Understanding "Why I Want a Wife" by Judy Brady

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 486 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Words: 486|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Sep 12, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Breaking Down the Essay
  2. Household Chores and Childrearing
    Career Support
    Emotional Support
    Sexual Fulfillment
  3. The Purpose of Satire
  4. Conclusion

Judy Brady's essay, "Why I Want a Wife," is a thought-provoking piece that challenges societal norms and gender roles. Originally published in Ms. Magazine in 1972, Brady's essay is a satirical take on the expectations placed on wives and women in traditional marriages. Through her humorous and biting commentary, Brady highlights the unequal distribution of responsibilities between husbands and wives, shedding light on the need for change in gender dynamics.

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Breaking Down the Essay

In her essay, Brady adopts the persona of a wife who describes the many reasons she needs a wife of her own. Through this satirical lens, she examines the various roles and duties expected of wives in a traditional marriage, offering a stark contrast to the roles expected of husbands. Here are some key points from her essay:

Household Chores and Childrearing

Brady humorously emphasizes that she wants a wife to take care of all the household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. She points out that wives are expected to handle these tasks, often without acknowledgment or gratitude. This highlights the inequality in domestic labor and the burden placed on wives.

Career Support

Another aspect of Brady's essay is her desire for a wife to support her in her career. She notes that wives are expected to prioritize their husband's career while managing the household. In contrast, husbands rarely share this responsibility. Brady's essay underscores the need for wives to have the same support and freedom to pursue their own ambitions.

Emotional Support

Brady also touches on the emotional aspect of marriage. She expresses her desire for a wife who can provide emotional support, listen to her concerns, and understand her needs. This highlights the expectation that wives should fulfill their husbands' emotional needs while often neglecting their own.

Sexual Fulfillment

Brady's essay touches on the subject of sexual satisfaction within a marriage. She mentions that wives are expected to fulfill their husbands' sexual desires, but there is no mention of husbands reciprocating this responsibility. This reflects the societal expectation that women should prioritize their husband's sexual satisfaction above their own.

The Purpose of Satire

By using satire, Judy Brady cleverly highlights the absurdity of these traditional gender roles and expectations placed on wives. Her essay prompts readers to question these norms and consider the inherent inequality in traditional marriages. Through humor and exaggeration, Brady encourages society to reevaluate and redefine the roles and expectations placed on women within marriage.


Judy Brady's essay, "Why I Want a Wife," serves as a powerful critique of traditional gender roles and expectations within marriage. By adopting a satirical tone, she sheds light on the inequality and imbalance in the distribution of responsibilities between husbands and wives. Her essay continues to be relevant in discussions about gender equality and the need for change in societal norms.

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Ultimately, "Why I Want a Wife" challenges readers to reconsider and redefine the roles and expectations placed on individuals within marriages and relationships, advocating for a more equitable and inclusive future.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Understanding “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady. (2023, September 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Understanding “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady.” GradesFixer, 12 Sept. 2023,
Understanding “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Understanding “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 12 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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