Godly Women · Traditionalist Bird

Devaluing Woman’s Work

Lori shares this fake story today with what she calls true facts as to how women are. This is a part of it:

“Sue and Jim have been married for fifteen years. They have four children ages six, eight, ten, and twelve. Sue is a stay-at-home wife. She is a rebellious wife. She doesn’t keep the home clean. She doesn’t fix Jim meals after he gets home from working ten hard hours at work trying to provide a living for his family. She doesn’t do his laundry. She hasn’t given him sex for six years, since the last child was conceived. She uses foul language often and is a very bitter woman towards Jim.”

I am not going to really talk about her post, but in reading it the line I bolded made me think of something. Wow, the poor guy. Having to work 10 hard hours! In the life of a sahm we have to work 24/7 basically. We are always “on” so to speak.  This made me realize that godly women, traditionalists, etc, really devalue woman’s work at home when men are always puffed up to be catered to left and right for their 10 or so hours they put into provide (10 hours that is with break and lunch times and not to mention the commute where you can unwind). While on the other hand if  a woman wants the slightest of break or time for herself or simply the luxury of having a hot meal or a peaceful poop for her 15-24 hours, it is deemed selfish.  He may be working hard to provide but she is also working hard to raise his children? Doesn’t that count for anything?  It implies his 10 hard hours are valuable and hers are not. As if her hours aren’t hard, which further fosters the stereotype that staying at home consists of laying around on the couch all day watching TV.

Men are suppose to be the stronger sex, but I am not so sure if 10 hours really just wipes them out.

If women are really doing something wonderful in staying home, raising children, homeschool, etc. that amount of work needs to be recognized just as women recognize men’s work.

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16 thoughts on “Devaluing Woman’s Work

  1. LovingThisBlog said:

    “I recently reviewed some fresh lists with him of what I take care of and what he takes care of, after something he said belied his attitude toward the subject, but its too soon to tell whether it helped, because he’s learned not to complain openly about it at least, haha… But as I mentioned, sometimes something will slip that implies he’s feeling resentful about the state of the house, and that’s when I realize he either believes that I should be doing more, or else he himself secretly feels guilty for not doing more, and ends up expressing it in a way that makes *me* feel bad about it instead of/in addition to him feeling bad about it… I can’t tell for sure which is the case… :”

    I think something I would say to that (because it’s something I needed to hear) is, “Are you worried about the house because it’s unhygienic/unsafe/or uncomfortable, or because it doesn’t live up to the standards of other people?”

    One of the things I’ve learned between getting married and the last few years is:

    –We don’t keep a nice house for other people. If my MIL or FIL thinks our house isn’t clean or tidy enough, that’s too darn bad.
    –We keep a nice house because it’s nice for us to have a home that is comfortable and pleasant.
    –So the goal is not to maximize effort or tidiness, but to maximize comfort.

    Monthly housecleaning is a bargain (although twice a month is better). The bang-for-buck is incredible in terms of improving living conditions and decreasing stress.

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  2. Hah! “Have you ever thought of sitting down and making a list of every household duty and going over it with your husband so you can each figure out how to divide things based on each other’s strengths and weaknesses or preferences for doing this or that type of chore?”
    Yes, I actually did that very thing about a year or two ago! He didn’t really accept responsibility for anything new that he wasn’t already doing, but I initially believed that the exercise would at least help him appreciate the imbalance in his favor… But if it did, the effect seems to have worn off by now… 😦
    I recently reviewed some fresh lists with him of what I take care of and what he takes care of, after something he said belied his attitude toward the subject, but its too soon to tell whether it helped, because he’s learned not to complain openly about it at least, haha… But as I mentioned, sometimes something will slip that implies he’s feeling resentful about the state of the house, and that’s when I realize he either believes that I should be doing more, or else he himself secretly feels guilty for not doing more, and ends up expressing it in a way that makes *me* feel bad about it instead of/in addition to him feeling bad about it… I can’t tell for sure which is the case… :\

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  3. Two-Cent Woman said:

    “Sometimes we women tend to take on household stuff quite naturally so that the men don’t really think much of it. They assume we must want to do it or prefer it, then it becomes ours by default. This is one instance where lack of communication can cause misunderstanding.”

    Years ago, when my husband and I were newlyweds, I thought that I needed to do the bills and keep the checkbook because that was how it was done in my extended family. As it turned out, I found it very stressful. My husband on the other hand, does not. Fortunately, that job gravitated over to his pile pretty fast.

    There are a lot of things where “how mom and dad did it” or “how everybody does it” may not work for particular individuals.

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  4. Two-Cent Woman said:

    ” It’s quite uncharitable if either spouse sees the other over-burdened and says “Not my job.””

    Yeah.

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  5. LovingThisBlog “Sigh…if only those women knew that even bringing home a paycheck doesn’t guarantee catering and appreciation… Those of us who do, are still considered primarily responsible “by default” for all the traditional women’s work, and men so often think if they “help” at all, they’re being generous…”

    I can imagine the difficulty of working and still being responsible for the household as well. Have you ever thought of sitting down and making a list of every household duty and going over it with your husband so you can each figure out how to divide things based on each other’s strengths and weaknesses or preferences for doing this or that type of chore? Sometimes we women tend to take on household stuff quite naturally so that the men don’t really think much of it. They assume we must want to do it or prefer it, then it becomes ours by default. This is one instance where lack of communication can cause misunderstanding.

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  6. “Both husbands and wives need to appreciate each other’s contributions to the “division of labor” and love each other enough to pitch in to help the other when they are struggling under their particular load, IMO. It’s quite uncharitable if either spouse sees the other over-burdened and says “Not my job.”

    YES, no employer likes an employee who says “that’s not in my job description”. Rigid role following is the same as being an employee who says that. They just kick back and watch someone do something because its not in their defined masculine or feminine duties. Employers want a team player and so do husbands and wives. In fact, you can probably even get fired if you have a “not in my job description” attitude.

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  7. LovingThisBlog

    It’s true. There is a great underappreciation from both feminists and traditionalists for what is/was traditionally “women’s work.” I remember seeing some email joke floating around years ago about a husband who came home to his wife every night and asked “What did you do all day?” She got tired of the question, so one day she didn’t do “what she does all day” so the breakfast dishes were still sitting out with dried on cereal, crumbs were strewn about the floors and milk spilled from the kids helping themselves when they were hungry, laundry was overflowing the hamper, the hose was flooding the yard from the kids playing with it, the kids toys were everywhere and they were filthy and still in their pj’s too, there was no dinner waiting, the beds were unmade, there was toothpaste spit in the bathroom sink, the answering machine was blinking with 12 calls never answered, and so on. Her husband looked at her in disbelief when he got home and asked “What happened?” She said, “Now you know what I’ve been doing all day.”

    Both husbands and wives need to appreciate each other’s contributions to the “division of labor” and love each other enough to pitch in to help the other when they are struggling under their particular load, IMO. It’s quite uncharitable if either spouse sees the other over-burdened and says “Not my job.”

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  8. Sigh…if only those women knew that even bringing home a paycheck doesn’t guarantee catering and appreciation… Those of us who do, are still considered primarily responsible “by default” for all the traditional women’s work, and men so often think if they “help” at all, they’re being generous… The portion their wives do, still isn’t appreciated at all by some husbands…

    You know, I was just thinking earlier today about how one of my biggest beefs with the feminist movement is how they encouraged women to find their value and self-esteem in the idea that “anything you can do, I can do better” (focusing on how women can be good at things men have traditionally done), instead of valuing the domestic things women are generally better at or better-suited for, at an equal level with paid work and other traditional male pursuits… But now I see that – you’re right – traditionalists undervalue domestic work, too! Even as they act like it’s the most important thing in the world for women to stay home and do those things, they simultaneously talk like it’s really just the least wives can do in exchange for what their *husbands* are doing for *them* (never mind that they were discouraged from doing that for themselves and told that they needed to stay home and take care of those super-important domestic duties)…

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  9. “If men get catered too all the time for bringing home a paycheck it sure makes women want to go out and and work so they can get the same sort of appreciation.”

    AMEN to that. Couldn’t have said it better.

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  10. Stone said:

    “Right, traditionalists complain about how society doesn’t value moms anymore, especially the stay at home mom. Yet they do a lot to keep that view going strong by not acknowledging that woman’s work in the home deserves a break and nice gestures too. If men get catered too all the time for bringing home a paycheck it sure makes women want to go out and and work so they can get the same sort of appreciation.”

    Riiiight.

    I’ve certainly seen this in my own extended family.

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  11. “bringing home a paycheck counts as hard work, but managing children and a household does not.”

    Right, traditionalists complain about how society doesn’t value moms anymore, especially the stay at home mom. Yet they do a lot to keep that view going strong by not acknowledging that woman’s work in the home deserves a break and nice gestures too. If men get catered too all the time for bringing home a paycheck it sure makes women want to go out and and work so they can get the same sort of appreciation.

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  12. As I’m sure you’ve seen, Lori posted this post today, written by Ken: https://thetransformedwife.com/one-long-temper-tantrum/

    A few things:
    -Like Amy said, the Alexanders make no effort whatsoever to listen to/understand the wife’s point of view. Nope, if the home is a mess, and there’s no hot meal on the table when the husband arrives home, the wife is rebellious. It doesn’t matter that she may be tired or depressed. It doesn’t matter that she was up at 3 am breastfeeding, while her husband snored away. It doesn’t matter that she works just as many hours as her husband, if not more, caring for the children and managing the household. Nope, she’s automatically labeled “selfish.” And apparently, when she resents her husband’s entitled and judgmental attitude (“I deserve a clean house and a hot meal, why don’t I have a clean house and a hot meal?!”), then she’s throwing a tantrum.
    -Which leads me to the second point. The husband is the real tantrum-thrower here. On Lori’s blog, all I see is endless whining about women who “don’t meet their husband’s needs.” Forget about self-sacrificial love for one’s wife, as the Bible actually commands. It’s all about the husband and his “needs.” Because, as Stone said, bringing home a paycheck counts as hard work, but managing children and a household does not.
    -Lastly, a commenter said this:

    “Sounds like Jezebel needs to be binded!! That’s so sad!! Love our church cause our Pastor is on this hard core!! When I act up – hormones- my husband don’t play he calls it out and tells me I better respect… I think some guys are just TOO nice… time to clean the house of all open doors/windows… shut off all cable, cell phones, internet… take the tvs out… go back to the basics … don’t provide privileges for spoiled brats…”

    To which Lori replied, “I agree!”

    Which just goes to show you, Lori thinks it’s ok for husbands to treat their wives like spoiled children. Again, not a biblical idea in the slightest, and it reveals Lori’s deep lack of respect for women and their role as “keepers at home.” To her, marriage is little more than a relationship between father and daughter.

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  13. Once again, see the claim that if your husband cheated on you, you must have been a bad wife. No evidence to back this claim up, of course. Just the assumption that no man would ever be unfaithful to a good wife.

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  14. I feel like there’s got to be a lot more going on here.

    Some thoughts:

    –Is this lady homeschooling? If so, it starts making more sense why housekeeping is spiraling out of control with kids all being school-age.
    –Does her husband insist on a larger family? If so and there is some sort of disagreement about family planning, that would explain why their kids are 12, 10, 8, 6, and she hasn’t had sex with him since conceiving the youngest.
    –If he is working 10 hour days, it’s likely that he is rolling home well-past kid dinner time–perhaps 7ish or 8ish.
    –Also, kid afternoon and evening activities are often murder on family dinner time, even if each child only has one thing per school day evening.
    –Is there some sort of ongoing major disagreement? Like, doe he insist on homeschooling while she would like to quit, or she wants to quit having kids, does she want to quit being an SAHM, etc? A lot of behavior described here (like skipping his laundry) sounds like she has gone on strike.
    –Is there some sort of serious economic issue?
    –Notice that nobody has any interest in what this lady is mad about. As far as Lori and the woman’s husband are concerned, she’s just mad for no reason. Wouldn’t it be informative to hear what her grievances are?
    –If the kids are gone all during the school day and there’s absolutely no reason for her not to have a sparkly home and dinner on the table–perhaps she’s got some sort of mental health issues or deficiency? Has she had a physical recently and maybe done a depression screening? How’s her Vitamin D?

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