Husband vs Wife
Since the traditional conceptions of masculinity and femininity define man as instrumental and woman as expressive, then it follows that men and women can function in their traditional roles only in conjuction with each other. Each requires the other in order to perform at their peak in the world. A man is incomplete without nurturing and tenderness and when he cannot find these qualities within himself he becomes dependent on the woman in his life to provide them. A woman cannot function well without the self-assertiveness and leadership that she, if traditionally feminine could not develop within herself. For these qualities she becomes dependent on a man. Neither can stand alone and this relationship is formalized within the institution of marriage.
Once the relationship is established, tasks and behaviors are assigned along sex-oriented lines. The woman becomes the wife and mother with certain tasks and the man accordingly becomes the husband and father with his own set of prescribed tasks and behaviors.
In this relationship, powers are divided rather than shared. The man is allocated the power to make important decisions, achieve status, and material goods. On the other hand, assumes the power to feel, nurture, serve and manage domestic and interpersonal life of the home. Women thus gain power in private in exchange for submission in public. This is the traditional bargain struck between the two sexes.
With the acceptance of the role of wife almost all women, especially role-oriented women, accept as well as the role of housewife. The deprecatory phrase ?I?m just a housewife? typifies the low esteem in which this position is held in our society. The housewife?s responsibilities fall under at least twelve occupational titles: nursemaid, housekeeper, seamstress, dietician, cook, dishwasher, laundress, food buyer, chauffer, gardener, practical nurse, and maintenance worker. However, she receives no pay and has to ask her husband for money for basically everything. It is remarkable that most women still rush to fill such a position.
The traditional housewife?s main task is putting the interests of her husband and her children first. Her central mission in life is to care for her husband and children, and finds her major satisfaction in her family. In addition, for the traditional wife individual achievement is proscribed though she may help bring in the family income if it should become necessary; it should not exceed her husband?s salary. She believes, moreover, that psychologically and biologically women are better suited for some tasks than others, but that the family domain does not include sharing equal authority with her mate.
Women within the domestic sphere, become more particularistic, more emotional, and more willing to live through the lives of others at the same time as they begin to lose the independence and achievement orientated skills they might have developed through prior education and...