Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gender Role Maelstrom

Aaron said he'd make supper last night (Tuesday night spaghetti night), so I said thanks, grabbed the April issue of Southern Living, poured a margarita and went out to our patio. I love when I get the night off. I had no qualms with him making dinner and he had no problems with me gettin' slizzard and reading about Faulkner's last living relative. [sidenote: I loved this brief article, and I do not understand why Southern Living is giving away their content for free. I like having it to reference, and I'd especially like the access if I didn't have a subscription to the magazine, but this model can't be sustainable, can it?]

So I finished drinking my marg and moseyed inside to see if the mister needed help. I start to make garlic bread, notice the trash needs to be emptied, and joke that perhaps he should take it out. He says why don't you take it out, I assumed jokingly, and I respond with "women never take out the trash. It's a man's job." Jokingly. Aaron's face turns to stone. He is mad. What? Even after our extensive and thorough premarital counseling, I guess I didn't realize how much gender roles and stereotypes bother him. He was really angry about what I thought was a joke—he asked how often he referred to things I typically do (because I do them well and often quicker and better than he can) as "a woman's job," and how I would feel if he started referring to them as my tasks. I was sort of shocked. I thought I was joking. And even though I rarely empty the trash (save for when he's on super long sets and I absolutely MUST), I don't take for granted that Aaron does this most of the time. 

We don't believe Emily does some things and Aaron does other things on the basis that one is for a wife to do and one is for a husband to do. I am thankful for my parents for showing me this pattern of marriage and cooperation in my formative years, and I want my children to see their mom and dad as a team accomplishing tasks inside and outside the home based on their strengths and talents, not based on their chromosomes. There is much to be said for a husband who leads as a servant, first and foremost to his family. 
I am thankful Aaron is that for me, and I am thankful he could remind me of that last night. 

Also thankful for the margarita. 

You got me! via Aaron. 

1 comment:

Legally Married said...

Eeek - it's good that you guys immediately talked about it, though. We've been married three years and are still working out the whole household chores situation.