I Want a Wife was a cutting piece of satire and the depiction of men was far from flattering.Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that Syfers’ piece has been since overlooked.
I Want a Wife was a cutting piece of satire and the depiction of men was far from flattering.Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that Syfers’ piece has been since overlooked.Crabb’s article reminded me of a classic work of the American women’s movement written more than 40 years ago.
Isobelle Barrett Meyering does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Three years ago Annabel Crabb argued on ABC’s The Drum that a lack of wives is what really holds back women in the Australian workforce.
If, like me, she was slightly perturbed that Syfers’ article seems to have been forgotten, she didn’t say so.
To set the record straight, this is what Syfers had to say in 1971.
Filled with personal anecdotes of juggling three kids and a career many would envy, the book is witty, heartfelt and informed by the latest research.
With her common touch and broad appeal, Crabb has made a timely contribution to the work-life debate.
They were self-absorbed and altogether uninterested in their own children.
To take just a few examples: I want a wife who will take care of my physical needs. A wife who will pick up after my children, a wife who will pick up after me …
Like Crabb, Syfers set out to expose the taken for granted status of women’s work in the home.
She set her sights not only on the invisibility of housework and childcare, but on the emotional and sexual labour of wives.