PIETRASANTA, ITALY – Down a narrow lane in this sleepy Tuscan town there is one particularly clean and tidy home, with one particularly unlikely housekeeper: a man. In this traditionally macho land, Fiorenzo Bresciani happily dons an apron, flutters his duster, and spends hours at the ironing board. When his wife, a doctor, comes home from a hard day’s work, Mr. Bresciani has dinner on the table.
“Italy is changing,” he says. “Economic changes mean Italian men are making beds, doing the ironing and the vacuum cleaning these days. We think it’s time to change the way people think about housework – make it respectable.”
To make his point, Mr Bresciani has insisted that authorities list his profession as “househusband” on his national ID card.
I thought smockmama might appreciate this story.
As light-hearted as this might be, it is still a tregedy. It turns proper household authority on its head. I’m not speaking about housework as “women’s work,” which of course belongs to everyone. But how can a house-husband be the head of a family where the wife is not only the prime, but only, bread-winner? Where is his self-respect? Is not the husband to be the head of the wife, as Christ is head of the Church? (Eph 5:23) Very sad.
Can the husband only assert his authority as the head of the house if he is the primary breadwinner? Can a man who is working not be the head of the house if his wife makes more money than he does?
I know that economics do have an effect on the marital relationship, but I hope that matters of headship are based more on spiritual matters than monetary.
i adore mr. miller for thinking of me. you sweet and precious manly-man!
that said, AAAaaaaRRRrrGGGHHHHH! what the hell is happening to this mad, mad, mad, mad world?
this is so wrong on so many levels. i can hardly breathe!
Jane, our very society has tried to reduce everything about our faith to “just the spiritual”. The reality is that we are an incarnational people. We need tangible representations of reality, as well as ideals. Yes, to be the spiritual head of the family, a man needs to be the breadwinner. That’s our cultural heritage and that’s reality. Only those who reject a husband’s headship would suggest otherwise. And that would be another plank removed from the remaining foundation of the house of cards we call “the family”. A right ordered society depends on it – not so as to bestow power – but as a God-given responsibility, for which account must be made. And that _is_ our faith.
An era of men without chests indeed. They’re not disabled, they’re not particularly hindered from work…why the hell do they decide to stay home?
Take hoor away from men, and you destroy manliness altogether. I wouldn’t want to be a man in a world filled with men like these…
“hoor” is actually “honor”. little typo.