For some reason I am seeing a lot of this type of sexism all over my facebook feed today. It’s irritating, annoying, and demeaning to men. Yes, I said men. But it’s something that hurts women, too. It’s those annoying posts lists with titles like “25 dumbest things husbands do” or “Reasons why men can’t be trusted with a baby.”
Do we really expect so little of the husbands and fathers in our life? Reinforcing the stereotype of bumbling idiot husband/dad doesn’t help us any in trying to achieve some kind of equitable division of labor in the home – it reinforces old gender roles and lets men get a free pass. “Oh, don’t let him change the diaper, he’ll do it wrong,” means he’ll never bother to try and has a great excuse not to. And, “He can’t cook, he can barely boil water,” gives him no motivation to learn.
Seriously, people? Do you think so little of the men in your life? In a country where the fine dining industry is dominated by male chefs, is it really that hard to believe that a man can competently make spaghetti? Do you really believe that a guy who can fix a car can’t figure out the mechanics of a lousy diaper?
Set the bar higher than “doofus” level, and don’t lump domestic chores into the “women’s work” category. It does everyone a disservice. Stop sharing this derogatory crap and start expecting more of men and boys. If we don’t expect them to be able to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or get the kids to school on time, it’s not surprising that we don’t expect them to be able to make it through a day of school without ogling a girl in short shorts – or through life without assaulting someone.
You’ll be surprised and how often people will live up – or down – to your expectations. So make the standards high and hold the men in your life to them. Women often face absolutely impossibly high expectations these days, so the least we can do is give the guys we love some middling-high ones.
Ok, end of rant. Do you think it’s fair/reasonable to expect more of the men in your life?