“You don’t work, do you?” accused a salesclerk when I was about to buy a pair of goggles the other day, in one sport store at Ciputra Mall Semarang.
I understood why she accused me like that. I went there around 11.40 am (usual working hours), wearing jeans, t-shirt, a jacket, and carrying a backpack; not usual outfit for workingwomen, is it?
I wanted to find out what made her fussy like that (instead of just considering it as a small talk to a customer).
The first possibility: Was she jealous of me because she had to work as a salesclerk to make her ends meet?
Referring to women from low social class who had to work hard to earn money, to be able to give their children food and clothing (perhaps including education) in the nineteenth century America, they could be said that they were somewhat jealous of their fellow women citizens who came from middle and high social classes. The latter did not need to keep their nose to the grindstone only to buy food and clothing. Therefore, the first probably did not have any idea what on earth made the latter struggled to get right to work outside home.
This similar phenomenon is also easily seen in Indonesia. Many women coming from low class society do not understand why women from higher social class have to work (they don’t understand self actualization as well as self esteem needs proposed by Maslow) when their husbands can give them enough earnings every month. (enough is always relative, isn’t it?)
The second possibility: did she underestimate me as a financially dependent creature? Since she thought I didn’t work, it was easily concluded that to her I was a housewife. To some people, a housewife is just a pathetic ‘profession’ because she financially depends on her husband. Being a financial dependent, a woman is prone to domestic violence, especially if she has a husband who doesn’t appreciate a housewife because this ‘profession’ doesn’t make money, a husband who thinks that money maker is always superior.
Why should she underestimate me if I chose to be a housewife? Because in this twenty first century, with its gender equality “phenomenon”, women are more honored when they make money?
I assume that she needs to read this blog of mine to know my personal ‘ideology’. LOL. As a feminist I am fully aware that the core of gender equality lies in the right to make choices in life. Women have full rights to have their own kind of life. (You can refer to my previous post.)
PT56 20.17 070108