Meredith's Reviews > Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women

Wifework by Susan Maushart
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's review
Aug 28, 11

bookshelves: sociology, australia, feminism, reviewed
Recommended for: feminists, sociology buffs
Read from August 25 to 28, 2011

Reading this book has convinced me that I am the domestically inept husband and Mr. Mere is the wife. Our relationship is, on almost every level, the exact opposite of the prototypical, traditional marriage set forth in this book.

To quote one of the would-be nannies from Mrs. Doubtfire, "I don't do laundry, I don't do windows, I don't do carpets, I don't do bathtubs, I don't do toilets, I don't do diapers . . . I don't do washing, I don't do basements, I don't do dinners, and I don't do reading!" Okay, well, she lost me at the "reading" part, but you catch my drift. And I do some of these things some of the time, but let's just say I would have failed the 1950s miserably.

Mr. Mere does 90 percent of the "wifework" in our house--including laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping. My contributions include freelance jobs to supplement our salaries (which are almost exactly equal) and managing the bills and household finances. According to Wifework, our marriage is one in a million.

So I had trouble relating personally to the concept of marriage set forth in this book, but I also had no trouble conjuring up many marriages I know of that are just like it.

I ran into a problem in one of the later chapters, wherein the author posits that marriage has nothing to offer women who are childfree by choice and financially independent. The beauty of my particular marriage is that I'm not with my husband because I need to be. I'm with him because I want/choose to be.
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08/27/2011 page 100
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Meredith My husband and I have established that our relationship defies pretty much every traditional gender expectation set forth in this book. How glorious.

Meredith Moorchild wrote: "Love it."

Why, thank you! And I hope that didn't sound like an indictment of couples with kids or couples in more traditional arrangements. I just took serious issue with the author's belief that marriage is not for the childfree. That seems more archaic than a lot of the inequalities she criticized in the book!

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