Historically, women were mistreated, and identified as maids. Women couldn’t vote, work, go to school, etc. Basically women had no life, they depended mostly on men. To men, women were just like any piece of furniture in the house. Part of the traditions they had was that the man is responsible to work and gather money. The man was always the head of the family and the one who makes all the decisions. However, the roles the woman had was staying home cooking, cleaning, raising the kids, and taking care of the house. Women had no equality at all. It was intriguing seeing how people used to act years ago. “Why I want a wife” “The head of the family” “A daughter of Albion” and “Adam’s curse” all had one thing in common which was the “abuse” women experienced.
“Why I want a wife” is a short story by Judy Brady. Throughout this story the author discusses why she wants a wife? It is noticeable that the story is written in a sarcastic tone from the second paragraph. For example, “As I thought about him while I was ironing one evening, it suddenly occurred to me that I, too would like to have a wife. Why do I want a wife?” The author is being arrogant about the responsibilities a wife can have. Judy Brady explains how life would be uncomplicated with having a “wife”. In this story a “wife” is described as someone who is perfect, that everyone wishes to have. The wife is characterized as making life easy for the husband and a family. For example, “I want a wife who takes care of the children when they are sick,” “I want a wife who will take care of my physical needs,” “I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life,” etc. Men just want women to be perfect, but when it comes to them they think it doesn’t matter because they’re “men.” Men expect women to be maids for them and do what they please. Men want women to take care of everything in the household and when something goes wrong, they blame the women for it. However, that is not how life works. Men need to realize that they cannot throw all the chores and responsibilities on the women. Women are humans and they deserve to be treated pleasantly.
“The head of the family” is a short story by Anton Chekhov. In this short story the woman is disrespected by her husband in front of the guests. The husband offends the wife, as if she has no feelings. He believes that he can do or say whatever he pleases. He begins to argue with his wife from the morning, acting like he has to supervise everything. “What I spend as well as what is spent in this house belongs to me -- me. Do you hear? To me!” Just because the wife doesn’t work and gets money, doesn’t mean her husband can treat her cruelly. They’re sitting eating on the dinner table, and the husband begins by saying that the soup doesn’t taste good. Then the husband notices his son Fedya, not sitting right. He yells at him, and his tears become watery. He insults him in front of everyone. The wife cannot say anything; even if she does he pays no attention. The next day the father acts like nothing happened yesterday. He feels like he hasn’t done anything, that it is something necessary a father should do, which is ridiculous.
“A daughter of Albion” is another short story by Anton Chekhov. This short story is about a Russian man and an Englishwoman. The woman had lived in Russia for a long time; however she doesn’t speak the Russian language which is a bit strange. The Russian man goes fishing while the woman is there and he begins to make fun of