It Cuts Both Ways

I have previously written about getting my sons to take over the women's work. That went remarkably well, much better than most of the stories I hear from people on this planet who are trying to figure out how to escape traditional gender roles.

I had a female coworker at Aflac who was the primary breadwinner in her marriage. Her unemployed husband didn't seem to do anything at all at home. She would go home after work to find he had been playing video games and expected her to cook.

Men seem to routinely discount the value of "women's work" while very often assuming that it will get done for them. I don't think this is necessarily intentional. I think in many cases, they genuinely have a blind spot.

Things like racism, sexism and classism are insidious and persistent precisely because the people who perpetuate them often are largely unaware of the ways in which they perpetuate them. I am convinced of this in part because of how often they perpetuate them while simultaneously complaining of how they are suffering.

I personally know at least one man whom I believe is pretty miserable because his lady is basically after his money and he knows it. I believe he would like to have a relationship with a woman who actually cares about him as a human being. Yet this same man is incapable of treating women like real equals in a way that would open doors for them and allow them to make their own money on par with the guys.

So, he is part of the problem and I believe he genuinely fails to see the connection between the two things. His left hand does not know what his right is doing.

Although I think gold diggers are stupid, clueless fools, I do get that it seems to some women like an easy answer in a world where a serious, well-paid career for a woman is a horrendous uphill slog against long odds. Even when women are quite rich, they still tend to be outclassed by the guys. Janet Jackson is a multi-millionaire. Her most recent husband was both younger than her and a billionaire.

I briefly had a relationship with a man where we talked about me being the primary breadwinner. It didn't last long in part because it quickly became clear that he was looking for a free ride. He very clearly thought this meant that we would have sex, I would support him financially and his sole contribution to the relationship would be the sex. In other words, he expected to get his sexual needs met and get paid for it to boot.

He couldn't come across with anything I needed and rapidly began backpedaling on all promises with a whole lot of "Babe, you gotta understand..." No, I don't gotta understand nothing. I was looking for short term fun, not a long term relationship, you user.

Most men seem incapable of genuinely grasping the concept that being a homemaker is hard work and supporting their SO's career is real work that actually enhances their earning capacity. They seem to imagine that their job is the hard one and women's work -- "Well, it's not like it's real work, is it?"

Of course, that cuts both ways. Many women equally get on my nerves with lusting after male power and privilege and clearly not grasping that it also involves serious burdens and sacrifices. They, too, seem dismissive, like "It's not like it's hard, is it?"

My father and ex husband were both career military, so I am very well aware of the high cost men pay for their "manly jobs." Men tend to have shorter lifespans than women. The deadliest jobs tend to be male jobs. The jobs that routinely maim people and send them home permanently handicapped tend to be male jobs as well.

Everyone seems to want the bennies, but not the burdens. If only life worked that way.

Comments

Chen said…
Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your perspective. I came across your blog from a HackerNews comment where you talked about people not being interested in your writing. I don't have much to add except for my agreement with what you said. I think true social equality is a bit far off -- and many people still don't want that, even if they say that we should all have equal rights and equal opportunities.

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