I came across this discussion on Reddit, whether working women would ‘CHOOSE’ to be a homemaker instead.
Financial freedom is a much-discussed concept, which exhorts people to save money and build a passive income, sufficient to last in non-working years. It helps to have an inheritance or someone else in the family look after your financial needs.
It sure feels good to say, “I don’t need to work for money.”
It sounds good for both men and women. One need not suffer a psychopath boss, a debilitating lifestyle imposed by inhumane work requirements or having to something your conscience does not permit.
I arrived at a few conclusions on why this question is posed especially to women.
1. Women are the ones seen as a having a choice. There is no social stigma on being a homemaker, though a professional would feel awkward doing nothing for sometime.
2. A job, career or profession is perceived as a ticket to freedom – much more than just financial independence. They are the ‘evolved’ species. Why would anyone want to make a regressive move?
3. Women are often found to be conflicted between different roles – professional, motherhood, being a wife, daughter or daughter-in-law. It is a common perception that men are incompetent to run the household, not having been trained to do so. However, it is not always true.
WHAT DOES A WOMAN WANT?
I recall a TV show which shows the eldest daughter of a fatherless family slogging to keep them all happy. Her mother expects her to cut down on her lifestyle costs to save money for the sister’s wedding. It comes to a point where a younger man besotted with her is seen as ‘a good match’ for her sister.
There are women who manage all the household work and work outside only to earn money. While she pays the rent and bills, the man saves money to buy a house where her name does not figure as a co-owner.
Nobody likes roles being imposed – be it that of a working woman or homemaker.
What do you think a woman would choose?
It is not very different from what a man would want in similar circumstances. Let us not make it gender specific.
Everyone deserves the freedom to make a choice.
There are other considerations before quitting work, not all related to gender.
Money for sustenances
The need to be occupied
The need to feel relevant and useful in your set-up
Negative social connotations associated with someone who ‘does nothing’.
DO WOMEN ADD TO THE CONTROVERSY?
In some cases, yes, they do. Women take pride in saying they work to keep themselves occupied or contribute to society, while the bread and butter is taken care of by the ‘man of the house’.
Some may flaunt extravagant lifestyles, if their male colleagues can’t afford the same, and generate envy.
EQUALITY LIES IN DECISION-MAKING POWERS
As long as a woman is given equal opportunities to contribute, grow and take decisions in both personal and professional lives, she should be fine.
We don’t need to be ‘oppressed’ or ‘privileged’.