Skip to comments.Do GenX women want all play and no work?
Posted on 05/14/2004 6:56:16 AM PDT by qam1
London, May 13 (IANS) :
'What's mine is mine, and what's his is mine!' New research says this is the maxim of GenX women who want to be housewives who don't really work.
Young mothers are rejecting equality in the workplace and preferring the idea of becoming full-time housewives - but not ones who actually do housework.
This is the overall conclusion of research among 2,100 British adults that says women are happy to abandon the workplace but not if it means spending all day at home cooking, cleaning and looking after children.
Instead they want to play the "role" of housewife with a little help from, for instance, a nanny, and someone who does the ironing. Unlike Kylie Minogue, they don't want to do any dusting either.
The report, by Marian Salzman, chief strategic officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide, the world's fifth largest advertising agency, describes these women as princess-style "domestic divas" who effectively exploit their husbands.
"Today, 'women's lib' means wanting to be liberated from the intense pressures of the modern-day working mum," she said.
"And what we're seeing is a serious gender divide regarding women in the workplace. This time around, it is the women who want to stay at home and the men who want to keep them in the offices and factories."
Salzman, 45, who does not have children, is well known in the United States for spotting trends before they go mainstream. She predicted the rise of 1970s fashion nostalgia and, on the eve of the "Bridget Jones" phenomenon, spotted that single professional women would become the new, free-spending yuppies.
Her report last year, "the Future of Men", predicted that "metrosexuals" - straight men who care about fashion, food and grooming - would be the new target of advertisers.
She said 69 percent of women thought it perfectly acceptable for females to be housewives and not to earn a salary. In contrast, only 48 percent of men felt that women should remain outside paid employment.
Her research suggested that the motivation to spend more time at home was "self-centred" for some women. "There are many women who choose to stay home out of concern for their children's quality of life," she said. "But there are plenty of others who are paying lip service to being the 2004 version of the perfect mum.
"In reality they are domestic divas who want the flawless kids, courtesy of the nanny; a spotless home, thanks to a cleaning service; and a reputation for being a fabulously put-together homemaker.
"These are the women who are becoming a target of disdain and rage on the part of spouses who didn't expect to be shouldering the financial burden single-handedly."
She said she was not talking about mothers with very young children but those whose offspring were older and in full-time education.
Jill Kirby, the chairman of the family group at the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, said: "It's very clear that women who have the choice between working and being at home with their children still want to prioritise their home life and life with their children."
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.
Like this is a trend...
Sounds about like Victorian England or the America before the civil war...
I am a Gen-Xer. I stay at home and I cook, clean, and gladly raise our daughter. My husband appreciates the home cooked dinners on the table after a long day at work. It actually makes me feel more like a productive woman than when I worked as a counselor. To each his own I suppose. :)
At first glance this article makes me very angry, it makes it sound like women just want to be mooches. After some thought I think you are right about the "sour grapes" wrath being written here. I agree that more women want to stay at home, but they want the satisfaction of fullfilling the role of running the house and being a mother.
I say we need more stay at home moms! In my opinion it is key for a great relationship. When quality time can be spent as a family, instead of managing the stress, the relationship is stronger!
I'm not falling for that, I know better then to comment on such a story :)
A lot like me...a stay at home mom with three boys, 6,4 and 2. Sometimes I think about starting a regular, maybe weekly, thread for us moms...issue discussion, recipe swapping, toilet training tips. Do you think there would be much interest?
I would be interested. It sounds great! If you need any help let me know. I would love to see something like that on a weekly thread.
The women's lib movement has brainwashed all of us, and it's the men who have benefitted the most. The New Testament says that a man who doesn't provide for his family is worse than an infidel/unbeliever. I don't see any point in condemning women for wanting to assume their natural role. I'd love to be a stay-at-home wife, but I'm my hubby has other ideas.
I'd be interested ... I have seven kids 13 and under. "How do we combine conservative activism with doing 4 loads of laundry a day?" would be a good topic ... or "What to do with your toddlers at a FReep in the pouring rain."
Good for you!
Thanks for the ping, qam.
You are right about "sour grapes". The Feminists wanted their equality and jobs, etc...plopping their kids in daycare after six weeks' maternity leave so they could "self-actualize". Talk about selfish!
Now their daughters want to actually raise their own children by staying home and taking care of their families and they are GREEN with envy!
I don't have kids...yet...my husband and I have spent the last five years living overseas and we didn't think it appropriate to have children living where we were living. I'm back now but he is still there to wrap things up. I left early because it became too dangerous. I didn't work while we lived there, but I do freelance a little to earn some extra money. I fully intend to stay home and raise my kids when we have them. And I don't have any problem with hiring help around the house if one can afford it, either!
That's what I was thinking. Everything goes in cycles. Their daughters will resent their mothers and either be stay at home mothers, or bra-burning, pantsuit wearing, ultra-feminist businesswomen.
Oh, come on! What tiny percentage of families can afford a nanny, a cleaning service, and all the activities and accessories of a social-ornament wife? Maybe there are just enough to make it worthwhile advertising at these big-spending ladies, and the husbands who CHOOSE to finance this kind of lifestyle.
I know lots of homeschooling families with 5-10 kids, one income. I think all our husbands would be happy if we could afford more help, so that they didn't find their wives exhausted, sweaty, and ready to drink cleaning solvents at the end of the day.
Yes, I'm exaggerating a bit (about the cleaning solvents; my poison of choice is pink wine in a box,) but I think many husbands would be happy to pay a little money (if they had any, after groceries) if it meant their wives would have a little energy left for *them*.
Hi grellis. I am going to have my first child in November and will stay at home mid April through mid January.(I have a tax office.) I would be interested in a weekly thread for moms. If you start one please put me on your list. Dudley
How have men beneffitted the most? I consider it harmful to both men and women. They just don't realize the harm until its to late.
My bet is that even in two income families, the spendable income is lower than in just a generation or two ago.
Who cares what the Brits are doing?
This Bud's for you.
If I didn't know better, I would have thought my wife wrote this....
I am the father of seven, with the oldest being 13.(5 girls). I am the first to tell others my wife works ten times harder than I do.
Keep up the good work..
Apparently the Indians do
Guys, do you want a woman like this? And ladies, do you want a man you can steamroll like this? I know I don't. I want a man to be a man, not a spineless piece of flesh who's only reason for existence is to have sex at the expense of his self-esteem and self-worth.
My wife stays home, and she works twice as hard as I do.
Agreed, when two income households became the norm the economy adjusted quickly to the increased incomes. Housing, transportation and assorted costs went up correspondingly to the reduction in quality of life.
I didn't get the impression from reading the article that there is disdain for housewives or stay-at-home moms. I picked up that some of these women are claiming to stay at home to raise their kids and be a housewife in lieu of work but aren't doing the work end of housewifery. I can't blame them, cooking & cleaning isn't really fun and if you have the money, by all means hire someone to do it. But to do it under the mask of being a selfless mother when some of them are clearly just lazy and don't want to report to a boss while having their own staff to do their personal work. Just stop pretending they are so selfless when they've got it all.
Don't forget taxes!
To me the tone of it was indicating that all women not working in careers were taking this lazy way out. It didn't bother to recognize the women that just want to be good wives and mothers.
Thank you, and congratulations to you and your wife! The future looks like us!
I know of a number of "stay at home moms" who are like those described in the story. I was born at the very tail end of Gen X. These women I know in real life tend to be in their late 20s or 30s, married to men approximately twice their age. In the younger couples I know, either both parents work or mom's full time job is to be a true housewife and mother.
The original feminists wanted for women to be able to have choices in life. There are serious differences between original feminist ideals and the man-hating feminazi bull that is masquerading for feminism these days.
Realistically, I know I'll never be a stay at home wife and mother - I have no desire to do so. I'm not saying that being a full time caregiver is NOT meaningful, because it absolutely is - it's just not going to be the right choice for me and my husband-to-be. I grew up in a two-parent home where mom and dad worked, and daycare and being cared for by family members didn't maim me too terribly. :-)
Conservatives should stop proclaiming that any woman who wishes to have a career and a family is some psycho feminazi...we're not. Shockingly, some conservative women are working mothers, and are usually pretty good at balancing both from what I've seen.
Hey! There will be no picking on of the husband! :-)
Okay, this article hits home. I'm not Generation X but I'm close.
Ever since I was a small child, it was always my dream to marry and be a housewife. Maybe some call that unambitious or exploitative. But I always wanted to cook and bake all day, manage the finances, basically, to run a home. I think I'd be really good at it. I've never wanted to do anything else.
Yet at the same time, I've never really wanted to have children. Just never felt much of a connection to them. I am not permanently opposed to the idea, however.
I'm also very religious and conservative.
Does this make me a user? If I find a man who wants a traditional woman like me, one who doesn't work outside of the home, do people think there is something wrong with that? I'm not lazy, I'm a very hard worker. It's just always been my dream to do my work by maintaining our home.
BTW, of course if I have to work outside of the home to build our finances, I will. But ultimately, my dream is to be a housewife.
Baby boomer mums pioneered the tradition. The GenX princesses are simply doing what they have been taught.
I admit I am horrid at housework. I homeschool, so have four children home all day. Even if things look decent in the morning four small tornadoes hit right after lunch. I'm not talking about small messes either. When I complain about it someone will say, "If you sent your kids to school, you'd have more time for housework." Never mind that it's the two youngest who cause most of the trouble. LOL!
I was born in '71. I stay home with two preschoolers and one on the way. I hate it. For some reason it's difficult to discover one's sense of 'self-worth' doing this. My husband works all the time and we don't go anywhere or do anything except stay home. Before I had children, we would occasionally take trips, go shopping, and go out to eat because I was earning a good income and felt that I had some say in the matter.
I have other Mom friends, but they want to sic their kids on me whenever they get the chance. I feel burned out of being around little kids.
Jane Austen is my favorite author. Or was, when I had time to read books. She never married and felt that that sort of life was drudgery. I suppose it was even more so, before one could even read Free Republic :-)
My mother insists that she worked harder staying at home doing petty chores than my dad worked for 30 years in a 110 degree factory.
The catch is, my mother didn't really do all that much around the house. From my observations, most housewives don't.
Completely cleaning an average sized house takes all of what, 3 or 4 hours? Also, the house is completely cleaned every single day? Yeah right.
And this notion of "taking care of kids", what exactly does that involve? Sitting them in front of the TV while "princess" chit chats on the phone all afternoon?
On your next day off go visit your local mall, shopping center, mall, Wal- Mart, mall, or any other store (mall) during the day. Take a good look around. You'll be amazed at how many housewifes are doing "back-breaking work" at the mall during the day.
I'm sure the Freeper Feminist Hit Squad will show up on this thread and flame me.
Since our jobs are seven days a week, what do you think would be a good day to run the thread? Fridays are actually best for me; I do my major housework Mon-Wed and laundry each Thursday so I have the weekend as free as possible. Or would a weekend day be better? Any ideas for a name?
Friday would be pretty good for me ... we don't have any classes or activities on Friday!
Have you tried "Mothers of Preschoolers" or Christian Women's Club? Both of these have child care provided for young children, so that moms can enjoy some time apart.
Add me to the list if you do start a stay-at-home-conservative-mom thread!
I'm not sure it's "working harder," so much as working without a break from responsibility. An office worker, or even a factory worker, gets a break. He can go to the bathroom on his own. He gets a lunch break. He can take his eye off his coworkers, and not have them all disappear outside into a mud puddle. He can take sick leave if he's sick, and go to the doctor *by himself*. If he has to go on a business trip, or just to the gas station, he's only responsible for himself.
My husband once said, "Well, I'm responsible for the guys who work for me!" and I said, "You have to take them to the bathroom? Do they have clean clothes, if you don't do their laundry? Do they eat meals that you don't fix? What if they wake up in the middle of the night ... do you have to figure out their problems and get them back to bed? Wow, and these guys are earning a salary?!"
This is not to say that I feel oppressed about my life as a homeschooling mother of seven ... I wouldn't do it, if I weren't content. Just pointing out that to me, what makes it "hard" is not teaching phonics, doing laundry, or cooking meals, but rather the *responsibility* that you never get away from.
Part of the problem with this country is that we have delegated the rearing of children to others who don't share our values and we are reaping the seeds sown. The future of the country is the children and they will only be moldable for a very few short years. So either parents start raising their children again and making sure they have the right values or we continue the abdication of this most important responsibility to those whose values are diametrically opposed to ours and pay the price in future generations.
So we have a cycle of butt-ugly coming up?
I think that is where the term 'Ball and Chain' originated from...(Ducking for cover). At any rate, I think that is the hardest part about having kids, you can't find time to just sit down and relax (unless they fall asleep). If you don't watch out for them they will injure themselves, etc. If one defines work as responsibility, then one can see a woman at home with 7 kids out works most people easily.
The other side of the coin is time - If someone marries and has a kid at 20 and the woman opts to stay home then she can semi-retire at 38 when the child grows up and moves on whereas the male in that scenario will still have almost 30 yrs more work (and again, this is a generalization, sometimes they are more problems when 18 then when they are 3).
uh oh, I ain't touching this one.
Or any other time during man's 3 million year history. Upper-middle to upper-class women have never had to work.
Here's a great example: what did the mother of Mary Poppins' charges do all day while her banker husband was away at work? Remember, she had a cook, maid and governess.
I wish I had a simple answer for you. From your kids perspective you have the most important job in the world. Two preschoolers can be tough.
A MINE group (Mothers In Need of Entertainment) seemed to provide my wife with a necessary outlet. They went out to a restaurant or a show once a month.(Hubby can stay home with the kids)
Playgroups with the neighbors has two benefits. You get to talk to an another adult during the day and watching four is easier than entertaining two.
You might try taking your friends kids more often with the stipulation that it is a one for one trade. Being able to bring your kids over to a friends house for a Saturday evening of doing anything,everything or nothing really helps recharge the batteries.
I hope this helps.
That would be the "cacopygian phase."
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