While living with my grandmother, I have heard several stories of my fathers childhood. I learned that my grandmother, being a single parent and raising four children, taught them how to fend for themselves. My father took part in all the household chores and therefore understands the meaning of being a team member. Now that he is an adult, what made him believe that it was okay to stop He repeatedly lets the several women he has been married to take care of all the household duties.
After reading Victoria RegisterFreemans essay, Hunks and Handmaidens it helped explain my fathers change. Because Freeman was a single parent of two boys, she taught them how to carry their own weight, domestically. Then came puberty and hunk-hood, as Freeman calls it. She realized her boys domestic skills had atrophied because handmaidens appeared en masse. It seemed the girls pushing the door down were eager to help the guys out. Freeman, raising her sons to be self-sufficient, didnt believe that this was the payoff she deserved.
However, she realized she had done her part, when raising them. The two hunks know what women can do; they respect that ability, and at some level are wired to help. Freeman lastly states, Its now up to Tiffany, Kendra, and Kimberly. I believe Freemans conclusion regarding womens part in the male problem, is the same reason my father stopped taking household responsibility. Listening to him make the statement, I need someone to take care of my dry-cleaning, laundry, and other household things, just about made me sick! His excuse was Jesica, I just dont have time.
My reaction was telling him I really felt sorry for his current wife Cindy. I realized that my father, being on his third marriage, had the idea that if they didnt take care of him sufficiently, he would just move on. This is scary to think because Im not sure how many stepparents I will go through, before he finally decides to stay put. Cindy my stepmother now, not only goes to work everyday as a school teacher, but also comes home to cook, clean, pay the bills, do the shuttle service, all the scheduling for family activities, and take care of children.
She enables my moneymaking, irresponsible father to walk all over her, and share in none of the family responsibilities. It is women like her, who actually encourage this male helplessness, that make me feel my work is cut out for me. I may never find a man that shares my same view of how to be equal. It will be up me to make sure that any future man has a clear understanding of my expectations of dividing the household chores. Besides my father, there are also many other men that model his same attitude.
So why is it hard for men to believe that women are equal, not just in the corporate world but also, the domestic world Today women have more power than ever. They are doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and Presidents of companies. They have proven that women can get the job done, just as well as any man. Although women have climbed the ladder of success, we have also mistakenly surrendered ourselves to shouldering all the household responsibilities. In my opinion women need to equalize the domestic duties and insist that men, the other part of the team, pick up the slack.
It is only fair that if our lives are equal economically, then our lives need to be domestically equal, also! Even though my opinion is strong on the notion of men and women taking equal part in the household duties, I do not disapprove of stay-at- home mothers. If the man of the house is the only one working, then it is acceptable for women to take over many of the household chores, but not all. However, if both are sharing full-time jobs and income, then both should take equal part in the domestic duties.
Finally, I have come to realize that it may be hard to find a man that fits my description of being a team member. However, with the insight my father has given me, I am ready to stand up and say, I have worked hard to be where I am in my life, and love implies that both team members will be equal, and be treated equally with respect. I refuse to be like Cindy, or any other women that is in a self-depreciating situation. It will be difficult, but its up to all the Kimberlys, Kendras, Tiffanys, and it is up to me to make the change.