Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Rent-a-Wife

Most young women want to get married, eventually. Fewer and fewer of them want to be wives. They are even less interested in being homemakers or helpmates.

For reason that do not need elaboration, the role of wife has been diminished, demeaned and degraded to the point where women believe that wives are gussied up domestic servants.

If they worship at the Church of the Liberal Pieties young women believe that both marital partners can pursue their careers and share household chores. They abhor the idea that they, by virtue of their sex, be consigned the role of mistress-- or is it master-- of the household.

If a woman is also going to bear responsibility for bringing up the children she will quickly figure out that she cannot be a good wife and good mother while climbing the ladder to corporate success.

It is fair to point out that at some point, young women will start thinking that if they are competing for the best husband material they might show their willingness to assume the role of wife. If the nation is suffering from a scarcity of women who want to be wives, while at the same time suffering from an oversupply of men who want to marry women who will function as wives, an enterprising young woman might use the information to her advantage.

If you consider how much effort women expend looking exquisitely beautiful and how many hours they spend agonizing over the rules of dating and courtship, it feels like a good reality check for them to consider that they will do better with the most successful men if they want to be wives.

Women do not want to be wives, but they understand how important it is to have a wife. If they live in Los Angeles they can solve the problem by calling up a service called, Rent-a-Wife. They can hire a woman who will, for an hourly fee do whatever it is that wives used to do. These rent-a-wives will keep an organized household, run chores, organize social activities and do whatever a busy career woman does not have the time or the inclination to do herself.

Some people are under the misapprehension that rent-a-wives are glorified prostitutes. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, rent-a-wives are more often hired by overburdened women to get their lives into a semblance of order.

To my knowledge there are no male rent-a-wives.

Naturally, professional feminists have their knickers in a twist over the fact that the service is called Rent-a-Wife. Why not call it Rent-a personal-assistant or something more gender neutral?

Why not, indeed? Perhaps for the same reason that the people who hire rent-a-wives are invariably women. This tells us that the service is not a glorified-- or is it low-rent-- form of prostitution. It also shows, to the chagrin of many that the average male, left to his own devices does not much care about how his home looks.

A British mattress company did a recent study of the domestic habits of young males. It discovered that young men living alone are likely to change the sheets four times a year.

The CBC reported:

Among single men aged 18 to 25, 55 per cent changed their sheets every 3.1 months. Of that grubby group, 49 per cent figured that was an acceptable frequency, and another 19 per cent didn't care.

Obviously, the report continues, this level of domestic hygiene is unlikely to tempt too many young ladies to share their beds, but the more important point is that women care about their households and men do not.

You do not need me to tell you that single women have far better hygiene. Allow the CBC to do it:

The cleanest demographic were women aged 35 to 50, with 60 per cent of those changing their linens weekly.

Married couples were more likely to change their sheets more often, though, to the surprise of no one, the work is largely performed by women:

Couples were generally clean as well, changing the sheets every 2.3 weeks, although the men could work a little harder; among the couples surveyed — 81 per cent of women said they carry the sheet-changing responsibilities.

Think about it. Four decades after second generation feminism decided to make the home a war zone and it’s still women who change the sheets. Yikes!

If one wanted to be sexist one could say that women identify with their homes while men are more oriented toward the marketplace or the arena, but this is going to elicit even more wails than the comparatively innocent term, rent-a-wife.

An alternate explanation would have it that these young men were brought up by women, specifically by their mothers. Someone trained them not to lift a finger around the house, and it must have been Mom. To which one might respond that if it did not feel natural not to care about home then men would care more than they did.

It is worth noting that a rent-a-wife is roughly equivalent to housekeeper or even household staff. So much so that one may be forgiven for wondering whether this is less about liberation and more about aristocratic entitlement?

Aristocratic women did not do the laundry or change the sheets. They did not dust the cupboards. They did not prepare dinner or serve it. All of those menial tasks were beneath their dignity. They did not have to do them because they had servants. Many of them also had servants to organize their lives.

The ladies of the manor were not completely detached from the process. They were in charge of their domestic staff.

Now, today’s liberated woman can live like an aristocrat and feel that she is liberated from traditional gender roles.

What can a rent-a-wife do for you? The company running the service explains it well:

We can be your Girl Friday, your Handyman, your Suzie Homemaker, and your Rosie the Riveter all rolled up into one. We can wait in line at the Post Office, the DMV, the return line at Target or even the voting polls while you show up just in the nick of time. We can pick up your kids from school and deliver them to soccer, [with or without cupcakes]. We can organize your Tupperware, spice drawer and even your undies. We can plan your parties, send the invites, make the space look fabulous, and rent the bouncy house or the bartender. We can coordinate your home improvement projects with Bob the builder, choose paint colors, stage your furniture and take your house from drab to fab. We can transform your office into a money factory, sell your treasures on Craigslist, assemble your Ikea furniture, cook your meals, and walk your dog. We can manage your move out of the old and into the new with ease and TLC. We can plan your vacation, be your airport shuttle, Facebook the photos and watch your house & pets without setting off the alarm.

Come to think of it, what’s not to like.


Karen Myers said...

I have GOT to get me one of those...

Kath said...

Maybe I should hire a woman to live my life for me.
When life's sorrows become too much, a rented Greek Chorus would be helpful.

JPL17 said...

By funny coincidence, the following image that's been making the rounds of the Internet irrefutably confirms (in my mind, anyway) the validity of Stuart's post:

Stuart Schneiderman said...

That's great. Thanks for passing it on.

Dennis said...

This might be a very good thing. The less interaction they have with their own children the less likely they can ruin their lives. At least their children will be exposed to ideas, concepts, et al that might help them to see life with a wider perspective than that of the modern American woman more interested in her own life than those that she might bring into this world. One day these women will recognize that their children are only their children in name only because everything their children learned about life came from someone else who may have a total different idea of what life is and how it should be lived.
Removing one's self from the gene pool is one way to remove one's ideas and removing one's self from being a mother is another way. I cannot help but see a benefit to humanity in the long run in actions like these.
Though there is some sorrow here. For your edification:

JPL17 said...

You're welcome! Glad you got a kick out of it.

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