Tuesday, July 15, 2014

OB -- no, that's not it

A quote from an article online (use it to google to find the article) says
"The law states that: in a good, progressive relationship, tasks must be shared 50/50. This means that you both have to earn money (because this is, aside from a practical necessity, the sole route to freedom and fulfilment) and both of you have to take care of the housework and kids (because that’s a chore that it would be deeply unfair if one person had the sole or dominant share of)."
This mistaken notion of equality, according to the author, is the source of arguments in families where one person stays home and one leaves the home and brings back money.

That's not it.

What's it is that some tasks are seen as more important because money is paid down for them.  This started a long time ago in male dominated society, not in egalitarian society.  That's an error of fact which ruins this thesis.

If you read my DIY page, you will see that work done in the house can generate money.  Selling what you DIY can generate money.  You know that you can do those things for a restaurant and bring money home.  But if it is only used to save money, the male-dominated mindset says it doesn't count.
Betty Friedan had a male-dominated mindset, poor thing.
She was taught to de-value anything that didn't actually result in money being handed over.
That's the same attitude that devalues artistic endeavor -- until it starts bringing in money -- or crucial jobs like teaching -- that only pay what the state feels like paying.

Looking at it as if equality is a mistake is false.  The truth is that if a family had to pay somebody for everything done by whoever stays home, they would need $60,000 over and above mortgage, utilities, clothing, food, and the price of using transportation.  And that's just labor.  Because as I have shown you in DIY, there's also a price for materials.
And a person who uses those materials wastefully or buys overpriced items doubles the expense on materials.  Besides bringing chemicals into the house that are useless or harmful.
So those quarrels come from a mental attitude, but not because it's an issue of equality.  It's an issue from a male-dominated society that devalues household work.

Now, don't take this as anti-feminist and show it to your SO and say, why can't you feel like this?  If you get snarled at by somebody who has been home all day, you look at your own attitude first. 
Then imagine the conversation with your boss: "Hi, I need a raise of $60,000 a year so that my SO can sit around the house all day long and think of ways to baby me."  Yeah, that's going to go well.

The law mentioned in the quote is not meant in the sense of a statute written by government.  What the author really means is a societal expectation.  But he would have to do an awful lot more work to convince me that he has really delved into the society he's criticizing and has statistics to back up his claim.  I think he's just generating polemic, not reporting on a study.  The website may like what he said, but that doesn't mean he's right.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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