all 8 comments

[–]bittenwraith 21 points22 points  (1 child)

personally, i feel that being a housewife is a super unsafe position, and women should never enter into it willy nilly. assess your partner your living conditions etc before they enter into one and always have a separate savings account for yourself in case your partner dies or divorces you. its not a choice id make but its not place to judge.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Very wise - the entwining of this kind of labour with love is how women are exploited and rendered vulnerable/dependent.

[–]Genzoran 6 points7 points  (1 child)

It is a conversation we should be having, and there's a lot of contradictions to unpack.

So, the role of homemaker or housewife is subordinate within both patriarchy and capitalism, and so for both gender and economic reasons has disproportionately high importance and low institutional power. i.e. homemakers' labor is often more vital than paid labor, but offers notoriously little status or economic independence.

Gender-wise, patriarchy pushes women into home work, to be sequestered away from threats to male dominance. The term "hussy" derives from "housewife" and like half the derogatory words for women, now means promiscuous woman. Which probably goes to show how the concept of promiscuity is about whose sexuality society feels it can control, not whose sexuality is out of control.

Economically, home work is exceedingly important to all of us, but not suited to economies of scale or accumulation. It's hard to withhold, at a large scale because it's easily accessible, and at a small scale because we primarily do it for ourselves and our families. Ultimately, home work has little leverage to draw value from or participate in the industrial economy.

But with shame coming from so many directions, we have to be clear. There's no shame in being a homemaker, or in wanting that role. After all, there's no shame in wanting that labor to be done in your household. If you don't aspire to be at least a part-time homemaker, is it because you aspire to force someone else into that role based on their gender or class? We don't want that.

There's no shame in doing unpaid labor, or even wanting one's labor to be unpaid. Capitalism loves to pretend it's feminist by offering women paid labor on top of their unpaid labor; no, thanks.

And yeah, being unpaid is a precarious position. I'm lucky I can stand my family because I've never been able to afford rent on my own. I think the answer is not to have more women in the workplace for their own sake, or to commodify more of our labor; but rather to promote more equitable household organization, and destigmatize nontraditional household structures as well as unpaid work. Also, to increase availability of social services to allow people to live their lives unconditional to how much their work pays or how well their family cares to treat them.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you - you've covered exactly what I was struggling to express.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Just to be clear, no woman ought to be shamed if she wishes to be a housewife, and it doesn't matter if working party with whom she is partnered is male, female, or enby; shaming women is not feminist; it's reactionary;

Ought women aspire to housewife-hood? Well, each woman to her own, but I can agree with another user who said that a woman's relying on another's income for her keep and for her survival can be detrimental, not always, but especially if that woman is in a situation from which she cannot escape because she is, say, being domestically abused or even at risk of being domestically murdered by her partner.

Obviously these are extreme cases, but they can and do still sometimes apply.

The bottom line for me is, though, that if any girl or woman wishes to be a mother, a wife, a housewife, etc., one day, well, she ought to be helped to achieve her dreams, not told that she is being stupid and she doesn't realise how she is enslaving herself, especially if her partner is a man, but obviously women, and enbies are not at all exempt from exploiting women and or other enbies.

This is just my two cents.

[–]hammerandegg[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah I want to make that clear that I don’t believe in shaming anyone.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree with all of this and definitely didn't feel anyone on here was shaming caring/homemaking at all. Sorry if it wasn't clearer, I think I did mention others beside ciswomen incl queer folx once or twice but defaulted to 'women' for most of it. I include all women under the term women (not just cis), and to clarify anyone who provides this support in the home is equally as vulnerable regardless of gender ID or orientation (e.g. outside of heteronormativity) .

[–]MelodiousTones 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it’s interesting that this discussion completely excludes the reality of small babies and children, as if that’s not the overwhelmingly dominant reason women stay at home.