Sorry but I just couldn’t let this pass without some special mention. Some guy in Wales kindly told me that I could get back to being a ‘kept man’. Wow. I think this is supposed to some sort of insult but I’m not exactly sure.
Believe it or not this one little comment explains a whole lot of other stuff that I’m not going to go into in detail. What I will do is call into question the attitudes implicit in the statement.
For a start there is a brother to this comment… or perhaps a sister? After all, if *I* as a ‘house-spouse’ am a ‘kept man’… then by definition all the females out there who look after their kids are ‘kept women’. Clearly, being included in that mighty horde is in no way an insult!
Here’s a story for you. Hmm… I was going to tell you just why the wife left home at age 14 to go live with her sister, but that can wait for another day too. Instead I’ll tell you a story from the time we arrived in Australia.
As I said a day or two ago, by the time the father-in-law died I’d got to quite like him, but he *did* have some attitudes that to me were really odd. One being his blatant sexism. He highlighted this best whilst the wife and I were out for a meal with him, and her brother Anthony. During the meal both the old man *and* Anthony expressed the view that a woman had no right to work when there were men out there looking for jobs. They both decided there were very few jobs a woman could do that men couldn’t do better… so a woman should only be taken on by an employer if there were no men available. The wife and I were gobsmacked and didn’t even bother to challenge it particularly strongly… it was so obviously ingrained there was no point.
What both of the guys failed to understand was that the wife was even *then* earning more herself than any of the males in her immediate family had earned even if they were totalled together!! She was a member of a profession that required an incredible aptitude for mathematics and the application of logic. At that time she was being internationally recognised for the depth of her knowledge! She was *deeply* offended that they saw so little value in either her ability or achievement. Since then of course she has advanced and developed further and is near the top of the tree of a multi-billion dollar property company. This was 15 years ago… I’d hoped the sort of attitude that thinks women had no place in the workforce had died out. It seems it hasn’t in Wales!
Clearly, back in the dim days of antiquity the general rule was that a woman’s place was in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. It’s quite sad that even in the enlightened days of this new century there are pockets where men still think of themselves as the ‘superior sex’ and there is something shameful about bringing up kids, doing housework and the like.
Quite sad really. I wonder how long these pockets of male resistance can last? Is Wales is going to stay in the dark ages??