Last week, a housewife and a YouTuber Aly Drummond went viral to offer a career alternative that many viewers confused with trolling: If you’re a woman, get yourself a husband, not a job.
It all started earlier this month, when Drummond’s friend posted a TikTok titled “How to marry a precious man and become a housewife.” In the clip, Drummond swings her wedding ring while her friend asks her what she is doing for a living.
“I love my husband,” Drummond says dryly, before explaining how she got the “wonderful job”: “I’ve become a better person, I’ve become feminine and also – shockingly – submissive.”
Being a housewife, Drummond told her friend and the more than 1.7 million people who later watched the clip, is “actual work.”
“You just can’t get it in the public or private sector,” she said. “You need a man to hire you for that, but that’s okay. Because if you think about it, you’re submitting to your boss who makes you clean up stupid shelves at your retail job, right? Wouldn’t it be better if you cleaned your own shelves at home? And your boss wants to sleep with you, in a good way. ”
As for advice on how to find an employer, the Kansas housewife suggests that women actually work for the “precious” men they want to pursue: “You want a lawyer, don’t you? So you should be a paralegal. Or if you want a dentist, then you should be a dental hygienist. “
Finally, Drummond, who also considers himself a content creator, objected to women criticizing other women who marry their bosses: “Women will harass the woman who is the secretary who married the doctor, but who has the last laugh?” she asked at camera. “She’s in her McMansion with her husband and her baby.”
Unsurprisingly, the impartial video quickly spread to other social media platforms. While some applauded Drummond for how “innocent” she wasothers, especially those on Twitter, found the video uncomfortable and a little “krinti. ”
“Being a stay-at-home mom who still has to cook, clean and perform domestic servitude will never come for women.” one woman tweeted. “A man turning you into The Help is not an upgrade.”
Some even wondered if Drummond was trolling. But in an interview with HuffPost, she confirmed that it is not a troll at all.
“The message I’m trying to convey to women is that there’s a third economic option outside of military service or receiving an education: You can marry an established man,” Drummond told us in an email. “Once you’re married, his wealth is your wealth, if he succeeds, you succeed.”
Drummond believes there are women who would really enjoy doing homework as a profession, but did not consider it because “all they know how to do is ‘work’.” Before Drummond met her husband in the military (she also worked in retail), she says she was in this group.
“Finally, I remember working at one of my retail jobs, cleaning shelves and thinking,‘ This is a light busy job, I could do that at home. My boyfriend is doing enough, ‘she said. “And that’s exactly what I did, because it makes me happy.”
“Preparing my husband for breakfast is honestly more rewarding than any essay I’ve ever gotten an A in undergraduate school,” she said.
As Drummond sees it, leaning toward traditional sex roles could free hired women from the double (sometimes, triple) shift of unpaid work that awaits them at home every day.
“Anyway, at least you didn’t go down without explaining yourself first and foremost.” If it’s capitalist America, I can assure you, your boss would replace you tomorrow and your family wouldn’t, ”said Drummond, who married her husband in February. “So choose wisely.”
That argument seems to be most annoying to Drummond’s critics: How, they ask, is it anti-capitalist and liberating to have to choose between a boss or a husband for financial security?
“People who think being financially dependent on a man are anti-capitalist make me scream,” one woman tweeted. “It’s as if the traditional sexual roles of a housewife and a working-class husband have not gone hand in hand with capitalism for most of history.”
Aliya Hamid Raoassistant professor at the London School of Economics, whose research focuses on work, sex and family, and author of the book “Crunch Time: How Married Couples Face Unemployment”Agreed, but tried to offer generosity to the video.
“The clip seems to recognize that women face huge hurdles in the job: lack of pay, lack of promotion, discrimination for employment even when objectively better than men,” she told HuffPost.
But in spite of everything, she said, Drummond’s view is not anti-capitalist: It simply changes the capitalist logic of paid work to unpaid work at home.
“I think that to be anti-capitalist, we should think much more deeply about dismantling the current systems of how we organize everything literally in the United States and think about how we can have societies where people’s basic needs are met, where dignity is the starting point. “Not something earned by being ‘deserved’, whether it’s for the love of a husband or the pleasure of a boss,” she said.
Homework is work, other viewers of the video have argued – hard work, at that – but it is ultimately unpaid work for which you give up your financial independence to stay home.
Others on social media have brought up an old question about marriages built around traditional gender roles: What happens if the husband in this scenario finds a new paralegal or dental assistant to date and marry?
“The funniest part of the talk about this is watching people ignore what happens to housewives after the kids are grown up,” Mikki Kendall, the author of “Hood Feminism: Notes on White Feminism” wrote on Twitter. “Statistics say this film ends in divorce with minimal alimony and nothing he owned before the wedding is communal property, so she has to start over.”
“How to choose whatever you want, but understand that these standards are from a time when lifelong food was the norm and that has disappeared,” Kendall said. added. “And I won’t go in domestic violence statistics in financially unbalanced relationships. Even without the worst cases, illness happens. “
But Drummond mocks critics who wonder what might happen if her husband leaves her.
“I am also an educated and ambitious woman. If my husband left me tomorrow, I would find out, ”she said. “I don’t live in that fear; other women are pretty scared of me. ”
Other critics of the video have targeted the larger one tradwife (traditional wife) movementwhich encourages women to embrace domesticity and submission and a more retrograde, Betty Draper-esque idea of femininity and femininity.
The idea is to submit to, serve and pamper your husband “as it is 1959”, as Alena Petitta well-known author and lifestyle blogger who has become the British face of the business movement, told the BBC.
Drummond distances himself from the movement. To begin with, she said, she is far too vocal to be a part of it: “I’m not a business wife, in fact, most translators dispute some of my political attitudes and personal behaviors.”
Despite finding a pretty hard line about her opinions on social media, Drummond told HuffPost that she knows her lifestyle isn’t for everyone.
“If a woman is a better wife and mother when she works, I think she should work,” she said. “If a woman is a worse wife and mother when she works, I think she should consider giving up that job and see if homework will bring her more fullness.”
Are women leaving the workforce to become traditional moms?
Even though there seems to be an increase in mentions of commercialism on TikTok and Twitter – whether joking or serious references – theThe number of women leaving careers does not suggest a significant change, said Arielle Kuperberg, a.fellow professor of sociology and women, sex and sexuality studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Asked if women are increasingly attracted to the lifestyle of a business wife because of the precarious economic situation in the United States, Kuperberg said the numbers from the current U.S. census population survey really suggest the opposite.
“In fact, in 2020 and 2021, the most recent year we have data available, the rates of homemakers have been lowest for women and have been fairly stable since the 1990s, with only a small increase from 2020.” said.
“In 2021, only 16.6% of mothers of children under 18 were at home caring for home / family, compared to 16.4% in 2020, 18% in 2015, 17.3% in 2010, 18.6% in 2005, 16 , 8%, in 2000.% in 1995, 23.5% in 1990, 27.8% in 1985, ”she added.
Among women without children, stay-at-home rates are much lower, she said.
“Only 3.7% of childless women were home to‘ take care of home and family ’in 2021, also a lowest number which shows no increase from previous years,” Kuperberg said.
Ultimately, families should be able to choose arrangements that work for them, she said, whether it’s one wife at home or both working.
Considering our current system, in which childcare costs are through the roof, it may make sense for some couples to have a partner working in a lower paid field to stay at home. But Drummond’s perspective is clearly privileged; it is increasingly difficult for a family to live on a single income. The minimum wage set by the federal government ($ 7.25 per hour) is well below living wage and has not been adjusted for 13 years. Meanwhile, the cost of homes is rising rapidly that wages do not last.
Kuperberg’s biggest criticism of the TikTok video is how sexy it is: Why do only women “get” to be spouses or parents? According to most of Kuperberg recent researchDomestic dads are still much rarer than domestic moms.
“What about having families in which women have the career and men stay home and take care of home and children?” she proposed. “More and more women have more education than menso for some families it may make sense for men to stay home with children. ”