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Name: Opus
Location: London, UK
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Thursday, January 27, 2005

The love business

I read an article in the G2 section of the Guardian earlier this week titled The love business. (I would link to it but it’s in the digital edition which is a paid for subscription service). The article written by Jenni Russell looks at the way money can and does create inequality in long-term relationships, particularly marriage.

I have to say that this issue is another very good reason as to why I have taken the long road to serial monogamy. I am fairly independent and I love my work, but I know that if I were to marry and procreate I would want to have the option of being able to take time out to be a mother – at least in the early pre-school years.

On choosing this option I suddenly go from being financially independent to being pretty much dependent on my partner, and as this article points out this leads to all sorts of underlying issues.

On the one hand you have the husband feeling stressed because he is now the provider; pre-occupied with making ends meet, tired, not spending enough time with the children, on the other hand you have the wife feeling dependent and at the same time undervalued for everything she does around the home, overlooked – it’s the same as any business – if you’re not generating revenue you’re not seen to be directly adding value.

Of course in most parts of the world life is not the same for women as it was 50 years ago. I would also have the choice to remain at work, generate revenue, split all bills down the middle and keep a fair amount of financial independence – as long as my husband was a new, new, man. From a financial perspective this does seem to be the better alternative, pool all resources and view the marriage as a real team effort, working together as a unit. This way also probably inspires a feeling of equality, which is what today’s woman seeks.

But I guess my point is that I would still like to have the option to choose without feeling that if I chose the former it would be because I would want to be actively involved in bringing up ‘our children’ to give them the best possible emotional, educational, etc., start in life, and not because I would want to give up my financial independence. I think that a smart marriage should still be able to work as a team on this level and treat each other as equals.

Of course I am happy in my serial monogamist life, but as a thinking woman I will always have my opinions :)

posted by Opus at 15:27

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