Sunday, March 31, 2002

Elevating from the comments

I'm elevating this discussion of marriage/men/women from the comment box to post level for further noodling. The conversation spawned from Anita's post that discussed the book Wife Work by Susan Maushart, which was reviewed in Salon. The book is also available and reviewed on Amazon.

In the Publisher's Weekley editorial review on Amazon, we read this about the book: "Wifework, 'the care and maintenance of men's bodies, minds and egos' is a one-way street, says Maushart, something wives do for husbands at great cost to their mental and physical health, with minimal reciprocation. According to her, even fully employed wives do a disproportionate amount of housework, in addition to 'child-care drudgework,' 'monitoring His physical well-being,' "deferring to His agenda in day-to-day conversation,' maintaining 'His extended family relationships,' etc. Maushart (The Mask of Motherhood) counters that he, in contrast, is merely a 'volunteer' in the marriage; apart from providing an income, he's really only expected to 'turn up" at family events.' "

I agree with the comments by fellow blog sisters that said we all bring our own unique perspective to our interpretations of messages like this. But still. It bothers me too. This isn't what being a husband or a wife is about. It seems she has an axe to grind against men. And in reading all the reviews and comments, it's clear that Maushart, having her way, would do away with marriage. I might buy the book--but more than likely I'll wait until I can get it at the library. It wouldn't bother me as much if she had said, "my marriage..." or "inadequate husbands..." or "wives who have had their self-confidence ripped away at the hands of damaging husbands." It's more her approach of Wives are this, and husbands are that. Men do nothing. Women do everything. P-u-h-l-e-a-s-e. Am I the only one who doesn't buy that?

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