Are expectations for women’s marital roles too much?
Yesterday I found myself in the middle of a provocative conversation about what marriage/marital roles are supposed to be. It ranged from expected sexual services (being able to ejaculate on your wife’s face) to stereotypical “wifely duties” (like cooking and cleaning). Now I’m an advocate of “to each his own” when it comes to sexual preferences. What goes on between you and your partner is between you and your partner. But having a full-time job and being solely responsible for cooking and cleaning?! AND taking after the kids? BLASPHEMY! Okay, maybe not blasphemy, but come on! It’s 2012! My mother was a “stay-at-home mom” or “homemaker” or “housewife” (whichever you prefer) and I still remember my dad helping out around the house. Should I say “helping?” I feel like I just assumed housework was my mother’s to begin with…
Let me add that the conversation started off about marriage, but somehow those conversations always turn to what a woman is “supposed” to do in a marriage. When one of the women brought up her expectation that her husband be able to mow the lawn, fix a flat tire and other household repairs, the men responded, “I can pay somebody to do that!” And that was the end of what the men were supposed to do, the conversation went right back to what the women should do.
Now I know women have been expected to do it all for years but is this what I’m supposed to look forward to? My commitment phobic mind (that I thought I’d finally gained a handle on in 2011) suddenly took over as it tried to rationalize how amazing life would be if I never got married. I was amazed that the men had come up with so many chores for their future wives, because when I envision necessities for my husband the main requirements are that he’s my best friend, compassionate and willing to compromise.
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