Monday, June 1, 2009

Sound Advice for the Dental Hygenist, the Community College Teacher, the Receptionist, the Middle-Manager, the Director of a Not For Profit?

The Matron thinketh this the height of blindness to the reality of most women, who don't have the luxury to 'just say no' to work.    The Salon interview hints at such blinders,  but treads softly where the Matron would stomp and scream:  OMIGOD you are so lucky you have no idea what it means to worry about the mortgage!

Please, don't misunderstand her.  The Matron longs for and heartily approves of a culture in which nobody is required to work 60 hours a week -- she's of the more leisurely European bent of substantial summer vacation or the reduced work week, for all.  But in the current system and climate, the idea that the afore-linked book will actually help the majority of working women in this country?  Puh-leeze.

But she understands the anxieties pulling the authors to their conclusions:  women not only want more time with their children and extended families, they need more time because -- progress marches on but  is not winning any races, folks -- most women still do more work on the homefront than men.

The Matron thinks that Historiann offers a better, more realistic solution -- the whole get a wife thing.  And the nice part of this piece is that after the pithy punch line, hooking up wifely and all that, comes a real description of what sharing the Mother Lode (traditional female work) might look like.

The Matron, typing this post at a coffee shop while Scarlett is at yet another Theatrical Endeavor, was pleased to see that some - not allr -- that some elements of her marriage strongly resemble Historiann's vision.    At this very moment, John will be returning home from the elementary school with Merrick where he will  check in with Stryker about homework, and facilitate dinner.  

But guess who still sends out all the birthday cards, knows where the dog leash is at all times, and thought to bring Scarlett jewelry-making wire just before she ran out?   You know what she means here.    

Here's where the Matron will go out on a limb.  She thinks women who are wives/partners and mothers in heterosexual relationships downplay or diminish how much more domestic work they do than their partners  precisely because men now do so much more than they ever have historically.  And that's terrific.   Everyone's relationship is all groundbreaking and celebratory in that regard, looking back.  But looking forward?  The Matron isn't satisfied, at least in her sample cohort of --- oh, all current sociological studies and her own critical mass of women folk.  Most women shoulder the heavier domestic burden, even if their work/professional situation would warrant a lighter load and more equitable distribution.

Marching forward, friends.  Marching forward.  


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are so right--in general, among my friends, the husbands are more than happy to do whatever they're asked. But it is the wife that must think of it in order to ask it.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Again, this problem can never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction because no one admits that if you have a husband and a wife working fulltime, they are both actually working a job and a half (at least). Managing the kids and the household is a full time job also, but no one wants to admit it. That doesn't mean women should stay home; but it does mean that couples might be less stressed if they realize that they are trying to juggle 3 full time jobs between 2 people.

This said by a woman who has just picked up a part-time job because, after 17 years of SAHM-ness, she realized if she stayed home one more day she would go stark raving mad...

thefirecat said...

Um, fatal flaw number one:

Everything in that article assumes that we are married.

Some of us sucked at that. But what's more, there are some of us out there (one of my closest friends is one) who have never harboured the slightest desire to become so.

This post, by the bye, is being written by someone who would be THRILLED if she were given the $10,000 graduate assistantship she's interviewing for this week, because it would effectively double her adjunct salary while she attempts to earn her second master's without imploding (since I had to give up half my classes in order to have time to take any).

Try making a living on THAT. Hell, try even making your car payment on that.

Yeah, Salon. Totally a first world problem. Seriously. And don't even get me started on women in Muslim countries who can't go outside.

Minnesota Matron said...

Firecat: Were you listening to Fresh Air? I'm nearly sick.


JCK said...

Hear! Hear! Marching forward. I think your husband sounds quite lovely in his caretaking. :)