Explain Oakley's rise of the housewife role
okok, that's pretty interesting.
Ann Oakley is a famous sociologist, feminist and writer. She got her PhD degree in 1969 and that time she was working on a study of women's attitude to housework, where she mostly focused on medical sociology and women's health.
"A housewife is a woman; a housewife does housework".
The role of a housewife is a family role, a feminine role and a work role. Men seem to ignore that fact that it's a work role - but it really is! Whatever a woman does - looking after a child, cooking, doing housework - it all takes time and powers!
Why is the role of a housewife a family role and a feminine role? The housewife keeps the family together, she "manages and directs affairs of household", according to Oakley. Why is it a feminine role? Look at the word - "housewife", a man obviously cannot be called a housewife. He may do the housework (well, it is almost impossible to happen in industrialised society, but nowadays..), but he will never be a housewife!
The housewife is a misstress of a household. The stability and warm in the family depends on her actions. A man can work, children may learn, but they need a base and this base is the housewife.
The main mistake is mixing up two things - being a housewife and doing the housework! A woman might work but still be a housewife. Housework is associated with a low-status work and economic dependance on a male breadwinner and not appreciated at all! Housework might mean isolation from a social life, but it depends on how much time is spend on it. According to some data in Oakley's study, in an industrialised society it takes women 3000-4000 hours a year to do the housework!
But if you are not just doing the housework, you are being a housewife as well, only you decide how much time should be spent on each 'household supporting activity'. No-one can set rules for being a housewife except for the housewife herself!
In a society women are supposed to be good mothers, good wifes and good housewifes - this is their main role. But how fair is it nowadays?
Now men and women are becoming more equal in rights in a social life and a working life, therefore, this structure is already changing. Maybe the role of a housewife will be reviewed pretty soon, but the main role for women will still be the same (however, some things might add up to those three). Yes, that's great. But can anyone name me the role of a man in a family then? Now the stereotype of a male breadwinner is going to be crashed, so what are they going to do? Hehehe.