Terry Hekker’s, “The Satisfactions of Housewifery and Motherhood” and Hope Edelman’s “The Myth of Co-Parenting: How It Was Supposed To Be. How It Was,” are two antithetically toned readings discussing perspectives of what it is like to be a house wife. Hekker examines as more of a traditional housewife and Edelman as a modern housewife because Hekker actually enjoys being a housewife and Edelman wants to get back into the workforce. Both authors investigate the roles of a housewife financially and robustly, with many egoistic opinions. Hekker and Edelman have contradicting feelings about being housewives.
While Hekker explains how she is embarrased, Edelman is feeling frustrated and useless as a housewife. According to Hekker, “Ms. Putdown asked me who I was. I told her I was Jack Hekker’s wife… She took my hand and asked if that was all I though of myself-just someone’s wife? ” (392). In this quote, Hekker has a difficult time revealing to others that she doesn’t really enjoy the career of a housewife but has no better skills than to be a modeled-housewife. According to Edelman, “It began to make me spitting mad, the way daily duties of parenting and homeownership started to rest entirely on me…
The frustration I felt after researching and visiting six preschools during my so-called work hours” (409). Edelman is growing quite infuriated and frustrated with not being able to work. She also explains to her husband how she would prefer to have “shared responsibilities” and “equal division of labor” rather than just being a housewife. The main differences between Terry Hekker’s, “The Satisfactions of Housewifery and Motherhood” and Hope Edelman’s “The Myth of Co-Parenting: How It Was Supposed To Be. How It Was,” are the years they were published and their perspectives of traditionalist and modernists housewives.
Hekker shows signs of a traditional housewife, while Edelmans shows more modernist houswife signs. Hekker’s column was publish in the late 1970’s when women began joining the workforce rather than being a “stay-at-home” mom. Hekker explains throughout the text how full-time housewives are decline and how she is taken for granted even though being parents is truly a job. “I’m one of the last of the dying breed of human females designated, “Occupation: Housewife. ”… Today fewer than 16 percent of American families have a full-time housewife-mother.
For years of being considered unproductive (unless you count five children, which no one does. For years of being viewed as a parasite, living off a man… For years of caring for five children and a big house and constantly being asked when I’m going to work. ” (Hekker 390-91). Hekkers proves statistical evidence that housewives are on the slope to extinction and feels taken for granted from her husband and others. Instead of Hekker moving forward and deciding to get a career, she rather be a full-time “stay-at-home” mom. Edelman has a more modern viewpoint as a housewife rather than traditional.
The idea of dual-income and a balanced relationship is Edelman’s focus but unfortunately she must reside on her husband finacially while he launches his Internet Company and she becomes a housewife. “… I had superimposed on the idea of marriage without ever really thinking it through. If I’m going to contribute to half of the income, then he’ll contribute half of the housework and childcare… In this post-second wave, post-superwoman, dual-income society we’re supposed to live in, the mother nearly always becomes the primary parent, even when she too, works full-time…
” (Edelman 408-11). Edelman is growing impatient of being a housewife and wants to get back into the workforce. Edelman clearly wants to have a fifty fifty relationship and her husband seems to always be working. Edelman must pick up the slack back-at-home while she tries to support her husband new launching company even though she truly dislikes it. Even though Hekker and Edelman have distinct views as housewives, they both are supported finacially by there husbands and they had there mother as main role models. Hekker has been finacially supported for 22 years and
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Topic: Roles of Housewives
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