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Психология Being a Househusband
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Read the text and recall the situations with the vocabulary given above.

For questions 1-6, read the following text and then choose, from the list A-J given below, the best phrase to fill each of the spaces. There are three phrases you will not need. There is an example (0).

In your own words explain the words and phrases marked in bold print.

In your own words explain the underlined euphemism.

Dads: Equalising the Family Equation

When my child was small, we used to read 0) J …, which was about the Bumsteads, a typical suburban family. The funniest episodes always seemed to involve the times when Dagwood, 1)……, had to baby-sit the children. The first thing he’d do as parent-in-residence was put on his wife Blondie’s apron. It was as if, by wearing something that belonged to her, he was symbolically becoming her. For the Bumsteads, as for most Western couples during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, being 2)……. .

Today we know better. Studies have shown the importance of gender roles in shaping our consciousnesses, and we are now aware of the critical role fathers play throughout 3)…… . Because he is male and because he is the other parent, the father expands the child’s range of experience and clarifies 4)…….. .

Despite all the changes that have taken place in the last few decades, two facts remain: First, mothers are still the primary caretakers of preschool children and, second, most day-care providers are women. This means that young children are still raised in an environment that is almost exclusively female. It may also mean that the father is the only male 5)………

The problem with this is that it gives a child an incomplete notion of what 6) ……. The male parent, with his different ways of relating and playing, rounds out a child’s sense of the different sexes. He demonstrates that human society is made up of two genders, each with distinct styles of dress, thought, and behaviour.

Athe stages in a child’s development B the world is about Cthe child has contact with on a regular basis Dthe opinions they have on childcare E the father and breadwinner F the female mean being at home Gthe ideas they have about masculinity H the parent meant being the mother

Ithe father’sresponsibilities are Jthe popular comic strip Dagwood and Blondie

1) Study the vocabulary of the text:to invade, subscription, spare rib, issue, to put down, to be on the phone, incessantly, to trip over, to rock back to sleep, to yell, to be on fire, to slam the door in one’s face, to race, vicar, marvelous, to clean up, to sweep up, experience.

Women’s Liberation invaded my house last year. A few weeks after our first child was born I bought my wife a present – a subscription to the Women’s Lib. Magazine “Spare Rib”. The first issue arrived when the baby was three months old.

My wife read the magazine from cover to cover. She was very quiet. When she’d finished she put it down and stared at me.

“Right,” she said. “I’m going back to work when the baby is twelve months old.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“It says in this magazine that women have an equal right to be the breadwinner.”

“I am the breadwinner,” I reminded her. “We don’t need two.”

“Of course not,” she replied. “You can stay at home and look after the baby.”

Before I could protest, she picked up the telephone and began ringing all the new mothers that she knew.

“Chris? Hello! Guess what? I’m going back to work when the baby is twelve months old.”

She was on the phone for three hours. By the time she’d finished, half of Europe knew of her intentions. That evening the phone rang incessantly. A series of angry husbands shouted at me for causing trouble. All their wives wanted to be breadwinners too. They were stronger than me, however, and said “No!”

My wife finally went back to work when the baby was fifteen months old. My first day as a housewife (househusband) was a disaster, but it began very quietly. I washed and dressed the baby, and we played for a while. Then she got sleepy, and I put her down for a nap.

“This is very easy,” I thought. “Now I have two hours to do as I please.”

I went into the kitchen and made a cup of coffee. I put some bread under the grill to make some toast. Then the telephone rang. I ran to pick it up because I didn’t want the noise to wake the baby. Unfortunately I tripped over some milk bottles and the baby woke up. I picked up the telephone and shouted “Hold on!” Then I ran into the baby’s room and rocked her back to sleep. I picked up the phone again, but noticed a horrible smell. “The toast!” I yelled into the phone. I ran into the kitchen. The smell was not burnt toast, it was a pair of oven gloves sitting on top of the grill. They were on fire. They were on fire. I threw them on the floor and began jumping on them to put the fire out. The baby woke up again – when I jump up and down, I make a lot of noise. The doorbell rang as I was rocking her back to sleep again. I ran to the phone “can I call you back?” I asked, and put the phone down without waiting for an answer. Then I remembered that I didn’t know who was calling me.

There was a brush salesman at the door. ‘Go away!” I shouted and slammed the door in his face. I ran upstairs to check the baby was asleep and the doorbell rang again. I raced downstairs, opened the door and screamed “I told you to go to hell!”

It was our friend the vicar. I almost began to cry.

He was marvelous. He came in, listened to my explanation and then went into the kitchen. He made me a cup of tea and cleaned up the mess on the floor. He swept up cigarette. I smoked the cigarette and then remembered that I am a non-smoker. I soon felt much better.

After a few days things became easier, but it’s hard work being a housewife. When you think the housework is finished there’s always something else to do. It’s a pity that in schools they don’t teach boys how to cook and look after the house, because I’m sure many men want to stay at home and let their wives go to work. Society expects women to be housewives, and men must learn the hard way – by experience.

Hank Groves

from “Modern English”

3) ACT OUT the interview for the Women’s Lib. Magazine “Spare Rib” as if you were: Hank Groves, his wife, the vicar, the brush salesman, the caller and the representative of the Women’s Liberation.

4) Discuss the following:In the context of marriage, what do you understand by the term “compromise”? Why are compromises important in a marriage? In what other aspects of life are they important? Think about friendship, relationship with siblings, business.

5) Discuss situations in which members of a family(need to have strong bonds, become involved in conflicts and quarrels, have to resolve a misunderstanding, have a chance to show affection to each other).


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