Housewives Facilitate Efficient Familial System


Wikimedia Commons/T.Pak

Trevor Rechnitz, Online EIC

Is it okay for a Miramonte senior girl to want only to be a mom and a housewife? Yes. After a controversial survey in a senior Gov/Econ class, a striking number of girls planned on getting married young and starting a family without even considering a career. So what’s the issue with Miramonte women falling into this pattern at an early age?

It seems as though Miramonte women are unwilling to explore other options, and are using the “housewife” role as a sure bet instead of exploring other career options. While some feel that this choice is a betrayal of the work that feminists have forwarded, it is ultimately a decision that should be left up to the girl herself.

The feminist movement of the United States and Western Europe is typically divided into three periods or waves. The first wave of feminism is the period of challenges to the legal and social inequalities from the mid-1800s to 1920 in the United States and the United Kingdom. The work of this first wave of feminism was directed at the social and economic barriers faced by the women of the time.

The second wave of feminism also brought to the fore the need for the development of feminist theorizing, both to interlink the movement’s political goals and band together as a more cohesive unit.

Third wave feminists recognize that sexual oppression cannot be eliminated without also addressing racial and economic oppressions.

Essentially, women worked for the rights of education, holding property, voting, and maintaining equal opportunities as men on all fronts. How could anyone oppose these preceding equalities? People that contest these values, or anti-feminists, are viewed in a negative light and cast as sexist. However, anti-feminists also believe in the values of family and the classic ideologies of men being the providers.

Anti-feminists argue that a change of women’s roles is a destructive force that endangers the family, or is contrary to religious morals. For example, some maintain that the change of women’s roles has been a social disaster that continues to take its toll on the family and contributed to a descent by increasingly disconnected individuals into social chaos.

Even though this thought process, of choosing family over a career, might seem destructive to the progress of feminism, above all, it’s up to the girl herself. As long as equal opportunities are provided so girls can take advantage of them if they choose, there should be no judgments cast if girls choose being a housewife over having a career.

However, housewives and anti-feminists are a different breed. Where anti-feminists argue against any form of female independence, housewives wouldn’t necessarily do so. In a sense, anti-feminism is sexism with a spice of family values. Just because a girl decides to take a different life route, more influenced by family values, doesn’t mean she is an anti-feminist.

More so now than ever, families are dependent on the mother figure to run the household. Dealing with scheduling, cooking, cleaning and most importantly child rearing are most often taken on by the female. In my opinion, families have developed in this classic pattern, with the man working and the wife at home because it is the most efficient way to run a household.

“Who cares if they work and we don’t? Let’s see them do what we do everyday and then we’ll talk,” said an Orinda housewife. Arguably, running a household is just as a demanding job, if not more so, than a 9-5 “bringing home the bacon” type of work.