Gender Roles

April 6, 2016

A good friend upset me the other day. He had read my post about transforming the study (and some of my tweets) and told me that I needed to be less harsh when writing about my husband as, in his opinion, I make him sound like an idiot when he’s actually a top bloke.

I was gutted. Of course I know my husband is brilliant. I wouldn’t have married him last summer if I didn’t think so. He’s an amazing teacher (I know this because we used to work in the same school and had to observe each other, that wasn’t awkward at all!), brilliantly academic and gets more questions right on University Challenge than I do every time. He’s also thoughtful and loving and has hundreds of other positive qualities.

But, I know sometimes I can be a bit harsh without meaning to be, so even though I didn’t think I’d said anything mean in that post, I just thought I’d check, and read it again.

I still didn’t see anything that I would consider made him sound like a lesser person so I asked my friend to tell me exactly what he thought I’d said that made my husband look bad.

His response: You mention he paints a roof (ceiling) blue. You mention he took a chunk out of the wall. It’s no one thing.

I’d like to point out that both of these events happened and were funny. The first I shared in a tweet and the second was in the aforementioned post.

I also posted on my Facebook page the very same day that I had managed to cover myself in rancid-smelling stagnant water in an attempt to erect a washing line and had to have a shower as the smell was making me heave.

I’m not sure who looks like the biggest idiot here. I think it’s probably me.

Anyway, yes my husband is an amazing teacher and brilliantly academic and better than me at University Challenge and kind and thoughtful and loving and has hundreds of other positive qualities. But he also lacks any kind of spacial awareness and as a result is a bit crap at DIY.

This doesn’t make him an idiot though.

And obviously I’ve been stewing on my friend’s comment because that’s what I do. But it’s got me thinking.

Did my friend think that I made my husband sound like an idiot because I was saying he was a bit rubbish at ‘man’ tasks? I don’t know. I am just speculating.

Knowing my friend, his comments came from a good place and he was just trying to be helpful as he knew I wouldn’t want to portray my husband negatively (I still don’t think I have though, and I asked hubby and he says he’s not bothered and frankly his opinion is the one I care most about!).

But I do wonder if he’d have said the same thing if I was saying I had done those things (or another woman).

Over the past few days, we built a huge chest of drawers and obviously hubby did the frame as I’m too pregnant to be lifting that. But all the way through hubby was looking mystified while I was saying, “ooh yes, I can see where that bit needs to go.” And he just couldn’t. So when we got to the final stretch, I put together all of the drawers while he made dinner. We played to our strengths.

We ended up with a fab set of drawers and a huge sense of teamwork and achievement.

Hemnes, chest of drawers, DIY, gender roles

I want our little girl to grow up knowing that different people have different skills, and that not being able to do something doesn’t make you an ‘idiot’, it just means that you have another strength that lies elsewhere.

And it doesn’t matter if that strength is a ‘man’ skill or a ‘woman’ one. All of them are equally important.

gender, gender roles

Mudpie Fridays

11 responses to “Gender Roles”

  1. Louisa says:

    Hi, I found you on the Blogger Club UK Link-Up. You haven’t said anything rude about your husband. I do feel you are right that your friend feels slighted on behalf of men regarding your husband’s ‘man skills’. I agree with you that everyone has different skills, which makes a good partnership, but there is still far too much thought that ‘mowing the lawn/DiY/bins’ is a man’s job. It doesn’t matter who does what as long as it gets done does it!

    • Jules says:

      Thanks – although hubby does love mowing the lawn and I managed to smash a window once when I did it! xx

  2. Kel says:

    Myself and my husband have different strengths-for example, he cooks 90% of our meals as he is better at it than me and I do all of gardening. I think that by not fitting the traditional gender roles exactly we are providing our children with a balanced view and enabling them to grow up understanding that everyone has different strengths and abilities regardless of gender. I am so pleased that we are both able to work part time so that they see that both Mum and Dad go out and earn money as well as take care of them.
    Complementing each other so that you have a full range of abilities between you must be the ultimate partnership- doesn’t matter who has which skill!

  3. Katarina Ramsden says:

    I do wonder about some people’s sense of humour. I frequently joke about saving something for my next wedding, and people look at me in horror, so convinced they are that I am horrible and actually mean it (maybe i need to learn to tone it down a bit with people who don’t ‘get’ me!). I love my husband and he loves me, but we take the mick out of each other, because we are comfortable in our relationship. You admire your husbands strong points but know he has weaknesses, and vice versa- nothing wrong with that at all!

    • Jules says:

      I know what you mean, and I am aware that sometimes my tongue can be a little sharp, which is why I reread the post!

  4. Davin says:

    I found you on #BloggerClubUK and I really don’t see what your friend was getting at. My husband is pretty klutzy and usually leaves things like building furniture and painting to me because my attention to detail is better than his. He does the gardening because, frankly, he cares a lot more about the garden in general than I do. I think the whole point of marriage is that you both bring something different to the table. And that you love each other because of who you are, not what you can do.

  5. Nige says:

    My wife and me have different strengths and I really don’t believe in gender roles because it’s not 1950 anymore you and your husband to me to seem to have it just right ignore people that’s the best way #bloggerclubuk

  6. Bread says:

    My wife does the DIY and the cooking. And the gardening. And she’s carrying a baby. I’m actually not sure what I bring to this relationship (cats maybe, a healthy podge), but as a same-sex couple, the gender stereotypes are throw out of the window, they’re bullshit anyway. #bloggerclubuk

  7. I read your original post and didn’t think you were mean about your husband. It sounds as though your friend probably read it wrong with the best intentions and all… Love the set of draws and you are so right about playing to your strengths that’s what marriage and parenthood is all about 🙂 thank you for joining us at #Bloggerclubuk hope to see you again this week xx

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