It seems as if many American women believe that they should be housewives. While there is nothing wrong with that in certain circumstances, all women should not limit themselves to the role of a housewife. A recently aired reality TV show on the ABC network depicted a family who has implemented what they call “Man Rule”. This man rule includes a mindset where the husband goes out and works, and the wife stays home. In this household, the wife does one hundred percent of the cleaning, cooking and other household duties such ironing and laundry. This setup is very disturbing as it also determines what the three children in the household must do as well.
The two daughters have to assist the mother with the household duties while the son sits and watches television with their father. The son has no responsibilities because of the “Man Rule” that they live by. Such a mindset is troubling on many levels. While other American households might not operate exactly like the family on the television show, many women still believe that they are supposed to be housewives. There are numerous housewife-related articles on Associated Content that are examples of that observation. Many people support the housewife role, but where is the support for working women?
Women are not born to be housewives. That isn’t a role that is placed in a woman’s genetic material before she is comes into the world. It is a role that is taught to daughters by society and parents who carry this old ritual on to their children. The husband on the television show stated that cleaning the toilet “is women’s work” and he doesn’t want his son sweeping the floor because that is not manly. Yet, he has no problem with his young daughters cleaning the toilet or sweeping the floor. This kind of mindset is ridiculous.
There are so many people who talk about the way that things were decades ago, and what women did back then. However, we are no longer living in the 1950’s or 60’s. Women should not be confined to just household chores and other “wifely duties”. Everyone contributes to the operation of a household, so everyone should be responsible for the maintenance. Men and sons contribute to messy living rooms, kitchen tables and bedrooms. Therefore, they should assist in the maintenance of those things. If men also use the toilet, they should clean it as well. These are not tasks that were meant only for women.
The reason that some women were housewives decades ago could be because they did not believe that they had other choices. Other reasons were because they depended on their husbands for money and other living necessities. That is also something that limits women. By letting theirs to husband control all of the finances, women allow themselves to be controlled. They have to ask for money and other items, instead of being able to get something on their own. The husbands are able to control decisions such as what is purchased, what the money will be used for and how other tasks are done within the household.
That is exactly why wives should have their own money. Just because women were housewives in decades ago doesn’t mean that they should always be a housewife today. Such an argument is unwarranted. It is similar to the argument that is dishonorable for women to be divorced today, based on the long-lasting marriages in history. Some of those marriages lasted because the wives depended on their husbands for all of their financial support. Therefore, some stayed in unhappy marriages and unions that included abuse from their husbands.
Women should expose their daughters to more options than a housewife. There are tons of opportunities available for women in this day and age. Women should take advantage of that and become successful partners in their marriage. It is inequitable to raise a daughter who thinks that she is supposed to be a housewife, and nothing else. That gives children limits on what they can do. It is also troubling to raise sons who think that household chores and cooking are tasks that belong to women.
Women can offer a lot more to the world than a well ironed shirt, a sparkling living room floor and a pot roast dinner. Professional women should be supported the same as housewives. Those who choose to stay at home should do so because it works for their particular household, not because they think it is the rule. Being a housewife is not the only option available for women. It is also not a woman’s job. No one is born with specific duties that are attached to them. Many people should realize that and stop trying to convince women and young daughters otherwise.