As I said here, my marriage is sexist.
I don’t know why it’s sexist.
I don’t think we’re sexist.
Perhaps it’s better labeled ‘traditional.’
Only, I don’t think we’re terribly traditional.
By popular opinion, it seems that by getting married, having babies and staying home for most of the last fourteen years, I’ve failed to be a proper feminist.
They said I could be anything I wanted?
I didn’t keep my maiden name, or hyphenate it.
I probably should have kept my maiden name. Everyone could say it and spell it.
The truth is, I married at 25, not thinking about anything other than how to keep The Mister in my bed forever.
(Being in touch with my sexuality does give me feminist points.)
Looking back, I know the decision to get married was not particularly informed, but it was a sorta knowing I couldn’t escape.
The Mister is a good man. (For a man.) He’s descended from a long line of good men. (For men.) I’m not particularly fond of men, as I said here. Generally, I see them as people who are not women, and I love women. It could be that I’ve not met enough men, but men often disappoint me, whereas women impress me more often than not.
My plan at age 24 was not to get married. I thought perhaps I would be that madly eccentric auntie everyone adores. I had a cat, a lot of books and plants, and a tendency to break hearts. I thought maybe when I was really old, (the age I am now) if I wanted a child, I would maybe go to a sperm bank or somethin.
I did not want to merge, to share, to have anyone else’s expectations put upon me. I couldn’t see the possibility of marital bliss, because I didn’t believe in marital bliss.
To me, men were specifically for sex, protection, and shit like putting my bed together. Don’t get me wrong, I value(d) some of those men for more than their bodies, but mostly not.
So it’s not really a surprise that I married a Marine, with mechanical ability, for the hot sex, now is it?
I took on two kids, had two more, and topped out at two cats and a dog, which really cuts down on the time you have to devote to houseplants and books, by the way.
I cook, I clean, I launder, I sew, I garden, I scrapbook, I …. I’m very domesticated.
The Mister brings home the bacon, yeah?
He doesn’t cook it. He rarely even makes his own sammich.
If he’s home, I don’t pump gas, I don’t clean up broken glass, or clean up vomit.
If he’s home, I don’t take kids to get shots, and I don’t take out the trash.
I don’t mow the grass. Ever.
We like our clearly-defined traditional gender roles. They suit us.
When I married this man, I told him I would follow him to the ends of the earth.
Sometimes bitches say stupid shit…
So when people wonder why I’m not getting a job first, it’s because that’s not my role. My role depends on his job’s hours, demands, and pay. It also depends on where we live, and getting a second car. In fact, my role actually depends on everyone and everything else. I won’t work until we have a second car, and I won’t take a job until the girls are enrolled in school, and we won’t be getting a car until we have a home, and we won’t be getting a home until he’s secured a good job…and, and, and…this is not about ME.
We chose that. We choose it again every day.
(Usually. I have worked outside the home as needed, and inside the home for money, as well.)
I’ve had the urge to go to work for a few years now. It’s never been a good time. It’s not a good time now. At some point it will be a good time. The Mister isn’t forbidding me to work, and he’s certainly not asking me to. Isn’t he a good feminist for supporting my decisions?
(I should totally go make him a sammich in gratitude!)
I am not stupid enough to think that somehow, when I go to work, since I am making money, too, my husband will take up half my duties and we will live happily ever after. I’ve done it before, with the same man, and I know how it’s going to be. He’s not going to take up the art of sandwich-making or dividing Allium bulbs. I’m not going to say, “No, baby, you go ahead and finish icing the cake, I’ll unclog the toilet.”
Although the Mister isn’t unemployed yet, he’s been home every day for months, and yet, hasn’t taken up cooking, laundry, or quilting. He helps here and there, and he always parents, but the roles are still the same.
When our children have all moved out, the roles will still be the same.
We are in this new chapter, and I want a new life. New life will be without deployments and training that take The Mister away for months at a time.
New life will let him provide some of the stability, too.
New life is no longer composed of two little kids and two babies.
New life doesn’t mean I’m going to work 40+ hours a week and stop makin sammiches….
No one wants that, because apparently, my sandwiches taste better than the ones they make themselves. I think it’s a sham, but it’s a small price to pay for knowin no one licked the mayo off the knife and stuck it back in the jar, as well as my being fully satisfied in the knowledge that the mayo is not touching the cheese. *nods*
Why is cooking said to be a woman’s role, when most of the world’s best chefs are men? My dad and my father cook more than my mother, are they better feminists? Couldn’t it just be that some people are good cooks who enjoy cooking, and other people are not?
If neither person is a good cook who enjoys cooking, doesn’t the couple just hire someone or dine out?
When I ask my husband to cook, he takes me out or orders take-out.
My husband makes me coffee almost every single day.
My husband has been known to take the children out on Saturday morning, so I can sleep in.
Don’t people do these things for their partners, regardless of gender?
The Mister teases me that I’m spoiled, and yet, tells me I’m deserving.
Obviously, he’s pretty fantastic. This blog will never tell you otherwise.
If you read me long enough, you will come to the conclusion that my husband is a god among men, (because I say he is) and he surely deserves more than my neurotic ass.
I speak so highly of him, when I first joined Facebook, people didn’t even think he was real.
Fortunately for me, he is real, he thinks my neurotic ass is fabulous.
And I don’t mean literally my ass. Although I’m okay with my literal ass being objectified by my husband. Which it is.
Now, I’ll stop, so that you don’t slip and slide on some ooey gooey love shit, but I’m just sayin, we’re awfully contented within our sexist marriage.
But what do you expect from a bad sammich-makin feminist and her macho man?
Men in uniform are dangerously sexy… *sigh*
Yes. Yes, they are… *sigh*
A couple of things. First, slap your man’s ass while grunting who-ah and thank him from me for his service to the US of A. Second, my wife works 40 hour weeks, but her sammiches taste better than mine so she makes those. Seriously, her grilled cheese is ridiculous good. I cook most every dinner, but she does the sammiches. Finally, great post. Women and men fall into roles based on who’s good at what. God bless you for staying home with your kids. We wish my wife could have done that. She is a great mom and employee at work, but she always feels a little guilt about not being a stay at home mom. I feel like an inadequate provider since she can’t stay home because of $$ reasons. We both beat ourselves up. Yay us!! Lol.
There’s always guilt, no matter what you do, you’re always sure you’re not doing enough for your kids.
He smiled at your suggestion.
Frankly this was a lovely read. I don’t really care whether your relationship is modern, old- fashioned or anything else. I love that you and your husband care about and value each other. Your kids are lucky to have such people as you and your husband as parents. That’s my opinion.
Isn’t that a delightful compliment? Thank you!
The new normal is whatever two consenting adults who have decided to cohabit say it is. That in a nutshell is feminist “marriage” today. Otherwise, it’s just being true to who you are. We all have our niche in the world, when you find it, jump in with both feet and damn what anyone thinks.
You know I just answered your comment on my blog, and referred to our similarities? Then I come over here and read this post, and find that your marriage is very similar to mine as well? Get to the bit about the mayo lickin? If I didn’t know different I’d swear we were twins separated at birth!
I also worship at the altar of my man. Without him I would be powerless to function in and survive), the drama that surrounds each day of my life.
Currently my brother is back in hospital in a coma again, whilst he was being ambulanced to hospital his beloved doggie and best-mate Shultz ate the handful of medication spilled on the floor in the emergency. He is also in a coma in doggie hospital. Whilst taking the doggie to the vet surgery my other brother was pulled over by the police for speeding………! You couldn’t write this stuff in a fiction novel!! Ridiculous!
Keeping my head close to the ground right now in case some freak accident knocks it off!
*puts a helmet on you*
Terrific post — and what a great picture at the end! —Jadi
Thank you so much!
And thanks for stoppin by to read and comment!
Brave post. Feminism takes many forms and shouldnt be dictated
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I agree. Have thought of blogging this issue as well. I enjoy our fairly traditional roles in our marriage and am still a feisty feminist.
I hope you will blog about it. I love to find other women who view life as a series of choices for what’s best at the time, and not pigeon-holed into one example of lifestyle.
I wish Grumpy would have left the cooking to me. Sure, I work and he doesn’t, and I do all the cleaning, and take care of…well, everything, so it’s nice that he sometimes wanted to cook for me. But damn, that man is the worst cook!
Oh no! I think the better cook should cook! Who wants to eat bad cooking? Isn’t there somethin else he can do for you, instead?
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That’s exactly how I saw it… I’ve been cooking all my life, I’m good at it, so I’ll cook and we’ll all be happy. But would you believe, he thinks HE is the better cook?! He jokes about what a terrible cook his mother is, but he cooks everything exactly like she does. Men are insane.
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You make me LOL and LOL! (and nod a lot)
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Good for you! I totally agree – the point of feminism is to be able to do whatever you want to. I work full-time because I like money. I do all the laundry because my fiance hates it and I don’t mind it. He takes out the trash and cleans the litter box because I hate those things and he doesn’t mind it. Relationships are give and take. It shouldn’t matter which person is doing which chore as long as everyone is happy : )
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Thanks for your support!
Happiness IS the goal!
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