In Judy Brady’s “I Want a Wife” she talks about the tasks of a desired wife. There are certain things and duties required for a housewife to do. Brady describes all the helpful things done for a husband and children without even realizing all the responsibility and what she is doing. No one ever acknowledges that things done by a wife can be done by someone who was not a wife, but instead a man. Judy realizes she supports her husband so he can go back to school. She keeps the house clean. She has to be sensitive to the needs of a man in general. There have been many studies about gender roles in a marriage.
The wife seems to do a lot. Women feel sometimes they do too much. Married couples should be able to work together. Sometime when the wife does everything it puts a constraint on the marriage. A marriage not only needs to survive, but thrive. In a marriage a husband and wife should be able share the same roles as needed. Society has a perceived notion of this. Everything today in a marriage should be able to be shifted back and forth as needed. This is all evidence that a marriage should be between two people who are willing to share all family responsibilities.
It is a married couple’s responsibility to take control of any major problems they may have prior to marriage if possible. Research has shown that when men change roles in the family, there are many challenges for them. There seems to be many issues and problems when the man in the family shows the father involvement Fineman (17). For many years society did not know much about the changing of gender roles in a family. The husband should be able to do anything when needed. Statistics show that the effects of a fathers’ involvement with their children can sometimes cause angry reactions Kefalas (845).
This can lead to divorce at times. Based on the evidence that spousal conflict adversely influences physiology and health, negative impact does affect the husband also. The stronger impact of relationship negativity contributes to the decreased marriage benefit for men also. Evidence bearing on two explanations for this differential impact of conflict is reviewed. The relational-interdependence view, proposed by Kiecolt-Glaser and Newton (473), holds that men can be affected by marital conflict because of their more independent self-representations.
Men do experience physiological and psychological reactivity to marital discord at times, but typically they do occupy the more powerful positions relative to their wives. Monin (5-6). Researchers have said that gender roles are interesting. In the past, clear gender roles for husband and wife had been understood within the context of the marriage. Today there are fewer clearly defined models for contemporary marriage gender roles and how these roles ought to be lived out. It must be admitted that in some cases, a lack of clear gender roles weakens the marriage.
However, when a husband and a wife have the freedom to bring to a marriage his or her whole self, and not just live a traditional gender role, the American marriage has been strengthened by feminist theory. It was said years ago there is one kind of marriage that has not been tried and that is a contract made by equal parties to lead an equal life, with equal restraints and privileges on either side. “Treckel says, so far we have had men marriage and nothing more”. Treckel (1995 ). Change is not easy, but change is happening. Through education, hopefully more people will see the benefits offered to contemporary marriage by these changes.
A real common concern among researchers is that men let the wife take care of everything. Society has heard jokes about “who wears the pants in the family. ” Yet, leadership in the home is no laughing matter. During the last few decades our culture has redefined the meaning and responsibilities of man and woman in society and in the home Martin (421). Many men are confused and insecure. Many do not know how to act in the home. Growing up, they lacked a good model for leadership at home and have no mental picture of what it means to lead a family. Consequently, they do not lead effectively, or they do not even try.
Increasingly, many men are becoming passive in the home. They have decided that the easiest thing to do is nothing. The simplest thing-with the smallest risk-is to stay on the fence with both feet firmly planted in mid-air and let the wife do it. When a man is married to a strong wife who will take over, he often lets her do just that Nock (2). By providing these studies there is still a problem today in society that men themselves think the wife in a marriage should take control. They figure they work so the wife can hold down the fort. Mentally there is no real scientific evidence that states why a man feels this way in his mind.
If there are going to be responsible parties in a marriage it should be both. It takes two to run a household and makes things run smoothly Christian (34). Researchers said by talking to people, women would not achieve equal opportunities at work until their men folk contributed more to looking after the home. Gender inequalities in all areas are rooted in social structures. They are also in ones attitude. It is difficult to see how women will ever have the same opportunities in the labor market if equality at home is not achieved Yu (651-668).
In a large group of men and women were asked about everyday chores, such as the laundry, cleaning, cooking food, shopping, looking after sick relatives and carrying out repairs. But men only made a significant contribution by mending faulty items around the house. At least two-thirds of women said it was usually them who carried out the other tasks, rising to eighty five percent for doing the laundry. More than half of men and even more women, seven out of ten, agreed that men should pull their weight more. Similar proportions also believed that men should also be more involved in looking after children.
Nearly three in four adults said it was right for both men and women to work to bring in money. Kalmijn (26). But only eight percent believed that mothers of the under-fives should be in full-time jobs. Nearly half thought that pre-school youngsters were likely to lose out if their mothers worked and that family life suffered when women had full-time jobs. This month, it emerged that mothers who stay at home to look after children under five were in the minority for the first time Yapp (56). By reading the studies about marriage and men pulling their weight, couples must be able to rely on each other to address tasks and responsibilities.
Many couples early on enter the marriage with the belief that the other will automatically know what is expected. The Trouble is, both likely hold different opinions as to the expectations of the other. It is difficult for couples to pull their weight when they do not know what the other person may be thinking. This is like starting a new job without knowing anything about the job. It does not matter who cleans around the house, how finances are handled, or how the groceries are obtained, discuss what is to be expected in the beginning. In conclusion Judy Brady’s “I Want a Wife” told a story of a desired wife.
The desired wife in her story seemed to be the head of the house. This was unfortunate due to her husband. In Brady’s eye a husband should be the head of the household. Most women in a marriage just want things to be shared equally. All Brady is saying is that men need to do their share. In life every day we experience gender issues. This is experienced from home to work. This gender has become a label. Women and men experience gender side effects every day. Gender relates to society. Expectations in a marriage need to be between two married people and not one sided.
Courtney from Study Moose
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