Informal Feminism











{February 21, 2011}   A Quick Family Day Message

So my post is a little late and going to be a little short this week, it’s been a busy week. Busy weeks however are no excuse to not get my writing done. In the sprit of Family Day, I want to talk a little bit about domestic work. It was brought to my attention earlier this week, by a friend/co-worker of mine, that being in a common law relationship does not entitle a person to half the assets if the couple separates. I was planning to do more research into this issue because I find it one of great interests but I lacked the time to do a proper analysis of the subject. Instead I am going to talk about an offshoot of that conversation and that is work within the home.

            Right now being a housewife or husband does not entitle you to compensation and is usually viewed as being less work then the financial provider of the home. However, this is quite untrue. People who work within the home to provide for the needs of the people living in the home are constantly working. The person who takes care of the home is usually undervalued. It seems to be a constant misconception that the person who stays at home is lazy; they are sitting around watching TV. and eating bonbons all day, while the other person goes out and earns the money for the household to survive. This misconception is just that, a misconception. The people who work within the home are in a constant state of work, even more so because they never leave their place of work. They are on duty 24 hours a day. They do the work of feeding, cleaning and taking care of the home so that the financial provider has the time to leave and do the work necessary to provide financially.

            It is also often true that women pull a double day when they are working outside the home. If both partners are out working full-time, it is usually the woman who works a double-day. She not only goes to work all day but comes home to cook, clean and take care of children. Again she is always working at the traditional female roles of domestic caregiver. I often saw this happen with my own mother, my father working longer days then her generally and so it often fell to her to do the cooking and cleaning around the house, as well as take care of her children. She pulled the double work day for a long time. I do not remember my father making us many dinners as a child, every so often on the weekend he would help in the cleaning of the house but much of the time it was my mother’s space. I don’t think that this happened on purpose but more so because people fall into these traditional roles without even noticing that they are happening. This work is also much undervalued, the woman are seen as having to provide these female jobs as well as working for a living. This is not the way that every house hold works, some houses are more equally divided when it comes to domestic work. I would even say that my parent’s house is one of those homes now; my father does a lot of cooking and cleaning along side my mother. However, many household fall into this trap of one partner doing more domestic work then the other.

            I feel that women (and the men) ho do this work need to be more appreciated for their domestic work. I also believe that they should be compensated for it, but that is a topic for another week. This week I just want people to understand and recognizing the amount of work that the domestic chores are and it appreciate the people who do them, instead of taking them for granted. With family day in our minds let’s remember that it takes a lot of work on the part of the domestic worker to keep our families running smoothly. So do not underestimate the women or men who do this work in your life because they are an integral part of your success as a person. I will return next week with a more in-depth post.

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