Why Gender Roles Are Stupid
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I have had the privilege of growing up in a very interesting household. My dad is hugely chivalrous (now you know where I get it from), but my mother is very strong and independent. This is one of the reasons why I believe that a man can be chivalrous without minimizing or insulting a woman’s independence.
Though, there are plenty of other things to be observed within this, and other modern relationships.
Primarily, gender roles are stupid.
Women are supposed to cook and clean and “stay in the kitchen” while men are supposed to go cut down trees in the backyard for firewood and grunt and chug beer and demand his woman bring him a sandwich.
What a load of crap.
In modern day, successful relationships, this line has been more than blurred – it has been completely erased.
Of course there are things that, naturally, men and women separate in relationships. There are understood “responsibilities” that fall on each person due to natural abilities or talents – but when one needs help with something, it’s time for the other to step up.
We need to be willing to pick up the slack. Times are not like they used to be – our women are out in the work force hustling and building their own lives.
They are strong, independent, and might even make more money than we do. This means if you’ve got a home, she has more responsibilities than just taking care of it.
Is the laundry strewn across the bed, but she is too busy or stressed out to worry about it? Pick it up and fold it – why wouldn’t you?
Does she work late or run her own business? Get into the kitchen and cook for her. Pour her a glass of wine for when she’s ready, and help her unwind after a long day. These are great ways to show your woman that you respect and appreciate what she does on a daily basis.
These things aren’t a “woman’s job,” they are a person’s job – and when you are in a relationship, you are one half of a team, and teams can’t function if the members don’t work together. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.
This goes both ways. A good man will do anything to help and support his woman, but that doesn’t mean a woman’s job is to sit and be pampered by her man. If you have a good man who is willing to step up and help out, showing him your appreciation by reciprocation is key.
No matter how great someone is, feeling unappreciated for their actions will eventually cause them to slow down and stop.
Does your man need help with the landscaping? Is he busting his ass shoveling after a snowstorm? How about helping him cleaning his car?
You certainly don’t have to take over and do the heavy lifting for him (and he shouldn’t let you anyway), but stepping in to offer a hand in assistance will be appreciated and give you both a sense of accomplishment after completing something together.
The point here is, there is no honor in sitting around and waiting for your significant other to do what they’re “supposed to do.” It will be less productive, efficient, and probably breed resentment that you don’t pull your weight. Times have changed, and so have relationships and what makes them successful.
Perhaps in the 50’s, when men had to work and women could only stay home and take care of the kids, certain things were expected from each gender.
But, it’s not the 50’s anymore – and we shouldn’t act like it, either.
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- Can Chivalry And Equality Co-Exist? (jamesmsama.wordpress.com)
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This is a great point. I love to cook for my boyfriend, and he not only tells me how much he loves all my cooking but also does the dishes after dinner every time! I wipe down the counters and put leftovers away but then its time for me to relax. I cannot tell you how nice it is to sit and finish my wine after I just spent hours in the kitchen preparing a meal and not have to deal with the dishes, this is a sweet thing that I will never stop thanking him for. Growing up in an old school italian family, men doing dishes or even bringing their dishes to the sink does not happen, so this is a nice compromise I think, I still cook for you, and you help me clean up, perfect!
He’s a keeper, Italian Girl in Boulder!
I used to do that exact same thing. Had no problem doing dishes and cleaning the table. I even put stuff away. But then it got to the point that I was getting corrected on what shelf to put leftovers on, what dishes needed to be rinsed, and a bunch of other stuff. Not saying I wouldn’t have done it correctly, but make sure not to get baggy or directive. We aren’t mind readers
Thanks Huntress626 Ill keep that in mind. And to mike, Ill keep that in mind as well, he is even more careful then I am on what to put in the dishwasher and what to hand wash so he’s pretty much got it down. But if theres ever a moment where something to go wrong ill make sure to not get baggy or directive. Thanks for the tip! 🙂
Great ways to neutralize gender lines, James. I personally believe in the distruction of them and just do things as a team effort, not a woman’s job or a man’s job. 🙂
I know this isn’t the main point of this article, but the title brought to mind my theory on the “primal” roles, or functions of the sexes. Basically my theory is:
The primal essence of a man is strength, while the primal essence of a woman is beauty. The strength of a man arouses the beauty of a woman, while the beauty of a woman arouses the strength of a man.
When you think about it, this is true even down to the anatomical level. When brought together, a man’s physical “manhood”, when aroused, shows forth strength. When a woman’s physical “womanhood” is aroused, it opens like a beautiful flower.
I can’t help but to agree this point because I know it is true for me. Although I do not believe gender roles or the act of labeling a certain household chore as masculine or feminine, seeing man extrude strength is a huge turn on for me. Taking charge of situations, giving direction, even protection, are all things that I have attractive in a man and can be done in the simplest of ways.
So yes, I believe in primal versus gender roles.
I disagree. I’m a guy and personally i’m attracted to women that are strong independent and intelligent. As in I would rather date a smart strong girl with plain features than a dumb submissive supermodel. Plus I’m not really strong in any way and I have no interest in stereotypical “guy” things, so like I don’t care about tools or sports and I’m terrible at fixing things.
My dad always got home before my mom because she owns her own business and works late. My dad cooked and cleaned. During the weekend, my mom would take over the duties. Teamwork.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
I must admit I was a little skeptical about where you were going to go with this post but I LOVE IT!! It’s all about utilizing our individual skills, working together and helping each other out. As you said, “TEAMWORK”.
[…] I’m a bit surprised and heartened to see that James Sama appears to agree with me in, “Why Gender Roles Are Stupid,” as that didn’t seem to be the case in his other […]
My 6 yr old son puts it well- you don’t get dessert when you sit around and are lazy!
I agree for the most part. While I would appreciate the offer, I wouldn’t want her to help clean off my car in the snow. I think it would be awesome to walk back inside the house to fresh hot chocolate or something to show appreciation and care though. I prefer anything heavy or dirty to be my job but I still like to feel like its appreciated rather than have her act like it’s just a requirement (even if it is something I require of myself). It actually makes me feel good when I get to take my girlfriends trash out or she waits for me to carry heavy things inside for her, i just enjoy it. But I’m not rigid in my roles at all, I often cook for her and she does the dishes when I do. So i agree that stereotypical gender roles aren’t necessary, just communicate and find out who prefers to do what and who enjoys receiving what from their partner- then come up with a plan that works for both of you or if it’s something she wants you to do but you don’t enjoy, surprise her and do it from time to time. I personally don’t enjoy cooking because I’m not good at it and she has never asked me to do it but I’m a hopeless romantic and truly enjoy pampering my girl. She just mentioned tonight how she would like to learn how to change a tire but that she would still call me and friends first rather than change it if she had a choice. Perfect answer for me, I like strong independent women and wouldn’t date someone I didn’t think was capable of doing or trying most things herself but I also like feeling needed.