What In The World Is A 'Wife Bonus'?

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 05/29/2015 | 04:15 AM EDT

Debate ignites whether stay-at-home moms and wives deserve financial rewards

There’s a debate going on in particular circles about something some consider to be controversial: wife bonuses.


“What is a wife bonus?” you may ask, and “does it involve money?”


A wife bonus is actually pretty literal in meaning--and yes it involves money.


It’s a not-so-known fact that stay-at-home moms and wives who dedicate their lives to taking care of the home are awarded bonuses for their work. The same way in which their husbands get quarterly or annual bonuses from their high-salary jobs on Wall Street or in Corporate America, some wives get a percentage of that bonus for all their hard work holding down the fort.


New York writer Wednesday Martin details this subculture of housewives in her new book “Primates of Park Avenue.” In it, she exposes this trend and critiques these women for their “snobbish” behavior and lavish lifestyle.


But many housewives are pushing back against Martin’s commentary--which was also published in the New York Times in an article titled “Poor Little Rich Women.”


Writer Polly Phillips, a proud housewife, slammed Martin in an New York Post op-ed titled “I Get A Wife Bonus and I Deserve It, So STFU,” accusing her of sensationalizing the practice.


In Phillips’ opinion, women who get wife bonuses earn their keep. They are not lazy, spoiled women who thrive on the excuse of getting a piece of their husband’s hard-earned pie. In fact, she says, housewives deserve bonuses for “managing the household” and supporting their man’s career--at the expense of their own careers.


While she acknowledges that in theory receiving bonuses from her husband makes him the “boss,” she also makes the argument that without her their lives would be in chaos.


“I’m exceptionally lucky to have a husband who values how important a job it is to stay home and take care of a child, as well as understanding how difficult it is to leave friends, family and career prospects behind to further his career,” Phillips writes. “He was actually pleased to have a tangible way to recognize the contribution that I also make to the success of our lives.”


She adds that a wife bonus gives her financial freedom because it’s hers to spend however she chooses. Typically, she says, she and her husband share a joint account.


Though the concept of a wife bonus may seem shallow on the surface, many housewives see the value in such financial rewards.


What do you think Centric readers? Do women deserve wife bonuses? Is it demeaning in anyway?


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