-A good friend belongs to a women's bible study group. Rule is that no kids or non-group members are in the home during the meetings as they discuss very personal issues that they want to remain within the group.
If somebody in the home I'm living in now joined a group with those rules, that would be a real burden to me- I am a non driver and live in an area very poorly served by public transit. (It only serves office workers and others who work 9-5 hours, no evening or night service) And my neighborhood has nowhere to walk to, nothing to do. None of my friends live nearby either. So if I found myself ordered out of the house, I'd be in a real bind. There's nowhere around here for me to go to, and for a good chunk of the year it's too cold to just "go for a long walk". So unless somebody was willing to drive me somewhere, there would be a real problem. (We live too far outside of town for a taxi- the fare would be easily $50 or 60.)
Now, if the group members understood my situation and were cool with me staying in my room with the headphones on and playing World of Warcraft, good luck hearing "personal stuff" over the clamor of a 25 person raid!), that would be cool. If not, me being ordered out of my own home would be a real imposition- I would need to find transportation, and would probably end up having to spend money- here in my town, there's not a lot to do downtown during the evenings unless you're spending money, and I can't always just go to a friend's house, as some of them work hours as odd as mine.
I wonder if any of the wives in this group are in a similar situation? Depending on their community, there may not be a lot of options for "just slipping out and going somewhere", that going double for non drivers. And there may not be a lot of things to "slip out" and go do, some places close down pretty early or just don't have a lot going on to begin with.
But if your house companions knew of this limitation about your leaving the home I assume they wouldn't choose to join this particular bible study. So if you had a roommate who knew the rules of this group, joined and then said "but can you make an exception for my housemate, I promise she'll always have headphones on and won't listen", I'd be pretty annoyed and suggest they find a different group.
Honestly, I don't see the LW's trying to change the rule as being rude.
This is a rule that she didn't have a say in, yet affects her very much (having to vacate her own home whenever the Men's Club is over). I see this as one of the situations where it's ok to ask, provided you accept "no" for an answer.
In fact, perhaps by asking that the rule be adapted (eg the women can stay in the house, just not in the room, etc) is simply the LW's attempt to be a peace keeper, and find a solution that makes everyone happy?
This to me is a false statement. The "rule" doesn't effect her. The rule could exist without ever effecting her. Her husband's decision to join a group with the rule is what is impacting her life.
It's the same with Aminita's scenario. The bible study group could exist for years and never effect Aminita. it would be her housemates decision to join the group that would impact the Aminita.
Amanita's housemate shouldn't say "I want to join this particular group, but I don't want to agree to the rules that all the other group members seem perfectly fine to abide by and accept".
I also find the LW's statement that "Therefore, the wives must clean and prepare" very old fashioned. To me she is assuming that the other other couple's households are managed just like her's is... wives cook and clean and husband's do "?" I honestly don't know of very many households run this way anymore, no matter the age group. Even in my parent's generation (they'd be in their 80's) the men were more than capable to put a tray of cheese, cracker, and meet together and run a broom across the kitchen floor.