I was reading this very interesting post.
Something that I have thought of and discussed so often.
Why is it important that in a relationship, the man be the breadwinner? The woman takes care of eggs for the weekend…
The man buys the house, the woman buys the blinds?
My father was the ‘sole breadwinner’, my mum the bread maker.
It worked quite well for them.
But for their legacy of 4 daughters, being taken care of or not being a substantial income earner just doesn’t cut it.
The idea of not working, or looking for a man who would ‘take care’ of home and hearth never crossed our minds.
At this point, each of us could independently be responsible for running our home. It is fortunate that we are not.
Coming from this sorority of rather fierce financial independence, I am probably the least independent of us 4. In the first three years of marriage, I did not even have a bank account, I would actually give my salary cheque to my husband (and totally hog his debit card). I am a nagger by nature, so regardless of whether I am earning or not (a 2-year maternity break), I would nag about money.
How much I earn is all about the value my work gets… there is no personal ego here.
And if I am doing an honest day’s work at office, I find no need to go overboard being a homemaker too. For that I employ help.
Yet, I know so many highly successful women, who are so damn apologetic earning well or more than their husbands. I know husbands who make their wives accountable for every last penny they spend. Earning is her duty, saving and spending is his right. Most of the saving/investment is not even a joint decision.
These women, some at the very top of their professions, try desperately to convince everyone around them that they are perfectly capable of catering to the needs of husband and child. Fresh food, laundry, school activities. What’s wrong with hiring help, take away and dry cleaners?
Haven’t they heard the latest? Our much praised ‘multi-tasking ability’ is a joke the men are playing on us, to get us to do more.
And I know women, who are so proud of the fact that their income makes no difference to the family. My point is — if you are working, your skill and time need to be remunerated without gender-bias. You earning a lot less than your husband, or your husband earning 10 times what you do, is not a moral victory.
Here in the Gulf, where a bulk of the income is sent back home to take care of family, 9 out of 10 times, it is to take care of the guy’s family.
Of course R and I are totally reasonable about this — neither of our families benefit from our income; to the contrary, we tap on their resources for small change 🙂