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Name: Opus
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Where's my wife?

I’ve read a few articles recently about an upcoming experiment, The Week The Women Went. The village of Harby in Nottinghamshire is to have its womenfolk packed off to a hotel for seven nights to see how their men cope without them.

At first I thought well what is the point, in general most people will agree that men are not as good at multi tasking as women are; balancing job, home, and kids.

On closer inspection I don’t think this is really the only motive for the experiment, I think there is a broader element.

Over the last 50 years women in Western Europe and developed countries have ventured in to the work arena, but at the same time they have continued to play a role at home and in their immediate environment, and particularly in small villages such as Harby, women realise the importance of being involved in the local community.

Harby is a village of around 240 adult inhabitants, 80 of the 119 women will leave their men for one week to see how they cope. From what I can make out, it’s more a case of seeing whether or not the men rise to the challenge by getting involved not just at home but also within the community. Of course with 80 women gone this community will be largely made up of other men in the same situation, but I think this is intentional and should be seen as an opportunity.

Series producer Kelly Webb-Lamb says of the project:

"The series aims to go beyond dated clichés like will he burn the beans? Can he change nappies? We want to see what men do differently. Of course there's an element of fun here and it will be a fascinating experiment, but if we didn't feel the community as a whole would learn something of value from their experience and look at their lives differently afterwards, we wouldn't be doing it."

As a Londoner looking in I think it will be an interesting experiment and it should be rewarding for both the women and the men. So I was surprised to read about the uproar it is causing. So much so, that the local parish council is to hold a meeting to gauge the strength of opposition to the production.

I had to laugh, the village is divided, and of course it’s mainly the men who are opposed. Seems like typical male village mentality; don’t do anything to upset the status quo, we’d like things to stay just the way they are, it’s bad enough what with women going off to work.

Well I hope the production goes ahead, but I have to say I’m very happy to be a London gal.

posted by Opus at 18:28

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