The woman contract

I’ve been thinking a lot about domesticity. Because of abortion rights, national healthcare, borders. And I think because of communal living. Sharing spaces makes me want to develop boundaries. To share a space I have to drop my boundaries and restructure them. What is necessary for successful domesticity?

Equality starts at home, does it not?

The other night I asked a friend about his marriage. If he felt that all relationships have to stand upon a certain amount of…unevenness. He is extroverted and his wife is introverted and he often submits to her preferences, wishes, style of being. I ruffled a bit at his response: “yes.”

Yes. Maybe because I want only to consider my way.

I wander the spaces of my house. Must I submit to you? The house. Must I sacrifice to keep you? And I do, in many ways, submit to the other beings. To the way they are in the world. Part of that is life as woman. Part of that is life as a chameleon. I can live in any condition.

I reflect upon my parents’ marriages. Domesticity built on inequality. Domesticity. Domestic spheres of women. The emotional labor of women. The emotional labor of the one at home. The one in charge of the home. Does every home need a head?

I watch from the sidelines. The women I know engage in intimate relationships with men, and always there seems to be that division. We are this way in the quiet of our room. But that equality does not hold outside the bedroom.

Does it?

The unevenness. It makes me resistant. This strange sense I’m fighting that all successful relationships have to be unequal partnerships in some way. A match of opposites like protons and electrons. Like positive and negative spaces have to exist, so that a new space can be created. People have to complement and maybe that is the requisite for unequals in some way.

But life as a woman. What if we listed the sacrifices? Not in martyrdom, but in…show and tell. But in…a reality check. But in…consciousness raising…

Who will run the frog hospital?

 

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