Essays on Book I Want a Wife
I Want a Wife is an essay written by Judy Brady that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1971. It details the frustrations faced by modern women as they attempt to juggle professional and familial responsibilities. In the essay, Brady paints a vivid picture of what she believes it would be like for her to have a wife”someone who would take on all of the domestic duties so she could focus solely on her career. She argues that society places unreasonable expectations on wives and mothers, and makes them feel guilty when they cannot fulfill them perfectly Brady’s piece resonated with many readers because it challenged traditional gender roles and addressed issues of women’s equality at home and in the workplace. By discussing how additional labor requirements can make life difficult for working women, I Want a Wife highlighted problems that had been largely ignored or misunderstood before its publication. At the same time, however, some people were startled by Brady’s frankness regarding marriage dynamics within heterosexual relationships”including her own desires for someone to do the work she felt obligated to perform herself. Although I Want a Wife has been relegated to history books since its original publication almost 50 years ago, it still speaks volumes about patriarchal systems today”particularly when considering how deeply entrenched traditional gender roles remain despite decades of progress towards gender equality. As long as these inequalities exist, we must continue striving towards real solutions that will create balance between domestic labor and professional responsibilities among both genders ” something this iconic essay continues to inspire us to do each day.
One of the best-remembered pieces from the premiere issue of Ms. magazine is “I Want a Wife.” Judy Brady’s (then Judy Syfers) tongue-in-cheek essay explained in one page what all too many men had taken for granted about “housewives.” “I Want a Wife” was a humorous piece that also made a serious point: Women who played the […]