Feminism in Marriage

Updated: Sep 2, 2019


What is feminism? Nowadays, marriages rate has greatly declined while divorce seems to be more frequent and easier to find (Finlay & Clarke, 2003). Marriages seem like leading us to a pitfall. The irony is there is hidden agony of certain married couples. The wives untold stories of being submissive, loyal, understanding, and the worst, decision to stay on behalf of religion and misconception of the partner’s unchanging behaviors. Religion, social norms, and cultural development have created such an unending question to apply the constructed values, norms, and beliefs. How do we suppose to act in society while we have not synchronized between heart, mind, and action? Meanwhile, inadequate assertiveness to live the values and beliefs are the core of mindful living.


According to Johnson (in Finlay & Clarke, 2003), wives in feminism marriages considered as subordinate, financially dependent, and honor. The social construct which always declares the importance of understanding the difference between sexuality and gender roles have shifted our actual reasons in life. Feminism marriages resonated with gay, lesbian, transsexual, and bisexual society (Marriage, Family, and Feminism in Economic & Political Weekly, 2005). They strive for gender equality in applying for their roles and revealing their different ideologies. Men should be masculine and women should be feminine. Is it what your parents tell you? Is it what your teachers tell you? What if you have different comfort and preference? Just because you don’t feel the way you are in the clothes you wear, the accessories on your body, and the general actions?


Personally, I defined feminism in marriage as an act of letting our partner make their decisions respectfully, including choosing their preference to work on house chore. Notably, the patriarchal ideology of Asian majority inhabitants has impacted society to perceive different gender roles immensely. Women depicted as the oppressed party, less beneficial and rewarding, lose more freedom and autonomy (Dempsey, 2002). Sometimes, living the values based on religion and cultural norms lead them to incongruent attitudes within themselves. Even though women are more likely to invest more intellectual and emotional resources, they lose most of their financial security and material benefits when the marriages come to the pitfall. What do you think about this? Does it sound tragic and imbalance? #womenempowerment!


If I have to share how do I figure out and discuss gender roles at home, I may imply it as an adjustable feminist couple. Why? Undoubtedly, as a Christian couple, we are completely aware that there are certain spiritual rules we have to follow and live with. Meanwhile, playing roles by giving genuine mutual respect for each other preference is an absolute key to work on this cross-cultural marriage. Yup, since we are interracial and inter-nationality married couple, I do feel we need to be adjustable by being flexible to share the house tasks with our partner. Remember, the key of a great marriage is by being able to put aside our ego and focusing on building a strong-committed relationship.


So here is my husband and I continually apply about our type of feminism marriage:

1. Decided the house chore division since before we get married 🍳

Here is the thing. We both are quite logic about handling problems in marriage. Formerly, we used to have unending conversations about the house tasks division. Started by the house chore, workload, and social engagement time should be clearly discussed. Since I am a full-time housewife, I am responsible for the house chore during weekdays. My husband will be responsible for the weekend. Likewise, when I cook during weekdays, he will be the one who washes the dishes after we have dinner on weekdays. Conversely, my husband will be cooking and cleaning up the bathroom on the weekend while I wash the dishes and resting. During weekdays, we will take a turn to massage each other. We do this sincerely since we know our helpful actions are highly valued by our partner too. Disclaimer: my husband always reminded me of how excited he was to start our married life together. By this, I would like to highly encourage everyone to focus on your marriage preparation😇.


2. “I am not feeling okay right now” allowed for both of us 💔

Usually, gender and sexuality might lead us to have an extremely different scheme for emotional expressions. Crying, talking slowly and lowly, remaining to stay calm, and any other sadness emotion seemed only allowed for women. Men stand on the ground. Strong and steady like an anchor. Nonetheless, does it mean they cannot express any negative emotion, especially when they feel sad? Absolutely not! I am totally alright when I found my husband dropped his tears due to stress out at work or just when we watch sort of touching movies together. I do respect his emotions and so does he🙋. Particularly, I heard that someone who can allow themselves to express their emotions in the right way remained as a strong person 💪. Also, when a guy drops his tear, people said it shows his trust on you as his partner.


3. Individual interests and leisure are the privileges for both of us

Formerly, I really want to apply for a job as an office worker in Taiwan. After a while, everything changes. Currently, my (top) priority is to work optimally as a full-time housewife and cross-cultural marriage and parenting practitioner. My husband and I had talked about this. His interest is to be greatly welcomed home after work. My interest is to work remotely, via online and offline. I work on seminars and workshops on the weekend too since my husband would like to assist me in handling the documentation of the events. It seems wonderful right? But let me tell you this… We have had countless arguments, debates, and disputes too just like other couples. Reaching this lovey-dovey lovebird takes time and willingness to learn. Our partner’s leisure has always been our priority. Whenever my husband feels exhausted or tired, I will let him rest, and vice versa. He never forces me to do housework when I don’t feel like it or I feel tired.

At the end of the day, feminism in marriage has to be done flexibly. When you have a different preference and privilege, constant communication is the key. Married couples need to sit down peacefully, talk calmly, and start to reorganize your marriage priority effectively.


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References:

🌱Dempsey, K. (2002). Who gets the best deal from marriage: women or men? Journal of Sociology. 38(2), 91-110.

🌱Finlay, S.J. & Clarke, V. (2003). ‘A Marriage of Inconvenience?’ Feminist Perspectives on Marriage. SAGE. 13(4), 415-420.

🌱John, E.M. (2005, February 19). Marriage, Family, and Community : A Feminist Dialogue. Economic and Political Weekly. 709-722. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/26106639/Marriage_Family_and_Community_A_Feminist_Dialogue