January 9, 2014

on gender roles

The other night as I was doing some ironing I realized a few important things:

A) I am very grateful that Freddie and I do not have high end corporate jobs where a wrinkly, not perfectly starched shirt would instantly put us on the loser list.

B) I really do not like ironing. At all. On any level.

C) I really do like chocolate. And chocolate breaks are a necessity when doing something as grotesque as ironing. 

You see, I went to a women's college. Go Scotties! Insert all the lesbian/women's college jokes you can think of because 1) I can make those jokes better than you and 2) I don't care. It was an amazing 5 years (college take me long time) and I cannot imagine having a better college experience. With a women's college comes a whole lotta raging (and I mean raging) feminists. Don't get me wrong, I believe in equality. I believe women are the higher, smarter, and most full of common sense gender, duh (wink). I've been around strong women my entire life. From the drop dead amazing world famous ballet teachers I studied under growing up to the 10+ girls with whom I grew up dancing and spending more time with than my own family. To the professors, the lecturers, the workers, the friends I met and made at Agnes Scott. To my mom!--all of these women made a huge impact on my life.

But but but but...

I like doing laundry. So sue me. Sue me and lock me up in a special unit set aside just for those of us fueling the gender stereotypes. I don't care. I'll still do laundry when I'm locked up in there. I enjoy feeling productive. When there are mounds of dirty clothes, washing/folding/putting away said dirty clothes feels productive. Probably because it is productive. Are there days when I don't want to do laundry? Yes. Do I do laundry those days? No. Guess what? I have a brain. I can decide whether to do or not to do laundry on any given day. 

On the other side of the spectrum...
I dislike cooking. Freddie loves cooking. GASP, but Freddie doesn't have a vagina. How do I keep my husband happy if I'm not serving him a warm dinner in my pearls and high heels as he walks in the door from work?! For starters, Freddie gets home before me. And when he gets home before me 9 times out of 10 he starts dinner and ho hums like a merry 'ole Julia Childs Jr. in the kitchen. Do I sit down and refuse to cook because I want to protest gender stereotypes? Hell. No. (excuse my French, Daddy-O). I sit down and eat Freddie's delicious creations because I am hungry, he cooks amazingly well, and he loves cooking almost more than he loves me singing. Which is a lot, by the way.
Freddie, could you please stop cooking? It looks really unappetizing and I would much rather do it--said no one ever.

Him cooking also gives me more time to do the laundry.
That's a joke. Laugh!

Lookie there, a little give and take. A little compromise. A little living in the gender stereotypes and a little living on the edge of gender stereotypes. You know what makes a relationship work? Heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, transgender--all of them. It works when the people in the relationship use their skills, their talents, their passions to benefit the relationship as a whole.
Holding hands and getting along. Happy as clams. 

Should I sit on my booty and refuse to do anything cooking/cleaning/general housekeeping related because I shouldn't have to live trapped by female gender stereotypes. No. Because that's dumb. I said it. Dumb because Freddie and I both do these things together. Do I leave dirty dishes in the sink? Yes, sometimes. Does Freddie leave dirty dishes in the sink? Yes, sometimes. Do I always go back and clean said dirty dishes? No, because sometimes Freddie has beat me to it. Aha! God dang him taking away all my wifely duties...

 Maybe I should stop washing my hands, too. In protest of, ya know, being told to do something my whole life. That'll show 'em!  

The point is...this is an argument that will never end. There will always be men who are jerks and women who are being treated unfairly. There will always be women who are jerks and men who are being treated unfairly. And there will always be a ton of women (and some men) on the sidelines protesting their place in this world.  Maybe instead of trying to beat a solution out of the stereotypical world we should all take a little bit of time to focus on finding happiness within ourselves. Within our situations. Within our lives. 

Unlike this argument never ending, this blog post will have an end. An end where I say, screw it, raging feminist Facebook friends. I'm bleeping happy with my life, my marriage and my place in both.

Freaking, bleeping happy.
But Freddie does have to always kill the roaches. Period.


Bhumi said...

Tell 'em girlfran! I like baking and laundry and cooking AND equality!

And So I Did said...

I enjoy cooking, baking, and cleaning (for the productivity feeling and the benefit of a clean house) and I think I should be allowed to do whatever I want for the simple reason that I WANT TO DO IT! Haha! :) My hubby helps out, and when we get a house, he'll get to do the things I don't want to do. :) Yay! BTW, loved the holding hands happy as clams. :)

Kodi Jensen said...

I think some of those "gender stereotypes" are what us attract us to the opposite sex. One of my favorite things about marriage is never having to carry anything heavy when Ross is around. Am I capable? Yes. Do I do it on my own when he's not there? Yes. But I love when he is there, because I don't enjoy carrying heavy things, it's easier for him and he loves to do it for me. I also do a lot of housework, not because I like it, but because Ross works longer hours than me and I'd rather it be done when he gets home so we can relax together. Just like you said, if it benefits the relationship, I'm all for it. Love this post girl!

Jenna Griffin said...

Oh my goodness, that food photo looks delicious! Is that scallops and grits? Do share the recipe! :)

On gender roles, I'm just so happy (and blessed) that my husband doesn't mind cleaning--in fact, he's a little obsessed and I'm definitely not! Ha!

Kayla MKOY said...

I like doing laundry, too!!! I loved this post. You are so happy! :) also I really love how you sneaked those wedding pictures in here...hehe

Susannah said...

I'd say you guys do it 100% right!!! Gender steryotypes are dumb but we can totally fall into them and that's NOT dumb. Yeah. So there. ;-)


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