Last week I was filling out a survey and had to check “Full-time Homemaker” as my profession. After a moment of hesitation, I then also checked the box marked “Other.” I don’t know what the Other is, but I felt better knowing that the theoretical compiler of the survey would have to wonder what “Other” meant as well. It was my way of adding mystery to the bland and boring “Full-time Homemaker.” Who knows what else I might do? I could be CIA, only undercover as a Homemaker!
Speaking of which, I have to confess I hate the word homemaker. The word sounds patronizing and belittling in my head. The happy little homemaker. It also conveys the ugly implication that unless there is someone at home full-time to work at it, a house just isn’t a home. It’s a word that’s been used to make women feel obligated to stay at home. My house was a home when I was working and never did a domestic chore if I could avoid it. No matter how messy, disordered, and unconventional my living space has ever been, it’s always been a home. I respect that homemaker is a gender-neutral word, but wish we could find an alternative that’s got less an air of anti-feminist marketing to it.
Housewife, on the other hand, is a fairly simply word. I am a wife, and proud of it. And I now stay mostly in my house. Housewife. The masculine form is Househusband. I have no problems with the word housewife, in itself. It’s people’s attitudes that bother me, and that’s why I have this blog, after all.
And then there’s the other half of that annoying little description: Full-time. I’m hardly a full-time housewife at the moment. I’m more like full-time disabled and part-time housewife. I guess that’s what the Other stood for. I hope I don’t ever become a full-time homemaker. I’d like to at least keep up with some part-time fucking around on the internet or something. How boring would it be if all I did was housework? Ick.