Must-Read Manifesto blogging

The Bitch is on fire today. She’s posted a radical married feminist manifesto, and both the post and the discussion are well worth reading. The thing I really like about Dr. B. is that she remembers the absolute significance of economic power to health and happiness. This distinction is overlooked far too often in public discussions of domestic arrangements, and it’s time for it to stop. The fact is, in most heterosexual couples where one partner stays home, it’s usually the woman doing the staying. And even in couples where both partners work, women are still earning less than men overall, and are thus accumulating fewer savings, less of a retirement cushion, fewer social security benefits, etc., etc. Yet all too often, the discussion about who should/could stay home, who should/could do various kinds of housework, who should/could manage childcare, does not take the economic impact into account. This is hitting home for me right now, as my husband and I try to figure out how our professional lives will change in April, when our firstborn is due. As I absolutely loathe my current job, and would really enjoy staying home part- or full-time, we’re trying to arrange a way to make that possible. But you better believe I’m worried, not only about the reduction in our household income, but the potential reduction in my professional options for later on – not to mention the impact my staying at home could have on my life if anything were to happen to Mr. Squab or if, deities forbid, we ended up divorced. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to be in a highly progressive marriage, so these are all things we’ve talked about and acknowledged. Maintaining my theatre work and hopefully ramping up a freelance writing career, plus making some smart choices with life insurance and retirement planning are making me feel fairly safe about cutting down my “work” hours (as if staying at home isn’t work!). But I’m one of the fortunate ones in this regard. Anyway, go check out Dr. B. If nothing else, her advice on how to encourage recalcitrant spouses into doing their share of the housework is absolute genius (though, as the true slob of my family, I’m kind of hoping the husband doesn’t see that part!)

(cross-posted at After School Snack)

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