The Meaning Of Being A Wife In I Want A Wife By Judy Brady

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Male and female are the genders that are defined by the gene. Indeed, both of them have their own obligations. Women tend to do domestic duties while men provide for the family, and their roles gradually change over time. In the essay, “I Want a Wife (1971)”, Judy Brady mocks that though she is a woman, she wants to have a wife. To be clear, in her time, the wife has to give up everything to care for her family, children, and husband while the husband only focuses on his career or something else. While this kind of wife is a perfectly ideal wife, women should be respected and have their equality. In fact, their roles have changed now and the essay is outdated. In my own view, I acknowledge that being a wife is a very difficult task, but as the husband, men have their role in the family; furthermore, women nowadays are in a higher position than those in the past.

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In the essay “I want a wife (1971)”, the author, Judy Brady explains why she wants to have a wife because the wife will take care of the kids and work to support the husband when he goes to school. Not only that, Brady states that the wife also has to be aware of her husband‘s physical needs. For example, she is responsible for keeping things clean and tidy and looking after her husband when he gets sick. She insists that the wife must be ready with the wife’s duty, be a listener, and assist in studying. In addition, the wife must support her husband’s social life; she has to accept that he will go overnight occasionally. For intimate activity, she also claims that the wife must be mindful of sexual desire, be delightful to her husband when necessary, be heedful when not in demand and be careful with an unintended pregnancy. When the husband finds a more preferable wife, he will freely change a new wife and live a new life without worrying about any consequences because the ex-wife will be accountable for all things. By the time the husband finishes studying and gets a job, the wife will stop working and stay at home to do chores. In the end, as a wife and a mother, she concludes that she also wants to have a wife like this. 

To begin with, being a wife is a very difficult task. As we can see, the roles as a wife of the women in Brady’s time are too harsh. According to Brady, not only women have to handle housework, the duty of a mother, and even unreasonable demand from the husband, but also they have to keep their job so that they can support their family. Actually, it is happening in my country, but women do not need to work or keep their job because that is the husband’s duty. When Brady put herself as a husband’s role, she shows her sarcasm, “My wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job. It may mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I can tolerate that.” In other words, the pressure is put on the shoulder of the wife and she has to get familiar with the loss of her earnings because of the household. However, the husband does nothing and accept that as if it is his loss. Moreover, when it comes to the irresponsibility of the husband, she emphasizes, “If, by chance, I find another person more suitable as a wife than the wife I already have, I want the liberty to replace my present wife with another one. Naturally, I will expect a fresh new life; my wife will take the children and be solely responsible for them so that I am left free.” After all, this is completely unfair for women who have to give up their careers, dreams, and youth to cultivate for the family. Eventually, I believe that women should not be the only one sacrificed their freedom for family.

Nevertheless, men have roles in the family, and it is unjust without mentioning the role of the husband. Because of biology, men are stronger than women. That is the reason why most men are usually responsible for those heavy tasks such as mowing the lawn, repairing things, and protecting their beloved ones. Besides, men’s role has changed a lot, Livingston as a senior researcher, and Parker as a director, together they assert, “Dads are much more involved in child care than they were 50 years ago.” Not all men are irresponsible; instead, they really care and treasure their wives and children. Nowadays, with assistance from the husband, the burden of women has decreased significantly.

Finally, modern women are in a higher position than those in the past, as they have better education, privilege, and rights. Currently, they have the freedom to chase their dreams, enjoy the life they choose, and achieve higher ranks in their careers. For instance, Hilary Clinton almost became the first woman president several years ago. Since women and men are equal now, housework is not solely for wives anymore because men can stay at home and look after the family while women go to work. As a result, the position that women have now is clearly greater than the old days, so the essay of the author Brady has been outdated.

To conclude, being a wife used to be hard, but the husband still has their duty to contribute to the family. Time has changed as well as the roles of both women and men, and women can live a more improved life in modern days. The past evidence proves that women who are wives and mothers make a lot of silent sacrifice for the sake of their beloved ones. They deserve to have a happy life and should be respected. 

01 July 2021

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