SPOILER ALERT: Whataboutism follows:
I’m writing this as someone who has made the mistake of inserting myself and my thoughts into a women-only discussion in the past on this topic and has been told that I don’t get to have a view because I’m male. It does seem, however, in this case that you have written this piece specifically to give men some thoughtful instruction on how to be better men and I’m accepting your implied invitation for discussion. We all need to be better people and I don’t believe in labeling, but for the purposes of this article- which seems to specifically label as a baseline, I’ll use the same method. Your piece was interesting, enjoyable and amusing, maybe a bit facetious, and I’m writing in that same tone.
I see that it doesn’t matter if these mandholding tasks wouldn’t be done because the man does not care if they’re done or not. But, how is the stress level of the man evaluated relative to having to do things that a woman tells him to/makes him do which he worries about doing to satisfy HER, but generally would NOT do if she didn’t tell him to? This is the emotional stress carried by men which is caused by women. And men understand that in such things, it’s ONLY the woman’s view that matters if you want to keep a cooperative relationship going. What is the toll that this situation takes on a relationship? The phrase, “yes, dear” comes to mind…
How is the emotional labor carried by men because of their having to worry about things that women, children/the family have to do, which those members would otherwise NOT do unless reminded by a man. Family roles vary from family to family. How do you evaluate the man’s emotional labor concerning car repairs, home/landscaping maintenance and security, household income, general safety when NOT in the home, etc., which men may worry about or have to remind other family members about, or carry the load on in some families.
Where are the studies on safety issues, maintenance issues, etc., which evaluate earlier death because someone other than the man of the house didn’t maintain the vehicle, maintain the house, cause others to think about safety outside of the home, etc.?
And what about the emotional stress of a man trying to handle some of these mandholding tasks- say the house cleaning for a present example, when the resulting task isn’t completed up to the woman’s level of acceptance. The old adage is, if you’re picky, do it yourself. And in many cases within a family, this holds true. Family chores and responsibilities are divided along lines of those tasks which matter more to that family member. Therefore men take on maintenance tasks, “presumably out of the goodness of their hearts, because they’re better at it and naturally suited for it.” while women may be more picky/concerned about housekeeping.
Less than 50% of US households are of the a man/woman couple type according to Stastica data from 1990 to 2016.https://www.statista.com/statistics/242244/percentage-of-us-households-by-type/ ……….
This means that less than 50 % of households (in consideration of household mandholding) could possibly fall into your situation. You could add mothers emotionally supporting family members living separately- children, siblings, parents. But you’d also have to consider fathers worrying about children, sisters, parents, living on their own to that data. And then there’s the number of male-run businesses where there is no female staff, management, employees. How do they survive?! More than 50% of US households are male-male or female-female, single male, single female- HOW DO THEY DO IT ALL?
“I’m happy to do it if you just remind me!” really means, I know it’s important to you so I’ll complete the task you’re asking me to, but which I don’t really care about, even though it’s putting emotional stress on me to complete something that’s important to YOU.
“Because all men are more or less conditioned to expect this work from women, “… so you’re saying that women are enabling men and unlike all other social enabling situations, it’s the product of the action that’s wrong, and the enabler is not responsible in this ONE case? Enabling doesn’t cause the problem, deficient humans do. This is simply ignorance of Darwinism …
There are MANY men who do ALL of the planning in their relationship/household- making the dinner reservations and paying for it, researching the vacation and making all the plans for it, buying the movie tickets in advance after offering up choices for the movie itself after consulting Rotten Tomatoes, making sure there’s gas in the car/the oil has been changed/the tires are road-worthy, worrying about retirement investments, researching quotes for home maintenance/contractors and arranging the jobs, paying the household bills, for just a few stupid everyday things to consider. I don’t think I’ve ever heard ANY guys complain about someone else in the household NOT doing these things. They must do them out of the goodness of their heart…
24% of men compared to 2% of women are US veterans- and in-service now, there is a 15.3% ratio of women serving with, at present, .4% of the US population actively serving in the military (1.3 million, not counting 800,000 in the reserves and who could be called upon to be sent overseas at any time). What do you call that stress in a relationship compared to a woman reminding her soldier/husband home on leave to get his tux for a wedding or buy his mother a birthday card?
Although you mention women being burdened having to listen sensitively to men’s feelings, I believe that it’s much more frequent to hear how-to pieces/speeches/articles about how awful it is that men don’t share their feelings, or how to get men TO talk. Maybe we need to get all of these women into the same room and have them hash out their experiential differences between men they don’t want to listen to and men who don’t talk?
“Knowing about it is a great first step. Talking about it is a great second step.” And this is absolutely true. But labeling one sex as superior or inferior in this situation is encouraging the enabling to continue. It seems that the more women try to strike out against cultural sexist stereotypes, the more some women attempt to justify them as
This society will NOT survive if the current trend of, “what matters is ONLY that which is seen as important/true from MY perspective“,continues, IMHO. We need to stop labeling and ALL try to be better human beings without worrying about who carries a larger load in ONE household, in ONE situation and generalizing it as gospel across a culture.