“That will change…” I have heard this and other comments about my burgeoning relationship that are clearly a reflection of the talker’s own unhappiness with their relationship.
I have heard too many damn people try to tell me that I am going to fall into traditional roles in my relationship. Apparently, these people know me and my boyfriend better than we know ourselves. I am supposedly going to be doing his laundry, cooking for him, and cleaning the whole house like some woman from the mid-century.
Hello? Why is this assumption being made in this day and age?
Both Paul and I are adults who have proven to the world that we are capable of surviving on our own. He knows how to clean a bathroom and I know how to kill spiders. Oh, and I can even put oil in my car and somehow he manages to cook for himself. None of these things should be dependent on our gender.
Over the weekend, a Twitter friend of mine shared this interesting article with me about how same sex marriage is threatening traditional marriage. Now, that statement is a bit misleading. It’s threatening it in a good way. It’s helping to breakdown these ridiculous roles based on gender.
I have always stated that there is no logical reason to think women are better at raising children than men. There are some really awful mothers out there and some really wonderful fathers. To assume one’s success at child rearing based solely on their gender isn’t logical.
This is the portion of the article that really stuck with me:
I am struck in listening to the opposition to same-sex marriage by the persistent denial that gender is a socially constructed role. This is a “traditional” view of marriage in the sense that it is grounded in “biology is destiny,” or specific roles assigned based on sex. It is an extremely narrow view of “marriage” based on specific roles assigned by sex, rather than marriage as an emotional and physical and social partnership between two individuals. Most telling, it is a view that denies that heterosexual people can be in egalitarian marriages, or should be. It is a belief in “traditional” marriage as hierarchical. Not as a true partnership of equals, but as a microcosm of society with a power structure that flows from husband to wife to children.
That’s what I want in a relationship…to be one of two individuals in a social, physical and emotional partnership. We support each other. We recognize our strengths and weaknesses and help one another. I don’t want to become a martyr because I somehow get stuck with the mundane household chores. Honestly, I’m not that good at them in the first place. And I don’t want to put Paul into a position where that happens to me…us. Because that too seems to be a traditional role…a woman who is
It’s interesting that in this day and age, after so many decades of change, that traditional roles in a marriage or any relationship for that matter, still exist. You would think that things would be more equal and mostly, they are, but there are still a few vestiges of the old ways that hang on for dear life. I see them when someone tells me I’ll be doing my boyfriend’s laundry six months from now.
I made dinner for myself and my man last night, and did some of his laundry, and unloaded the dishes. He did some of my laundry today and took out the trash. It’s a give/take. We don’t look at it as “who’s job is it,” but rather, “would s/he appreciate if I did this for them?” If the answer’s yes, the chore gets done. Sure, there’s also some of “who noticed it first” and “who cares more” that goes on, but it’s not that much more complicated than that.