Feature

The humble housewife is going to disappear!

Dr Bhagban Prakash

Be aware husbands! The humble housewife is going to disappear!
One of the ten things predicted to disappear by end of 21st century is the house wife. The ‘humble house wife’ and the institution of marriage itself is in great danger. The word ‘wife’ around which myths and mythologies were created and on which traditional husbands hung up for long, is going to disappear and ‘married’ people would no longer like to use it as an ‘honour badge’. The pleasure or pain or even pride of calling one ‘my husband’ or ‘my wife’ may not last beyond the 21st century. Pema, a Malaysian Muslim lady colleague of mine, would often come to the office very late and one day, when I asked her gently about the reason, she told me, ‘Because, I don’t have a ‘wife’ and because I am somebody’s wife.’ I understood what she wanted to convey.

The next victim is the institution of marriage itself. Its stranglehold on middle class thinking and attitude has been steadily waning, thanks to contraceptives, growing economic freedom of women and liberal divorce laws. First marriages have halved in many countries where as number of second and third marriage has been increasing. So, who would raise the children, the new victims of adult choice? No one knows. Bill Clinton had once said famously, ‘Governments don’t raise children, parents do.’ In USA, by 2013, the number of single parent families has reached 31 per cent.

Social satirist, Huxley, in his Brave New World (1931) had given a frightening vision of future possibilities of human relationships in 2540 AD, nearly another 500 years from now. At that time natural reproduction through marriage would have been done away with and children would be created and raised in hatcheries. Women, interested to reproduce, would wear a ‘Malthusian belt’ with regular supply of contraceptives, as a fashion accessory like lipsticks. Babies born outside the womb would be designed and divided into five castes, to occupy and perform predetermined positions and tasks, the book said.

In this future world state, there would be no housewife to work as a subservient reproduction machine as marriage, pregnancy, natural birth and parenthood would be considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation in public or parties. Romantic relationships would be seen as obsolete as ‘every one belongs to everyone.’ Consequently, the concept of family and relations would be considered ‘pornographic’ since no one would have a family, husband or wife, sons and daughters, brother or sister, uncle and auntie, and there would be no loss, no sorrow, no tears and no ties to mourn for. And every one would die at 60 with mind and body in perfect health and youthfulness, without any fear of death.

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