Before proceeding, you’re about to be treated to an angry political rant followed by a tasty recipe. Go straight to the bottom for the goodness.
Tonight on my way home from work and before the president’s speech, I heard a story that set me off. It set me off because it’s a theme that seems to be emerging from the conservative party’s newfound, and near complete, power. The story itself was someone, an unknown someone, who had put up a billboard reading something to the effect of: “Real men work hard to provide for their family and real women appreciate it.”
No. Just No.
This is the narrative of an imaginary nuclear family that is intended to normalize the notion that women should be in the home. I completely reject this idea because it’s about eliminating the choice. It’s about telling dads and men everywhere that they shouldn’t be mucking about in the kitchen because that’s woman’s work, just as much as it’s telling women they need to stay the hell out of the work force and make me a sandwich.
Every time I hear someone make a crack about the husband’s inability to do this or that domestic-thingy, it makes my blood boil. It is a fact that my wife and I spent several years living that sort of arrangement. The decision was purely economic for that moment in time. I made the most money and was on target for more rapid advancement. Even then, we simply couldn’t afford daycare on our combined wages. I mean, with just two kids we were looking at $2,000 per month (this is not hyperbole, this was the damn cost) For those into such things, that’s the entire paycheck of someone making about $16.00 an hour (do the math, you’ll see I’m within a few percent). At the time, I think she was making close to $14.00? an hour, it was good money, to be sure, but not nearly enough. Not that it was much more affordable having her stay at home. Even now, we’re still deeply entrenched in the financial morass that put us into.
At the moment, we’re both working. I do fairly well, and she’s doing incredibly well considering her long absence from a regular job, not that she didn’t work while she was out. However, we’ve still got kids to manage. To make that work, I get home early enough to get the kids, and she goes in late enough to see them to school. The basic division of labor is that she gets them up, fed, and moving and I come home and get them fed, cleaned and cajole them into doing homework. It’s a partnership and it works well enough for us.
My point here is that I do the cooking at home, the infamous shackles of all routine domestic chores (although laundry, dishes, mopping and just about anything to do with cleaning is arguably a far more soulless endeavors).
So, I leave you with three things, first: “Real couples support and appreciate each other. This is a partnership, not a feudal arrangement.”
Second, before you go saying things like: “Wife to the rescue,” when it comes to anything domestic, don’t. My wife sorted out a truly fucked up toilet this weekend while I went shopping and planned dinner.
Third, after hearing this monumentally infuriating story, and thinking the word rolls over and over, I got hungry for some comfort food, so I made dessert, adjusted to be allergy friendly, from scratch, and it was awesome.
This is my grandmother’s recipe, so bear with me on this. You need to start with some basic mix which is the following:
- 6 C. flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 3/4 C Shortening
Mix up the basic mix with your hands so that the shortening is as evenly distributed as you can make it. Store this in the fridge and use as needed. It’s a good pastry base. If I have one criticism of this dough is that it’s not sweet so there’s a bit of a weird contrast between the dough and whatever filling you’re using. You might add a tsp or so of sugar for each cup of Basic mix used for sweet deserts to sweeten it up a bit and bring down that contrast.
- 2 1/4 C. Basic Mix
- 3/4 C. Cashew Milk
- 3/4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 C Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Melted butter
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- Dash Cardamom
- 1/4 C. Walnuts (grind these up to pretty fine bits)
Preheat the oven to 425F. Roll out the dough into 18″x4″ sheet and spread out the filling. Roll up and slice into pieces about 1″ thick. Put into a 9″ greased cake-tin. Bake for 12-18m or until brown.
One thought on “Gender Rolls”
I, too, heard about this billboard. I was disheartened more than infuriated, but your response is presented far more eloquently, logically, and effectively than mine would have been. In other words, you are a class act, as is your wife and the relationship the two of you share. They guy who put up that billboard is a dinosaur. He knows this, and is so insecure about his “manliness” in a world he doesn’t understand that he does things like, well, put up that billboard. I wish I could say his kind are dying out, but they don’t seem to be. I run into just as many young guys who think like this as I do old ones stuck in the past
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