‘I’ll be late tonight’ is an autobiographical project, inspired by my experience of living as a housewife in a gated expatriate residence in Russia. This isolated housing community, hosting expatriate families from different countries, had a patriarchal social structure. Men typically were the breadwinners and women, who quit their jobs in their own countries to support their husbands’ careers, were housewives. Worldwide, it’s estimated that 84% of the expatriate spouses are women. It prompted me to question why women are more likely than men to give up their careers to follow their husbands. For many women in the community, just as for me, the shift to becoming housewives was related to becoming mothers.
I found that, in many respects, the culturally diverse expatriate community, where whiteness was the norm and where women were defined in narrow roles as housewives and mothers, was a reflection of the power structures in capitalist society, that fuses together gender, class and race.[…]