This blogs relates to what we discussed in class this past week; domestic marginalization of Men. Easter weekend made me realize exactly what was discussed in class with societal norms of different genders and I kind of found it ironic that we discussed all this after I noticed it the day before.
Firstly, my mother works part time, so she is the one in the household who takes care or the house cleaning duties and making dinner. My father works around 60-70 hours a week, so when he comes home from work, he kind of expects dinner to be on the table waiting for him and then be able to sit down and relax for the rest of the evening, maybe even watching some sports on the television or even reading the news paper. This is where it gets interesting because our family usually discuss among each other what happened in our day and what we all did. On most days, the conversations start off by my mother complaining about how tired she is and how much work she has done in the days time. She would normally then proceed to list off all of the things she accomplished while at work and/or around the house. Before she is able to finish, my father would interrupt her by saying, “Sounds like a easy, normal day to me” and lets out a laugh. My mother would reply, “That’s not funny” and would try to continue listing off all that she has done. But before she can finish once more, my dad would once again interrupt by saying, “Do you know what I did today? You should try doing…” My father always tries making it seem as if what my mother does around the house is easy work and is completely normal. He also always made it a point that by the time she wakes up in the morning, he has already taken the first break of the day at work.
As Easter approached, my parents decided that they wanted to host Easter dinner for some family and friends. I’m sure my father thought he would be watching the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament while my mother prepared all the food and desserts, like usual. However, this year was different. My mother got pretty sick leading up to Easter and was unable to prepare any food or desserts for the family dinner. Because of this, my father had no other option then to prepare it himself. Not only did he prepare an entire dinner for our family, along with desserts, but he also cleaned the house and made it presentable. Just for the record, my brothers and I would have participated in this, except we all live away from home and weren’t able to arrive until family dinner.
As the family began to eat, it seemed like a normal family dinner to me. Shortly after, my father decided he wanted to make it clear how sick my mother was leading up to Easter and how HE had to do all the cooking and cleaning. He wanted to get the point out that everything the family was eating was prepared by him and only him, and how he “slaved” in the kitchen for hours. He started listing off how he prepared the ham, salad, mashed potatoes, baked cookies, etc. It seemed as if he was looking for praise from everyone for the exact same thing my mother does pretty much every day. When it comes to simple things like this, I feel like it shouldn’t matter about who did what, but rather the things that needed to be done get done. Society gives women the role of being stay-at-home mothers, house cleaners, and cooks while the male figure is out working all day. Everyone should take responsibility for themselves and do what is needed to be done. If that means a couple working together to be more efficient at doing it, then so be it. There should never be any attempt of receiving praise for a job that needs to be done regardless of the situation. The more teamwork that is involved in accomplishing something, the better society is going to me, especially when we are trying to eliminate gender norms.