Sunday, September 11, 2016

Compare/contrast: support spouse

We all know that I am magnificently interesting and lead a charmed and wonderful life.

That's why we're here, reading this self-indulgent blog.

When introduced along American smalltalk guidelines, my interlocutors are wowed that I lived abroad. I am often asked to compare cultures/cities/lifestyles. There are many interesting and conversation-enhancing topical paths that this can lead to.

But now, for me, there is only one: I have, inexplicably, moved to a place where the default expectation is that I will have a full-time stay-at-home spouse to manage my life for me. This is a bizarre expectation, since AFAIK most people do not have this. I have repeatedly run into the wall of "oh, just get your [full-time support-partner] to deal with that". Apparently it's what everyone else is doing (<-- and="" heavy="" irony="" judgment="" of="" p="" tone="">
It's garbage. It's stupid.

I am familiar with the practices of making people feel like outsiders for their gender, sexuality, physical size, educational/social/cultural background, language fluency, or any other number of things. But outright societal difficulty coming from partnered status is completely new to me. And it's ridiculous.

Somehow, in slightly-more-socialized countries where I have lived, the expectation is that each person is a person as a unit and that is completely reasonable and fine and no one even thinks to talk about it, because why would you? It's obvious. The atomic unit of personhood is one person. Of course. But here, the atomic unit of adult personhood is two people, one of whom manages all logistics and this is stupid and offensive. I may be small, but I'm not half a person.

In my next job negotiations, I will include a personal secretary. It's no wonder people like me choose to "drop out" of academia, if their lives are twice as hard because they have to do the full work of two people in order to achieve one unit of adulthood. If this is true in other job paths, then I marvel that there has not been an exodus from this country of everyone educated and employable enough to move to a country that treats people as people.

Also, the weather is too hot and this renders me surly.

This post's theme word is disprize, "to disdain or scorn." I disprize your social norms. I take no leave of you, I send no compliments to your mother; you deserve no such attention. I am  most seriously displeased.

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