During this business of my husband plunking down a bar in the family room and my consequent protest on the heels of his taking over the other rooms (he's like a window box of ivy - very nice, but turn your back and he's everywhere) he offered a small acknowledgment that he was starting to see things my way. I knew I was winning the discussion when he mentioned he would make his own snack, so I didn't "have to worry about it".
Did you catch that? As a little recognition that my husband was in the wrong, he attempted to make amends with me by relieving me of my duty of making him a snack.
I relayed this to a friend of mine who smirked, "some feminist".
Back up, bra. I happen to be the snackmeister in my house. I make the snacks and all the meals, come to think of it, as well as do the laundry and take care of the baby and whatever other domestic chore you want to throw in there. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and so these things I do, I do them with pride. This is my job. I treat it like one. Also, I really don't want him messing around in the kitchen because he gets crumbs everywhere. I'm a control freak and I consider that my office. I will make the nachos, thanks. (He's on his own for fetching beer.)
I've discovered a promising new blog called The Traditional Feminist which I think (hope) will defend feminists who choose traditional roles in their homes. Maybe you don't agree. Maybe you think my husband and I should make a chart and divide who makes the snacks evenly. Maybe we should take a piece of chalk and draw a line down the middle of the house and he can put a bar on one side and I can burn my bra on the other. Maybe we should live in two separate apartments and set a timer for how many minutes each person spends on top during sex. Egalitarianism!
Or maybe a better objective for feminism is to focus on gender equality in the work place, have helpful discussions on maternity and paternity leave, push for subsidized childcare so women aren't punished for having children. Let's work on de-gendering language in the classroom and closing the wage gap so that when there are two income households, they can divide the vacuuming. Or not. The way happy people operate in their homes is private business.
How a family functions can't be judged by who does what, but rather how satisfied the members are. As for me, I'm okay with being the snack mom. I volunteered to cater to and care for my husband as soon as we set up shop, not out of expectation or subjugation but out of desire. I love him and I enjoy taking care of him in this way. Maybe you don't. You do you.
It doesn't make me less of a feminist - a believer in professional and educational and human equality for women - to make dinner. In fact, work traditionally done by women such as caregiving and domestic work deserves respect, not ridicule.
If we want judgement out of our bedrooms, let's keep it out of our kitchens, too.
Feminists for sandwiches, ya'all.
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Filed under: Feminist rants