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19.2.08

The Modern Woman



I cracked up when I read the comments on this picture. Imagine your reaction if a man ever said this to you. I’d probably deck him. The days of women being expected to be stay-at-home moms, waiting on our menfolk hand and foot are over and done with. Nowadays, we’re independent. Able to look after ourselves. Capable of taking care of our own needs, even sexually if necessary. Hey, get in a good supply of batteries and we’re set. Lol


I grew up watching my mom defer to her husband at every turn. When I got married, to a man close to ten years older than I am, I found myself following the same pattern. It took me years to learn to stand up for myself, and let me tell you, boy, was that a shock to the hubby. He didn’t know what had hit him. Now he likes the independent woman I’ve become, but it took some adjusting to. When I raised my daughter, I raised her to think for herself. To be responsible for her own happiness. Mind you, I also raised my son to learn to be handy around the house, to cook, do the washing, and generally to be an equal partner in any relationship and not assume he can take control.


But sometimes I wonder if we’ve gone too far. I’m probably going to annoy all the diehard feminists out there, but I like being a woman. I like the things that come with being a woman. Yes, I can open my own door, pull my own seat up to the table, but you know what? It gives me a warm glow to be treated that way, because I know it’s being done out of respect and love. It doesn’t diminish me in any way. It doesn’t make my husband a henpecked hubby. When I polish hubby’s shoes before an important meeting, it doesn’t make me a doormat. I do it because I love him, because I want him to shine at his meeting, to look the best he can. There are times I’ve played the little housewife and waited on him hand and foot, but I do it because I want to, not because it’s expected of me. And then I thank him when he takes on the cooking role every night so that I can write. We’re both independent, but together we make a hell of a team. This is the way I try to write my heroines. Not so tough they can’t ask a man for help if they need it. Not so wimpy they almost become too stupid to live. It’s all about balance. And what you’re prepared to do for love.


So what have you done for love?

9 comments:

Carol Lynne said...

Wow, you're one lucky woman. I can't imagine my husband ever offering to cook dinner so that I could write. Oh, wait, that's why I don't have a husband anymore. LOL

Someday, maybe I'll find a man who isn't afraid of being labled by the rest of the world. Maybe he'll even wash the dishes while I go out and mow the grass.

A girl can hope, can't she?

Alexis Fleming said...

They do exist, Carol. Mind you, it took us 35 years to get to this point. In the beginning he was definitely a married bachelor. I just had to train him. lol

All joking aside, we're a good team. For instance sake, yesterday I was outside painting doors in the motel. Brian is inside unpacking the dish-washer and doing the ironing. And that's cool, because I hate ironing. We get pissed off with each other on occasion, but that's part of any relationship, I think. He's my best mate. It just took me a while to realise that.

Lisabet Sarai said...

I'm really lucky. From the very first, my husband treated me as an equal. He never expected me to wait on him. Of course, we were both pretty mature and independent when we met.

On the other hand, I love taking care of him, as Alexis says. Not because I have to, because I want to. And he does the same for me.

Ashley Ladd said...

Bravo! I love your views. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership and it sounds like you have one. I believe, too, that we should help each other, and show loving care to each other. Unfortunately, my hubby does not seem to believe this after all these years (which annoys me and I stand up for myself).

Sam said...

My husband does all the ironing and I cook and clean. It's a partnership - no one is 'above' the other. I am a die-hard feminist, but I think that opening doors and holding chairs out for a woman is part of etiquette, not chauvenism. Doing nice things for the one you love doesn't make you a doormat - but feeling obliged to, or being ordered to, does.
Maybe that's the difference between the modern and old fashioned woman?

Alexis Fleming said...

Actually, Sam, I think you've hit on it. Doing it because it's something we choose to do, rather than following a pattern or ideal set down by society as the norm for women.

Dita said...

Funny, we want to recognize the feminist part of us, yet we still want the door opened for us.

There are still some cultured men out there though kind enough to mop the floor or cook a meal.

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