I just had to add this photo when I saw it. via
But as my own philosophy has transformed into something more concretely defined, it is not just a joke. I am indeed a Feminist Housewife. Many people think that feminism teaches that all men and women should work outside of the home and put their children in daycare; I am sure that many feminists do this and believe this as well. However, I think that devaluing taking care of children and the home as a job (and believe me, it is a job) and thinking that no one except childcare centers should do this (many of which are incredibly underpaid), seems completely in opposition to feminist theory to me.
Instead of saying that women should leave the drudgery of housework to join the somehow more fulfilling and meaningful "workforce", so that one can pay a marginalized person to do one's dreaded housework or take care of the children, what if we challenged the very idea that this work is not valuable. Everyone has to eat, wash clothes, clean up, do dishes, care for their children if they have them, or pay someone else a usually, unfair wage, to do all of these things for them. So why not recognize this work as meaningful, contributing to society in a productive way, and give it value?
Now, I'm not saying all women should stay home, or that women should not work outside of the home. Not at all. But, I do think that men and women should have the option of doing these things for themselves and be able to find meaning and fulfillment in them, if it is their choice. Contributing to society in this way is incredibly challenging, and often devoid of much recognition, especially in a society where value is often based on a price-tag. It's no wonder that there are things like "Housewife's Syndrome," or "The problem without a name." I think that one should be able to take pride in doing necessary work that is for the betterment of society.
I don't want to overlook the complexity of financial matrices as couples, especially those with children, have to solve in trying to live in our society; or how single parents juggle all that come with children and work. And I am not trying to pass judgement on any particular way of life. I am merely challenging what is important and valued, and that the only way for a woman to find meaning and value is to work outside the home, or that a man could not stay home, as well.
Also, I feel the need to clarify, when I am referring to people paying for household services to be done, I know not everyone who has two incomes has a housekeeper or gets all of their closed dry cleaned or has a nanny. But no one can do it all, and if you have two people working, than you do have to pay for it somewhere, whether it's childcare, going out to eat for dinner, picking up fast food, having someone clean the house once a week, whatever it is...
So what do you think? I am open to constructive criticism. And I am in no way saying that my theory is completely sound or perfect. It is ever-evolving...