Feminism has undoubtedly boosted woman empowerment in many ways in this modern world. Be it the right to work, to earn fair wages, equal pay, to receive education, feminism is all about gender equality. However, this concept is often misunderstood and misused.
It is incredible that there are far more successful woman now than ever before. The number of women getting out of the house and competing with men in all the fields has enormously increased and that is an amazing thing. But, does that mean the housewives and stay at home moms are insignificant? Does modern society lay an invisible pressure on a woman to work? Has it changed the connotation of the word ‘Housewife’?
I had to quit my job when I got married, as I had to shift to a different city. I decided to take a break for a few months before I start applying for jobs. And so, I would get time to set up my house, settle down in the new city and most importantly spend time with my husband and get to know him better as it was an arranged marriage and we were new to each other.
The Stigma of Being a Housewife
A few months down the lane, I really enjoyed being a housewife. I enjoyed organizing and maintaining a clean house, I loved to cook a great meal for when he comes back home tired. However, I didn’t want the social stigma of being a housewife, as it is an underrated job and is often looked down upon.
Though I worked earlier, I was never particularly a career-oriented person. Yet, I started applying for jobs for the sake of societal acceptance, though we didn’t really need a second income. As a matter of fact, I myself didn’t want to be named as a housewife as it could be embarrassing.
However, as I thought about it further, I realised I was wrong. Why should being a housewife be embarrassing? There is a lot of effort that goes into it.
A lot of Effort goes into Being a Housewife
I do a lot of things for the house and for my husband. For instance, cooking from scratch. From ghee to masalas I make everything at home. I try to avoid processed or ready-made food for a healthier lifestyle and I don’t prefer another person/maid cooking for us, as it is difficult to monitor the amount of oil, hygiene, taste and many more. I don’t think I can do all the things I do now if I am getting back home tired from work.
Fortunately, my husband never had a problem with my choice, whether I chose to work or stay at home. In fact, he encourages me to do something I am passionate about (that is writing) rather than a boring desk job. That is how I started this blog and I am loving my writing journey.
Financial Insecurity might step in
I won’t deny that initially, I was a bit insecure financially, but it got dissolved eventually, as our relationship grew stronger. It actually feels like a healthy family dynamic to have both inside and outside support. We exactly know each of our responsibilities and it strikes a perfect balance for a peaceful home.
Undeniably, women and men biologically have certain competencies. While it is necessary to be independent, it is also beautiful to embrace what each of us are, if we are secure enough with ourselves and our partner.
I have a few friends who have kids, who chose to stay at home. They want to make sure their child is growing to be a wonderful person and be there in every stage of their childhood. I can’t even get started on how much uncalculated work goes into raising the child. How can anybody demean them of being a housewife, when they are doing the most important job of raising the next generation.
All I am saying is it’s ok to be a stay-at-home mom or a housewife even in this modern world. It is not old fashioned to do so. It is a choice you make, to be there for your loved ones to make sure there is no shortfall in meeting their needs. You are doing this so that the rest of the family can come back to a clean and peaceful home, relax and have a delightful meal.
You are no less feminist if you choose to be a housewife. Feminism perhaps encourages a woman to be independent, but primarily, it is about the choice. A woman should be able to choose what she wants to do, regardless of social judgement. The negative connotation of a ‘Housewife’ has to be scrapped out of our minds.
Your thoughts would be most appreciated. Let me know in the comments section below.