Whether we like it or not, it must be understood that when we talk about unpaid carers, we have to accept that the major are woman, and wives at that. Now I want to support carers but not in the way the carers movement seems to be asking for.
I feel the carers movement assumes the caring relationship in a family is normal where the carer is portrayed as an unpaid slave while the people receiving the care as a non-being unable to consent or contribute to their family. The carers movement seems to simply demand emotional support and breaks for carers who have failed to cope.
They do not wish to interfere is people’s right to care in a manner that may be unhelpful to them and the person they are supporting and for me, this a form of institutional sexism as they push wives into ill-informed carer roles in a middle class value of “in sickness and in health”, which was the church ensuring their caring role.
I believe supporting carers and disabled people is able ensuring the family have the tools needed to minimise the caring role, including that disabled people take as much responsibility as they can to play their part in making life easier for everyone.
If we do not change how we see informal support, we will simply allow the carers movement push women out of employment to support their middle class sexism.