First off, Happy Independence Day! We Americans could still be under English rule. I could be thrown in jail for hate speech, I wouldn't be allowed the right to defend myself by carrying a pistol, and maybe we'd have even more cameras in every city to spy on eachother with. I like a lot of English people, but frankly, England is one of the last places I'd want to live.
With that out of the way, the main topic for today is the sexes and their roles. Since I'm going argue one point which is controversial (nowadays), I'll make the case for my perspective in advance.
Generally speaking, the model back in the 50s was men working and women taking care of the home and kids. Now, the model is usually men and women working. In fact, this distinction alone is worth a second thought in my mind.
Now, from my male perspective, I like working with women. I remember coming into work and having the warmest, friendliest smile from the receptionist. She also rode motorcycles and we'd talk about that for a couple minutes before I started my day. She was so warm and vibrant that she always lifted my spirits. Then there was the office manager, who while not as feminine as the receptionist, was extremely competent and I always felt like we were very well taken care of by her from an office and food perspective - enough so that every office manager after seemed so incredibly lackluster. Outside of the typically female roles, I've also worked with women in support and engineering. Now, some make it into the roles simply because they are women and not because of merit, which is a shame. When that is the case they are obviously not very good. But when they make their way in due to merit, having women on the team helps provide balance. The atmosphere is generally more comfortable, a little less sharp (in the cutting sense, not in intelligence), and generally more well rounded. As far as managers go, I guess I've never had a woman as a manager but my Dad always told me that the best manager he ever had was a woman. Obviously, there are a lot of terrible women (and men) as managers, but that says quite a lot to me.
So undeniably, women can be very effective in the work force. And when I've tried to hire for SporeStack I've been somewhat biased in their favor. If I have two candidates who are equally adept, the female candidate will attract more male candidates into engineering, usually make the workplace more "fun", and who knows, maybe she's single.
With all of that said as genuine praise of working with women, I have to say that careers in general are very overrated. I'm not really sure why the majority of women never had honest conversations with men, asking what it's like to have a career and how fulfilling it is to pursue. But now I see maybe one in twenty, one in thirty women who actually want to be a stay at home mother. And so you have these hordes of women running off to college and running off to the work place. Why? Why is that the life that they pursue?
Even in today's age, there are far more men than one in thirty who'd rather have housewives than dual income. As far as women go, at best, about as many of them are going to have fulfilling careers as their male counterparts. Do you really want to pursue those odds?
From my male perspective on dual income vs a housewife...
I make an above average salary. Let's just pick an arbitrary number and call it $120k a year. Chances are, my female interest is going to be making mininmum wage to $40k a year. Maybe she's making more than that.
From a financial perspective, $120k + minimum wage (I don't know, $26k?) = $146k. I could work a couple more hours a week and probably come up with that $26k. It's pretty much meaningless to me.
Or maybe she's doing really well like I am, also making $120k now we're making $120k*2=$240k. I guess that's nice and helps us save up faster, but with that kind of money we certainly don't have the time in which to spend it. As it is, I make more than enough for both of us so I simply don't care about the $20 or 30k a year I could be spending on her between food, housing, gas, etc.
But then you might say, between dish washers, Roombas, and Amazom Prime, she'd just be lounging around all day! And yeah, that is kinda true. A housewife these days could have it easier than ever if there's no kids to take care of and ready access to modern ammenities. Still on this train of thought, the choice is still likely between a lackluster career and too easy of a life at home. I know for me, I'd probably rather have a lackluster career than just be lazy, if it were really just those two options.
But say in the case of a family with kids, the modern environment largely enables the woman to work instead of take care of her kids and educate them. So yes, if you want to go off and have a career while your children are educated, practically clothed, bathed, and fed for you, you can go ahead and do that. But if you wanted kids with as little involvement as possible, why did you bother having them at all?
The case for the housewife can look bleak if we're talking about apartment life without kids and most of the chores automated away. In my case, I'd still pay for that. My options are having a career woman who has different schedules, different commutes, and comes home just as stressed as I do. I would love to come home to a hot meal, a clean kitchen, and a warm smile, one untaxed by the modern rat race. With a life like that I'd work harder and better at work, be able to relax at home and actually recouperate, and genuinely my quality of life would skyrocket. For me personally, balance is not my forte, so the small fee it would require for me to have someone provide most of that balance for me is nominal. And for her, she can read books almost all day, go on walks, hikes, and bike rides. Stay in shape and be sharp, all with low stress. Now from experience I think too easy of a life can be a bad thing, but that's another topic.
The truly compelling case for the housewife is when there are kids, especially on any degree of a homestead. Now instead of being mostly idle at home, she can be an educator, a seamstress, a gardener, a cook, and possibly even the occasional handyman. If you are a woman, think about this for a moment. Would you honestly rather have a career or stay home, tending the chickens, pickling the food, teaching your children (who will become your employees to further take care of the household), and more often than not still have time to relax? Even financially, the case is very compelling for a man. A craft woman has a good chance of saving him money. Finding better deals, repairing clothes instead of replacing, and making better meals for less money by starting with more constituent parts.
Now while nothing would be perfect and there'd be many bad moments, and undoubtedly I would be doing the chores and cooking from time to time, this seems like a pretty solid setup in my mind for both the man and the woman. And genuinely, if I were born a woman I think I'd be very happy to be a mother and a hometaker. And quite honestly, it might well be more rewarding than my career pursuits as a man which are among the top in quality of anyone I've seen.
Don't think for a moment that I want some law to force women out of the work force and have to serve their husbands, boyfriends, or whatever. For many there may be a time and a place for both, but my biggest takeaway with this is that not enough women honestly consider being a stay at home mom enough. And not enough consider having a homestead enough as well, which gives more work for both. Effectively, lowering spending by doing work in house. Although anyone who's been around a real homestead knows it's very possible to spend a lot more than you save or get back if you aren't careful.
As for me thinking through this, why would I want a career woman, a competitor, someone equally stressed as I? Men and women are different. Each with different strengths and weakneses. Now some women make better men than some men will make, and vice versa. But on the whole, men tend to make better engineers and women tend to make better homemakers. Obviously many exceptions to this, but you can't change a biology optimized for this case over night, not one that's been established over a very long time.
Thanks for reading.