by Karen Propp

The Path to Loving Relationships

Five Dramatically Divergent Directions

Is marriage still a viable choice for Jewish women? It all depends on whom you ask. For Susan Maushart, a sociologist and twice-divorced mother of three, marriage is about power and biology and—above all—women’s fight for equality. By these criteria, marriage as an institution is appalling for women. Even the latest statistics report that a wife performs 70 to 80 percent of the unpaid household tasks even if she works full-time at a paying job. She is three times more likely to be depressed than her husband; and two thirds of the time she is the partner who initiates divorce. Most dan Taging, argues Maushart, is “wife work,” defined as “the care and maintenance of men’s bodies, minds and egos.” She follows his sexual desires, edits his manu scripts, writes thank-you notes to his relatives and otherwise reflects back his best self For marriage to be viable for women, advocates Maushart, we must cease living as “wives” and figure out how to live as our own, true selves.

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The articles in this special section:

The Path to Loving Relationships

by Karen Propp

Five Dramatically Divergent Directions