Poll: Do you think men seeking out homemakers for marriage are ethically wrong?
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On why looking for 'homemaker's is wrong in the context of marriage?
#1
Hello,

So I am at an age where my friends are getting married and we regularly have discussions on what is right or wrong to expect from a potential partner. Often, we come down to a point where people claim they want a homemaker. I would generally point out that stereotyping gender roles when it is unnecessary is 'unethical'. Especially when being a homemaker is a thankless, unrewarding job which facilitates abuse and dependency. Sharing responsibilities gives both parties a little bit of freedom and divides the power in a relationship. However, they argue that a marriage is a contract and they are looking for women who "want" to be a homemaker. In other words, it is a consensual decision and some women like to be a homemaker. Marriage is just matching preferences and 'being a homemaker' is one of them, ergo there is nothing wrong in seeking one (They use this argument for caste-based matching as well). They say all this notion of power struggle is crap and really love is what holds a relationship from abuse. Is there a qualitative way to establish these theories?

I can't exactly put my finger on it. But something about 'seeking out women who want to be homemakers' seems fundamentally wrong. Although I get the point that one must encourage an individual's liberty to be a homemaker, I just feel that it is a position that is ripe for domestic abuse and loveless relationships.

So if women want to be homemakers and men seek out such women for marriage, how can such a decision be unethical? What are your thoughts on this?
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#2
Hi,

I think it's OK if both parties are comfortable, with the proviso that the 'homemaker' should be free to opt out of the arrangement if she chooses to. She must also be free to choose a career for herself afterwards. Most homemakers I have come across didn't make a conscious decision to be one; they were brought up in households where women cooked, sewed,reared children and the men were breadwinners. They grew up in an environment which idealized such roles. Their education was aimed at enhancing their marriageability.

I have also noted how subtly stereotypical gender roles are still being perpetuated by our society. Little girls are expected to play with plastic jewelry, 'kitchen sets' and 'feed the crying baby'. Boys have toy trucks, cars and action figures. Girls are gentler, homelier,daintier and more caring. Boys are macho,tough and careless. In most cases, it is OK if a guy smokes, drinks, cusses out loud or is generally a pig when it comes to etiquette. Boys will be boys. Girls, on the other hand, are expected to know better. It is all quite insidious.

The homemaker arrangement does create opportunities for domestic abuse, frustration and eventually a loveless relationship that seems to drag on. The proviso in the first sentence of my reply can help take care of that. The guy must ,at all times, do his share of housework. If both of them don't feel up to it, they could hire help.

In the Indian context, the discussion is largely relevant to urban couples. Most of rural/semi-urban India is still a wasteland when it comes to women making such informed choices.
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