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What exactly is a Stepford Wife?

I’ve seen both versions of the Stepford Wives, the one from the seventies and the more recent Kidman version. Neither viewing was very recent, but I’m going off what this movie has symbolized to us, now. The thing that this movie failed to note is that men are real people too. I’m also bothered by the way it seems to denounce the concept of a woman who works hard in the home.

First point: Men aren’t usually the caricatures portrayed in the movies, losing their minds at the prospect of having someone that looks like their wife, but is really a robot slave dream come true. If I have to explain that any more, then something is wrong. (Sadly, viewing mainstream media would suggest that something is, indeed, wrong with how at least some people view men.)

Second point: Us women, we do need to think for ourselves and we do need to develop our talents that don’t have to do with mothering or homemaking.

But I’ve think that in the rush to be liberated, feminist culture forgot what it meant to be truly partnered and armed with the skills we need to keep our family healthy, happy, and productive.

I’m talking about baking bread and cookies, making our own dinner, volunteering at school, carpooling, giving the husband a massage occasionally, creating a generous home where husband can say “I’m bringing someone over” or I can invite my own friends at the last minute without panic or shame, or plan things for a while and throw a party for friends and neighbors.

This kind of thing takes work, and it takes hard work that no one but a woman’s family and maybe some neighbors will recognize her for. This doesn’t make it a waste, though.

I started making bread recently, and I did it for a few reasons. It’s yummier, cheaper, and I become less dependent on the corporate machine. I am building a food storage for our family. Should that corporate structure fail us, and the circumstances for that aren’t too outrageous (earthquake or job loss), I will be prepared to provide for my family. Also, this kind of living is less polluting to the earth.

Working hard in the home does bring monetary value into the finances of the family, but instead of it being more money it is being able to spend less money.

So much of what it means to be a woman really is tied up in raising a family, whether we go to work or not. We can’t divorce ourselves from that.

But also, so much of what it means to be a man is also deeply tied up in raising a family.

Anyway, I’m just rant/rambling with very little point.

Well, no… here is the point: don’t be afraid to have true devotion for and work hard in the home for your husband and your children. It doesn’t make you a stepford wife.

Next in this line of thinking, but maybe not the next blog: One of my heroes was a polygamous wife who was a doctor.

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4 comments

  1. I agree. I actually enjoy some aspects of homemaking. Doing repetitive works helps me gather my thoughts while getting something accomplished.

  2. I appreciated reading this; more and more it seems to me that the simple, one-sided answers are rarely the right ones. I’m not a mother or wife yet, but several of my friends are (plus I was raised by a wife and mother who shaped my thinking on this the most). I like the fact that we are made in such a way as to both serve others and have our own voices–male or female. I most appreciated your point that men are not cardboard cut-outs, either. I was talking to a male friend recently who was objecting to the “guys are purely physical, always-after-your-body” line of thought. It seems, at least among those I know, that this point gets left out the most often.

  3. It’s lovely that you enjoy baking bread and being a mother, but to state that women who do not do these things are less female than you are is self-righteous. And false, which is surprising considering your self-proclaimed adherence to rational thought. But perhaps you only find things rational when you already agree with them?

  4. Hello Other Side,

    Nice to see you again. So sorry this post offended you as well.

    Actually, I’m not baking bread right now since I’m too busy. Don’t do a daily blog revealing these kinds of things, so I’m sorry you didn’t know that.

    But I never stated that ‘women who do not do these things are less female than me’. I agree. That’s a rather ridiculous notion.

    I’m just sick of having society think that women who do all those things are wimpy, not-a-thought-on-their-own women.

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