Sunday, 18 April 2010

who cares who had it harder?

i saw an article in the herald last week about some kind controversy happening in australia, after someone wrote a piece saying working women had it really easy these days as compared to their predecessors. i won't link to the herald piece, because it didn't say much of value, and not interested in finding the original piece, cos it sounded rather nasty.

the woman writer basically was saying that because of labour saving devices, work in the home is so much easier than in older times. the whole tone of the piece seems to have an undertone (or perhaps an overtone) of women today whining and complaining too much when they have things so good.

then there's the predictable response from some working women about how different things are now, stresses being much higher, women staying at home more in the distant past. there are more arguments that can be put forth on either side - that working women in previous time certainly had it rough because they worked long hours, often in jobs that were little more than drudgery, then didn't have the advantages of labour saving devices at home. but then they would likely have extended family close by, and greater support because of that.

but regardless of all that, the whole debate, framed as it is, does an excellent job of absenting men from the whole discussion. let's not talk about having men be more supportive in the home by doing more of the unpaid work, and taking more responsibility for the work involved in raising children. let's not talk about the need for family friendly workplaces, so that both parents can have more time at home. let's not talk about how to make our current society better. nope, let's just create a story by putting up a controversial piece and get some predictable response, thus showing women bitching at each other about the past. that way nothing ever has to change.


Deborah said...

Well said!

stargazer said...

thanx deborah. and i belated see that mr litterick has already covered this and other gems here.

Violet said...

I wish I could remember where it was that I read some statistics stating that women actually spend more time on housework than before the availability of "labour saving" devices, because the standards are so much higher now. I bet in the "olden days" women weren't compelled to cover all household surfaces with antibacterial sprays, right?