A wife is not a ‘housewife’
I feel like a broken record saying this, but this is unacceptable to treat someone you love like it is their job to serve you.
I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO STAY AT HOME AND LOVE DOING THIS.
Some women, love staying at home, cooking, being the best mother ever, etc. This is their pride and joy, they love it to bits and cannot think of a more rewarding or fulfilling job. This is truly, great…. for them.
But where we run into issues is assuming that women who do this, are representative of what all women should want/do, otherwise they are not great women (my mother and I certainly don’t feel like this, and she grew up in this era!!!).
So I am not talking about women who have the CHOICE. When you have the choice, you are supported by your partner, and not forced into it.
This is the normal stuff I hear that are mostly BS excuses to justify laziness in not helping, and BELIEVE ME, I KNOW they don’t want to do it, ad they’re lazy, if not, why would they fight so damn hard not to do it?
What triggered me?
There is a big difference between believing in equality and being willing to live it — especially for men.
It’s no longer socially acceptable to believe that women are somehow less than — especially not during a time when feminism is wielding so much cultural power. But arguing that women are just naturally better at caretaking or domestic work has become a clever way to shirk living up to progressive values while claiming you are simply complimenting women on their stellar ironing skills.
“But she does it better”
Or is it you need more practice? 👀…. Even babies need to learn how to crawl before they walk, and then run. Everyone needs to learn basic numbers to do any kind of math, or letters of your alphabet before you read. If you think you can just jump into doing something like ironing a shirt when you’ve never done it before, I can only think of a few reasons why you think this:
- Overconfidence in yourself and your abilities to just do anything perfectly the first time – this is actually quite a normal thing to observe in young boys versus young girls, as they tend to be praised highly and more often for being smart (boys) rather than working hard for it (girls).
- You simply don’t want to do it. Pretty self-explanatory. You see that it’s work and you’re shirking it.
- You think you shouldn’t be doing it. Again, self-explanatory. You want the work to be divided by gender and your gender luckily, doesn’t come under pressure to do it all – home AND work.
So saying “she does the ironing better than me”, is a cop out. Time to practice by doing… all of your shirts for instance.
And to say “she does the laundry better than I do”, is bloody ludicrous. It’s a machine for goodness sake, you just throw clothes and soap in there, and press buttons. It’s not like you need to schlep the clothes down to the local river and use a washboard to get them clean (which by the way, is extremely labour-intensive and backbreaking work even for men, but because women did it, it’s considered to be “easy”).
“But she enjoys doing it”
As someone in my DMs said: NO ONE enjoys cleaning the 🚽 toilet. But people do it because they have to, if they want to have a clean bathroom. As you do. Does she REALLY prefer / enjoy doing it? Or is it what you tell yourself? Some people actually do enjoy cleaning, but they are not in the majority (0.0001%). I do know they exist but likely, not you. Or me.
There are some tasks SOME people may enjoy doing. Maybe cooking. Great, they should be the ones doing it then. Case in point: My partner enjoys cooking more than I do, and while he doesn’t LOVE cooking daily or making meals for every day of the week, he is much better at it than I am, and though it is routine, it is still something he enjoys more than I do.
I can still cook well, despite Little Bun’s suspicions that if Daddy went away, we’d both starve and not be able to eat anything nor get food for ourselves, but I don’t enjoy it, so he does it instead. To me, cooking is kind of in the same boat as cleaning. I do enjoy the eating part and the fruits of those labours, but the cooking itself, brings me no joy (maybe it would once I mellow out and get older).
That’s a division of labour, not a gendered-thing. So if you can divide up things truly by what people enjoy, and the ones you’re both neutral on, are also split in an equitable manner, I don’t see the problem. Just don’t use “she enjoys doing it” as a cop out to not do anything at all relating to the home.
“She would rather do it her way”
Screwing up a task to get out of it is lame. She likely does it because you don’t do it properly and it’s easier than having to nag and babysit you EVERY FKING TIME. But that’s not sexy nor attractive to feel like your parent. No one wants to be married to a helpless, useless, lazy man child, we want true life partners.
So saying she would rather do it HER way, may be true for ONE situation, or for a bunch of women, but not all of them. When she says “I’d rather do it”, a lot of the time, the subtext is: I’d rather do it because each time he does it, I have to not only remind him about the task, I have to plan and prep the task ahead of time, help him, remind him again how to finish it, and the job doesn’t even get done properly. EACH. AND. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
After literal years of this, you would be frustrated too, if you had an employee who kept screwing up things and couldn’t staple papers in a proper order, right?
“She cares more than I do about it”
This one out of all of them, kills me the most. What I hear instead is: “She cares about a clean house ergo because I can live in squalor and not give a fk, it is HER problem not mine.” Is that what you’re telling me? Look, I am not a neat freak by any means, but there is a basic minimum level of hygiene.
What’s funny is sometimes husbands say this to my friends, and then later on, after my friends stop cleaning as much as they did before, thinking: Hey, if he wants to live like this, let’s go!!!! … but then after a few days of the kitchen not being swept, the husbands turn to their wives and say bulls*t passive-aggressive faux “woke men” things like: “You know, the floor looks much better when it’s clean.”
My one friend turned to her husband and said: THEN CLEAN IT, and left, she was so angry. It was shortly after that, that they read the book Fair Play, and then set out a chores list for the both of them.
He now has a list of daily chores to complete, and after a few weeks of this, had the gall to complain, saying: “You know, all of this housework is affecting my career…“. And no, it wasn’t a joke. He was deadly serious, and in saying so, didn’t realize that if he didn’t do it, who TF would? It would be my friend, as it always was in the past. Keep in mind that she also works a full-time job on top of having done all the work in the house before, and now that he has done HIS EQUAL PART OF IT for a few weeks, he’s suddenly seeing how much work in total she did for years without him even noticing or appreciating it. The gall. The absolute gall to complain about doing just half of what she did, gets me every time.
I have so many other stories about this, from the woman who messaged me saying she left the garbage to pile up for 6 weeks in the hallway before it became so disgusting she took it out herself, and immediately broke up with her loser boyfriend, only to have him come back later after he had lived a while on his own with some roommates, and apologize for what a jerk he was regarding housework and basic standards of cleanliness.
So no, I DO NOT accept this “She cares more about it than I do“, BS excuse to get out of doing any kind of work. I also don’t accept that men doing the bare minimum is sufficient because “hey, it’s better than what their fathers did in the past“.
We haven’t even touched on emotional labour…!
Lastly, when she “cares more” about it, it also means she is taking on that unseen emotional labour of having to think, prep and organize the whole event which makes it even more insufferably draining and exhausting than if she just did it… herself.
Because each time she gave it to him, he didn’t want to do it, so he didn’t want to do a good job, so he didn’t bother learning how to do it properly and listen, so he screws it up in every single way possible to show how impossibly incompetent he is at basic b*tch tasks, yet says he’s a mover and shaker in his job, and excellent at what he does.
What it really means is he’s great at showing people outside, strangers really, how much he cares about what they think about him, much more than what people whom he lives with and presumably loves, thinks about them and the way they treat them.
He’s great at the public sphere part of things, at having managers praise him because society values that and sees it more than they do the private sphere of things like housework, but in a fantasy world, if managers had to also take into account how much work they did at home in their employee evaluations as part of their promotions and bonuses, the tune would change extremely quickly, I’d imagine.
This rears its ugly head especially when children are involved, and now you have tiny little humans to keep alive, and then later, have to help organize their lives when they start daycare or school from remembering their clothes, their homework, events coming up, things “they” have to bake or make things for…. EVERYTHING. And guess who does most of this dirty, unappreciated labour? You know who.
So stop talking, and step up. That’s all I am going to say.