This is a tough one for me so I’ll proceed carefully: I don’t think women should be homemakers and men the breadwinners.
It’s just that I’d rather be a homemaker than hold a “regular” job. I feel I could best contribute to a partner’s and a family’s life in this way. I feel such a role would naturally align with how I express love.
Of course I’d also write prose and music, and occasionally tour. But when I think of the busy women in my life that I love deeply, I think they could use the help, and my heart leaps at the idea of giving it to them.
Where this desire intersects with my femininity is that it is still more culturally acceptable for a woman to stay home than a man. The fact that I’m now a woman gives me “permission” to do it within the context of the patriarchy.
Just because I’m a feminist doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take the opportunity to work as a homemaker if that opportunity arises, because such work is what I want to do.
And I fully understand that it is work.
But here is where it gets interesting: I’d prefer (for me) the term “housewife” than “homemaker”. Two reasons:
- It explicitly states my preferred gender; and I strive to make my preferred gender extremely clear in how I present myself at all times (no androgyny for me).
- More problematically: The word accepts a “subordinate” role for me in the patriarchy, which all women face. Placing myself in a “traditional woman’s position” within this hierarchy validates my success at becoming a woman.
Bloody complicated! And, as I said, problematic.