Me: “Honey, it’s your turn to empty the dishwasher. And, if you have a minute after that, why don’t you go ahead and throw a load of whites in the washer? Thank you, sweetie. ”
Husband: “Girl, please. You know you didn’t marry me to help with housework. You married me so I could protect you and provide for you. Now why don’t you scoot your cute little behind over there and get crackin’ on those womanly chores because deep down, you know you just want to make my life easier and better.”
Simmer down. Feminism isn’t dead … at least not at my house. The above scenario is far from how a conversation about division of household chores would play out between my husband and me.
My husband knows better. If he ever made such a statement to me, I’d be divorced and in jail for assault, possibly worse. And as much as I love me some Piper Chapman, orange is NOT the new black. I have red hair and pasty white skin and prison scrubs aren’t a good look for me.
But seriously. If you’re thinking the above scenario doesn’t happen in a present-day marriage, think again. Check this out:
When I first saw this I thought this had to be some kind of spoof. Satire. But nope. It’s the real deal.
Blogger Lori Alexander of the “inspirational” website Always Learning believes wives are meant to be subservient to their husbands and to take care of the home and family while big daddy goes out to earn a living. She assures us wives will be much happier when they settle down and accept their place in life blah blah blah … and a bunch of other stuff from the 1950s. And maybe also the Middle Ages.
Alexander’s zinger is that men “just aren’t homemaking oriented.” My eyes rolled so hard I thought they were in danger of getting stuck in the back of my head.
Alexander’s Facebook post has been shared over 25k times over the past few days and the comments are all over the map.
There was polite logic. One reader points out that “having boobs and a uterus didn’t make her uniquely qualified to clean toilets” and that “a man’s penis doesn’t make him uniquely qualified to be a provider.”
I like this woman. A lot.
There were affirmations and “Atta girls.” One reader commented, “I love this and will remember it for when I meet God’s will and get married.”
The majority of responses fell into the “what the freakity freak am I reading?” category. I think my favorite was the “barfing” emoji.
I get that her values and beliefs are different than mine. She appears deeply grounded in her faith. And also deeply grounded in 1956. If you scroll through her Facebook page, you can get a feel for what she’s all about. She slams women for being “more interested in higher education” than “getting married, bearing children, and raising them at home full time.” She encourages women not to let a little thing like a cheating husband lead you to divorce. There’s probably more. I had to stop.
My own marriage can be summed up as 60 percent great, 20 percent “okay,” and 20 percent “OMG that man drives me up a flipping wall.” I’m a firm believer in “you do you.” If Lori Alexander is happy in a marriage where she has exclusive dibs on all the dirty, nasty household chores, more power to her.
If you check out the pictures on her blog, she’s raising sons. And daughters. That’s right. Some lucky woman is someday going to land a young man raised by a woman who thinks wives should put themselves last in a relationship. By a woman who values “making her husband’s life easier and better” more than education, equal partnership, and self-respect.
My husband and I have been dual career parents. We’ve taken turns being the stay-at-home parent. Whoever spends the most time at home usually does the housework. It’s tied to schedules and presence, not gender. It works for us.
My husband might be “the man of the house.” He might be the breadwinner. But he still lives there and he can wash a damn dish now and then without it being categorized as a favor.
We have two sons that see their dad making dinner and sweeping the kitchen floor when mom has a deadline, and sometimes for no reason at all. Or because I’ve stated, “I don’t feel like cooking.” They’ve been taught from a very young age that chores come with being a part of our family. I’ll be damned if I let clueless, sexist males loose on the world in about 15 years.
I didn’t marry my husband because I needed a protector or a provider. I married him because I love him and wanted to share my life with him … and that sometimes includes sharing a sink full of dirty dishes.
Sounds like “Always Learning” might have some more learning to do about what womanhood, motherhood, and self-respect are all about in the 21st century.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get after my husband to get those dishes done.