If marriage were a contract with safeguards and indemnities indicated in it, it would still not provide emotional security...
If marriage were a contract with safeguards and indemnities indicated in it, it would still not provide emotional security. Its value would be in that it did not appear to provide it, so that women would not be encouraged to rely absolutely upon a situation which had no intrinsic permanence. The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband’s house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reductio ad absurdum of the case of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked. The only alternative for the worker and the wife is to refuse to consider the bait of security and bargain openly. To do this a woman must have a different kind of security, the kind of personal security which enables her to consider insecurity as freedom.
Women are asked to exercise the virtue of personal security even if they do not have it, for they are supposed not to feel threatened within their marriages and not to take measures to safeguard their interests, although they do all these things. Self-reliance is theoretically necessary within marriage so logically there is no reason to accept a chimeric security which must not be relied upon if it is to eventuate. The search for security is undertaken by the weakest part of the personality, by fear, inadequacy, fatigue and anxiety. Women are not gamblers even to the small extent that men are. Wives tend to limit their husband’s enterprise, especially if it involves risks, and consequently the opportunities for achievement, delight and surprise are limited.
Fuente: The Female Eunuch.Germaine Greer.Flamingo.London.1999.