I discovered an interesting website this morning, and it got my mind whirring. The website and its concept is Wingspouse:
“A wingspouse is similar to a wingman which is sometimes described as a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous flying environment.
“A wingspouse partners with her husband and has his back as he advances in his career. It is a non-traditional career with many rewards. A wingspouse reaps the benefits of acting with her husband as one united force… working together to balance career and family, and celebrating every victory together. Who said you can’t have it all!”
I am sure you can imagine how I felt about this – it made my skin crawl in its 1950s overtones. But I clicked through everything up there and had a good read – I wanted to give the author a fair chance to convince me that abandoning my own career to help my partner achieve all his life goals was more than a dated old fashioned concept of the role of women.
I was utterly intrigued when I clicked through onto the blog to read this:
“However, when we tried to define whether our role was more traditional or feminist, we stumbled. We both felt professionally empowered and incredibly successful, but we realized that giving up our own careers for the stay-at-home life normally falls under the traditional wife. If we had not married executives, we clearly would have been climbing the corporate ladder somewhere, but somehow we had both come to the realization that serving as our husband’s partners was the way to have it all. Perhaps our non-traditional feminist approach to being a traditional SAHM was yet another example of our chameleon quality.”
One minute I find myself thinking *You are living the life of a 1950s housewife!*, then I reply *but my sister is a very satisfied stay at home mum, who has walked away from her successful teaching career in making the choice to spend more time with her children*. And then I scoff; *What a waste of their apparently strong business brains* and *what did all those feminists fight for over the last 100 years so you can just stay home and ‘serve’ like before, but this time it’s your choice to*. And then I capitulate… because that I think is what it boils down to. Choice.
These women are happy. Their choices aren’t mine. The lifestyle choice actually makes my skin crawl. But I believe that feminism is about empowering and equipping women to have choice. And this is their choice.
No I don’t like it, but I should be defending their right to choose it. It’s hard though. Makes me feel nauseous.