Saturday, November 16, 2013


Kaitlin continues her research and this time spoke to a group of women whose experience differed from the others. These women go back to the ‘60s and early ‘70s when discussing their marriages.

All had a significant degree of financial control, about 45% had complete financial control in that they established and enforced a budget, about 45% shared financial control with their husbands, while the last 10% abrogated financial control to their husbands who, nevertheless, kept them informed.

As for men doing housework, all these women said that their husbands did housework and had a regular housework routine. This wasn't something she demanded; rather, hubby simply felt it was right to pitch in and did. Gradually their men added to the housework they did, this in addition to the “man chores” they normally did. One woman commented that her husband was “on automatic” as far as coming home to do housework; he never had to be told or asked. Why were men so willing? Well, some of the women felt that their husbands simply wanted to pitch in. Others felt that hubby did housework as a way of ensuring domestic tranquility—that “Motivational Speaking” thing that women do so well!

As for other controls, more than half the men asked permission to go out “with the boys” and would abide by her wishes if she disagreed. As for “girl's night out,” nearly all of the men surveyed in this group were supportive of their wives going out for an evening; not that the women had to ask permission, but just that the men were supportive and, in fact, felt their wives deserved an evening out. A few women said they would NEVER ask permission for anything, but would tell their husbands what they were going to do. “I'm going out with the girls, see you late.”

Discipline? Well, not really, although the women said that confronting her man, giving him the “silent treatment” and Motivational Speaking was all that they really needed to keep hubby in line.

Finally, about a half of the women worked outside the home but only two out of this group admitted to an affair. All the women who worked said that the onset of the Women's Liberation Movement empowered women to resist the frequent sexual advances from men that women in the workforce in that era were often subject to. One interesting aspect that I wish Kaitlin had asked about in her research is the type of business a woman worked at outside the home. If she was engaged in a woman-oriented business, then perhaps there was little opportunity to encounter available men. Was it different in largely male-staffed business such as an auto dealership? These might be interesting questions to pose.

Kaitlin has a lot of data that she wants to use to formulate survey questions to test various questions she has concerning women's power in relationships. She’s trying come up with a composite picture and compare that picture of women in the ‘50s through the ‘70s with current FLRs. She has some interesting and exciting suspicions.

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