Tuesday, 12 February 2013

# 28 (2013) How To Choose A Husband

This article appeared in the Guardian on 4th February in the wake of the publication of a book called 'How To Choose A Husband'.

I suppose by rights and given my stance on most things relating to the topics it covers, I should be jumping up and down and screaming. But I'm not because we're all grown up enough to make our own decisions and I doubt most modern girls will pay any attention to it anyway.

Ms Venker attempts to convince girls to return to the 1950s style of relationship as cooks, cleaners and baby makers. It's an impractical concept given our modern society.

Her book which the Guardian described as giving 'a 12-step guide on how to seek and then hook a man in today's 'post-feminist' culture' is curious in that it fails to take modern culture into consideration. Even if a girl wanted this kind of lifestyle she'd be hard pushed to find the man to fill her idyllic partner requirements.

Women don’t make as much as men precisely because they don’t work the 
same number of hours. Women continue to take years off the job to care for 
their children or aging parents or to live a more balanced life. Feminists 
leave that part out.

Ms Venker comments '[Mothers] did their daughters a great disservice. They were wrong to tell their daughters they could never rely on a man.' I look at my own circumstances and try to relate her advice. 

I was always 'advised' that I should be independent, manage my own money and not find myself reliant on a man but I don't remember being brought up to have a bad opinion of men. Thankfully, in retrospect, I followed all the advice and remained theoretically independent. I am frighteningly good at picking inappropriate partners and had I seen any of them as marriage material or the father of any future offspring I would have been destined for a miserable and destitute life. 

As it was, I was in my late 20s when I finally had to concede there wasn't a maternal hormone in my body. I have also learned the lessons and refined how I manage partner relationships.  Things work very well now but I have no intention of settling down and children are absolutely off the cards.

'It's a fairly large assumption to make - that all men want a return to a 
1950s mentality, when their family was completely dependent on the 
success of their job. And just because a marriage survives doesn't necessarily 
mean it's a happy one.'

I do cook. Because someone has to. I see it as a chore but I have to do it. I manage my own money and have NEVER given up the ropes of my finances to anyone else. I have had several long term relationships and never remained single for long but I never saw a pot of gold at the end of any of them and I never got involved on the basis of happily ever after.

I disagree with several of the comments in the article, but I realise that's my personal stance and I can see how what she is saying may actually generally be accurate. Despite everything I believe that an 'old fashioned' family make up does make for the most stable one especially if you're bringing up the next generation. 

The face of modern parenting. You'd never have seen this in the 1950s (source)
It would be wrong to blame women for the change in attitude. Modern culture and the pressure on all of us due to the rising cost of living and changes in responsibility are largely to blame whilst human instinct to nest and procreate remains very active

The 'perfect happy family' has been replaced by broken families, single mothers and unemployed fathers. It's part of life's inevitable downward spiral and it would be wrong to assume that these things never happened in a bygone time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about all the changes and nothing gets me madder than seeing a parade of teenage mums hanging out in town with their prams.

Vengers book is impractical even to those who want it unless they come from the privileged classes. In which case it's probably happening anyway and so doesn't need a champion. From what I have seen noone sees the practical application of the advice. I guess Ms Vengers was just lucky that she was able to tick all the boxes.

No comments:

Post a Comment