greater tolerance of family diversity but there's, again, still a long way to go before we reach any sort of equality -- especially taking into consideration how many more people are turning back to traditional family structures (possibly as a way to seek stability in such a currently chaotic world). For instance, the Evangelical families, and families like the Duggars and the Millers. There is definitely a chasm opening between the "modern" families and the more "traditional" ones, and I think we can't really find true equality for Womyn if a majority upholds faith in the definition of Family as Mother-In-The-Home-Father-Working-Loadsa-Kids. Why? -- Because if the majority of our society defines the proper family like that, then we'll still lack a decent child care system for WOHM's and compensatory system for SAHM's.<br><br>
SAHM's ought to be compensated for the work that they do, and WOHM's need the social support to continue to support their families, and we currently have neither. In this point, I agree with the author ~ that until we have BOTH of these things, we cannot say that we've achieved equality.<br><br><b>4) On a far more shallow side: do you enjoy housework? Do YOU consider it slavery? Would you rather be fairly compensated for the work you do within your own home? Is your home routinely sparkling? Would Martha Stewart cringe if she saw your kitchen, or would she happily set to work baking an apple pie with you? If you're in a partnered relationship (dh / dw / dp / SO), does your SO help with the housework? How do you feel about it?</b><br><br>
I hate housework. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I can't consider it slavery anymore, since there's no-one else to share it with, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> And I would much, much rather be fairly compensated.... it makes no sense to me that I HAVE to work to be able to pay for child care so I can work. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: -- And, why shouldn't I be the one allowed to raise my own children? Why do I have to hand them over to someone else -- someone who gets PAID to care for them during the day -- just so I can work OUTSIDE my home? That makes <i>no sense</i>. We completely devalue the work Womyn do caring for their <i>own</i> children and yet require childcare centers to operate for profit caring for <i>other people's children</i> ~ and many of those workers are themselves underpaid mothers working for dirt wages to support their own kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
My home is never sparkling. It's never "dirty" but it's never not-cluttered. Martha Stewart would cry if she saw my kitchen. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
There are always toys or crayons or crumbs around. Right now I have a sinkful of dishes to wash, papers to sort through both on my table and right by my feet (a consequence of my 2 yo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ), plus remnants of popcorn to be vaccuumed up tomorrow when the kids are awake. And other things. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Next week is finals week so at least I have an excuse, and I have a week off before the next semester starts so maybe I can use that time to do some Spring Cleaning.<br><br>
I love having a clean, shining home but I just don't have the TIME ~~ and in that respect I do feel like a slave. I work... I go to school... I take care of the kids... and on top of everything I also have to try to make the home perfect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
When my boyfriend is over (rarely, since he lives far away) he does help with the housework, and I have a feeling that if we ever get married we'll probably share the household chores equally ~ he's pretty keen like that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> -- But still there are much larger socioeconomic issues that I think our society desperately needs to address.<br><br><br><br>
I can see this being an issue in the 2008 elections. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,115 Posts
Sorry OT, but this has been a small pet peeve of mine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Why cant we spell <b>woman</b> correctly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,101 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>barose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912325"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why cant we spell <b>woman</b> correctly?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think it's to take "man" out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,695 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Aura_Kitten</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912287"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">4) On a far more shallow side: do you enjoy housework? Do YOU consider it slavery? Would you rather be fairly compensated for the work you do within your own home? Is your home routinely sparkling? Would Martha Stewart cringe if she saw your kitchen, or would she happily set to work baking an apple pie with you? If you're in a partnered relationship (dh / dw / dp / SO), does your SO help with the housework? How do you feel about it?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
I do housework mostly for myself because I feel the need for that order, and for feeling like I've done something productive. If I would not use the term slavery as I feel it dilutes the term, but if I have very often felt that motherhood itself was nothing but a servitude from which I have no escape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,553 Posts
I think that my DH, and many men, feel more oppressed by their dead end, zombie creating jobs, then their wives/SOs do doing housework. As a society? I have no clue. Not that smart. But on the small scale, in my little world, roles have always been men provided, women cleaned and cared. I like it that way. I suck at providing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> But I absolutely think that it shouldn't be set in stone. Anyone should be able to have any role.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>barose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912325"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sorry OT, but this has been a small pet peeve of mine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Why cant we spell <b>woman</b> correctly?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Because woMAN is yet another way that the Patriarchy subjugates Womyn!<br><br>
We are separate and unique creatures, we are not created as offshoots of men. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Synthea™</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912335"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><b>I think that my DH, and many men, feel more oppressed by their dead end, zombie creating jobs</b>, then their wives/SOs do doing housework. As a society? I have no clue. Not that smart. But on the small scale, in my little world, roles have always been men provided, women cleaned and cared. I like it that way. I suck at providing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> But I absolutely think that it shouldn't be set in stone. Anyone should be able to have any role.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
See here's another thing that's been on my mind lately ~ that maybe men shouldn't be required (by society's assigned gender roles) to spend their entire lives confined to work ~ that there ought to be more equality on their end as well.<br><br>
But it can't balance out without Womyn being given the opportunity to provide real solid financial support for their families, and as it is, we're still the underpaid and unpaid class in our society...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912316"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I certainly don't ENJOY housework...but I do it. DH helps alot & works. I don't see it as slavery in ANY way & quite honestly think someone <b>(the author here) needs to find something better to do.</b> Some people take it way too far. DH works all damn day - what should I do? NOTHING until he gets home, in the name of not being a "slave?" It's called partnership & we all do our share.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
You don't think furthering human rights in the form of equality for all people is a worthy cause in which to devote one's time and effort?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br><br><br>
rmzbm ~~ If you husband was unable to provide for the family and you had to find a job outside the home to help support yourself, how do you think your roles would change? How do you feel about the child care situation in America?<br><br>
How did you make the choice to be a SAHM?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,939 Posts
Self-care is not slavery (although sometimes it can be drudgery). It is not slavery when I brush my teeth, take showers, comb my hair, get dressed, or feed myself, so I don't see how it can be slavery for me to prepare food, wash clothes, or maintain my home. Nor to do those things for my children, who are limited in their ability to do those things for themselves. In the case of my husband, yes, he is an able-bodied adult who could do those things for himself, but he is at work all day, while I am home, so it only makes sense that I should do these things for him as well.<br><br>
I think this is the problem with applying the principles of liberal individualism (to which I wholeheartedly subscribe in it's rightful place as a political philosophy) to the personal and domestic spheres. Humans are not meant to be individually independent. Even with all the labor-saving devices we have today, it is not natural (in my opinion) for one person to be responsible for all the home maintenance plus all the income-earning plus all the child care. I know there are people who can and do, but I think the natural course for humans is to have two or more adults supporting each other with division of labor. I am not a "slave" to my husband because I do most of the housework and child care, and I am not a "leech" to him because he does almost all of the income-earning. Both of these are unfair characterizations that dismiss the natural and logical role of division of labor as part of human cooperation.<br><br>
Regarding changes in the family, I think that some of those changes, which free the individual families to arrange this division of labor in such a way as to best suit their particular needs is great progress. I think it's fabulous that you can have a sahd and wohm, or a couple jointly running a family business, or a husband working morning shift while his wife works afternoon shift, or working from home, or any permutation or combination of these, rather than every family being expected to automatically have a sahm and wohd. However, I think other changes, especially the economic changes that for many families require them to have two full-time employed adults, have not been for the better. I think a goal should be for every family to have the option (not necessity) of having one adult out of the labor force and still have enough to live on. Given the prevalence of families with two working adults with three full-time jobs between them who still can't make ends meet, we're clearly a long way from that.<br><br>
I don't enjoy housework. I do enjoy being with my kids, which I don't think should be lumped in with housework. But, no one is forcing me to do housework. There are just natural consequences if I don't. I choose to have a relatively sanitary home, clean clothes, and food for myself and my family; to attain that, I do housework. I don't do it well. But if I didn't do it at all, things would get ugly fast.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,695 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Synthea™</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912335"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that my DH, and many men, feel more oppressed by their dead end, zombie creating jobs, then their wives/SOs do doing housework.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I definitely feel that way. I have felt sorry for my husband at times because I felt like I have the more directly representational kind of job that is ultimately more important in the cosmic scheme of things. And yet his work is the one financially compensated that enables us to survive and thrive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,939 Posts
Yikes, this thread grew while I was typing!<br><br>
I am not a feminist at all, let alone a radical one, but I like the word "womyn" and the meaning behind it. Maybe I'll start using it (if it wouldn't be deceitful, giving people the wrongful impression that I hold views I don't hold).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,353 Posts
As a single, stay at home mother, I don't see housework as slavery. Sure, I don't love it, and there are parts I just don't do if I can avoid it at all (dishes!), but I don't see it as slavery. I am in a partnered, non-live-in relationship, and we have discussed these issues. I feel that one does not need to receive a paycheck in her name to be fairly compensated for the work of home. For instance, I would feel perfectly fairly compensated for my work if I had an appreciative partner, and a well-fed and cared for family. I feel that the combined fruits of the combined efforts of both partners is that which runs a family. The efforts being housework and out-of-house work and parenting, which are all shared by both parents to one degree or another, and which fruits, the food, the well-run household, the monetary income, and the happy, healthy kids, are also shared.<br><br>
I agree that the traditional gender roles within a marriage have frequently been used to subjugate women. But I do not agree that simply living a traditional (ie. mom works at home doing the majority of the housework and daytime parenting, dad works out of the home for a paycheck) has to mean inequality. I think that both partners are responsible for maintaining the equality. But choosing to fill that role does not mean giving your power away to your SO.<br><br>
I have more to say on this subject, but I've temporarily lost my words for it. I'll come back and say more when I'm less tired.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,484 Posts
<b>1) How do you think it applies to the current role of Womyn in our society?</b> I think the discussion is valid. Read <i>The Feminist Mystique</i> today and it's similar enough to the current social climate that it's still being discussed in most mommy memoirs. It's totally relevant. Not a lot has changed. Womyn still bear the weight of household duties and childcare.<br><br><b>2) Do you feel that housework is a form of enslaving Womyn?</b> Not necessarily. Housework needs to be done. I think the assumption that womyn need to do it is crap, but I don't perceive housework itself as a tool of the patriarchy. The expectation that womyn are responsible for keeping house and the fact that most men do not learn how precisely to keep a house by the osmosis of living with a mother the way that girls do is part of female oppression, but not a tool of the oppression itself. I hope that makes sense.<br><br><b>3) How do you feel about the way we define Family now, as opposed to the common definition in the 1960's - 1970's (ie., Step families / blended families / gay-parented families / single-parent families Vs. the Traditional Nuclear Family mythos)?</b><br>
I think that the family has come a long way in collective consciousness if not in societal practices or expectations. Mainstream America seems to accept the family as a mixed bag in theory, though we still have the nuclear normativity that means our expectations of family are still rooted in the past, whether our political or ethical beliefs follow that line of thinking or not. It's a matter of having been brainwashed to perceive family as the nuclear wetdream, while in large part our hearts have embraced another reality.<br><br><b>4) On a far more shallow side: do you enjoy housework? Do YOU consider it slavery? Would you rather be fairly compensated for the work you do within your own home? Is your home routinely sparkling? Would Martha Stewart cringe if she saw your kitchen, or would she happily set to work baking an apple pie with you? If you're in a partnered relationship (dh / dw / dp / SO), does your SO help with the housework? How do you feel about it?</b> I do enjoy housework. I do not consider it slavery. Nor do I, in the immortal words of Betty Friedan, have an orgasm waxing the kitchen floor. I would prefer to be fairly compensated for the work I do in the home, yes. Or at least for childcare or the time equal to my spouse's work time because outside of that time we have an unusually egalitarian relationship. My home is routinely sparkling. Martha Stweart wouldn't gush as I don't have her money, but she wouldn't flinch either. My DH does help with housework, but I still feel the work is inequitably divided. We're nearly there, but not quite. I don't know if there's a way to be completely 50/50 in that regard, however, because there's a lot of unknowns involved. His time at school isn't completely work nor is it completely for his enjoyment. The same goes for me at home and for the volunteer work that I do. It's a difficult road to walk, but we do exceedingly well to ask ourselves if how we're walking it is, in fact, feminist. We have had many conversations about the matter. My DH is, in the words of a Womyn's history colleague, "one of the few men I know who I could comfortably call a feminist."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Brigianna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912349"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Self-care is not slavery (although sometimes it can be drudgery). It is not slavery when I brush my teeth, take showers, comb my hair, get dressed, or feed myself, so I don't see how it can be slavery for me to prepare food, wash clothes, or maintain my home. Nor to do those things for my children, who are limited in their ability to do those things for themselves. In the case of my husband, yes, he is an able-bodied adult who could do those things for himself, but he is at work all day, while I am home, so it only makes sense that I should do these things for him as well.<br><br>
I think this is the problem with applying the principles of liberal individualism (to which I wholeheartedly subscribe in it's rightful place as a political philosophy) to the personal and domestic spheres. Humans are not meant to be individually independent. Even with all the labor-saving devices we have today, it is not natural (in my opinion) for one person to be responsible for all the home maintenance plus all the income-earning plus all the child care. I know there are people who can and do, but I think the natural course for humans is to have two or more adults supporting each other with division of labor. <i>I am not a "slave" to my husband because I do most of the housework and child care, and I am not a "leech" to him because he does almost all of the income-earning. Both of these are unfair characterizations that dismiss the natural and logical role of division of labor as part of human cooperation.</i><br><br>
Regarding changes in the family, I think that some of those changes, which free the individual families to arrange this division of labor in such a way as to best suit their particular needs is great progress. I think it's fabulous that you can have a sahd and wohm, or a couple jointly running a family business, or a husband working morning shift while his wife works afternoon shift, or working from home, or any permutation or combination of these, rather than every family being expected to automatically have a sahm and wohd. However, I think other changes, especially the economic changes that for many families require them to have two full-time employed adults, have not been for the better. <b>I think a goal should be for every family to have the option (<i>not necessity</i>) of having one adult out of the labor force and still have enough to live on.</b> Given the prevalence of families with two working adults with three full-time jobs between them who still can't make ends meet, we're clearly a long way from that.<br><br>
I don't enjoy housework. I do enjoy being with my kids, which I don't think should be lumped in with housework. But, no one is forcing me to do housework. There are just natural consequences if I don't. I choose to have a relatively sanitary home, clean clothes, and food for myself and my family; to attain that, I do housework. I don't do it well. But if I didn't do it at all, things would get ugly fast.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br>
Yes to all of that.<br><br><br>
Thank you for such a well-thought out and well-reasoned response. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annakiss</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912356"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do enjoy housework. I do not consider it slavery. Nor do I, in the immortal words of Betty Friedan, have an orgasm waxing the kitchen floor.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:<br><br><br><br>
Oh dear.<br><br>
I happily anticipate the explosion of this thread ~ but am disappointed that I won't get to follow it (due to aforementioned dishes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh">, and I desperately need a shower!).... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br><br>
Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll be back tomorrow to read everyone's thoughts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Goodnight all.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,484 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CorasMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912355"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't love it, and there are parts I just don't do if I can avoid it at all (dishes!), but I don't see it as slavery. I am in a partnered, non-live-in relationship, and we have discussed these issues. I feel that one does not need to receive a paycheck in her name to be fairly compensated for the work of home. For instance, I would feel perfectly fairly compensated for my work if I had an appreciative partner, and a well-fed and cared for family. I feel that the combined fruits of the combined efforts of both partners is that which runs a family. The efforts being housework and out-of-house work and parenting, which are all shared by both parents to one degree or another, and which fruits, the food, the well-run household, the monetary income, and the happy, healthy kids, are also shared.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This would be fine if we didn't live in a world that managed to legitimize every other form of work by enfolding it in the economy. The entire world's economies rest upon the unpaid work of womyn. When womyn leave the home to work, many are still doing what is considered "womyn's work, " except that it is only legitimate when it is not your own home. Which is, of course, utter bullshit. That work is still undervalued too, which is why it is in large part legal and illegal immigrants who do that work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,939 Posts
Waxing the floor doesn't quite do it for me either, but I don't think my husband's income-earning is all fun and games for him either.<br><br>
For those who think sahms should be compensated, may I ask by whom? By our husbands? Mine already compensates me by providing me housing and financial support (and sexual favors <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">). By the state? I oppose welfare-to-work for womyn with pre-school-age children, because I think they should have the opportunity to be with their kids, or, more accurately, their kids should have the opportunity to be with mama, but as a general policy for all sahms, I'm not sure it's a good idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,484 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Brigianna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912373"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Waxing the floor doesn't quite do it for me either, but I don't think my husband's income-earning is all fun and games for him either.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
For my husband, income earning is definitely more fun than staying at home with the kids - he's a PhD student in the field of his passion.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Brigianna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912373"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For those who think sahms should be compensated, may I ask by whom? By our husbands? Mine already compensates me by providing me housing and financial support (and sexual favors <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">). By the state? I oppose welfare-to-work for womyn with pre-school-age children, because I think they should have the opportunity to be with their kids, or, more accurately, their kids should have the opportunity to be with mama, but as a general policy for all sahms, I'm not sure it's a good idea.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
By the state. We are supposed to be our own government, so I figure our government should take care of everyone. I think it's a social contract that has been overlooked - that those who can work do so in order to help support everyone. Everyone deserves support. If food and shelter were rights and were distributed equally, which would be even better, pay for housework would be unnecessary. As it is, my husband's pay for his one person job is intended really for one person, not four. And hell, seeing that he's a student, his particular job doesn't even support one person. But that's beside the point.
 
1 - 20 of 72 Posts
Top