Your #WifeBonus Just Set Women's Rights Back a Century
Life Politics/Community

Your #WifeBonus Just Set Women’s Rights Back a Century

Your #WifeBonus Just Set Women's Rights Back a Century

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OK. I’ve had it with the wife bonus stuff. Really had it. And if you’re like me, then I apologize that you have to read one more piece of drivel about this God awful thing, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore.

In case you’ve been stranded at sea or hiding out in your bathroom, eating buckets of Nutella in your pajamas (no judgment here, believe me), a wife bonus is apparently a paycheck that a husband gives his wife for doing a good job of wifing.

Whatever that means.

One such recipient wrote an article about it called I get a wife bonus and I deserve it, so STFUHere, an excerpt:

“As I stroll around the mall on a recent trip to Houston, Texas, moving from designer store to designer store, my mind is crunching numbers. Will I splurge on the elegant $750 French navy Chanel ballet pumps that I’ve been lusting after for months? Or shall I be pulling out my gold card to grab a pair of limited-edition $800 Louboutins, with striking red Valentine’s hearts on the toe, to match their distinctive sole?

As I tally up the total, I can’t help but smile — I can easily stretch to both pairs of shoes, and still have plenty left of my five-figure bonus.”

I’m going to be honest and say I almost stopped reading right there because I was instantly filled with hot shards of rage at the mention of a five-figure bonus, the likes of which I have five figures worth of things I could do, including get my middle child into some sort of phenomenal therapy that would help lessen the effects of his hemiparesis and cerebral palsy resulting from his stroke in utero while this woman chose to spend it on shoes. SHOES. But then I figured I couldn’t finish writing this post unless I had read the whole thing, so I subjected myself to further torture and stymied my desire to retch into my single-figure shoe, finishing the article having only uttered a half dozen profanities under my breath.

The sacrifices we make as writers.

The thing is, I don’t really care what she and her husband do with their money. If she wants to purchase expensive shoes I’ve never actually seen in real life, fine by me. What I do care about is how the concept of a wife bonus equates the husband to “the boss” (HER WORDS, not mine) and the wife to an employee.


My husband is not my boss, nor am I his employee. We are a partnership — an equal pair of mutually capable and responsible adults who chose to enter into matrimony and share a life together.

I think part of my problem is that I don’t understand the concept of “his money” versus “her money.” When you’re married, shouldn’t that be “our money”? Even couples who have separate bank accounts or ones who have decided that one spouse should work while the other stays home both still contribute to the running of a household and the expenses one brings.

That’s why alimony is a thing. Because when you enter into a partnership such as marriage, you agree to work together to build your life. And should something go wrong, the person who does not work or does not make as much still needs to be able to survive once the partnership has dissolved.

So there’s no “his” versus “hers.” It’s just “ours.” And if it’s not, it damn well should be.

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And then there’s this: Aside from the whole issue with women feeling like they should be rewarded for taking care of their kids (UM, THAT’S YOUR JOB WHEN YOU HAVE A KID), which I can’t even get into because that’s awholenother topic, there’s the blatant assault on feminist progress to think about.

Don’t throw up in your mouth just yet. I am by no means a raging, bra-burning feminist, but I am a woman who just so happens to be perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and a working one at that, which means women’s rights progress is central to my existence, especially when it comes to equality in the workforce, not to mention when it comes to being a, you know, WOMAN in Western society.

For any woman to characterize her marriage as a boss/employee relationship is to spit in the face of feminism. That’s right. To hock a big ole loogie right all up in its grill. And to set the women’s rights movement back at least half a century, if not more.

Work or don’t work outside the home, ladies. Be a domestic diva if you enjoy it. There’s no shame in your game, whatever that game may be. And buy your wives gifts if you want, husbands. It’s a nice gesture, and one I certainly appreciate.

But don’t turn it into a “wife bonus” or promote this idea that a woman’s “job” is to be a good little domestic mistress above all else — one who must demonstrate mastery over a certain set of traditionally gender-specific skills in order to receive compensation for that which should come as a given for both partners in a marriage from a money pot that should be shared to begin with.

Because to do so is to desecrate decades of women’s headway and to send one shitastic message to our daughters that their ultimate worth is measured by their abilities to please their husbands.