Motherhood · Traditionalist Bird

Rights to the Recliner

Here is another example of how traditionalist devalue woman’s work, from Michael Pearl:

The one who comes home tired from a day’s work is entitled to the recliner until dinner is served. It is the one who says, “Why aren’t my socks in the drawer?” and “This house is a mess; what have you been doing all day?” The breadwinner decides what kind of bread to eat and whether or not spending is foolish or necessary.

The assumption here is that the work women do around the house all day isn’t work. At least not any work of value or that deserves a moment of relaxation.  You have to come home and be tired from work to get the recliner. Staying in the home all day and being tired from the work of tending to multiple young children isn’t a real sort of tired. This furthers the myth that to be valuable you have to have  a paycheck. Is it any wonder so many women want to go out into the world and earn a paycheck.

Not to mention the assumption here that they one who earns the paycheck gets the right to say negative and critical things. What if the house isn’t a mess?  He is really playing up that women who stay at home are lazy and can’t do anything right.

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6 thoughts on “Rights to the Recliner

  1. Stone said:

    “Do you know why they basically put themselves in a position of poverty? Selling 4 acres to buy 77 acres, etc.”

    I’m not familiar with the back story, but presumably the idea was sacrifice hard now for future family benefit?

    However, the homeschooling would unavoidably take a pretty hard hit under those circumstances. Sure, there’d be SOME homeschooling benefit from the building projects themselves, but the reading and ‘riting would unavoidably take a hit, and these projects have a tendency to drag on and on.

    My parents built a house while we were living in it, and it took 5 years (and they had barns, fences, roads, etc already). Thank goodness nobody was attempting to homeschool at the same time…

    (I have to say that, coming from a farm and ranch family with each of the “small” ranches being in the several hundred acre range with 50+ cattle plus baby calves and that producing a very small cash income, I’m not blown away by a 77 acre spread. The Pearls are in Tennessee and my family is in Western WA, so I’m assuming roughly similar conditions.)

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  2. Amy,
    Do you know why they basically put themselves in a position of poverty? Selling 4 acres to buy 77 acres, etc. My guess God told them too and then they use this poverty to make themselves look more godly. Hey if we can feed a family of 7 on $10 a week, so can you! You just aren’t trying or praying hard enough. Why do some go and make their lives harder when God has already blessed them with what they need.

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  3. Part of the background here is that Michael Pearl wasn’t much of a provider (hence the cattle feed for the Pearl children), so it’s an open question to what extent he was deserving of the recliner until dinner, even by his own standards.

    I’m not at all surprised to find that he was a poor provider. The more of a failure a man is as a provider the more he tries to lord it over his wife. Successful men get a lot of validation from their achievements outside of the home so they don’t need to sit in a recliner and yell “where’s mah socks” at their overworked wives to feel important.

    I should draw a broke domineering matrix kind of like the hot crazy matrix that was circulating a while back. It is also worth noting that most of the women writing about the need to be super submissive like Debi Pearl were either not submissive themselves ( Lori) or are married to poor providers.

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  4. I’ll note its different when a man is doing manual labor all day vs sitting at a desk. Its the sitting at the desk jobs that I get a kick out of when men complain they are tired.

    They do all scrath their heads wondering why on earth would women want to go out into the cruel world and work, it seems obvious to me.

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  5. I saw that and that also made my eyes bug out.

    “The one who comes home tired from a day’s work is entitled to the recliner until dinner is served. It is the one who says, “Why aren’t my socks in the drawer?” and “This house is a mess; what have you been doing all day?” The breadwinner decides what kind of bread to eat and whether or not spending is foolish or necessary.”

    Part of the background here is that Michael Pearl wasn’t much of a provider (hence the cattle feed for the Pearl children), so it’s an open question to what extent he was deserving of the recliner until dinner, even by his own standards.

    Come to think of it, there were long periods of time where the Pearl children weren’t getting any bread at all, even really cheap homemade bread.

    http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/corny-ten-different-ways/

    With regard to what spending is “foolish or necessary,” bear in mind that Debi Pearl says of that era, ” I had to learn how to feed the family on $10 or less each week.” (That’s a family of 7 people living on $10 worth of food a week.)

    There’s a whole lotta irony in Michael Pearl posing as some sort of Leave It To Beaver patriarch, when that was not the sort of life he provided his family.

    Also, as Stone points out, the sort of hyper-critical king-of-the-castle attitude that Michael pushes as the breadwinner’s due is exactly what made breadwinning appealing to mothers.

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