Helpmate

Dr. Helen points us to this MSNBC article by Leslie Bennetts (author of The Feminist Mistake), which explores why “Men don’t do housework”.

According to the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, women spent an average of 27 hours a week on housework in 2002, while men spent 16 hours (which at least represents an improvement over the 16 seconds or so a lot of them spent a generation ago). Even today, married men perform little more than a third of household labor, whether or not their wives are in the paid labor force. And women spend more than twice as much time as men do on child care.
Ask your typical American dad what size shoes his children wear, and you will likely draw a blank stare. He has no idea. Guess who makes sure the kids’ toes aren’t poking through their sneakers?

She notes who gets the credit.

And yet everyone acts as if [my husband] deserves some kind of medal just for making a run to the supermarket. No one has ever suggested that I’m a heroine for doing the things every mother is expected to do. I admit that my husband helps out more than many men, but here’s another news flash: It isn’t because he’s such a fabulously enlightened being. Left to his own devices, he would doubtless park himself in front of the TV like some sitcom male-chauvinist couch potato while I did all the work. The reason [my husband] “helps” as much as he does (an offensive terminology that itself suggests who’s really being held responsible) is simple: He doesn’t have a choice.

Really? She then goes on to explain how she ensures that he doesn’t, and how she’s teaching her children to do likewise. Forensic psychologist Dr. Helen thinks otherwise.

No, ma’am, you are teaching your children that mommy is a nagging bitch and that you hold men in such contempt that you view them as children to do your bidding. You are teaching them that psychological warfare is the only way to get what you want. You overlook your husband’s strong points and what he brings to your family and see yourself, as you mention, as a heroine. Your narcissism is deafening and while you may think you are “striking a blow” for all womankind here, you are doing nothing more than teaching your children that manipulation and threats are the way to engage in a “loving” relationship.

Whew! And Ouch. And yes, the whole thing makes me glad I’m married to the AstroWife.

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Explore posts in the same categories: domestic, General, Personal, post-modernism

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