Friday, January 28, 2011

Men, Women and Equality in the Household

There is a common misconception in the wider community that there is an inherent inequality between males and females in the traditional roles of women being at home raising the children and doing the housework, and the males as the breadwinners.

While I certainly take exception to certain minor parts of this model, on a whole it is the most viable and accurate mode of conjugal living.

I certainly abhor the extreme end of this model of the still-common practice in lower socio-economic households of the female doing all the cooking, cleaning, maintenance of the children and general running of the house for all the hours that she isn’t sleeping, while the man simply parks his obese arse on the couch drinking himself into a stupor after a mere 8 hour shift at work.

While there is no doubt that these conjugal roles are egregiously wrong, I personally believe that the traditional role of the 'stay at home mum' is basically right, and despite common thought, it is by no means an inferior lifestyle.

The current trend in Western society is for women to strive for a career as the most important goal in life, ahead, and sometimes instead of, child bearing. This ostensibly labelled 'emancipatory' vision of woman in modern society often manifests in significant peer pressure on women who genuinely want to devote their energy and time to their children rather than a superficial career.

The role of the stay at home mum is often vociferously frowned upon as a vastly inferior and antiquated mode of existence.

But is this really so? While it is certainly beneficial for women to participate in the work-place to various degrees, I challenge anybody to explain how the 24hr attentive role of carefully raising and instructing your delicate and intellectually burgeoning children in the moral code and beliefs that you value is in any way less important than the perfunctory and mundane duties of a run-of-the-mill job.

In fact, I would go as far as saying that the traditional role of the woman running the household is actually more important than the mere 8hr shift at work of so many males. While this may even sound a touch patronising to women, you really have to look past the petty and superficial cultural aspersions that are cast upon the traditional roles of men and woman in the household. Surely getting the conjugal mix right is far more important than just thoughtlessly adhering to popular social conjugal trends.

I contend that the roles of both the breadwinning and head-of-the-household male, and the pedagogy and house running of the female are certainly different- in fact they are just as different and polarized as males and females themselves- but these differences are complementary, but most important are EQUAL!

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