June 28, 2012

Of Housewifery, Feminism, And World Peace

I read Feminism + Housewifery on Feministe yesterday, and was riveted to my computer by the three hundred or so comments (then). That made me go back and read the Elizabeth Wurtzel piece they were all talking about. I had a lot to say, and most of it was of the "I can't believe she..." or "so she's saying that..." variety, and most of it was incoherent. It kept coming up - at supper, while we were cleaning up the kitchen, after the kids were in bed and we were playing video games - and right in the middle of other discussions.

I'll spare you. Maybe someday I'll squish all of my thoughts into a tiny ball and try to get them all out on the page, but for now, I have this to say:

Can we all agree that the places we live in should be clean(ish)? That toilets shouldn't have three years of poop stuck to the sides, and that if a shower is pink from top to bottom, it should be by design? That - eventually - someone needs to wash the dishes or load the dishwasher?

Can we all agree that everyone needs to eat, and most of us need to eat multiple times a day? That even the fastest of fast food needs to be fetched from somewhere and that it might not be a good idea to eat out of a bag for every meal?

Can we all agree that - if you chose to wear clothes that is - said clothes need to be washed at some point? They don't have to be folded and put away (Lord knows mine often aren't), but that if they are it's easier to find the pants you want?

Can we all agree that if you have children, and you want them to grow up to be healthy, mature adults, you have to teach them things about their bodies, actions, and emotions? That you have to hold them sometimes, and interact with them in a meaningful way occasionally?

Can we all agree that some person needs to do these things, and that it doesn't have to be the same person, and that it doesn't even have to be the person who owns the toilet, shower, dishes, food, and pants?


World peace: achieved.

Oh, wait. You want all of us to agree on who exactly should do these things and why? You want all of us to decide whether it's me, or my husband, or someone we hire based on what's best for society as a whole, and not on what works best for our family or what makes us happiest?

You lost me.