Recently I found myself in an argument with some chauvinists. It started as a joke when a man said that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and soon after, world war 3 began. Their point of view was that there are different kinds of women in society. The stereotypes were just out there, men expecting women to behave like they did 50 years ago. Why in God’s name are some women best suited for marriage while others are labelled as not? So everyone followed with their points. It was apparent that there is too much pressure on women to be like the queen’s daughter. Does a woman have to be in dresses to be called ladylike? Does she have to be quiet and be a great cook to be able to take care of other people? I gathered the chauvinist’s ideas and I managed to put them in points.
1. She should be able to cook: Yes, it is known to be a lady’s thing to be able to cook. But to these men, a woman who cannot cook should not expect a husband. I found this appalling as there are some women who would rather wash dishes than cook. They stated that a man should sit, relax, and unwind as the woman is in charge of his tummy. One went to the extent of saying that he should never enter the kitchen. They described what their mothers probably were. In the past, women were expected to serve their husbands as it was taboo if he was even caught cooking. My argument was that we are in a modern age and time. Some women love cooking and serving their men; while others simply are not. On this point, we agreed to disagree.
2. She should not go out: At this point, I was fuming not because I am particularly a feminist but because I did not understand who they were talking about. Is a wife material meant to be a robot that is meant to be smart, well-rounded and sit at home? There were jokes about women who drink alcohol or go out too often. They claimed that men are meant to be in the bar. A lady who sleeps early and has a very calm life is the best material. My argument is there are different kinds of women. Some are outgoing but that does not mean they cannot take care of a family. While others prefer to be indoors and have other hobbies. A real man would be able to have fun with their choice of the woman.
3. Fashion stereotype: I found this too rigid. I prefer wearing jeans, t-shirts and comfortable shoes on a normal day. This does not mean I cannot rock a dress based on the occasion but according to them, a wife material should wear dresses. I wondered which era they were from. For starters, I find that men who wear suits look amazing but does that mean those who wear jeans look bad and can’t be husbands? Generally, there are outfits that do not make sense but this does not mean one should be judged harshly for that. Especially when you do not know the person. Women could also judge men’s skills only based on fashion.
4. Submissive: This word has a lot of confusion. To proper chauvinists who would like to use this word to their advantage, I think there is a misuse. A relationship is based on respect from both parties. I disagree with anyone who thinks that a woman is the one to constantly respect and be a yes woman. If you prefer a yes woman then there are those who are like that. What I disagree with is the constant use of the word submission claiming that it is obedience; we are not slaves to obey. We are human beings with feelings and opinions based on what we do.
5. Using religion as blackmail: When dirt hit the fan, it got a bit dusty. The argument was now from a religious perspective. Those men were always superior and nowadays proper women cannot deal with a job as well as a family. I had no words at this point as society has evolved, norms, values and traditions have changed.
At a time when I thought we had let go of such ideas, I realized some men are secretly in pain when they cannot find this stereotypical woman. But here is a word for all men out there who feel this way. For starters, every woman has a nurturing, sweet side. A woman does not have to cook for you or dress up for you to prove anything to you. She must want to do it, it is not something you can force her to do. If you do like her and she does too then you will find a level of compatibility. There is constant pressure for women to conform to this ‘wife material’ stereotype, yet we are all different. Women have recently discovered that they too can have an identity away from the home. We are now career women and just because we have house helps doesn’t mean we cannot manage the household.
Guys, you need to man up, women love you with the many weird flaws that are considered manly such as drinking every day yet you want a perfect robotic lady. As Myles Munroe said “where the purpose is not known abuse is inevitable”, you need to know your purpose well before assuming what wife material is. Compatibility is the key, not a societal stereotype.
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