Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Sexism

I recently flipped through an issue of the SoBo Voice which gave the following tips for Valentine's Day.  This list did little more to reinforce my awareness that I am, in fact, the man in my relationship.

Mr. Holt's tips?
Pick your socks up off the floor....if you really want to get crazy, throw a load of laundry in.  That'll have her reeling for weeks.  

Really man, really?  Like I'm not insecure enough about being a bad wife that you have to go ahead and compare me to sitcom husbands.  Do I really need to mention here that my socks are currently ALL over the bedroom while my husbands are neatly in one of our five color-coded hampers?  And do I really need to mention that my husband does the laundry?  Actually, he got mad the other night because I folded the laundry for him.

Fix the garbage disposal like you promised to do three months ago.  

Continues to point out that you don't actually have to fix it, you just have to call the guy.  I am the queen of Not Calling The Guy.  Mostly because I hate phones, but sometimes, I just forget.  I'm supposed to be the one emailing the landlord, but often, I'm not.  Or it happens a few weeks or months after it's supposed to.  Oh also, this is the 21st century.  Both genders are capable of using the phone - I'm not sure this is a man thing.

Plan a trip and don't tell her where you're going.  

My only problem with this tip is that it doesn't say "and take her with you."  It also says, "You'll be forgiven for quite a lot after that one.  I mean, we're talking homicide forgiveness."  Um. No.  There is a reason you started this article by talking about how single you are, dude.  Not saying I wouldn't mind a fun surprise trip, but I am saying that I'm not going to forgive everything because he did it.

Ladies: Give him a pass on something he dreads doing.  

You mean like calling the garbage disposal repair person?  Anyway, Mr. Holt writes, "It's not what you give them, it's what you don't make them do that makes them thrilled."  Um.  For starters, this isn't about chores.  Chores are part of being a grownup, and for women to give men a pass means that women are doing that chore.  But Mr. Holt lists, "a pass on dinner with the in-laws, a completely interruption-free game day".  I don't understand why this is directed at women.  Am I the only woman that would love a pass on dinner with the in-laws or an uninterrupted game day?  No, I am not.  

The truth is that this list could have been genderless, and I'm generally annoyed that it wasn't.  The sooner we stop gender-stereotyping household chores and assigning messiness to men, the better off we will all be.


  1. Agreed. It's outdated and trite to keep pushing the same gender-specific advice, especially when it'd be so easy to make it gender neutral for a more refreshing take.

  2. Our valentines gifts to each other are as such: he got me flowers and took me on a fancy date, and he'll be getting a comic book and a clean house, when I get my act together and become a good partner :P