Wanted the Perfect Wife
Historians tell us that King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. As a matter of fact, it was King Solomon who said “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” (New American Standard Bible, Prov. 18.22). With all things being equal; however, I believe that King Solomon meant that a wife was to be treated tenderly and kind, adored, respected, and above all else loved. I do not believe that King Solomon meant that one should seek a wife to be a domestic type of “catch all” to include having someone at your disposal to use at will for your own selfish purpose and pleasure. The human male has imposed his double standards of expectations upon his wife dating back as far as the Stone Age when cavemen ruled over their wives in a beastly and crude manner. The double standard for husband and wives is disappearing since Brady’s essay was first published due to a shift in the mindset of women and how these once helpless women are evolving from feeling powerless to stepping into and owning their own power. In Brady’s essay I Want a Wife, Judy Brady makes a point to let the audience know that she herself is not only a wife, but a mother as well. In a moment of quiet reflection, Brady contemplates mid an air of sarcasm what it would be like to have a wife from the double standard perspective of the men of her generation. As Brady sarcastically gives all of her well-intended reasons for wanting a wife, the considerations or feelings of this would be wife never enter into the scenario.
In Brady’ essay the wife has no voice and is given no purpose other than fulfilling the wishes of her husband. The perfect wife, as it were would not only hold down a job, but also serve as cook, maid, housekeeper, babysitter, etc., and even have time to satisfy all of her husband’s sexual requests for a lack of a better word. As this perfect wife, she would not be expected to lose her job, complain about her domestic duties and God forbid ask her husband to attend to her sexual needs for a change. Brady also explained to her audience how that if the perfect wife faltered in any way and became the not so perfect wife, that her husband would merely replace her with a new and improved model. Of course the husband would leave the children with the old wife so he would free to start over without having any responsibility whatsoever. Since Judy Brady’s essay was first published in 1971, much has changed regarding men and their double standard way of thinking and the treatment of women. Traces of this barbarian way of thinking can still be seen in various forms regarding the equality of women, but not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. This is largely in part to the mainstream focus on women’s rights. It is also because many women have moved from a state of learned helplessness into a state learned mastery preceded by learned optimism. Women are taking a stand and refusing to be treated in demeaning manners. Women have become equally and some instances more educated than men, tipping the scale for equality even more in the favor of women. Being that the tables have somewhat turned as far as men not being able to readily get away with many of the double standards Brady detailed in her essay: in retrospect, Brady would now most likely have to take a wife that may have a few of her own double standards. It has been said time and time again that all good things must come to an end, and so it shall in the case of the “perfect” wife as described by Judy Brady. Humans, male and female are evolutionary creatures and are in a continuous state of evolving. Fortunately, because of this evolutionary process many men have done away way with their less than stellar ideals regarding the double standards discussed in Brady’ essay I Want a Wife, while countless others never adopted these double standards in the first place.
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In conclusion, Judy Brady’s essay I Want a Wife serves as a good reference for anyone seeking a wife or a husband for all the right reasons. Of course you want your husband or wife to possess the qualities expressed in the essay. However, you also want a real husband or a real wife, not just a mere robotic type figure living in the same household as you performing chores 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. A husband or wife is so much more than that. A husband or wife is meant to be someone with whom you communicate, spend intimate moments with, make love to, (not just have sex) and, above all else, share your life with. Yes you should expect certain things like a hot meal, clean clothes, a clean house, and the kids to be taken care of, etc. That being the case, ground rules should be set as who is responsible for what or if need be, hire additional help, i.e. a nanny, a maid and etc. Any good wife wears many hats as it is; therefore a good husband should not expect her to wear anymore hats than he would want to wear himself. Now with that being said, are you kidding? Why wouldn’t I want a wife?