Why Do They Yearn to Be Housewives?
When the word “housewife” is mentioned, everyone immediately brings a specific picture to mind. They think of a person whowakes up early in the morning and sends her husband and childrenoff, cleans and tidies up the house, does the laundry, thinks aboutwhat to have for supper, and spends most of her day in the kitchenpreparing meals… This is the stereotypical image of a woman. Surely there is no harm for a woman to engage in these actions.Many devout women may also do these works as a part of theirdaily routines. However what distinguishes a faithful woman en-gaging in these deeds from the one abiding by the morality of igno-rance is her morality, thoughts and intentions. For a devout womanpreparing food for her family or cleaning her house, is a way to earnAllah’s good pleasure and His mercy. Her thoughts, the way she in-terprets incidents is, in no way, confined to a realm comprised ofthis routine alone. Indeed, for many, such daily work expected from a housewifeis considered boring and tiresome. But, in spite of this, a great manyignorant women aspire to one day living such a life.So, what renders this lifestyle which will bring no benefits inthe Hereafter so attractive for some people? Do people yearn for itonly because it is tradition? Or, is it because, according to them, theymake life more fulfilling? All the above reasons may be true. However they are not theonly reasons. These reasons depend on the person and their circum-stances. But, generally speaking, most of these women can be categorized according to several traits they share in common.One of the most important reasons they aspire to be housewives is that most young girls believe that they will be freer whenthey are married. After having lived for years under their family’scontrol, and according to the rules imposed upon them, they thinkthat marriage is the easiest and the shortest way for change. For thisreason, they often marry the first suitable man that comes along.Nevertheless, while ignorant women want to marry, they are alsoaware of the difficulties that come with marriage. But they are will-ing to ignore these difficulties with the hope that they will be able tolive by their own rules.In marriage, women enter into a situation where they are oftenburdened with more material and personal responsibilities thanthey had to deal with before. Besides, they cannot be always free tolive according to their own rules, because, based on the norms thatgovern ignorant societies, the master of the house is the man, and hecommands the woman according to his rules and beliefs. So, noth-ing changes; the husband takes on the role her family once did. There is another important reason for some women’s desire tobecome housewives: the assumed material means that marriageprovide. Especially for some girls from families with scarce means,marriage is considered the primary opportunity to improve theircircumstances. For this reason, young women are often advised bytheir families to marry accordingly. And so, often the only criteriona young girl considers in marriage is wealth. Rather than marryingone she admires for his standards of morality and character, shechooses a man who will offer her a prosperous future, or a better lifethan she had known with her family. In return, she is prepared, ifnecessary, to get up early every morning for the rest of her life, cookmeals, do the laundry and housekeep.
We can see that it is because of that which they expect to gain from being a housewife that so many ignorant women choose thislot. Women with such mentality think they can escape family pres-sures, raise their standard of living, and secure their future; in addi-tion, they believe they will also help their families and relatives to benefit from their improved circumstances. At first, being a house-wife may appear attractive, because of the many benefits it wouldappear to offer, but later in life it becomes monotonous, until theyare finally filled with regret.
The Personality of the Housewife in the Ignorant Society
Although they may vary in level of education or quality of moral characters; and although where they live and their meansmay be different, the identity of all housewives in a society of igno-rance is much the same. The women in the societies of ignorance are influenced fromthe outset by the expectations placed upon them by the society.From the time of their childhood, they may have observed thou-sands of housewives and, whether they know it or not, haverecorded their observations subconsciously. And, when they findthemselves in similar circumstances, they conduct themselves un-aware of the influence they have acquired and which, in a sense,they allow to determine their identity. For this reason, the characterof the average housewife is composed of the same basic aspects.They all lead their lives according to their early observations and experiences. Even the ideal of a young woman, who has studied at university, and though she has a network of friends, may become an entirely different personality after she marries. The week before her marriage she may have been a lively and outgoing person but, suddenly, when she takes on the role of housewife, she may assume an identity that her former friends not longer recognize. It is the corrupted notion of marriage in a society of ignorance that makes them adopt such a personality. This is important to keep in mind as we examine the personality of the housewife. In the formation of this identity, which we will explore in detail in the following pages, the fact that marriage is “ignorant marriage,” that is, that it is a component of the society of ignorance, is of important signifi-cance. Under the influence of all such factors, this specific identity is formed according to all the corrupting influences of the ignorantsystem. We must also add that a society of ignorance does not regard these distortions as unusual, nor does it regard the identities itproduce as undesirable. On the contrary, they consider them normal and legitimate. It is the society in which they live that determines the character of individuals, and so it is to be expected that they would tolerate and accept the expectations placed upon them and that they should comply by them.
Display of Emotion A trait considered natural among ignorant women is their emotionality, though such behavior is totally at odds with the moralteachings of the Qur’an. And, according to the expectations of a cul-ture of ignorance, a woman must be meek and needs to be protectedand looked after by a man. For this reason, whenever a housewife is confronted by some difficulty, she immediately becomes overly emotional. And, shedoes not regard such a response as weakness, but makes an exhibi-tion of her emotions, thinking that it will make others feel sorry forher. This mode of behavior is encouraged by the community. In anignorant system, people behave as if they feel sympathy for oneovercome by emotion, and the person exhibiting her feelings usu-ally attracts the attention she wants.In addition, there is a more powerful emotion that some igno-rant women tend to display which takes hold of her whole charac-ter. It is a kind of emotionalism that pervades every aspect of thelives of the women in question; it derives from unhappiness and notsubmitting to Allah or her fate. So, because of this emotionalism, shebecomes irrational, unable to arrive at intelligent decisions or to actprudently. She sees everything in negatively, considers herself suf-ferer of some injustice; and, therefore, deludes herself with false sce-narios, sinking further into an unhealthy spiritual quagmire. Whatshe expected from marriage did not materialize; the initial exhilara-tion, love and respect disappeared. Such disappointment led to herdespondence. Her behavior becomes an external manifestation ofher condition; her eyes are constantly brimming with tears, she ismelancholic and sorrowful. If she does not receive a compliment ona meal she has carefully prepared, or no one notices her new outfit,or if she does not immediately get she is after, she becomes overlyemotional. A misspoken word, a joking remark, or sometimes, justthe wrong word will fix in her mind, and lead her to become emo-tional. She will remember the offense throughout the day, and let itbecome something in her mind that was never intended of it. But,the guilty person was probably not even aware of what he had done.
Nevertheless, an ignorant woman who has let emotionalism be-come a part of her character loses the ability of judgment to recognize the fact.As a result, another dominant feature among ignorant women is their tendency to weep. Everything that happens in their home may be an occasion for sorrow and weeping. Financial difficulties in the family, difficulties in raising the children, soap operas, or manyother factors, may provide the excuse for them to yield to this side oftheir character. This sort of woman is so mired in her emotionalism that she will find any excuse to cry and be miserable, even if there isn’t one. For example, if one of the characters on a television seriesdies she will cry afterwards for several minutes. Or, if she hears asong she had enjoyed with a friend many years ago, she will sud-denly become emotional and begin to cry. Examples like these aremany.Women who harbor these ignorant tendencies may experienceboth spiritual and physical breakdowns. This is one of the consequences of the distress they experience for choosing life of igno-rance over the moral teachings of the Qur’an. Allah has said in the Qur’an that only those who remember Him, submit to Him and prepare themselves for the Afterlife, will lead a good life in this worldand find peace in their hearts. But, characters such as those we havedescribed here have forgotten Allah, by Whose eternal power theywere created, and, for this reason, have fallen into melancholy.
(Taken From: Character Types of Unbeliever by Haroon yahya)