Keeping women
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Keeping women

Do men still think that we women only work because we have nobody to look after us?, asks Jennie Rhodes

Jennie Rhodes


Friday, 8 March 2024, 16:29


Sexist microaggressions may be defined as "brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural or environmental indignities (intentional or unintentional) that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative sexist slights and insults toward women".

All women have suffered them at one time or another. Mostly they are unintentional and the perpetrator would probably be horrified if they realised they had committed such a slur. Over the years I have had male friends and colleagues suggest that if I started going to certain work-related events, or certain places on the Costa del Sol (you can guess which ones), I might meet a rich man and be able to give up working. In other words become a 'kept woman'.

In my view this is a sexist microaggression. Perhaps women make similar comments to men, but I haven't heard of such cases. Please forgive me if I am wrong.

A friend of mine was recently told by a (now ex) boyfriend that she "wouldn't need to worry too much about working" and that she'd "save a lot of money" if she moved in with him as he earned enough for them both.

I was once told something similar by a boyfriend. Needless to say, I ended the relationship soon after.

Do men still think that we women only work because we have nobody to look after us? I can look after myself, thanks, as did my mother who worked as a teacher, only stopping for a short period of time after I and then my brother were born. She is still happily married to my father, but also happily financially independent.

Neither of my grandmothers worked once they were married because society then forbade, or at least frowned upon it. One had trained as a schoolteacher before marrying and the other had worked during World War II while the men were off fighting.

Like the vote, women before us fought for our right to be able to study and work and I have no intention of giving up that right by marrying a rich man.

Should I win the lottery or get to a stage in my life where I am in a position to retire early because I have worked hard to afford to do so, then great; who - men or women - wouldn't like to give up working and lead a stress-free life?

And of course, if a woman chooses not to work for whatever reason, then that is also her right. But please men, stop suggesting to those of us who do work that we're only doing so because we haven't found a rich man to keep us.

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