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David Thompson

I drive past the first house I lived in maybe 10-20 times a year, but I've never moved back into it nor done anything other than look around once for a minute before going on my way.

Indirect compensation is not acceptable when one makes a direct contribution.

I disagree.

L.

Some people will agree that indirect compensation is not acceptable when one makes a direct contribution, while others will disagree -- but what really matters is what the people involved think, right?

I married a Japanese government worker, now stationed abroad in the U.S., who once asked me to host a huge brunch at our home for all of the most important people with whom he does business. The funniest part was, the guests who didn`t know me saw me serving in my apron and assumed I was the hired help, not the wife. Part of this was because I`m not Japanese -- they all assumed he had a Japanese wife. But I guess that part of this was because many women don`t serve at their own house parties anymore -- they hire caterers.

(And you KNOW what I think of Linda Hirshman!)

The Happy Feminist

Hi L! It sounds like you helped your husband and were happy to do so. I can relate to that because my husband has done yeoman's work for me on many occasions. He once spent several hours at the library researching a legal issue for me when I had no spare time to do it myself! And I've done stuff for him too. The difference is that in my mother's era, it was taken for granted that my mother would do the work, she was expected to do these things all the time, and men outside the family felt free to demand that she do so!

mythago

Sydney, while your point to your classmates is quite right, there is an issue that may or may not have come up in your conversation--that however able you are to balance work and family, that's not a choice expected of your male classmates. They are almost certainly not sitting around worrying about whether they will stay home (and if so, how much), or whether they will have to hire a housekeeper rather than fight to get their wives to contribute to the household labor. Yep, you're 100% right about the class and privilege issues, but those doesn't erase the gender issues--just make it easier to work around them.

blondie

A rising tide lifts all boats, baby.

Not even considering the effects of the lack of "direct" compensation, the housewife in the bad, old days was often, at best, a sidekick. How much better to get to be the main character in your own life?

citizen1

A marriage does not work without mutual respect and support. My wife worked FT until our first child was born. She then stayed home with the children until our youngest was 2, as we agreed to before we were married. Now I am home during the day with the children when they are not at school and I work nights. The truth is raising children is the most important job in the world. It is a not a shameful thing to be at home with the children it should be desired. The truth is to that most women are better at raising children than men and that it is better for them to stay home but when ever possibly one parent should stay home and raise their children with the same values as the parents have not entrusting them to strangers.

Antigone

A rising tide raises all boats presumes that you have a boat.

Happy's father was not obligated in any way, shape, or form to give more money to her mother.

And I never got the "raising by strangers" bit. When my fiance and I have kids (if we have kids; right now a plane looks like a better investment) you can be sure that we are going to want to get to know the babysitter and check out the facility. What is this "strangers" that you speak of?

L.

"It is a not a shameful thing to be at home with the children it should be desired."

While I agree raising children is a vital job in any society, I get very, very uncomfortable when people tell other people that anything "should be desired."

I also personally believe my children were better off in their daycare than at home with me, and I can`t possibly be the only parent who thinks this way!

mythago

"Strangers" are what you call "teachers" when they're not attached to an institution called "school". See, if you call it daycare, that's bad.

Hunter

The truth is to that most women are better at raising children than men and that it is better for them to stay home

(Chuckling here, and paging Myth.)

Having arranged my own life around this pattern, with the wholehearted endorsement of a BH who had to be jolted out of his comfort levels when I insisted on the planned return to income generation...it is hilarious that our own sons married women who aren't buyin'.

Moreover, even the BH acknowledges that he didn't truly know what he was missing, now that he's the adored "diaper-changer" of his two grandaughters, many nights and weekends.

Times have changed, and the idea that Moms are better parents than Dads will fade, because it is simply not true.


First try didn't take. If this turns into a double post, please excuse.

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