Dear Modern Man Versus the Feminist “Housewife”

Dear Modern Man Versus the Feminist Housewife,

This is a letter to both of you.  Firstly Modern Man, you often make your feminist “housewife” look bad as you do nearly all the cooking and more than your fair share of the cleaning and childcare as well as working fulltime.  This means that Feminist “Housewife” is actually outed as the complete lazy arse she cleary is.  Irritatingly you will also sometimes have both kids for the day and somehow manage to tidy the entire house so when Feminist “Housewife” returns to the family home she is greeted with a spotless house and gleaming children (who have also been baking/crafting/painting and other stimulating activities) and the “I don’t know why you find it so difficult!” F@*!?&@*.  Also Modern Man- you are bloody lovely but you are a bit enabling as instead of discussing/negotiating what needs to be done, you often just get on and do it and this is letting Feminist “Housewife” get away with doing less than her fair share.  She knows she is an adult and part of a team but she has also gotten very used to and comfortable in the status quo, so you probably need to shake that up a little and stop doing so much for her- even though she adores you very much for it. (She also knows her Mum is now completely lost without her Dad who also used to do so much for her, and sometimes that level of dependency can be dangerous if it means suddenly unexpectedly you are on your own and unable to cope)

Secondly Feminist “Housewife”- you really are not cut out to be a housewife, we all know this.  You are desperate to get back to work and have been working sporadically part time since both your babies were tiny to “keep your hand in and your brain sane”, you even managed to recently achieve a MAHOOSIVE promotion in the work you do- unpaid but still awesome. You are proud that your children will witness non-stereotypical gender roles within your marriage however you are also aware they may cotton onto the fact that this isn’t necessarily actually because you are a feminist but it’s actually because you are very very lazy (at home anyway- at work you can be a completely passionate driven workaholic).  You are counting down the days until going back to work in September for two days a week and Modern Man is hopefully going to go part time and do 1days childcare and 1day business development and hopefully you can afford just about afford the childcare.  You adore your job and want to do well in it and think it is very important for your girls to see you working, passionate and fulfilled rather than at home, bored and a bit miserable. (You are in complete awe of SAHM’s who enjoy it, and whilst you do adore your children you personally do need the adult work environment to stay sane).

Now dear Feminist “Housewife” admittedly you are getting very little sleep bedsharing with a baby velcroed to your armpit and breastfeeding all night, and feeding her or trying to get her to sleep for much of the day, however you do have a cleaner, and your toddler is at nursery for 3days a week so would it really kill you to do a little bit more around the house? Personally I think part of your reluctance to do your share of the housework is because you are very reluctant to temporarily embrace a “housewife” identity as your very soul screams against it, but I also  I reckon you are pontificating too much and really just don’t want to admit to being a lazy fucker when it comes to the housework.

Let’s face it NO-ONE LIKES HOUSEWORK, but you are also very aware that your marriage is unfairly weighted at the moment, because Modern Man does so much in the house, giving you far too much time to faff on the internet writing blogs and tweeting.  This isn’t fair as you both deserve the same amount of “down time” and currently Modern Man gets a lot less than you.  You are also aware that one of your best friend’s marriage recently ended for many reasons but ultimately it was due to the unfair balance of the relationship- you don’t want that to happen to your relationship.

So dear Feminist “Housewife” I have some suggestions for you. Firstly you are going to try #twitterasskick- 15minutes of bursts of activity where you say what you are going to do, go and do them and then report back, and some of your twitter friends may want to join you in this.  Secondly you are going to limit the blogging to one letter a day unless really important for more. You may sometimes write more but you can schedule them for periods when you are too busy to write them.  Thirdly you are going to do the dishwasher and a load of washing everyday. That’s it for now as I suggest you suddenly don’t try and turn into a Stepford Wife as it will fail miserably by day 2.  You need little jobs to do every day to get into a habit and routine and create a more balanced equal relationship for you and Modern Man.  In fact I may write back to you with more advice another time.

Lots of Love


P.S Modern Man has been very reasonable about all of this- this isn’t bourne out of a “shape up or ship out” argument thank heavens, more a comedy discussion in general about housewifery and what it means to be a “feminist housewife” as Feminist Housewife was trying to convince him it meant being on twitter all day. Apparently it doesn’t.  So she’s trying to change!


4 responses to “Dear Modern Man Versus the Feminist “Housewife”

  1. When I was younger one of my mum’s friend left her husband and 3 kids. He left his job so he could care for them. Everyone seemed to be saying things like ‘He’s sacrificed so much’ ‘How great he is doing’ ‘isn’t it wonderful he’s taking care of the children’ 
    Although he had stepped up and done the right thing by his family my mum said ‘he’s doing the same thing I have been doing for the past 15 years! Nobody tells me how well I’m doing or talking about how much I have sacrificed!’ 
    So this man was doing what thousands of women do everyday. They do it because they have no choice. They do it without praise. 
    This story stuck with me. It was one of my first experiences of the differences between men and women and the division of labour in the household. How women are expected to do the majority of housework and childcare as well as emotional work with little praise or recognition. They do small repetitive jobs daily that pretty much go unnoticed until they dont do them. Men are likely to do major jobs around the house like DIY or painting and decorating that receives alot of praise and recognition.  ‘Jimmy took Saturday off and painted the living room doesn’t it look great! He’s done a wonderful job!’
    It is fascinating how these modern men are getting praise for what they should be doing anyway! It’s their house and baby too! 

  2. I have often wondered what the response would be if I adopted some hardcore “working mum and proud of it” persona. Certainly less favourable, I’m sure, than typical responses directed at proud stay-at-home dads. It would be perceived as a slight against other people’s choices – and rightly so, because it would be. But no more than when men who do housework and childcare bask in praise (countless Daily Mail articles on “he raised his kids after that bitch of a wife left” As opposed to doing what? Send them to the sodding workhouse?)
    Anyhow, I’m not proud of the fact that I’m about to deal with a spreadsheet when really I need to be catching up on the Laundry Mountain. I’m just a bit pissed off and need more coffee. Can we not just all be let off housework AND paid work and just blog and tweet all day? (I was going to say “God should have arranged things better than this”, but then it’s all Eve’s fault for eating the apple and if womankind wasn’t so useless none of us would have to “toil” and, and… You can tell I’ve not had enough coffee. can’t you?)

  3. Pingback: Dear “Modern Man”/ “New Man”/ “SAHD” | Letters From LadyCurd

  4. bethantownsend

    I never do any house work…I have been accustomed to it being done whilst man was out of work…now he’s in work, no one does it. Epitome of laziness right here 😉

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