Friday, April 15, 2016

Man's World

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter M.


I am a feminist. I disagree that a woman's place is in her home, unless that's where she wants it to be.  I disagree that a man shouldn't have to pull his own weight around the house.  I find the way 95% of households run, where the woman is responsible for the lion's share of the daily chores and childcare, absolutely unfair and frankly, bullshit.  I am a feminist, but I perpetuate all of the aforementioned habits in my own life and don't know how to fix it.

My husband tells me all the time, "if you need help, just tell me what you need".  I have 2 big problems with this: 1) I should not have to delegate chores to another adult and 2) it's not "helping me".  These are not MY responsibilities alone.  It is OUR house, OUR mess, OUR responsibility.  So implying that stepping up is simply a way to help ME only reinforces the mindset that the household chores belong to the female in the home rather than the entire family. When I feel like I'm being forced into a role I don't want to fill, I become defiant and passive aggressively fight against it by not doing a damn thing for days on end.

This isn't to say that my husband doesn't do anything around the house.  Recently he's ramped up going through boxes of stuff, trying to organize and make our world less cluttered.  I appreciate this more than I can put into words b/c a lot of it is his Mom's, and I know how important it is for him to go through all of that and determine what he wants to keep and what he wants to toss or donate. He has also spent several afternoons over the last week or two trying to get our yard in shape for Spring and Summer.  Yet another thing I appreciate him doing b/c it's hard for me to do much yard work with a curious and active toddler constantly trying to hurt or kill herself when we're outside. Also, I hate doing yard work.  Still, I find that the burden of laundry, dishes, toilet scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, and picking up the house rests squarely on my shoulders.  I try to set up a chore routine with my teenager so that she can take on some of the household stuff, but fail at enforcing it.  It's a vicious cycle.

I've recently found myself in one of these ruts and have pulled back from doing much around the house as a way to see if anyone else would take the initiative to clean up.  The answer is no.  No one does.  The sink and counters are covered in dishes, the bathroom floor is almost always littered with dirty clothes (none of them mine b/c I carry mine to the laundry room every day), the living room floor is a war zone of toys everywhere, just begging to be stepped on.  It's AWFUL.  And as much as I want to keep letting it go and hoping this will incite change, I know it won't.  I will give in, tired of the mess, embarrassed by the pile of laundry that takes up 3/4 of a full couch, and sick of the funky smell wafting through the house from the kitchen sink.  

As wrong as it is, I have a vagina, and therefore the expectation is that my worth is measured by the state of my house.  If it's clean and organized, I'm a "good woman" and if it's a disaster, I'm obviously a failure.  It's not that I don't want the house to look nice.  Quite the opposite. I want our house to be neat and orderly, to reflect the pride we feel in owning our forever home; I just don't think it's my job to be the only one who makes it happen.  If I were a man, no one would bat an eye at the mess.  It would be lovingly referred to as a "bachelor pad".  Now you tell me how that is even remotely fair?!  Because my parts don't dangle, I am held to a different standard and certain expectations are placed on me?!  Why?!  I don't expect my husband to be a mechanic or love football, two things that are considered the epitome of manhood.  I don't find him less of a man b/c he prefers music over woodworking.  Why do I have a progressive view of gender roles (or the need to *not* have them), and women are still expected to fit a certain criteria?  I am supposed to cook good meals, have a spotless house, and a rockin' body after birthing humans from it.  I'm also expected to not get pissy about it; I should always smile and not's unrealistic!

I tell you, some days I wish I had been born with a penis.  I'm a female but this is very clearly a man's world.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Template by | Header Image by Freepik