This is a bona-fide rant, and something that has bothered me for a long time. Just in time for Thanksgiving, when millions of American women will be slaving away in the kitchen while the men drink beer and watch football.

Yesterday I had the misfortune to happen upon a blog called “The Super-Duper Wife”, or some such nonsense. In it, the authoress described herself as one who vacillates between tomboy and glamour puss, keeps a spotless house, yada yada yada. I had to wonder what audience this was meant for.

I would rather read a novel or take a beating than scrub toilets and floors in order to please a man or anyone for that matter. I am consistently astonished when I see television commercials for cleaning products featuring women wielding a “Swifter” or a “Dyson” or a toilet brush and “Soft Scrub”. “Soft Scrub”?!?? Who cares if you scratch your toilet? These women are smiling and toiling away, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. There is nary a man to be seen.

I understand Madison Avenue. I know that most men will not shop for cleaning products, let alone clean willingly and without force. Save for the few Felix Unger fussbudgets out there, it is a market designed for and strategically focused toward women. It plays into a very deep-rooted campaign started in the ‘50s that isolated women from the outside world and kept them supposedly blissfully happy by providing them with all the “convenience” of a modern washer/dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, stove. What it succeeded in doing was imprisoning them, unpaid slaves to the American Dream, while any creative endeavors they may have harbored were firmly pushed aside as they were told that this is a better way of life for them.

It still happens to this day. I worked with many women who worked very hard at their jobs all day long, only to have to leave to race to pick up the children from day care so that they may get home in time to fix dinner for their husband and kids and help with homework and then clean-up. They would come in early so they could leave a few minutes early in order to not have to pay the day-care penalty for late pick-up. When I would ask why can’t their husband pick-up the kids, they would tell me with a straight face “well, he can’t leave his job”. But you can? No wonder we are still not taken seriously.

My mother-in-law is shocked that young women today do not cook. When I ask her “why should they?” she becomes downright indignant, as if this is the worst possible character defect a woman could possess. She then rattles off a list of things she did as a young housewife. When I remind her that she did not have a full-time job, which most women are required to have nowadays in order to sustain the two-income lifestyle we have come to believe is necessary in order to achieve happiness, she counters that she raised four children. Did I mention they had a “live-in”? It is hopeless to argue with her generation.

All I can say is, ladies, please don’t buy into this sham. If you really get a kick out of keeping a spotless house, then by all means, do so, but not at the expense of your happiness. No one likes a martyr. My house is neat, but by no means spotless. Everyone who visits says they like my house, because it looks like someone LIVES there. Books and magazines stacked by the bed, a few tufts of cat hair strewn about, counter top decked with keys and glasses and Group-ons that need using. I won’t waste my energy caring if someone judges me because of a few dust bunnies. I prefer to use my energy to learn, and create, and hopefully be a good example to a younger generation that I see not buying into this insidious brain-washing that makes women feel they have to “have it all”. They don’t HAVE it all. They have to DO it all.

I guess my point here is, stop feeding the whole fallacy that it is your job to keep the house clean, and the kids busy and perfect, and your husband fed and fulfilled, all while climbing the corporate ladder while you receive little in return for this “second shift”. Even if you are fortunate enough to not have to work a full-time job, there is no glory in it. There is a reason Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven. From what I understand from my friends, the oven is no longer a viable option, as suicide would be construed as another failure. Most turn to wine. Gallons of it. Now this I can understand. Anesthetize yourself, and the rest will follow. At least you won’t care if the turkey is dry.

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Comments

David Dodd Nov. 22, 2010 @ 10:22 a.m.

Yeah, I'm a house-husband at the moment. I think that women have been on the crap-end of the stick for a long time. Before, when I worked out and the wife stayed home, I never said a word about the house. It isn't perfect, and I kind of like it that way. Hope she doesn't mind my sloppy house-keeping either ;)

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MsGrant Nov. 22, 2010 @ 10:31 a.m.

I'll bet she is just happy that you ATTEMPT, RFG. You're a good egg. I love my father-in-law to death, but I swear that man would not know how to turn on the stove if he had to. I just saw a friend in the store the other day. She has two kids and the "traditional" life-style of stay-at-home mom. When I asked how she was, she said "tired". This is what I hear from women all the time. Tired.

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nan shartel Nov. 22, 2010 @ 11:56 a.m.

i love u beyond belief in the most platonic way possible.....hahahahahahahahaha...BIG SMOOCH....

and i'm not cooking this year so that a turkey's family won't be deprived of it's stuffing winner ;-D

~~a note from the burn ur bra era~~

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MsGrant Nov. 22, 2010 @ 12:18 p.m.

Burn it all, I say!! Aprons, oven mitts, the whole shebang!! I mean honestly, do you think we would even have Thanksgiving if women were unwilling to do all the work? The only men I know who cook on the holidays are getting paid to do it.

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nan shartel Nov. 22, 2010 @ 12:25 p.m.

and they won't even let us be on the football teams!!!

hey maybe there's some women's hockey on that day to watch!!!

slammin' those boards!!!

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MsGrant Nov. 22, 2010 @ 12:31 p.m.

Oh, just try to change the station. And while you're at it, could you grab me another beer? ;)

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MsGrant Nov. 22, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

I know, huh, it kind of sounds like a word you would hear in an erectile dysfunction ad ;)

Don't get me started on those.....:)

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antigeekess Nov. 22, 2010 @ 9:37 p.m.

"The only men I know who cook on the holidays are getting paid to do it."

Um, Grantie? My new male roomie is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for me. He cooked for me last night, too. And the night before that, actually. :)

Last night I chopped an onion, but only because I was trying to clear my sinuses. That's about as much as I've contributed so far. I offer to wash dishes, but he either won't let me, or stands there & does the rinse side.

You could say I "pay" him, I guess. He gets rent from me. Works as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, he's never been married, and seems to attract some fairly ardent (read crazy/unstable) female suitors. Takes great pride in referring to himself as a "confirmed bachelor" at 50, (while I of course, am a "spinster"). :p

I call him "Clooney." ;)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 23, 2010 @ 6:12 a.m.

This will be the first year in a long time that I am not cooking the entire t-day feast.

I'm planning on being sauced by noon!

  • Joe
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MsGrant Nov. 23, 2010 @ 7:28 a.m.

Anti, change his name to "Cloney" and send me a copy!! I know, there are men out there that cook and clean. But my exposure to them has been limited, and my experience in the past has been "Steves", who cook and leave an extraordinary mess for someone to clean up. Women still do the majority of the housework and child-rearing duties in dual income families, and much of that can be attributed to advertising. I would like to see this change. Sit-coms, too, that show fat, lazy men and their hot wives running around waiting on them hand and foot. NO, NO, NO!!

Joe, can I get your address? I wish I could get sauced, but I have to spend the day with the in-laws, and inappropriate drunken behavior is frowned upon. This is why for years I spent Thanksgiving with my family. It would not be a holiday without someone passing out in the potatoes!!

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antigeekess Nov. 23, 2010 @ 7:55 a.m.

"Sit-coms, too, that show fat, lazy men and their hot wives running around waiting on them hand and foot."

Yeah, isn't THAT amazing? Physically perfect actresses paired with homely fatties seem to be the TV norm, thereby perpetuating the myth in the minds of similar-looking guys that they all deserve a supermodel -- despite their own appearance. They sit there in all their toady glory, loudly critiquing women who are far better-looking than they will ever be.

For film, it's slightly different -- really OLD dudes paired with the young hot female. :/

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MsGrant Nov. 23, 2010 @ 8:06 a.m.

It's sad, that actresses like Charlize Theron are being "aged out". You can be an actress in your forties and still get a job - as long as you look like you are in your early thirties. I think movies are getting better - Love and Other Drugs pairs up two actors that are close in age. But seriously, if I have to see another Katherine Zeta-Jones/Sean Connory pairing I will barf!

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Joe Poutous Nov. 23, 2010 @ 8:51 a.m.

Ms. G, I won't be there, 2 family dinners this year.

I will be sitting on my toady ass, waited on hand and foot getting drunk on Jack and Thanksgiving cheer.

I'm looking forward to it!

  • Joe
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MsGrant Nov. 23, 2010 @ 9:04 a.m.

Ribbet!! Have fun, Joe - it's a great gig if you can get it!!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 23, 2010 @ 11:39 a.m.

"Sit-coms, too, that show fat, lazy men and their hot wives running around waiting on them hand and foot."

Yeah, isn't THAT amazing? Physically perfect actresses paired with homely fatties seem to be the TV norm, thereby perpetuating the myth in the minds of similar-looking guys that they all deserve a supermodel -- despite their own appearance.

Yes, I find this pretty funny and amusing myself, and you know it would never happens in real life (which also proves hot women are out for more than personality, which is their claim).

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MsGrant Nov. 23, 2010 @ 4:39 p.m.

SP, in real life they go for the guys with money. At least the smart ones do ;)

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MsGrant Nov. 24, 2010 @ 9:38 a.m.

Awww, Tiki, I'm just kidding!! True love has no monetary strings attached. I ADORE my husband and consider myself the luckiest gal on the planet. He has a few nickles to rub together, but we are not the Rockefellers. I think the happiest relationships are equitable. Both bring something to the table.

And he does do the dishes once in awhile ;)

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Joe Poutous Nov. 24, 2010 @ 11:47 a.m.

And there you have your reason to be thankful tomorrow (and every other day)!

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nan shartel Nov. 25, 2010 @ 11:12 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving doll...just think ur gonna be eating that turkey someone other then u cooked...hahahahahahahahahahahaha

and today's the day for Hubbie to bring something delicious to the table...u provide the cheese silly string!!! ;-D

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