Why the label?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
Why the label?
120
Mon, 06-28-2010 - 7:35pm

At what point does it matter whether you work outside the home, inside the home or stay at home? Why does it matter and who does it matter most to?

Today I read through a thread that turned into trying to define the different roles we play and who fits into the 'sahm' and or the 'wohm' label. It was interesting because I kept thinking--what does it matter? Is it something us women need to have, or is it society or our employers that make it so?

This is in no way an attempt to shut down the debate, I'm just curious why it seems to be such an issue.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 7:08am

this is a debate board.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 7:25am
I know this is a debate board, even though it's been quite a long time I've posted here before. ;)
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 8:46am

For the purposes of debate, it's important to know what people mean when they use the terms SAH or WOH. If one person says "I don't think a person should WOH while her children are babies", that's going to mean something different depending on whether or not she considers 1) a year-long maternity leave to be WOH or SAH, 2) working 3 hours a week to be WOH or SAH, 3) volunteering 35 hours a week to be WOH or SAH, etc.

Generally, for the purposes of this debate board, a WOHM is how we refer to anyone who is employed for pay and a SAHM is how we refer to anyone who doesn't earn any regular income, but I think it's important to occasionally think about the many gray areas surrounding these two black-and-white concepts.












iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 9:10am

"...a WOHM is how we refer to anyone who is employed for pay and a SAHM is how we refer to anyone who doesn't earn any regular income, but I think it's important to occasionally think about the many gray areas surrounding these two black-and-white concepts."

Right, but outside of the debate, why? The label is applied outside of any debate on the topic, I've read articles in magazines and seen blogs as well addressing it.

In reading that thread here yesterday I saw tempers sort of flare when it was suggested that if your situation doesn't fit criteria A and B then you're not a SAHM/WOHM. This is what prompted my question--why some feel the need to fit inside a label.

I get that, for the purpose of debate, labels/acronyms need be used to be clear on a stance or idea.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 10:38am

I think we as a society try to label people no matter what the situation. (The jock, the brain, the loaner, the popular girl)


I read this board occassionally but rarely post and have not posted for years. I actually wonder what we are trying to debate.


I find the SAH vs. WOH debate often is one person trying to justify what they do by putting down the other option. I often think people are trying to convince themselves that they are "right" by showing others are "wrong".

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 11:51am

"There are some that fall back on - you have to do what is right for you family.

Well how do you know what is right for your family when your family is just forming - you would need a crystal ball."

Because what I thought was right for my family wasn't. So I changed it. Decisions like woh/sah or even wah are not set in stone. They are fluid. We started with what was right for the two of us. And reevaluated with each child. And continued to reevaluate as they grew. What was right when we had only one child, wasn't when we had 2-3. And changed again when we again had only one child. What was right if we only had certain children wasn't when we added the not-so-typical child.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2007
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 12:58pm

I agree with this. We can't possibly know what the right decision is for every situation before it plays out. I had every intention of going back to work before my son was born but it just didn't turn out that way, and that's ok.

I'm definitely on the side that says one has to do what's right for their family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 1:19pm

Actually it is not that sticky. The label identifies one small portion of an idividuals life, their work status. It is not meant to describe every thing about them. Of course there would be difference among every one in that category. The label is only describing the one small thing that they have in common.

I think where the debate often comes in is when individuals try to put characteristics to the labels. A SAHM does or acts in a certain way, a WOHM does or acts in a certain way. The acronym is describing work status only. It is not describing an individuals characteristics.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 1:22pm

LOL, 80 hours a week shopping..is that even possible?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
In reply to: sandigene
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 1:27pm
How can we know if we don't at least try? LOL











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