torsdag 2 april 2009

Put pride back in the housewife!

I've come to realize that one of the most provoking things you can say nowadays is "I want to be a housewife".
Why is that?
So many things associated with the classic image of a housewife is like waving a red picece of cloth in front of an angry bull. For example: a couple of days ago I spoke with a woman at work about cooking. I said I always make my own meatballs instead of buying that awful ready-made stuff you can pick up at the grocery store.
"Why?" she asked me and looked like I have said something very inappropriate.
"Because they taste a millions times better, I know exactly what's in them, there is no chemical additives and I really like making the things I eat by my self. That goes for almost everything."

She gasped and said that I sounded like her grandmother (a compliment, from my point of view) and that she couldn't understand why such a young person as me was willing to waste so much time on simple things like cooking...

When I tell people I use old-fashioned soft soap to clean the house with instead of modern cleaning agents they think I'm nuts. "It can NOT get clean with just that!".
Yes, it gets very clean and smells wonderful.
I do what I have learned from my mother and what she learned from her mother.
Nothing would make me happier if I was able to be a housewife and take care of everything at home, feeling proud of my work and having dinner ready when my husband comes home from work. I would't feel less valuable or subdued as a human being or as a woman! Why would I?

Women nowadays is overworked and exhaused from the constant preassure from the culture we live in.
Have a career! Shop expensive brands! Live in a never-ending hamster wheel that goes faster and faster! Eat processed food that makes you tired and sick! Be mother of the year! Live up to people expectations!
All at once....and the gastric ulcer arrives at your doorstep.
We eat fast food, have cell phones, trying to do things as effective as possible and yet we do not have time for anything valuable.

Why can't we get back to when people KNEW how to cook good food, took pride in having knowledge in housekeeping, made do and mend and had time for their children and each other?
Why can't it be a natural thing that the whole family always have dinner together the same time everyday? And why can't a family have a good living on one salaray these days?

I don't mean to sound like a member of the Christian right-wing.. I just think that regularity don't necessarily need to be a bad thing?
Why can't we appreciate the little things in life? Having a picnic with the family, going to the movies, watching little Mickeys football-game...
Sure there were plenty of unhappy housewives on tranquilizers in the 40's and 50's but times are different now. You can have tattoos and go to punk rock concerts even if you are a mother and housekeeper!
And housewifery is not for everyone, I understand that. But why is it so taboo these days to even talk about this subject?

Maybe I'm just babble and can't really focus here, but maybe you get a little hint of what I mean.
I can assure you that this will not be the last post on the subject!
Until next time, be sure to visit The Vintage Housewife blog and Retro Housewife.

13 kommentarer:

Betty Lou sa...

tycker alla borde göra så mycket dom kan själva, klart man väljer att baka sitt eget bröd så vet man ju vad det är i. har länge tänkt göra egna köttbullar med smarriga kryddor i.

och jag städar alltid med gul såpa, luktar så gott då. både till golv och när jag dammtorkar. när jag bodde hemma och bara hade dryga 2 m till taket så brukade jag skura taket också en gång om året. men nu är det 3.40 till taket så det är lite knepigt.

Little Rascal sa...

It's actually the feminists that don't like it, they think that the modern woman should have evolved from being a housewife to being an independent career woman. Fuck that!

My mom was a housewife and it was nice to come home from school knowing that she had a snack ready for me and that the dinner was on the table when dad come back from work and I want that for my family too!

Everything I know I've learned from my maternal grandmother and the TV show "How clean is your house". :))

I do think that the housewife is on it's way back, at least I hope so.
I mean, see what have happened since the housewives went to work outside the home, kids became "key kids", alone and unhappy, more divorces and so on.
A home needs a provider AND a spine.
Provider = man
Spine = wife

schmut sa...

feminist movement never had a beef with housewives or women wanting to be housewives, it was the fact that it wasn't a choice back then as well as it made women financially dependent on men.

cook all you want, use grumme 'til your hands are green and pray to God that you'll never become a divorcee. if you do, you haven't got a dime in your purse, no resumé and no chances of getting a job.
my guess is that the modern pinup-girl wanting to be a housewife is just somewhat naive and holding on to imagery that's nothing more than a images in a glossy magazine. being a housewife isn't e-baying, blogging and making cupcakes.

and hey, supporting a family with kids on one salary? good luck.

Zizzi sa...

I agree with you! I've been on sick-leave from work for almost one year, and maternaty-leave (spelling?) for one year. So I've been a "housewife" for little more than two years. And after this summer I'm going back to work, and I am not happy about that. I love being at home, cleaning, and showing my family how much I love them by having clean clothes and a clean home. I love having some time for myself as well and I love to bake and cook.

Kikkan sa...

Att vara hemmafru innebär att vara helt ekonomiskt beroende av din partner. Om du av olika anledningar tex. har valt en destruktiv relation och måste lämna den med dina barn har du ingenting.

Du kommer inte att klara dig på din pension när du blir äldre om din partner lämnar dig. Slå upp närmaste veckotidnings juridikavdelning och där finns brev efter brev från fd. hemmafruar vars män lämnat dem. De har möjliggjort mannens karriär genom att vara hemma och sköta markservicen men när det inte passar längre så står de utblottade. Om man väljer att vara hemmafru är det alltså av yttersta vikt att göra upp en ekonomiskt överrenskommelse med den som arbetar utanför hemmet.

Om man vill vara hemmafru och det gör en lycklig så har man all rätt att vara det.Dock man kanske bör tänka på vad det innebär och varför tidigare generationers kvinnor kämpat för att få en möjlighet att klara sig själva.

För övrigt var Little Rascals kommentar det mest unkna och heteronormativa jag läst på mycket länge.

vifsla sa...

Jag skulle gärna vara hemma och ta hand om hus och hem!

Little Rascal sa...

Kikkan: Thanks.
Btw, I have a lot of money that I've made on my own so if a bad day ever comes I'm not in any financial trouble.

Little Rascal sa...
Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.
Little Rascal sa...

I don't get it, do people honestly think that we just want the image?
Taking care of a house and a man is a full time job, I don't have time to do my hair or put make up on everyday. Over here you can actually put homemaker on your CV and still get a job if you want that.
And for me it isn't a new thing, I've been a housewife long before I even got into the 50's scene.

What makes you saying that "being a housewife isn't e-baying, blogging and making cupcakes', why not if you still take care of your chores it should be perfectly OK or did I miss something that is written in the feminist bible? If it's your hobby and you've got the time to do it, why not?

And everyone doesn't want kids so there you go.
It's not written in stone that you have to give birth to be a homemaker.

Kikkan sa...

Little Rascal: Det är jättebra att du har dina egna pengar och kan utveckla din kreativitet. Och som jag skrev i mitt inlägg "Om man vill vara hemmafru och det gör en lycklig så har man all rätt att vara det" men det är viktigt att komma ihåg att förr hade kvinnor inte samma valmöjligheter och om det inte var för feministerna så hade du varken varit myndig eller fått rösta.

"Taking care of a house and a man is a full time job"
Aha, då antar jag att singelmän som bor ensamma i hus inte kan ha något annat jobb än hemmaman i så fall...

staria sa...

I think you are right, women should be able to be whatever they want in life, including housewife. Nowadays saying that you want to be a housewife if like saying you wanted to be a scientist in the Victorian era. Women roles have reversed, they are not equal yet. Because choice is doing what you like, not what society expects you to... like being a superwoman that cooks, cleans, have children and work! Unless you marry a super comprehensive husband that helps around in the housework, I think the woman ends up being more like a slave than before.

Little Rascal sa...

Kikkan: For ME it is a full time job since we live in a big house with two big gardens and we're in the middle of a total renovation AND my man is disabled, which means I'm also a full time carer.
That my dear takes all my time but I love it.

ebba sa...

I agree with yout; it shouldnt be so taboo with housewifes, it's really much better making you own meetballs than the excuse for meetballs down in ICA. But I just think for myself; so all those years of letting women decide for them selfs? Because that is what feminism is about. Nobody is the same; some women enjoy cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids, while some don't. And I certainly dont think that we should blame the women who rather work all night then those who likes to cook. And then we have another problem: the men. I think we all tend to forget them. Because there are housemen, men who enjoys those housewify stuff, and likes making dinner ready for his wife when she comes home.
Bye from me.