The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

The Wife Drought
by Annabel Crabb1
Why women need wives, and men need livesSubject: Social & cultural . . .

The Wife Drought, Annabel Crabb
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‘I need a wife’

It’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women.

Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.

But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?

The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb’s inimitable style, it’s full of candid and funny stories from the author’s work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife’ in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.

Crabb’s call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that’s long overdue.

2015 Russell Prize for Humour Writing – (Shortlisted);
2015 General Non-fiction Book of the Year – (Shortlisted);
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4 thoughts on “The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

  1. Thank you for making me aware of this book. I’ll read it for sure. I really enjoyed your thought “…working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.” I remember those days.

    1. Hi Janet, I have to apologize for not stating in front of the text that this review is a copy. I am afraid I did not write this review. I liked reading it and copied it to share it. In the tags I mentioned it is a copy of a book review. But I realize now I should have made this clear at the start of the post. Sorry about this. It is my fault. I must remember this in future!

      As far as I am concerned, I am baffled why well paid professional women cannot afford to pay for sufficient home help. Maybe these days not a lot of home help is available at odd hours? We were three children, I and my two younger brothers. We always had a live-in maid even though my mother was just a “Hausfrau”. Our “Dienstmädchen” did get only one afternoon off per week. I seem to remember it was always Wednesday afternoon. I guess nobody would put up with working conditions like this these days. I was born in 1934!

  2. Ah! I could have done with a ‘wife’ at times. I did previously get a weekly cleaner (when i was working full time and had young children) but a wife is more than that… supportive, caring, loyal etc Yes, I could have done with a wife.

    1. A long, long time ago when I was still a kid, it was the done thing to have a live-in maid. Rich people would even have several home-help people employed permanently. I remember the maids were often very young, for instance teenage girls from the country. If you have a live-in help like this, what would you need a wife for, especially if you do have a husband?

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