Why Women Need Husbands


The above article by Suzanne Venker, published just a few days ago, puts marriage neatly in a box, where men are the breadwinners, and women live a balanced life taking care of the home and children. (This article is also heteronormative.) It is obviously not wrong if a man and woman marry and choose this model for their lives, but it is wrong for Venker to say that this is the only good model. Many others exist; men can take care of the house or children while women work, or they can divide the work evenly. The “research” in this article consisted of sweeping generalizations. The one that bothered me most was: “That women prefer part-time work is simply irrefutable…And it’s even true among Ivy League graduates!” The articles she cites for these generalizations only use specific examples. Yet she uses them to perpetuate harmful stereotypes of what homes and families should look like.


3 thoughts on “Why Women Need Husbands

  1. christinam12

    It’s sad to see that some of today’s society still believes in this model. We clearly see changes slowly happening in homes as women grow more independent and equality is spreading. A lot of media is showing stay at home dads and working mothers. Especially since gay marriage has been legalized, a male couple (that adopts) would have one dad stay at home and take care of the baby as the other goes to work.

  2. HaleyQuinton

    I disagree with the above comment in that I don’t think it’s sad to see some of society believing in that model. After all, that’s what works best for some families. Being a stay-at-home-mom is a personal choice that some women make, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s just as problematic to say that a woman has to work outside the home.

    That being said, as a woman myself, I would never want my entire identity to be wrapped up in being a wife and mom. The problem comes when the “man works, wife stays at home” model is lauded to be the best choice for everyone when it isn’t.

  3. lucilearn

    I absolutely agree with this post : the biggest problem of this article is its generalizations. If some women do want a part-time job, to have this “balance” in life, others do not, but they have no other choice because this is the only job they can find/ they have no one to take care of their child / some other reasons.
    The title itself kind of shock me. This is a very traditionalist vision of society : it is obviously, as you had noticed, heteronormative, but it is also centered around the idea that we want to get married : we could have replace “husbands” by “partners” Can’t we have someone to help us to create a family without being married ? And saying that we need men just to help us found a family and balance our lives is a very utilitarian vision, to my mind.
    Finally, I found this very condescending, especially the title : “Why Women STILL Need Husbands”. I felt that Venker is kind of considering the feminist movement has a teenager crisis, that women have try to be independent of men, but that it is time to realize that it cannot work, that we need them and that we have to come home, get married and have children, because we have a “natural” need to have a balanced life. I profoundly disagree with that. As mentioned in the above comments, and in the post, everyone must have the right to choose what they want to do, without being forced to go in a pretended “good way”.


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