I've been thinking about this quite a lot lately, particularly since I have been doing a weekly core workout class in a quite a chichi West London gym. A couple of weeks back we were waiting for the last few stragglers to find a spot for their Chanel handbags and settle down with a mat, when I overheard a phone conversation that made me ponder the thought even more closely. The young, very beautiful wife, was talking to her husband, a successful finance guy, he was late for a flight to New York for a business meeting and had lost his passport. He had called her in desperation to see if she had any idea where it might be. It was that litmus test moment, to my mind, a good wife would have left the class and gone home to help him to find lost item. As much as anything else, this course of action is survival,since if my whole lifestyle, is dependent on his income and the smooth running of his work, surely the sensible wife makes it as easy as she can for the husband to what she needs him to do in order to continue her lifestyle?
Cherie Blair famously mentioned how she would fight tooth and nail to avoid the Allderednic syndrome.
An Allerednic is a social phenomenon identified by Professor Jonathan Gershuny of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. An Allerednic is a Cinderella in reverse. The term describes the circumstances where a man marries a clever, successful, achieving woman and in so doing rips the glass slipper from her foot, condemning her thereafter to a life of kitchen drudgery and child-rearing.
We were always told that the recipe for a happy marriage was to marry someone who was educated to a similar level. But I wonder if I would give my own sons the same advice. As I look at some of my friends and contemporaries, many are lawyers, accountants and even doctors who never got past the first few years of their careers, preferring to marry, give up work, and despite having not contributed financially to the household for more than 15 years, still would never dream of doing housework, and take pride in their aversion/inability to cook as a mark of an emancipated career woman (and avoidance of the syndrome above). I'm all for a bit of girl power, but heaven forbid I say this, I am wondering if may be it has gone a little too far. Not just due to the in balance in the marriage, but also unrealistic expectation on the part of women who are setting themselves up for disappointment. (to be continued)
This is a controversial one I know, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject...