HOUSEWIFE: The Glorified Goddess??

SADRAG
Posted February 21, 2020 from India

Yesterday, I met Renu, a young girl of around 17 years. I asked her that what did her father do? She said that her father worked in a factory. I asked her about her mother. She said that her mother did nothing, she was a HOUSEWIFE.  It was not the first time that I was hearing this kind of reply. Many a times, I have heard women saying that they are a housewife, remain at home  and do nothing.  

I thought that it is high time to ponder, What does the term HOUSEWIFE mean? Who coined the term Housewife and why is it used as a passing by term with no emotions or pride in saying so!

In common parlance, the word HOUSEWIFE  would mean a woman attending to household chores that includes child care, looking after the  elderly and sick and ensuring at the same time that all is well at home. This is necessary so that  other family members can lead a life free from the worry of meeting the basic nutrition, sanitation and health needs. In other words, these members  are spared the time and energy to invest in higher goals of life and accomplishment. The woman’s direct labour round the clock results in household management that saves money which is essential for the economic prosperity of the family.

And this woman is said to do no work at home!!!!!

This woman is glorified as a HOUSEWIFE: HOUSE + WIFE. The actual connotation of the term is that after marriage, a woman becomes a wife and is confined to the four walls. Her responsibilities are so divine that she sacrifices the self to make happy homes and healthy communities. The glorification completes when she is named as the Maker or the Beaker of Homes and Families. After all, she is a goddess with a divine wand.  Smells of Patriarchy!!

Now the question is, when HOUSEWIFE is so crucial for the survival of the family then why is it whispered in ears! When the home is built on  HOUSEWIFE’s labour then why is it not said so with motivation and pride?  Lastly,  Do you think that tag of a HOUSEWIFE continues more as a token of society’s respect to Patriarchy and patriarchal norms?

I call out to my fellow sisters to comment on this subject.

Lets together change the very existence of a HOUSEWIFE from that of a glorified goddess to where she speaks about herself with her Head Held High!!

 

Comments 13

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Jill Langhus
Feb 21
Feb 21

Hi Mala,

How are you doing? Yes, this is an interesting and very relevant conversation for nowadays. I have to admit it has quite a few triggers for me. I don't like the term for a start because it does imply that's a job for a woman alone. It should be a home maker so that it can apply to both genders. Secondly, what you're saying is absolutely spot on, because women who do do this on a daily basis are the pillar of their families and do very important and very hard work. Thirdly, it shouldn't be dismissed or talked down about, and women who do it shouldn't feel ashamed, but very proud of all their contributions. It's horrible that the assumption is that they do nothing and that all their hard work is just taken for granted. This needs to change.

Thanks for sharing and starting this important conversation, dear.

Hope you're doing well, and that you have a great weekend.

SADRAG
Feb 21
Feb 21

Hi Jill,
You are right. The women need to say and say it strongly.
To begin with, the women have to acknowledge their contribution and respect it themselves. They need to be convinced about their own self. Its only then that others would respect and appreciate the women.
It all begins with our self.

Love
mala

Jill Langhus
Feb 22
Feb 22

Hello Mala:-)

Yes! I totally agree.

Hope you're doing well and having a great weekend, dear:-)

XX

Lenina Rassool
Feb 21
Feb 21

What a relevant and wonderful piece. You hit the nail on the head perfectly. Stats show that even if women work, they carry out two and half times more care work than men:
https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw61/redistribute-unpaid-work

Have you seen Oxfam's new unpaid care work tool - measuring the cost of care work? You can calculate what your care work is worth in monetary terms. We should show this to schoolgirls:

https://www.carecalculator.org/en/

All the best in your work, activism and care work. Sending light and love.
Lenina

SADRAG
Feb 21
Feb 21

Hi Lenina,
Thanks for sharing such a good resource. Its very useful to understand the value of care work.

During our sessions with women and young girls, we ask them to write their day long routine with time and activity. We then ask them to write the day routine of their father or brother. Its an eye opening exercise for them when they point out the startling difference between the two. But at the end of it, its their social conditioning that asks, So whats the option?
The change is social perceptions is slow, gradual and inter-generational. But in the time of technology and its usage, we need to quicken it.
lots of love
mala

Awesome , it’s the real though- love your article

SADRAG
Feb 21
Feb 21

Thanks Mausumi.

Anita Shrestha
Feb 22
Feb 22

Dear Sis\
Thank you for sharing

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Mala,
This is a very interesting way at looking at house wives. The foundations of a home are always built on the love of the mother and wife in the home. This is something that we are never appreciated for simply because it is a role deemed normal by society. It is an interesting conversation and one that we should have.
Have a lovely day

SADRAG
Feb 23
Feb 23

Hi Anita,

Absolutely, we must ask Why HOUSEWIFE is not given the same respect, recognition and attention in the day to day conversations leave alone the domestic economy of a nation. Why do we restrain ourselves from saying it with pride that Yes, I am a Housewife. It disturbs me.
We must initiate this dialogue and begin from below to get the housewife her sue from people and society. The mere saying that a housewife is important may not be sufficient.
love
mala

Akshaya9
Feb 23
Feb 23

Hi Sadrag,
Thank you for sharing this to us. The society must give appreciation and respect to all Housewife because they also have a job even without receiving salary. I'm a Housewife, my job is not easy in everyday but i never complained as long as my kid's and my husband are taking care well. We're not just sitting to say "did nothing" because we are just a Housewife.

Our work in the house is more tiring than to those working in the office, etc. Housewife can do multi task, even we are sick we need to get up to prepare our love ones food and do the other household chores. We don't have off day, we don't have monthly salary, we don't have separation pay, we don't have bonuses but appreciation and respect are enough for us.

This must be change to the mindset of people. We also want a respect and be appreciate even we are Housewife.

SADRAG
Feb 23
Feb 23

Rightly said Akshaya. We have to highlight our contribution in economic, emotional and social , all the aspects of human lie. Nobody will do it for us.

Its WE, the women, who have to do it.

love
mala

Akshaya9
Feb 27
Feb 27

Yes your right, we need to defend ourselves so that the society will know what is our important rules as a Housewife .

Have a nice day dear