A 30-year-old woman from Oregon has quit her job to live like a 1950s “old-fashioned” housewife with her husband. According to New York Post, Katrina Holte reasoned that her husband deserved to be pampered since he “makes a lot more money than I do. He works very long hours and makes my dreams come true, so I try to make his come true, too. It’s an equal partnership.” There are a lot of women who believe in being subservient wives and live out their lives the traditional way. As this woman added, “When I look at everything that is happening in the world now, I feel like I belong in a nicer, more old-fashioned time.” But should we glamourise an era notorious for reinforcing stereotypical roles for men and women in a marriage?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A 30-year-old woman from the US has quit her job to become a housewife.
  • She isn’t just any housewife though, as Katrina lives by the old fashion virtues of 1950s.
  • Katrina not only performs the duties of an old fashioned wife, but she also dresses and lives like one.
  • Should we be judging a woman living her life on her own terms? Also, should we be glamourising an era notorious for reinforcing gendered roles on heterosexual matrimony?

A woman is the US has quit her highly stressful job to live a simple and uncomplicated life as an “old-fashioned” housewife. She ensures to dress the part too.

Before you outrage, know that Holte quit her job, which was apparently a high-pressure one, voluntarily. She has a fascination with the “old-fashioned” way of life. Why would I say that? Because living your life according to old virtues and giving your life a 1950s makeover are two separate things. Everyday, Katrina takes up on chores like cleaning, making dresses using vintage patterns, and whipping up elaborate meals her husband. But that’s not it, Katrina also sews retro-style frocks for herself, and has revamped her house to match her clothes. The husband and wife play board games in their free time, or read books or listen to music. So clearly it is more about living the old fashioned way, than being an old-fashioned housewife.

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Besides, Katrina quit her job and took up this lifestyle voluntarily and she isn’t alone. Many women prefer to be housewives and manage the household front, leaving their husbands to go out and fetch bread, butter, and bacon. If we judge women for choices they make willingly, aren’t we doing disservice to the cause of inclusion and women empowerment? After all, an empowered woman isn’t just the one who earns her pay check, but the one who gets to make her own decisions in all walks of life, without any social or familial pressure. Every man and woman has the right to have a say in whether they want to be stay-at-home partners or work, or do both. The dynamics that each couple shares, when it comes to roles and duties in their marriage ideally have more to them than just gender. While we have embraced the gender stereotypes for generations in our marriages, we have forgotten the column of agency and consent, to be able to live on mutual ground rules, that too happily.

When virtues are forced on you, they cease to be charming and become a burden that crushes not just your relationships, but your individuality too.

In this case, Katrina’s husband is fully on board with her lifestyle choices, as of yet. He is okay with his wife being a housewife and the financial burden for their household falling entirely on his shoulders. Many partners are. Others aren’t. Who gets to decide who is wrong or right here? The only aspect that one can say is mildly distressing is the glamourisation of an era which was notorious for enforcing rigid gender stereotypes on heterosexual marriages. While one is happy for Katrina and her husband, one can’t endorse old fashioned marriages as they didn’t leave any room for agency for both the genders. When virtues are forced on you, they cease to be charming and become a burden that crushes not just your relationships, but your individuality too.

Image Credit: Press Association

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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