“The house could use a woman’s touch,” said my boyfriend’s step-mother, my aunt, my step-mother, and finally one of my friends when I moved into my boyfriend’s house last month. My first order of business was getting a kitchen cart, which will soon be followed by curtains and screens for our windows. These changes aren’t part of a “woman’s touch”, though, they’re due to “real” jobs that afford us the luxury of not worrying how to pay for dinner.
At least, that’s what I tell myself.
“Are you a trailing spouse?” asks the CNN.com headline. When married couples relocate, husbands generally get a salary increase of $3000; wives receive a cut of about $750. Why? “[M]en and women are taught to play very different roles within marriage. Women are socialized to play a homemaking role within the family, whereas men are encouraged to focus on their careers and breadwinning.” It’s good to know that after 40 years since the second wave of feminism began, we still have the same problems and the same answers: socialization.
Since my decorating skills are limited to “organized clutter”, I can’t imagine my “woman’s touch” is helpful. All the same, I do laundry, dishes, and make meals. He takes me out and buys me pretty things. I can’t imagine myself as a trailing spouse, but I never imagined myself doing all the cooking either.
Maybe I should just marry a woman, now that it’s legal in California. I mean, as long as she’s willing to re-locate for my $3000 increase in salary.