For those of you who don’t already know, I simply adore my fiance. Aside from the obvious things (the required ability to memorize and quote an absurd amount of movie lines, having the patience of a saint while I rant on and on about how much better “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” is than any wrestling-related program that has ever aired on any television ever, etc.), he is independent. Now, some of you may read this and think, ‘Ok, so the grown 25-year-old man can take care of himself; and this makes him great because…..?’ But no, I mean, guys, the man is a genius. Yes, he can fully support himself, but he is also clean, organized, and can cook. Watching him maneuver a Swiffer around is like watching Picasso create a masterpiece. With children, he’s like a male Mary Poppins. He does more laundry in a week than I do in a month, no question. And when it comes to cooking, he can do more than simply push the button on the toaster down.
I realize that not all men rank in Lance’s bracket (for, I admit, I am a bit bias), but seriously, has anyone ever noticed how straight-up stupid the media makes men look? Turn the TV on right now and I guarantee that within the span of 10 minutes you will see a commercial where the big doofey-looking husband makes a huge mess and stands there like a big, dumb idiot, not knowing where the cleaning supplies are or what to even do with them, patiently waiting for his gorgeous wife (that in all reality he could never snatch up) to come in and save the day. In fact, it was so obvious to one Massachusetts professor that he conducted a study in which he monitored commercials that aired over the course of one week during prime time television. Of 477 characters shown completing chores, 305 were women and 159 were men. Of the male characters, 50% were portrayed as “comically inept”. (In other words, dumb.) On the other hand, more than 90% of the female characters were portrayed as competent. In another study, also discussed in Real Simple, it is because of this negative stereotype that women often do not trust their husband doing housework, and that 26% of women “give their partners chores” several times a week.
Can I just go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps we all dug our own grave on this one. We portray men as incompetent with housework and childcare, we then do not trust them to do it, they don’t do it, we complain that we have to do EVERYTHING around the house, and the men get off looking like idiots. Thus, the circle of life. God, that should’ve been the topic of my thesis…perhaps it would have been a more beneficial waste of my time than the snooze-worthy topic I ended up with. Ok, and one more thing…REAL SIMPLE legitimately said that women GIVE their partners chores?? GIVE? Could you make us look any more bitchy and men look any more incompetent? If a dude lays around and doesn’t help with the housework, it’s not because he’s waiting for you to GIVE him chores. He’s a lazy asshole.
Even worse, a multi-page article was written in GLAMOUR titled “How to Get Your Guy to Dress Like This Guy”. Next to the title was a picture of Jason Sudeikis dressed all dapper with an open collar and a glass of liquor in his hand. Now, part of this article was a spoof, it was in fact, written by Jason himself. However, it also was serious. The first tip was to have him wear three-piece suits when attending a wedding (I’ll be lucky if Lance wears one of those to our very own wedding). They also tell you to buy your partner four tailored shirts-two blue and two white. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! First of all, if I buy Lance clothes, it’s because he said in passing he liked that Sweatshirt or whatever article of clothing it may be. I’m not going to go buy him shirts that he himself can buy, let alone spend money getting them tailored and limiting the color selection to white and blue! Good grief. These men have been putting their legs through pants for years and years, I think they can find their own damn shirts to buy. Some other gems were: when buying a new pair of jeans for your sweetie, MAKE him wear them for one weekend. This will allow him to “break them in” and “give them a chance”. Another one? Buy him a tie clip. Ugh. I can’t even go on.
These are grown men we are talking about. They can change a tire, shingle a roof, and lay sod on an entire lawn. But yet we think they can’t load a dishwasher, make a bed, or properly clothe themselves. Come on. Get over yourself, for starters. Pick your battles. If you want to do the chores so they meet your impossible standards, then don’t bitch about having to do it. Don’t baby them. Don’t treat them like children. They are adults. They are your equals. Treat them as such. Good gravy. And if he does have a horrible fashion sense, tell him. Let’s face it-some men honestly think that wearing cut-off cargo pants looks totally appropriate for a wedding. Offer suggestions, be truly helpful, and go shopping together. It’s not rocket science, people.
Until next time…