Today I got into a little bit of a tit-for-tat disagreement with my sister-in-law on Facebook (of all places). Keeping in mind that we do not spend much time with this side of the fence (which seems to have created a bit of a rift), she has become increasingly more active as of late in voicing her judgments and opinions on my Facebook. Unfortunately, she is not very educated and terribly immature, and thus opens herself up, then, to the ridicule of my friends and family who know better. A few weeks ago, she posted something about how much she loved Christmas on a webcomic I had shared and a cadre of friends began mimicking her incessant refusal to mind the rules of grammar and punctuation (one poster said “OMG LOL, I can’t wait to get a Hello Kitty toaster !! ! ! ! !”). I, myself, have bit my tongue on a number of occasions – particularly when she spells words like “gross” – grose, such as she did the other day when I posted that I couldn’t wait for a White Castle slider when I get (home) to Chicago in two months.
Today I could not take it anymore, though, because her comments went beyond the realm of simply judgmental, annoying, or inherently stupid. So I said my peace politely, although it left me with a horrible taste in my mouth. The conversation went something like this:
In a Facebook status, I joked about the irony of cleaning before the cleaners come: “Cleaners are on their way which can only mean one thing: must pre clean so we don’t look like slobs.” A few of my friends commented immediately, indicating that they do the same exact thing, and one friend and I got into conversation about how worth it the cleaning service is – particularly when you have kid(s).
All of a sudden, Hello Kitty Toaster chimed in, saying I like to burn the calories and see all my hard work in the finished results !! Plus cleaning supplies last a long time… doesn’t equal the price of a cleaning lady !! just saying…
I responded, continuing the conversation. For one, maybe I just live with complete and utter slobs, but we go through cleaning supplies like gang busters and when the cleaning service only charges $60 to completely disinfect, deallergen, and clean up after us, the net increase in the monthly budget is negligible. So I mentioned this. I also mentioned that there also is the “I’m not a slave”-factor, in the sense that just because I am a woman does not mean I have to spend all my time cooking and cleaning. (And in truth, I still have to clean up after the slobs…) The last comment I made on it was simply that having children around when you are trying to clean is much different than having no children (Hello Kitty Toaster of course falls into the latter category).
hmmm… well lets agree to disagree … no judgement here !! Just a different opinion
Fuck you, Hello Kitty Toaster. I hate it when people say that. It’s like the proverbial “I have nothing to say but am going to ignore your comments anyway.” I didn’t actually say fuck you – (despite the fact that her husband once told me to “go fuck yourself off” – great family, eh?…), but I wanted to. In the end, with her pithy “agree to disagree despite the conversation going on”-response, Hello Kitty Toaster shut the conversation down, leaving me annoyed and feeling like the housewife gong had again been struck.
Thanks, buzz kill.
But does she have a point? Is it better to clean house? She’s a housewife, although she has no kids. She actually does little but teach dance classes to children and some sort of yoga to adults. I’m not one to judge whether her existence is meaningful or not, although beyond this “teaching,” she is often nothing more than a bimbo. A blonde, uneducated, LOLOMGROFL !! bimbo. And – as I said – a housewife. A housewife who prepares her husband’s plate for him as if his arms are broken.
But still … does she have a point?
After thinking about it for the better half of the day, I still stick by a resounding “NO.” This isn’t the 1950s anymore, and while there is something to be said about a woman that will cook her man a nice dinner once in a while, this should not come as an expectation by any standard of judgment. Even when women don’t work – when they stay at home and raise the kids, or stay at home and work on other projects – I don’t think that the decades-old standard of housewifery need still apply. If the woman wants to abide by archaic standards of oppression and servitude, by all means, but for me, there’s a simple list of 5 Things a Housewife Should No Longer Feel She Has To Do:
#1 A housewife should no longer feel she has to change her last name. This is such an archaic practice and I’m not sure why people still do it. More over, nothing is more offensive than someone who cannot accept the fact that a woman chooses to keep her former name. My last name is and always will be Schmidt. I have multiple degrees tied to it and there is no reason to switch (something a lot of cultures practice as well…). Accept it or I’ll stop opening your mail.
#2 A housewife should not feel her station in life is to cook and clean. If a woman is not working and she and her husband make an agreement that she will do all the cooking and cleaning as a part of staying home, that is one thing. If a woman is not working for some other reason, though – be it to raise the kids, go to school, work on some other life-fulfilling project that does not necessarily bring home the bacon, then all bets are off the table. Nothing is more pompous than a man that acts like his wife should feel guilty for not cooking a luxurious meal every single night, either.
#3 There is no reason a housewife should serve her husband – food, slippers, whathaveyou. It’s always nice when you are tired from a long day and someone gets you a drink while you relax. Nothing beats coming home to find a plate of food dished up for you. But the concept of a woman fixing her husband’s plate every night – especially at family events for all to see her servitude – is ridiculous. I feel like punching Hello Kitty Toaster in the face, and asking her husband if his arms are broken, every single time I see them do this.
#4 A housewife should not feel obligated to bear children. Again, every relationship is defined differently, but there are tons of options for having and raising children if a couple wants to do it and the woman does not want to put her body through the trials and tribulations of childbirth. I’ve heard a number of pompous assholes in my day say they could never truly love a child that is not related by blood. I call hog wash on that, and in a big way. A child is a child is a child and blood line does not make them any more or less so, just as sperm donation does not make or break the title of “dad.”
#5 Lastly, a housewife should not take any shit just because her husband is the man of the house. I don’t know many people I could call “men” that lie, abuse, and emotionally manipulate their wives. The other day I read a great article about “gas lighting” – which was described as an epidemic in our country. It is never acceptable for a man to make his wife feel she is wrong for having feelings, crazy for being upset, or the bad guy for wanting something out of the relationship too. Nor is it ever tolerable for a man to scream and yell, or to humiliate, talk down to, or demean his wife. Ever.
Of course maybe this 5 Things … list is why I don’t get treated to date nights and diamonds on Valentine’s Day like most other housewives do…