I saw this meme on Facebook today and it made me think.
Our society pushes these stereotypes and it’s up to us to reject them as well as to protest when someone tries to force us into those roles or shame us for not following those roles.
Insulting men who cook or clean is common, and some men refuse to learn not because they are spoiled brats but because they’re giving in to peer pressure that calls them pussies for doing housework.
And women face the same problems, being insulted for not being “lady-like” when they enjoy fixing cars or building things.
My wife, award-winning artist Heidi Hooper, faced a lot of that in her past, especially when we were younger, growing up in the south, and dealing with long-held stereotypes. Being told women can’t do metalwork made her study metal sculpting. And there were many times when we’d go into a hardware store and this would happen:
Clerk: Good day, sir, can I help you find something?
Me: (points to Heidi)
Heidi: Yes, I need (obscure tool I know nothing about).
Clerk: (glances at me, concerned, turns back to Heidi): What do you need it for?
Heidi: I know exactly what I need it for. Now where is it?
Society pushes us and pressures us into these stereotypes and it’s up to us to refuse to be placed into these neat little boxes. But, depending on your family, religion, and other factors, it may be harder for some than others to break out of the mold.
So don’t necessarily insult men who fall into the stereotypes and don’t know how to do basic housework; instead, encourage them and let them know it’s all right to do these things.
Unless they really are spoiled brats who are just using it as an excuse. To Hell with those guys.
My husband lived alone for 11 years before we married. You bet he knew how to cook, clean, and do his own laundry. In fact, he had to teach me some of the finer points of those things, since I had lived at home until we married, and didn’t have to fend for myself.
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i really enjoy your articles and cartoons. you have an objective, intelligent insight into things.
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