So it seems that if I keep this up, I’m going to prove my blog’s tag-line wrong. I still don’t think my views are that controversial, but it seems that the topics I pick are! Anyway, I was walking to a flat-warming yesterday (in case anyone from outside NZ reads this, a flat is where students live, regardless of whether it’s in a high rise building or not (and incidentally this one was in a high rise building)) with two of my own flat-mates, and a discussion about the cleanliness of our flat migrated to a conversation about gender roles in marriage (both flat-mates present were female).
I’ve always been fairly politically correct on this issue. I’m happy to take an equal hand in cleaning and cooking when I get married, and I’m not even that bothered about whether or not my wife will take a similar attitude to earning money. I plan on doing work I enjoy, so I’m happy to be the main bread-winner.
But anyway, yesterday’s discussion left me considering the possibility that girls can actually enjoy playing the traditionally female roles in the household. I think ultimately it’s a personal taste thing that each and every couple is going to have to talk about and work through when they marry.
Personally, as a guy, I find that cooking and cleaning can go alongside being strong and protective and providing necessities and luxuries to show someone you want to look after them. But I guess if a guy was doing all that, then a woman might feel a bit lost as to how she’s supposed to show her man that she wants to look after him, when all the needs of both are taken care of by one.
So yes, there’s an irony in the fact that guys, though wanting to protect and look after girls, in turn appreciate being cooked for and looked after by the girls, who enjoy doing so, and enjoy the protection and provision of the guys.
It’s a team effort, and when properly applied, makes a lot of sense. Perhaps it got lost when the toffery of the British Empire had both men and women out of work, because the money was provided through renting out land on the estate, and the housework was done by the servants, so traditional gender roles were lost. Certainly the high divorce rates of today, along with concepts like de facto and homosexual relationships are creating a lack of opportunities for gender roles of any nature to be even tried. And certainly the rise of feminism has added a degree of infamy to traditional gender roles that is undeserved except in cases where the husband is actually forcing the tradition on his wife against her will.
But it seems that ultimately, whether you choose to follow traditional gender roles in your marriage or not, doing one’s bit and making a team effort is the key.
P.S. I know that recommending doing one’s bit kinda contradicts what I said earlier about being happy to be the main bread-winner and do a decent share of chores, but I’m a softy, what can I say? I hope to spoil my future wife.