I’m wondering if, a long, long time ago when patriarchal societies were beginning to evolve, maybe there were cultures that were egalitarian between men and women. Maybe then, way back when, men and women pitched in equally around the house and the field. Actually, I know for a fact many societies had their gendered divisions of labor and the divisions were looked upon equally…
But I’m wondering when Western societies specifically were evolving, men realized how much housework sucked. And so they quit doing it. And women, being women, knew that it was only going to get done if they did it by themselves. And this is how we now have today men who see no reason to pitch in around the house unless under dire duress, or call it a day when they leave the office, and women- well, our work, as they say, is never done. Or respected. But, regardless of the things we have to do, you know, like write as much of a doctoral dissertation as possible in the next now 22 weeks (or possibly less), our work load has to be expanded to accommodate everything that doesn’t get done into our schedules.
Clean the kitchen and cook dinner? Sure, why not. Do the laundry? Got it. Straighten the kid’s mess? But of course. Scrub the bathroom? Without question. And while you’re at it, wash the dog and all her bedding because it smells. Manage the kiddo in the morning and eat your breakfast later. Make the grocery run, because no one else will do it- even if there’s no milk in the fridge and Mommy’s been gone for a week. Finally, somewhere in there- take your own bath and get some writing done, cross-references all those sources for your theoretical foundation. Because otherwise, only the most important tasks get done- and that would pretty much be, feed the kid and change her diaper. Maybe.
Considering pregnancy used to be something you didn’t even talk about at all, I’m sure men’s know-nothingness during pregnancy ( as in, “Hey, think we could look at double strollers?” “I don’t know. We’ve got time”), in addition to their general domestic know-nothingness, was something our grandmothers could tell us a lot about as well.
And I wonder if our grandmothers got so annoyed about all of it, they, too, nearly pushed their husbands out of bed when he was snoring too loudly in bed one night. I doubt any archaeologists know anything about that, but what do I know? Nothing important, that’s for sure.