There was a time, way back when… when my grandmother remembers. A time when households operated much differently than they do today; in fact, my grandfather has a house that operates in the very manner that most houses once did. I’m talking about houses that were built before modern industry made many of the amenities we now take for granted; it has a wood stove for cooking and heating, bare wood floors, light came from windows during the day and oil lamps at night, and is generally very rustic; outside is a pile of wood (with an assortment of axes and saws), a large basin (for laundry and bathing) and a clothes -ine that doesn’t move, an outhouse a little way off, and a stream in the distance for water.
It sounds rather charming and idyllic, until you spend a week there, and your clean clothes run out, and you quickly realize that every bath requires a demanding workout of wood splitting and water-fetching, so by the end of a month, you’re either in great shape, or you stink, or quite possibly both (you can short cut this with a pale of heated water and a hand-cloth; but this is you sitting on a stool on the porch, naked to the world).
It’s a place to visit; it takes real commitment to stay as a life choice. Before the industrial age, this was the standard model of all houses. Also keep in mind that this was a time of extended families, so getting kinky with the spouse when the elders and kids are in the next room – and nothing for sound deadening – was the norm; the others would have to be a hundred paces from the house before sound of frisky finally abated.
There were many benefits to having a wife in such a household; in a time when working men didn’t have the benefit of standardized working hours–agricultural workers still operate on the dawn until dusk system. It wasn’t expected of women to go and fetch wood, but she did have to chop it; she also had to keep the chimney clean, lest a chimney-fire were to burn the neighborhood down. She had to fetch the water, whether it came from a stream/river or a neighborhood pump. She was expected to keep the limited number of clothes washed (and when she found some spare time, she repaired old clothes and/or made new ones). She was expected to cook the meals from basic available goods, often having to make her own bread on the kitchen table. She was expected to be the nurse for the kids, for anything not life threatening. She was expected to protect the kids from harm while the husband was out working.
In a time when the “age of reason” was six years old, she could send her sons off with dad to start working; but the daughters began learning how to be a housewife; when the daughter reached adolescence, a choice had to be made: if she was presentable enough to be married off, her training in wifely duties would continue, but if she failed this preliminary test, she was expected to find a job and work for her keep until someone could be found who was willing to take her. And finally, she was expected to give her husband supportive reason to keep going back to that body- and soul-crushing job which was often destined to kill him. Let’s not forget that making a bath was such strenuous work, the family often shared bathwater, starting with the cleanest (usually the girls who spent the day doing chores) to the dirtiest (usually the boys and men after a hard day of work).
The industrial age brought two major components which radically changed the way women ran the household chores; in-house electricity and plumbing. The toilet was fairly innocuous on its own, but it meant the wife didn’t have to carry a bucket of human waste to the refuse pile herself; but the advent of the dedicated sewer drastically decreased the chance of disease by keeping human waste away from the water supply; further plumbing technologies meant that she had water on tap, right in her own house. Electricity meant she was no longer responsible for the safety of the lighting coming from oil lamps; the electric or gas stove allowed her to cook without overheating the house on a hot day. Water and electricity combined gave rise to the heat radiator; and gone were the days of packing water and chopping wood, saving women at least two hours a day on chores. A side-effect of industry brought about production clothing, so women no longer had to make the family clothes anymore. Unless they were just frugal; they could just go to the shop and buy clothes off the shelf.
The next phase came during the Cold War, when the electric washer, drier, dishwasher and finally a common vacuum cleaner became available; these inconspicuous appliances, are easily taken advantage of and just as easily forgotten. By hand, laundry takes about two hours (assuming you do laundry every few days), and it has to be done outside – lest you splash water on the floor – and on a nice day. Washing dishes by hand is about a half an hour; longer if the dishes were allowed to get crusty. These three appliances are “set and forget” tools; a total of ten minutes per day each, and you didn’t have to worry about weather/animals/kids/thieves interfering with laundry day. With the clinical appearance of the then modern house, housekeeping was easy; a well-maintained home would take little more than two hours a day to clean and the vacuum could hold week’s worth of dust before needing to be dealt with.
Now she had time to figure out something to do, something fulfilling, a hobby maybe; just imagine the impact daytime television had on her, when feminism splashed into her living room while she was trying her hand at needle-point, embroidering her son’s denim jacket with his school team’s logo, baking cookies, or dare I say it, learning to cook an impressive meal with the now wide variety of available foodstuffs (thanks to a well-integrated shipping and trucking industry), and a telephone to share her new-found insights with other female friends and family.
She was still expected to provide moral support to her husband; and yes, sex was a wifely duty she was obligated to provide as per the terms of marriage. Despite the growing lack of interior household duties, she still wasn’t expected to maintain the exterior of the house; mowing the lawn, painting the siding and fence, pruning the hedge (gardening was optional), raking leaves, maintaining the vehicle, and shoveling snow were all duties of the husband to do on the weekend when he’s not working (backbreaking work during the week, to mind-breaking work on the weekend; no rest for the weary).
Skip forward half a century and the modern grocery stores are filled with readymade meals (just add chicken). Even self operating vacuum cleaners and cell phones are available; daycare for the tots, subsides for the working mom (single or married); and Joe Mechanic to do warranty work on that brand new family car. Even as women continue to move into the workforce; they do so in fields that require little physical exertion, have great flexibility, and rarely work full-time; often taking large quantities of time off for maternity, or dropping out of work altogether. Meanwhile, their husbands continue to work, often adding more hours to their workload in order to afford a lifestyle they wouldn’t need on their own. And still, women aren’t expected to do exterior household duties.
So now we get to the meat of the topic: women demand what? The man’s work expectation in regards to family provision hasn’t changed; while women working can be classified as a hobby. On average, the husband brings home twice that which the wife brings home; men make up 75% of the tax revenue, while women command almost 80% of the buying power; this means that he’s giving her the bulk of his earnings (after taxes of course). And women demand what?
Women demand their men to do “their fair share of household chores.” Let’s look at this from a fiscal perspective shall we? Women are happy to do their “fair share” household duties; this means basically cleaning up after herself, with all the modern amenities available to her. Many women are happy to receive the lump sum of his paycheck, while keeping her own. Women are happy to make use of daycare, and certainly schools at the earliest possible age (everyone’s child is gifted after all). But many women are not happy about cleaning up after her husband, who has added hours to his workload; and no, exterior household duties don’t seem to count.
So, if a man has to continue taking care of himself, as he would if he were still single, why is he doubling her available money? He can live comfortably on that money alone, without her, do all his own chores, and still have time and money left over to do his own activities. If it’s intellectual stimulation she’s after, she’s obviously got the wrong job, and it’s he who should quit and become a househusband, or at least cut back significantly on the hours he works, stop trying to rise to stardom–but I have yet to meet a woman who was in a relationship of any sort, who didn’t rely on interpersonal relations or celebrity affairs as their mainstay of conversational topics; she may have been fascinating, even captivating conversationally before marriage, but afterwards that seems to just shut-off, especially after kids enter the scene.
If its sex, that’s once per day of blasé sex any street-hooker can provide, or mind-blowing sex once a week a well trained call-girl can provide; but since the advent of “marital rape,” sex is no longer a loving duty, so it has become whim and weapon; children are a neutral factor in this, a shared byproduct of an agreed upon transaction (unless the mother is pimping the child’s time to the father), they do not equate. If it’s companionship, friends and/or dogs can do just as good a job, because they’re actually interested in our other friends and hobbies; and they don’t expect us to cut-back or give them up for more cuddle time (speaking of which, that’s foreplay, stop leading men on). Expecting men to share the chores, is a sure sign she’s not interested in giving her husband moral support to keep plugging away at a job he’d rather do less of, or not at all.
If women are demanding that their husbands do their “fair share” of the chores, then why do men need wives at all? In man’s attempt to make their wives lives easier, they have reduced the wifely duties to next to non-existent. Why, women? Why oh why would you drive those final coffin nails of obsolescence in? Aside from children, there’s no benefit left to having a wife.
Where have all the good men gone? Well… where have all the good women gone?
… … … And the gestational apparatus is already being successfully tested on goats.