ws101pape1 - Meaghan Dolan WS101 Section 304 TA: Amy Barber...

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Meaghan Dolan WS101 Section 304 TA: Amy Barber Page 1 Women Having Wives: Taking Up Equality Women's rights is all about equality. A woman should be equal; anything a man can do, a woman should be able to do; there should be no task that is the sole responsibility of a woman, etc. However, there is one position that is always a women's, a wife. In her essay “Why I Want a Wife” Judy Brady lays out reasons why she, a woman, would like to have a wife. Through her short essay Brady challenges societal norms while promoting the idea of equality . By expressing her want for a wife Brady helps challenge the current assumptions of masculinity vs. femininity as well as the gendered norms within society. Her simple calling helps light the road for women to see that they should have the ability to attain more while asking men to question certain privileges that have been intrinsic to them for ages. By a woman asking for a wife Brady shows other women why they should not be satisfied with only being a housewife unlike what current popular literature says. The opportunity to have a wife is strictly a male privilege. A wife is generally assumed to be female. What I mean by wife, however, is not the female bond to a male through marriage in which she is labeled wife and he is labeled husband. What I mean by wife is having a person who fulfills certain responsibilities in your life so that you don't have to. It may be hard to disassociate one from the other due to the titles and assumptions society has accepted throughout the years but I, like Judy Brady, am talking about a role separate from strictly being married to a man. Why shouldn't women have the ability to have a wife to tend to household chores, to take care of the children, to take care of her etc? This privilege when considered in a women's ability to attain them are generally determined by money and your ability to hire and are not intrinsic in
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Meaghan Dolan WS101 Section 304 TA: Amy Barber Page 2 nature, nor do they relieve the woman of her “duty” as wife. This idea then, having a wife, denies the notion of equal opportunity and equal rights, the first and most important calling of the second wave feminist movement. A woman cannot have a wife because she is a wife. A woman can have a housekeeper, a nanny, a cook, etc. but they are not a given.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course WOMENS STU 101 taught by Professor Murphy during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin Colleges Online.

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ws101pape1 - Meaghan Dolan WS101 Section 304 TA: Amy Barber...

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