But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Archive for Sexism

Would you leave your child with a male caregiver? – Child Caring – Boston.com

I thought this was interesting. I remember having a male caregiver at my preschool when I was little. I remember being embarrassed to go to the bathroom at the preschool because there was a partition that only covered the lower half of you. Your head would stick out the top. I remember being aware of little boys and not wanting them to see me go to the bathroom there. 

Anyway, the guy that worked there was great and much loved by all the kids. I think it’s a shame when people allow their fears to  get out of hand. 

Would you leave your child with a male caregiver? – Child Caring – Boston.com

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My Current Women’s Issues Reading Queue

It all started when Mad Men came out (which I immediately loved, loved, loved) and then I randomly found this book on the shelf at my local Library:

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A reader review on Amazon.com says it more eloquently than I can at the moment:

5.0 out of 5 stars If you’re not a Feminist, read it anyway., July 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Women’s Room (Paperback)

French’s work is a maddening, beautiful, horrific, and eloquent work of artistry that truthfully tells of women’s lives. I recently read it at college (yes, I am Feminist, we’ll get that out of the way) and this novel allowed me to find the words to connect the thoughts that had been floating in my own head for years. The point of this novel is not even in its compelling, wonderful plot, it is in the ideas expressed and the intelligence of French’s work. I am certainly not a 1950’s suburban wife with two children, yet I found pieces of my life in every one of the characters of “The Women’s Room.” If you can get past the insipid idea that French is claiming all men are oppressive, all women meek or radical, and relationships between the genders are doomed, you’ll be a different person, emotionally and intellectually by the time you turn the final page. Read it slowly, savour the language, get angry, cry, laugh, become empowered, and find your own voice with the help of this remarkable novel.

I pretty much agree with everything said above by “A Customer.

I am also reading For Her Own Good, by Barbara Ehrenreich (who wrote Nickel and Dimed) and Deirdre English.

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It is an excellent book about the history of women and the rise of the psychological and medical professions along with their “expert” advice to women in the past two centuries. I found out about it because my mom is currently reading it – thanks, mom!

I’ve also just finished Happy Housewives, by Darla Shine, of the Happy Housewives Club

This book apparently comes in three colors.

I’m dying to post a proper review of this book, because although I mostly enjoyed it and devoured it in one weekend, I had mixed feeling about it. The reviews by readers have been mixed and cite two things of which I was also acutely aware when I read it:

  • It is, unfortunately written with the assumption that the reader is an Upper Class American.
  • Her holier-than-thou, “judgy, snotty way of referring to those different from herself” writing style was terribly offputting.

More to come on that book.

Finally, these are next books in my reading queue, which I have on order at the public library:

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So What If It’s Sexist! Aiko Wants to Do My Housework!

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Image of Le Tran with his Android via Feministing.com

Robots who do housework and respond to sexism in the workplace! As long as they don’t replace us wives and women, I say bring it on! Let them do my housework! 

Carly Hart says it best at Associatedcontent.com:

Where’s mine? Women can use a male robot like Aiko.

A woman around the house doing mundane chores is nothing new. Women would much rather prefer a male robot who’ll do the dishes without rolling their eyes or the laundry without much fuss. A male robot such as Aiko could be well received among the single women demographic if he could do basic plumbing, was handy with a hammer and nails and could change the oil in their car. 

Thanks, Carly, for giving the subject a much needed female spin!

But seriously, I discovered Aiko on feministing.com: Fem-Bots, the Perfect Woman? And a for more incendiary article via the same website: Female robot is the perfect companion, receptionist, sexual assault victim

I agree with many of the commenters to the feministing.com articles, as well as the authors, toomey, and Vanessa Valenti, that yes, this is pretty creepy! But not much surprises me these days and I often find myself looking, or trying to look, at various sides before getting in myself all in a huff (unless the offending item is the incessant commercials for Girls Gone Wild, in which case I have been unable to contain many fits of rage).

  • One of the commenters, Bunny,  notes that the original intent of creating this android was as a care-giver for the elderly; thus, it is a noble endeavor gone awry. 
  • Another source mentions that Trung invented Aiko after having a heart attack and though that someday he will need 24 hours assistance. 

After giving some thought to the matter, I’ve concluded that it’s not really the quirky fetishes or sexist views of one dirty old man or socially awkward inventor  that bothers me, it is the supposed views of men en masse as in the orgiginal article from the Sun which I find offensive. I suppose the Sun article reads like Maxim or any other men’s interest magazine, (and to be honest, I dislike reading overly feminist diatribes just as much as these lowbrow men’s magazines), but come on!

SHE is the perfect wife, with the body of a Page 3 pin-up and housekeeping skills that put TV’s Kim and Aggie to shame.

Her name is Aiko, she can even read a map, and will never, ever, nag.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t she fellas? And she is.

Aiko is actually a robot, a fantasy brought to life by inventor Le Trung.

And in Trung’s own words: 

“Aiko doesn’t need holidays, food or rest, and will work almost 24 hours a day. She is the perfect woman.”

In the end I find it sad that she is not touted as a tireless aid to the perpetually overworked housewife and working women of the world, but as “the perfect woman.” Maybe it’s not really Le Trans fault, but the slant of the author, Caroline Iggulden (a woman!) who must cater to The Sun’s readership via an expected “humorous tone.” 

Still, must it always be about and for the men of the world?