It's time to consign the lady of leisure to history

It's time to consign the lady of leisure to history

I hate nothing more than a woman who can’t stand on her own two feet. Get educated and get a job and stop relying on your husband to support your every need.

I want the phrase “lady of leisure” removed from our vernacular.

No one should get a free ride, it’s un-Australian.

And before the stay-at-home mums suffer a convulsive fit of indignation, let me clarify.

There is no harder job than being a stay-at-home mum, a thankless task with limited leave entitlements and a pay packet banished well below the poverty line.

This woman is NOT a lady of leisure. She is a workhorse, the likes of which you would want with you in the trenches if we ever went to war, according to my friend's dear mother.


My wrath is firmly directed at women who suffer the misguided notion being kept by a man is something to be proud of.

Free-loading is not a sign of success measured by one’s ability to manipulate. Parasitic tendencies are not an achievement that warrants boasting to the other women in the nail parlour about how one has breezed through life on the coattails of her beau. In Australia in 2004 approximately 50 per cent of women were employed, compared to 70 per cent of men.

A friend of a friend has two children. She also has a nanny and a cleaner and a gardener and she places both her children in daycare despite the fact she does not work.

Yep. Not even one hour of the week is spent in the pursuit of professional or academic development. My first reaction was – what does she do all day?

The response – go to the gym, swim in the pool, hold dinner parties, go shopping, get her hair done – whatever she feels like. I suppose it’s not much different from the appalling (lack of-) reality show The Housewives of Anywhere Superficial. Ironic really, they have nothing to do and so capture the nothingness on camera in a bid to make it into something.

There should also be a distinction between those women who are victims of environment, circumstance and sexism that forces them into a submissive slave-like role whereby they spend their life in servitude to their husband resulting in an inability to gain employment or a life outside the domestic boundaries - she is NOT a lady of leisure. She is a trophy wife.

Although she, and the lady of leisure, will both suffer the same lack of independence and powerlessness over their lives. Both will experience a crisis of identity.

As CityKat addressed in a recent blog, both may find themselves engaging in the prostitution of marriage - sex in exchange for a Prada handbag.

These are the same individuals who turn a blind eye to a husband’s affair because they need to. Because if she walked out on him, where would the weekly allowance come from to service the new BMW?

Contributing to your own future and your own identity is paramount to a healthy self-worth.

Feeling valued in a professional capacity to manage your finances and your time and your life as you see fit means your existence will not be etched out in the shadow of another.

I appreciate some enjoy serving their man. But relationships are partnerships and both must contribute equally in order for the partnership to succeed.

Stop making it so hard for the rest of us by perpetuating the god-awful stereotype that women should just sit there and look pretty.

PS. To be fair I’m not claiming there aren’t males who take a ride on their partner’s gravy train – Oprah’s Steadman, Julia’s Tim.

PPS. I am jealous of the friend of a friend. I want a cleaner too. Nothing else. Just the cleaner.


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