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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 30 April 2010

Some Room Of One's Own

This week, an article in the G2 reported on several prominent women who have gone public about their struggles with depression, including Marian Keyes, Emma Thompson and Alison Pearson. This development, the article reports, reflects the trend that modern women are as twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men. My reaction on reading this was:

No shit Sherlock.

The way I see it is like this:

First wave feminism: Make equal space for us.
Second wave feminism: This space is ours and we’re going to define it how we see fit.
Third wave feminism: There’s too much space we have to fill. We’re knackered.

The article referred to an American report called The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers which debunks the myth that working women are knackered because they do it all. The article claims that the time spent working in and out of the home are roughly similar for both men and women. However the article states that it is women who carry the overall emotional responsibility for the domestic sector whilst men are more “helpers.”

Is this true?

It's true in mine. Both my husband and I work full-time but somehow the management of our household falls to me. I know that if we had kids, the flow of their day would become my remit. In order to raise a family, I know I will need to give up things that I love to do as well as, to a large degree, my solitude. The thought of this alone is depressing enough.

Is this it?

What happened to A Room of One's Own? What happened to The Women's Room?

What happened?

Kids or no kids, most women I know are so busy they don’t even have time to scratch themselves. The expectations surrounding and from within are so high. We push it physically, mentally and emotionally day in, day out. After awhile, such relentlessness takes a toll.

Look after yourselves ladies. It’s not worth it.


Anonymous said...

Whilst I accept that women do more in terms of looking after the home and family (even when working full time) I don't think it is that clear cut.

Men also have a valid case for a very small plea of 'what about me ?'.

In the past if a woman cooked and cleaned etc this wasn't valued, as it was viewed as just part of the regular chores of being a woman. (I should point out I don't agree with that point of view). With the change of society these type of jobs are viewed as exactly that, jobs, and have time cost associated with them.

However with this liberation some regular chores that were 'traditionally' mens are now viewed as things than the man should just do. The time cost of them is not considered and not included when viewing the man's contribution. If I have to run out to buy something at some strange time and run back before it melts that is just viewed as part of my job. I am not saying I won't mop the floors, but give me a second to catch my breath.

In summary liberation is not a zero sum game.

Lavendar Lee said...

What are these things that men inherently do that are not being taken into account? I'm mystified. As far as I am aware, motherhood is still not included in the gross productivity of a nation, despite it being a 24/7 job. This cooking and cleaning that you speak of is measured in addition to the labour carried out in the workplace- you've implied this in your statement. Therefore the measures by which you are making your case are within those of a traditional patriarchal value system which deems the public sector as being more measurable than the private.