Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Don't Mind Gender Roles

Insomuch as they are agreed upon mutually, as is very difficult in casual encounters.

Let me explain.

This morning, I was laying in bed.  The kids were all downstairs, had served themselves breakfast, and the eldest three, along with my wife, were preparing to go out for the morning.

I was enjoying the warmth of my blankets.  I had slept, as usual, with one eye open the whole night and was keeping it closed so it could tear up completely and stop the dryness from irritating it so greatly.  My phone was in the other room.  My laptop was under the bed.

Yes, it was a typical Sunday morning.

I heard Kristine coming up the stairs and listened to the deliberate nature of her step.  My heart dropped.  I knew it.  She was going to ask me to do something.  To wrest me from my restful place.  Tear me from my warmth.  I became irritable inside.

"Honey, can you be a gentleman and go clear last night's snowfall off the car?  It's kinda cold outside."

Really?  She knows how I feel about gender roles!  How could she ask me to be a chivalrous gentleman, knowing full well that ploy won't work on me?  But then, I realized that she really wasn't asking me to do it because I was a man.  She was asking me because I handle cold better than she does, I had no makeup to put on, I didn't need to dress myself in anything other than baseball print PJ bottoms, a leopard thong, and a muscle shirt.  No, I was available and up to the task.

But was that really it?  So what if she looked at me and said, "He's a man.  He can get that.  I'm a woman.  I don't need to."

As long as I am okay with that premise, who really cares what her perspective is?  After all, my wife knows that she can do anything she wants to in life and is not restricted to a certain role for all of her life's decisions.  She is not relegated to the kitchen, exclusively, as a homemaker and a mother.  Not to mention, our daughters also know this fact of life.

She also knows that I don't and will not take care of my girls bra shopping, training on how to insert a tampon, shaving legs for the first time, or even discussing how to emotionally emasculate a deserving ex-boyfriend.  Those are her duties.  I know it.  She knows it.  More importantly, they know it.  And finally, all men who meet my daughters will know what they're up against - women who can think for themselves.

I'm more than happy to be the gentleman that clears the snow off the car, lifts heavy objects, buys roses from a gas station (they're cheaper and last longer [trufax!]) to show my undying love, drinks the coffee she makes, scrubs the floors on my hands and knees, tells the kids to "suck it up!" when they get a boo boo, and belches loudly in a funeral.

That's me.  I'm a man.  And she's okay with that.

On the flip side, she, being the woman, can handle all the fights I might get in, in life.  She's a black belt and I've never thrown a punch.  She can do all the navigation for me on short and long trips.  And finally, when she makes it big as a CEO one day, she can bring home the bacon while I sit in my office chair and write.

I love gender roles.


  1. nice!
    Sometimes all that matters is that the job gets done, though I do understand the appeal of a lie-in on a Sunday morning.

  2. It's one thing to be yourselves and another to use patriarchal language to reinforce gender stereotypes. Do you want your kids to think you have to do all the heavy lifting because you're the man and it'd be "unfeminine" for your wife to do so? Do you want your daughters to be afraid to belch because that's a "daddy" thing and they're not boys? How hard can it be to just say "Can you do me a favor" instead of "Can you be a gentleman", making the message that the person who is better suited for a job should do it instead of the message being that the person who has a penis should do it?

    1. Understood. Such was the purpose of the tongue in cheek nature of this post.