Virginia Woolf - A Room of One’s Own
Women are present in fiction but not in history. “Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is insignificant.” The truth of the situation is that women have been oppressed; they are not heroic in reality. Any efforts at heroism and individuality are stifled. Heroism is for men, the role of women is to support her hero (behind every great man stands a great woman).
Women are not recorded as contributors to history because their role is to support the contributors or heroes of society. Woolf blames this on the abuse of women and the fact that women have put up with it. At the end of the day she thinks women could change this if they broke the dependence on men for the essentials of life. Women should be given “500 a year and a room.”
Maybe this is why women have better hygiene and a cleaner life style than men. For men, cleaning isn’t as important as having free time. Our mothers have been there to clean up after us and they dragged our sisters along the path to cleanliness, leaving the sons to do what they please. Right from the get go we have more decisions and freedom. Girls are told what they are supposed to do and boys have to decide.
This is my struggle with my wife. I want to help with house work and have an equal relationship. But when I do clean up it is a choice, for her it is just another part of the day.
It really gets back to the Dostoyevsky’s grand inquisitor; do we want to be told what to do and what our place is, or do we want the freedom and responsibility to make our own decisions and find our own place in this world?