Domesticity or simply referred to as home life has been for many years a topic that attracts big debate. It has always been related with the figure of women. There has always existed an imaginary and unbreakable bond between woman and domesticity. Throughout the course of history, in patriarchal and matriarchal periods, we have seen that women have been responsible for the house life, chores, raising and educating children, while men on the other hand would work and provide physical and financial support for the family. People most of the time see domestic life as boring and not suitable for individuals that seek success and have important goals in their lives. The importance of domesticity in the women lives’ appeared in 18th century in France, when Rousseau wrote some books about this significant issue in the French society of that time was suffering in terms of strong family bonds. In his book Emile, Rousseau states that women job is just practical, in other words the only thing that they should do for the best of society is to stay at home and take care of their children and household chores (Trouille, 1991). The bases of society have developed from this mindset.The so called cult of domesticity was related even with the religious ideas about men and women. Nowadays societies are more modern and have adopted to the new needs, sometimes even by switching roles between men and women in families, something that could not even be imagined years ago . If we compare the then and now societies in term of domestic life and house labour there are some admirable changes, but some things still remain the same .
Firstly, in the past only men worked. They provided the family with the money or food that they got as result of their work.They did not have many responsibilities for their children since most of the time they were not home . While on the other hand the role of women was compressed inside the walls of the house. She had to take care about the education of children and the household chores. Women were considered with great virtues when they completely devoted their lives to their children, their husbands and their homes , thus fulfilling their role as housewives. Nowadays thing has apparently changed. There is an increasing number of women that work . While this does not prohibit them to do the housework and take care of their children too. One of the recent studies found out that women still do the biggest part of household chores eventhough they have a full-time job outside from home. (Poortman & Lippe, 2009). This new way of life has helped women to know the world better and improve their way of life. By entering in relationships with different people, they become richer personally and professionally , too. While man on the other hand continue working. Even nowadays they provide the largest percentage of earnings in home . They are accepting the growing role of women in society.
Secondly, a key role on male and female eduacation plays the family. In the past, people were used to old techniques of eduacating young children. They educated boys and girls according to the priciples of the then-society. They taught little boys how to work, how to provide money or other goods that they would earn by working, but they never taught them how to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. Apparently, there was not a warm bond between father and children. Children respected their fathers but did not show affection to them. While little girls were taught how to be good women, mothers, housekeepers and devoted wives. Their only responsibility would be home and children. Sometimes they even did not have the right to express their opinion or take decision about the family life . On the other hand we have the now-society where things have changed a lot. Children since they are little are taught about having responsbilitie. Our society treats father and mother as equal members of family, both have the same weight and responsibility in the eduacation and raising of their child. They share their opinions and try to take the best decisions together for their children.
Another thing that has changed is the idea of masculine domesticity. While in the past it was a term that was unimaginable, let alone be practised, nowadays and more it is becoming part of our everyday life. In the most developed societies we see how men are helping women in their house chores. Since both partners work most of the time, they compensate the burden of domesticity by sharing the house responsibilities. But still masculine domesticity does not necessarily mean an equal sharing of household duties. This term refers to the males that take more responsibilities of family life than the males of previous generations have done. For example, they take children to journeys, they go out with wives and care more about household chores (Marsh, 1988). Things like these were unthinkable one or two centuries ago.
However despite of the enormous changes that the society has undergone during all these years, some things have not changes yet.
Apart from the developed societies where people are more emancipated, still most of the third world countries and developing countries societies’ face some social problems related to domesticity. The menatlity of people has not changed. They still leave according to the old rules. Males behave not according to the requiremnets of the family and the society.They do not take the responsibilities in their homes. They do not stand next to their children and be responsible for their growth and eduacation. Lack of knowldedge and information helps in the deterioriation of the society . While house responsibilities are considered completely as something for women. Female are surpressed. They are not free to express their opinions and take decisions. They have just two resposibilities in their lives: the house and children. This kind of society is mostly faced in the religious countries. There is a huge gap that seperates the mindset of these societies from the one of the developed word, where women and men are equal or at least they pretend and behave like they are equal.