Don’t get me wrong. I know I haven’t said anything yet, but I want to make sure right from the start that you don’t get me wrong because I’m potentially going to be a little controversial. Ok, here goes…
- I like men and women to have somewhat traditional roles -
There, I’ve said it. Now don’t get me wrong (you remembered you weren’t supposed to get me wrong, right?), I’m not suggesting that all men should go out to work while all women should stay home, or anything like that, not at all. I firmly believe in equality of opportunity, but within that, I feel there is definitely room to acknowledge that men and women are different, and to embrace some of those differences. For instance, I like men to be protective and chivalrous. And around the home I think there are certain jobs that lend themselves more naturally to men (blue jobs), and certain jobs that lend themselves more naturally to women (pink jobs).
Fixing the car = Blue job. Choosing new soft furnishings for the home = Pink job.
Of course there are plenty of women who fix cars, and I have no problem with that, and there are plenty of men who choose new soft furnishings, and I have no pr… well ok, I have a LITTLE problem with men choosing soft furnishings, but as long as it’s someone else’s man and not mine, then that’s fine.
I can do the very basics on a car – checking and topping up the oil, checking and topping up the air in the tyres, checking and topping up the snacks in the glove box. But if my car started to make a funny noise, the first thing I would do is go to my man for help. In the same way as he might come to me for help if he took his cupcakes out of the oven and they hadn’t risen properly…hang on a minute… making cupcakes is a pink job, what’s he doing in my kitchen making cupcakes?! But I digress. Another example; say you were organising a party -
Buying the beer = Blue job. Buying the table decorations = Pink job.
Drinking the beer = Blue job. Telling him to stop drinking the beer = Pink job.
My man isn’t particularly romantic, but he is chivalrous, and I’d choose chivalry over romance any day. On cold and frosty mornings, I will go out to my car to drive to work, and I will find that he has gone out earlier than me and cleaned the ice off my windscreen. I won’t have asked him to do it, he won’t have asked me if I want it done, he’ll have just gone and done it. He’s not suggesting that I’m incapable of doing it, he’s just doing it as a nice gesture, and I really appreciate things like that (and I’m not just mentioning this because he reads this blog, and we’re soon going to be heading back towards frosty mornings, and I want him to remember that this is something he does in case he’s forgotten. Nope, that’s not the reason at all).
The point really is, just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean we always have to. It’s useful of course for everyone to have a pretty good idea of how to do everything around the home because there may be times where there is nobody to share the workload with and everything has to be done by one person. But within a two-adult household, where there is one of each gender, I feel that there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that some jobs and roles are likely to be more suited to men and some to women.
What’s it like in your house? If you have an adult of each gender, do you slip into traditional roles with pink jobs and blue jobs, or do you consider that to be negative gender stereotyping, and fight it all the way? As I said, I believe in equality of opportunity, but I don’t believe that equality of opportunity negates acknowledgment of gender differences.