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Weird News: Should Housewives Earn A Salary?


It's long been said that hiring a person (or people) to cook, clean, nanny/teach a kid to read, pay household bills, shop and have sex would cost a pretty penny. And seemingly, only super villains and Brangelinas have the kind of foresight and cash to hire those several people. However, dear friends, a house spouse (let us not give husbands who work from the home short thrift) does all of these jobs and is NOT on anyone's payroll.

That may change soon on the opposite side of Earth, as an Indian governmental department (the Union Women and Child Development Ministry) is drafting legislation that would make it mandatory for a husband to dole out a fixed percentage of his salary to his wife to compensate her for her homemaking efforts. Indeed, the position of wife, mother and housekeeper will henceforth be referred to as a "home engineer" and could earn her something to the tune of 10-20 percent of the husband's check.

Our buds at address, or at the very least reference the existence of, the myriad of logistical issues and unintended consequences of this seemingly noble effort. Indeed, they ask if the scheme is "ingenious or insulting," assuming that it's a binary situation. Perhaps the term "noble effort" is somewhat patronizing. Perhaps the term "patronizing" is condescending. Perhaps the term "condescending" is overwrought. Perhaps I'm over-thinking this.

Another country that some people might consider "male-dominated" has begun using legislation to implement a being-nicer-to-your-wife ethos. In Japan, a man's pension was once off-limits as divorce winnings, but recent reforms have changed that presumption and will possibly make those ineffectual dudes a little kinder. Since "for free" connotes "for granted," and "getting what you pay for" is at the least a global truism, maybe this will foster some greater appreciation between the sexes in India. 

What do you think of taking a mandatory percentage out of a worker's (any gender) salary to pay an at-home spouse?

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