The Experience of a 1970's Wife in I Want a Wife, by Judy Brady

Decent Essays
In “I Want a Wife,” Judy Brady shows her audience what it’s like to be a wife in the 1970s. In the situation she sets up, the husband is going back to school while the wife works and cares for the children. By recounting the wife’s many expected duties in a sarcastic tone, Brady is able to show the readers the unfair workload placed on wives at this time. In addition to these detailed responsibilities, Brady’s avoidance of pronouns when it comes to the word wife creates a disconnection from gender, allowing men to see the work as it is, without bias expectations.

A wife’s duties in I Want a Wife are numerous, but they all boil down to the care of both the children and the husband, leaving little to no time for individual pursuits. The wife must devote her time to more domestic tasks such as sewing, cooking, cleaning, ironing, and keeping the husband’s personal items in proper order. Not only is the wife responsible for housework and caring for the children in this scenario but also must work while the husband attends school. If these duties do not coincide easily, the wife must be the one to make the effort to do it all. “I want a wife who takes care of the children when they are sick, a wife who arranges to be around when the children need special care, because, of course, I cannot miss classes at school. My wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job.” The wife must do all of this without complaint while listening with rapt attention to any problems the
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