I don’t get it. I really don’t.
I was born in the eighties. This was a decade famous for shoulder pads, electro-pop and feminism amongst other things. I am aware that in many lands, women have hardly any rights and suffer abysmal treatment. That is horrid. But in the western world, there is a different situation.
I try not to get involved in any discussions about equality in the western world, because it all becomes rather confusing. I hear demands for equality in everything, at the same time as demands for respect for people’s right to be different. Yet different is not supposed to be different any more, it is supposed to be normal. I generally just try not to be drawn into debates that are too complicated and controversial.
Everyone is asking for respect and fair treatment. In itself, that seems a perfectly reasonable request. Some of the specifics as to how people want that seem a bit dubious at times.
I have seen from my travels to other lands, how different it can be for women in other cultures. That has helped me to appreciate the relative independence I have here in England.
When it comes to men and women in any culture, I am interested in beautiful qualities like love, kindness, mildness, humility, generosity, unselfishness – no matter who a person is, where they come from, how they dress. I am on the lookout for something about them that makes them appealing, endearing, attractive as human beings.
But all these changes in the world, the changes in attitude and outlook has somehow made it less likely to achieve what I grew up thinking would come naturally.
I grew up thinking that one day I would belong to a man. I just thought it would happen almost effortlessly. In my mind, I thought he would be a farmer, and I would be a farmer’s wife. I still don’t get why the world doesn’t work that way anymore.
Now, as I grew older, I realize that just being married is not necessarily a good thing. You could be miserable. It means a lot that as a woman in the western world I have choice over who I wed. I have turned down two insensible and ill-timed marriage proposals – and for good reasons. I also ended a courtship with a fine young man (my best friend and I courted for years, but I ended it when I was around twenty-four/five) because I realized that I was miserable with him.
However, I am in no way against marriage. Quite the opposite. I would be happy to feel I really belonged to someone. I have no objection to the traditional stereotypes – I have been a housekeeper for many clients, why wouldn’t I do all those tasks for the man I love?
In fact, when I was in Australia, I said to my gorgeous friend that if he ever decided to settle down with someone, he should make sure she knows how to look after his beautiful house properly. He looked baffled when I said that. He basically said he wouldn’t expect any woman to do that, but he would hire a cleaner. That baffled me. Is it because I grew up expected to perform household chores throughout my childhood, that I see it as part of the responsibility of life that you clean and tidy your own home? Unless you are physically unable to?
Well, the fact that people to hire a cleaner rather than doing their own housework has kept me with an easy way to earn my bread and butter. Did you know I earn a minimum of £15 per hour housekeeping in London? One client pays me £20 per hour. I can earn much more gardening or painting/decorating.
Right now I have a great deal of independence, over how I spend my time, my energy, my money. But I crave to have someone as my master, or my head. Someone to respect and obey. I would love to work along with him, to make his decisions successful and to make things pleasant for him.
I know there are a lot of men out there who I would run a million miles away from! I would never choose them as my head. But when a man comes along, who you admire and respect and trust – those feelings of wanting to be his, wanting to give up some of your independence in order to become part of a team with him, become stronger.
There are a lot of things I don’t really get about the modern world. One of them is the issues around ownership and independence. I guess everyone is different. Some people have had terrible experiences that would understandably make them feel an aversion of being dominated by someone abusive. But like the rest of the women in my family, I have no objection to being an amazing housekeeper, amongst other things, for a man I have agreed to have as my head. But we have many happy marriages and thriving families within our family. Loving and supportive couples who make marriage look awesome.
I would have loved to marry Goldfinch. But he didn’t ask. At the moment, I feel myself wanting to be the woman who works alongside Jack to make everything he does even more successful, and to help his life to run more smoothly and be less stressful. The thought of it makes me deeply happy.