Yesterdays post was not meant to be about gender roles. Part of the post however, did bring up an observation that my husband and I have fallen into these roles.
I am not the bread winner, I am the bread maker. These traditional gender roles that our homestead is in was not intentional, it slowly happened. I stayed at home with my children and began homesteading on my own. I was the spouse that wanted to do these things, like several of my readers. It took a little time for my husband to embrace this way of life. I do work a paying job, but from home. And because of this, I sleep very little. My husband works away from home and care giving has fallen to me. If it was the opposite, and I left for work and he stayed at home, our gender roles would not be opposite, just skewed.
Because that has been brought up, I will explore that possibility. While staying at home, my husband would take on all the caregiver roles. But there are many things that I am unable to do as of this moment, that he can. My days off would revert back to me being the caregiver, and he would be the brunt of physical labor. But this is our homestead.
There are many different ways homesteads are tended today. You have the SAHD, you have the single parents, the young couples just starting off, the older generation with foundation, you have christian and pagans, you have lesbian and gay couples, gender roles can be sneaky and you will more then likely find a little of it with each homestead. But this is not academic study, only personal observation. I am too busy to actually set my life aside to watch others. So please do not take my word as gospel.
Gender roles do tend to emerge, not on the pure basis of sex, but at what we find our talents lay. I know nothing about working on a tractor. My husband does. I am not physically even with my husband, so fencing and grabbing cows by their horns is a struggle for me. Because of my limitations, my husband doesn't need to concern himself with basic care giving or smaller projects. But I can tell you that if I died, the homestead would continue to run. Not to say that I do no physical labor. For a homestead to run everyone works, and sweats, and bleeds, or like my case yesterday, vomits from heat stroke.
I have three boys, and they are learning both "women's work" and "men's work." They shouldn't have the limitations that my husband and I have, but they will find what they prefer and go from there. We do not inform them that one chore is gender related as they are not.
Living on a homestead doesn't mean we are forced into traditional gender roles. Just like living in suburbia or in urban areas does. My father cooked, my mother worked and vice verse. Homesteading with marriage means that we find our niche, we must find our niche and continue from there. Homesteading can be dangerous, and that niche can be what saves you. We have to work together in where ever our talents, or lack thereof, are. Bull headedness of something as silly as gender roles might cause pain.
Gender roles happen, sometimes for the best and sometimes not. But my week doing my husband chores has shown me that I am not prepared to take on the masculine role, let alone both roles. I shall continue to be the silly frilly wife...oh I mean the physically tortured...um, no, I will continue to be an equal partner on my homestead, female, and accomplish more things by 8 am then most will have done all day.
Gender roles in homesteading? Yep, but we are still a bad (censor) bunch of women. I dare you to go challenge one to an arm wrestle match.