Housework: The idea that it’s just a “woman’s” job

For years, women have been looked down upon as just a person who has to stay home, cook and clean and watch the kids. But, even with that statement, they’re just someone who is meant for that job while men aren’t. No matter what a woman’s choice, inclination, ability, education, employment, or financial or social status, tending to the home and family almost always falls in her life. Why is that? Just because of the gender we are that we have to do these things while the men just sits and relax because they’ve had a day at work? In Angela Davis’s “Women, Race and Class” she discusses this topic thoroughly along with other points of women suffrage through history. Davis discuses the difficulties women had in history and as unfortunate as it today, we still are going through today. “The countless chores collectively known as “housework”—cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, making beds, sweeping, shopping, etc.—apparently consume some three to four thousand hours of the average housewife’s year. As startling as this statistic may be, it does not even account for the constant and unquantifiable attention mothers must give to their children. Just as a woman’s maternal duties are always taken for granted, her never-ending toil as a housewife rarely occasions expressions of appreciation within her family. (Chap.13) Being a woman means more than just taking care of the house and the children and still having to be there to attend for children’s attention.

Women have the right to be able to go to work and get an education because they weren’t born to just be “slaves” in the house. Yes, I said slaves. Are women any different from a slave if they’re confided to doing one thing? Why should a man be able to go to work and kick back with his friends while their wife is doing majority of the main work in the house, trying to upkeep the cleanliness, food and children. Just the idea of a woman being a housewife has never changed over the years because even now the idea is still fresh and woke. Men truly believe that if they go to work and make their income then they have every right not to be able to help around the house  or with the kids because they go to work. Isn’t that what a woman does all day as well too though? Except without the income. If a man were to be a househusband, that would be a total shock to society because that’s not how it “supposed to be” but in that case, it should play the same role for men. Of course not, we’ve been labeled and that is something that still lives on till today.

Today’s society a woman is expected to live both roles, be a working woman and maintain the house and children. Apparently, men aren’t supposed to help out with that when they come home from work because of their own mentality. Personally, I know a lot of women who were forced to  marry and become housewife’s even after having a job and getting a degree just because their husband believed it would be better for their family in the long run. It’s disgusting how women are portrayed as in a man’s mind. Men are just as capable of cleaning, cooking and being there for their children as much as a woman is. “We must reject the home, because we want to unite with other women, to struggle against all situations which presume that women will stay at home … To abandon the home is already a form of struggle, since the social services we perform there would then cease to be carried out in those conditions.” This quote was said by Dalla Costa who advocated on the housewife’s strike. In this time period, women were so oppressed to being submitted to four walls all day, just being the title of a housewife with no type of income, which led them to advocating for their rights. Just because we are women, it doesn’t give anyone the right to label us and decide what our future is. Women have just the same abilities to do what men do like business, entrepreneurship, law, medicine, teaching, politics and so on.

Growing up and watching certain women in my family confide to this certain type of mentality raised me to be the woman that they could never be. I say this because I’ve watched them not want to do it and be miserable while doing it, spending their life in misery because a man told them how to live their life and that they weren’t able to work. Even though times haven’t completely changed with this mentality, we still have some kind of leverage living in a time like this to accomplish more than just being a housewife.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Citation: Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983. 

1 thought on “Housework: The idea that it’s just a “woman’s” job

  1. Hilarie Ashton


    You have some impeccable sentences in this piece, like “No matter what a woman’s choice, inclination, ability, education, employment, or financial or social status, tending to the home and family almost always falls in her life” and “Except without the income.”

    You use Davis well, but since your argument is in such close conversation with hers, you could’ve used another quote or two from her work, especially in your second graf. In the third and fourth, you broaden out to a more current and personal moment, which is great — you don’t need her as much there.

    And it would be nice to get a bit more of the personal experience graf — you could introduce the idea at the beginning to make the structure of the essay a bit more balanced.

    I’m looking forward to your final project!

    Prof A

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