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Love, Power, Oppression?


The other day I caught the last few minutes of the Dr. Laura Show.

A woman had called in to ask for advice on whether she should go on strike against her husband, that is, stop doing the dishes, the laundry, etc., all in an effort to get him to help her with household chores, which, so she said, he apparently had no interest in participating in.

The woman volunteered information that she was a stay-at-home mom who had to look after the children, whereas her husband was working three 12-hour shifts on the weekends with one or two extra shifts thrown in during the week.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger had the perfect reply to her.  She asked the woman about how many of the hours of her husband's shifts she was helping out with.  The woman replied, stating that she wasn't helping him with any of his work at all, to which Dr. Schlessinger then said that she shouldn't expect any more respect from him for her work than she was willing to pay to his.

The whole exchange brought back memories of the time when we came to Canada in 1962.  My then-wife, and now ex-wife, frequently remarked how incredible it was that so many women in the neighbourhood couldn't manage to get their work done, other than to put their hair in curlers and to walk around in housecoats until the afternoon when their husbands returned from work.  At that time the house would be in shambles.  The husbands returning home from work would feel sorry for their poor overworked wives, promptly pitch in, get the dishes washed and help with tidying up the house.  However my now-ex then felt about such outrageous behaviour, within about four years after that she fell for the lure of victimhood and pursued it herself.

I don't want to pretend that my observations over the years in any way represent scientific data, but it is curious in how many families variations of that theme occur.  In general, it appears to me more common than not that women don't appreciate the devotion of their husbands who dedicate their lives to providing for their wives and families.  How else can it be explained that men who return home from work find that they can't even sit down for a cup of coffee at their own kitchen table, unless they first go into the basement, to shower and put on clean clothes?

In one case we know about, the man who comes home from work isn't even allowed to come into the house, unless he changes his clothing in the garage first; and he doesn't have a particularly dirty job so that his whole house would be contaminated by either the smell or the dirt on his work clothes.

It is frightening to observe that men who are literally nothing more than wage slaves to their wives, have nothing to say about the running of their households and appear to be welcome at home for no other reason than to bring home a pay-cheque, after spending daily two or more hours commuting to their place of work or often working away from home for three weeks or more at a time.

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Updates:
2001 02 05 (format changes)
2001 04 05 (typo corrections)