The story of how I acquired him, fifteen years ago, is quite interesting.
A young girl called Paula was helping looking after my baby while I lectured at the local college. Paula's sister had a baby of about the same age as mine, and the two little ones spent quite a bit of time together.
Paula's sister was married, and she didn't go out to work. She was also very poor; the family lived on state benefits. Because she was desperate she arranged a loan, from the benefits office, to buy some basics such as a cot and some baby clothes. But - here is the rub - because the system was set up to support 'the Family' (ie traditional sex roles) the money was given not to her, but to her husband. He took it all and spent it on a music system and a guitar. Paula's sister was now royally fucked over. She had no cot, no clothes for the baby, and her weekly benefit cheques had been cut to pay back the loan which she had never seen.
She had to cut back on food, and the first thing to go was the catfood. I turned up at the house and rescued her cat (i.e now my cat, the one which just died). At that point he hadn't been fed for a couple of days. I gave her some babyclothes and stuff too. Lost touch with her after that. I hope it worked out for her.
OK, long story. My point is that the use of the benefit system to support conventional marital roles is a disaster for women and children. This woman had done everything she was 'supposed' to do - she married, she didn't challenge her husband's role, she didn't go out to work. She ended up starving hungry, and her kid without any clothes. And I ended up with my lovely cat.
I'd go further than that and say - trying to be a good woman ends in disaster for both the woman and her dependents. I have never regretted any choice which has taken me outside of that role.