Friday, August 1, 2008

Not a wife, huh?

If you go to my last post you will see that in response to something I am not I wrote "WIFE". Patty seems to be the only blog reader to pick up on this, or maybe you saw it and know me and aren't surprised by this answer at all. For those, like Patty, who are under the impression I am a wife let me clearly assert that I am in fact NOT a wife.

Yes, R and I are married. Yes, I am a woman and he is a man. But I am still not a wife.

In our household their is ONE four letter word that hurts me if spoken, it is the 'wife' word. For me the expectations of that word are much like the C word. It means to be property, to be owned, to be demure, quite, and less than equal, I am sure many of you disagree. I think that is wonderful, we are all different, and we can be friends and disagree. But for me becoming a 'wife' would be like disowning my liberal feminist ways. My brain couldn't connect how to be a wife and a feminist at the same time and so I chose. I would be married as a partner, still be a feminist and could keep being who I was before the wedding.

At our wedding R and I were pronounced "partners for life" rather than husband and wife. It was a choice both of us made a choice that in our relationship we were partners. "husband" and "wife" are to loaded with expectations and gender roles for us. R is no more a husband than I am a wife and I hold him to higher expectations because of the terms we use to describe our roles in marriage. We are partners, not husband, not wife, we are equals in this relationship, in a way I didn't feel possible if I was the "wife" and he was the "husband".

This isn't to say that my friends who are wives aren't partners too or that I think there is something wrong with being a wife. I would love to have a wife, it just isn't a role I wanted to play. It was a personal choice, and a choice much like not taking my husband's name. It just isn't a title I am interested in.

5 comments:

Alison said...

It is interesting differnt people's opinions... my definition of wife... is actually the same as your definition of partner. My husband and I are equals... titles or not... the respect exists non the less.

Patty H. said...

Interesting. Thanks for clearing that up, I'm always interested in other people's points of view. I am a very liberal person also, but it's interesting to me how much we can disagree on points.

As long as you guys are happy, that's all it really matters. :)

LaDonnaKaye said...

I think it is wonderful that you chose not be titled as "wife". I am a Fem. Lib too but have not every really thought about when I took the vows and saying wife, but it always irked me when my hubby would introduce me as that and I never really understood until now. Oh and yes please keep updating I am not tired of it. If anything I am experiencing a pregnancy through your blogs. We are still TTC. You and I have things in common too with in laws,etc.

shiner said...

Makes perfect sense to me. I'm okay with being "wife" in my relationship but I can completely understand where you are coming from. I kept my maiden name as my middle name and I truly miss it as part of my identity a lot of the time.

Jason said...
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