Although I’m in the shidduch scene thing, I’m obviously somewhat more familiar with the female half of things. So this article on Washington Heights, which has been circulating like a piece of profundity, raised a few questions.
1 – Why is the magazine called Guernica? Okay, I get the “arts and politics” thing, but isn’t there a more cheerful confluence of art and politics? (or do they never come together in a cheerful way?) A more American one, at least? I guess not.
2 – How do you lose blond hair? Like by forgetting it on a park bench? I find it hard to believe NYC hasn’t got enough sun to bleach the bleachable type of hair in the summertime.
3 – Is there really a difference between what guys are “taught” the woman’s role is and what the girls are “taught” to do?
This is the second time I’ve seen that listed as a reason for the so-called “shidduch crisis.” That girls – women – want to have a career, and guys think they ought to be in the kitchen changing diapers.
I have, once or twice, seen a guy make a face when I said I wasn’t likely to consider dropping work completely. I consider that to be a matter of practicality, and anyway, in this age of modern convenience, you really don’t need to be home all day to get the housework done (assuming that the wife is the only one doing housework).
I mean, I did get week and a half’s worth of experience recently, and it definitely did not take up a full day, even when I pulled a six-pot dinner.
So, once you’ve redecorated the living room, mastered the art of fruit-glazed chicken and souffles, packed enough stuff into the freezer to last til Pesach (which you don’t need because you’re making everything fresh every day), made thematic succah decorations, and completed the Purim costumes from scratch, and updated your family blog with photos of your adorable children and your latest toilet-scrubbing technique, what is left to do? Become a gym rat? Go out for lunch with your friends? Volunteer for every organization under the sun? Visit traveling exhibits?
You’re going to wind up out of the house anyway (if only for the sake of your sanity) – why not get paid for it? Yes, the thematic succah will have to go and the souffles will probably fall by the wayside, but most people survive without them anyway.
Besides, there is a growing trend (and don’t deny it, guys) that women are outpacing men in the workplace. Since it makes sense for the higher earner to be the breadwinner, there are higher rates of housekeeping husbands (hat tip to BiggestFish [I know who you are]) than ever before.
Sure, the household is the center of the Jewish solar system. But who says it’s got to be the woman doing the tightest orbiting?
All that was just for the sake of argument – and the controversy-lovers may begin shouting right now.
But it’s completely beside the point. It makes no difference to the question of: are guys “taught” that women should be in the home orbital? Exactly how is this taught? Do rabbeim give classes on these things? ‘What to look for in a wife’ or ‘Who’s place is in the kitchen (hint: not yours)’?
For the guys to whom this applies: how do you/they reconcile this with their plans to learn for several years and then go into a low-paying, late-if-ever paying ‘klei kodesh’ job? Do they also want their wives at home? (I get if a big-time lawyer who is never at home anyway wants his wife there feathering the nest, but if you’re small-time or average-time stuff…?)