Monday, November 14, 2016

Not a Housewife

I've struggled with how to explain my work situation.  I am asked my occupation constantly, mostly by medical people, but also for financial reasons.  I'm in this weird sort-of disabled category where I don't feel like I can fairly refer to myself as disabled, but I'm not exactly abled either.  I used to say that I was unemployed or that I don't work, but I felt like that didn't give a good picture of what's really going on.  So I've started saying that I am unable to work or that I am unemployed due to disability.  And something weird has been happening that I find hilarious and offensive all at the same time.

They write down "housewife."  

The first time it happened I was a bit shocked.  I corrected the form before signing it, and I told Greg about it and we had a good laugh.  Because if I am a housewife, I am the worst one in the history of the profession.  I consider myself a great success if I buy groceries, cook dinner, and do a load of laundry ALL IN THE SAME WEEK.

Being a housewife is an actual thing.  It has responsibilities.  It's hard work.  And there is no way on earth that I would choose that over having a job.  Because I hate it, and I'm terrible at it, and I find it unbelievably soul-draining and have I mentioned I'm awful at it?

And I'm not one.  I'm not a housewife for the same reason that I'm not an accountant.  Because I can't cook and clean and run all of the errands and make my home lovely anymore than I can sit at a computer doing accounting.

And I'm offended because I don't think they would do this if I was a man.  I don't think they would put down "househusband" if that's even an option on their list.  They would probably choose none, or unemployed, or disabled, or whatever the actual correct option is.  But because I'm a woman, even when I say that I am unemployed due to disability, that somehow equates to being a housewife.  Which is really offensive to actual housewives who are being compared to me.

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