Gender Roles & Feminism?

The new age definition of feminism seems to appropriate that women believe and behave in a manner that portrays they are superior to men. I, myself, have zero interest in that. I agree with textbook feminism, that we are equals, neither being more superior. By this view, I neglect to identify as a feminist.

But what of gender roles? As with feminism, modern age moves toward blurring these lines in the bid for equality. I am not on that bandwagon. I’ll keep my gender roles, thanks.

Though I cannot now recall how the conversation came about, I offhandedly asked my husband if he can plait. I have never seen him do it, and his reply was a wounded expression and an emphatic ‘yes’, though, I don’t quite believe it. Maybe he thinks a twist is a plait, I don’t know. I’ve asked him to put my hair in a ponytail before and after moving my head a bit found my scrunchie (hair tie)  simply fell out; as though it was just placed on my head. black mother brushing daughter's hair

The conversation continued with my asking how come he’s never combed our child’s hair if he could. His response was that it was my job. Though amused, I was taken aback. He’s never said anything so blatantly sexist that I can recall so I prodded on, asking why it’s my job. He said if I wanted it to look presentable, then it was my job. So I asked, “So you’re saying if I leave her with you for a few days I’ll come back to her hair looking like Molly’s Straggly Mop?” “I’ll do it if I have no choice, but that’s your job.” He commented.

“His response was that it was my job.”

So I got to thinking about all the things that were ‘my job’ and surprisingly found that minus the decision to care for our daughter primarily by choosing to work from home, there was no job, that was solely mine, yet I like gender roles. I think they serve a purpose, a separation of the sexes. I have no desire to be on the road with a flat tire and hear my husband say “Babe I changed the last one, you change this one.” or hear him tell me it’s my turn to change the bulb. As a matter of fact, I distinctly remember telling him “You are the man, you get the house. I’m the woman, I’ll make our house home.”

It was just a dig comment on our inability to agree on a piece of furniture, but ultimately, I don’t have a desire to enact the preposterous idea men and women are the same. Don’t get me wrong, if I am too tired or neglect to do something around the house, I fully expect that he will take up the slack, even if I have to put on my RBF (resting bitch face) and point it out (you know how men are sometimes).

I once had a male friend tell me he had no idea windows (house) needed to be cleaned. When I asked how he supposed the ones at his house were never dirty, he acknowledged it must because the woman of the house kept them clean.

I want my man to be my man. Not a replica of me. Teamwork does not automatically mean we must be doing the same things to be working together. Each person doing what they’re good at, and sometimes its gender appropriate. If a frog comes into my house, the only thing I will be doing is getting myself and my child out of there, permanently if need be! I don’t expect my man to have the same reaction. If there is an insect on my person, I will scream and run down the street running from side to side in my SpongeBob get away. If my husband does it, I will probably judge.

I don’t know that this is fair, but I also don’t know that I care. I am a woman and I like to feel that way. I like to be hugged and kissed and feel safe in the arms of my man wrapped around me. I like that my husband opens doors for me, hold my hand as we cross the street, and takes the bag or the baby as we walk. I like that he buys me flowers.MHCA-Online_avatars_06-homemaker

I am not saying all women have to be into that, I am saying I am. Gender roles are important to me. I love me a family man. I dig it! Despite all this, I don’t think it’s necessary to be 100% traditional with them (gender roles). Women are natural nurturers, but men can be too. A stay-at-home dad should not be shamed or thought of as less than a man. s a matter of fact, he had the opportunity to go all out in being his woman’s MAN. I don’t think proposing is a man’s thing. If you want a man and you want to marry him and feel like asking, go get em, tiger!

Lost Societal Reverence

I also think that perhaps, a lot of societal issues and drama nowadays occur because we ask for the merging or non-specification of gender roles in society. As women, we want men to treat us a though we are special and place us on a pedestal until it serves our agenda to step down and in return treat them as if they are unimportant or don’t matter. Then when the timing or situation suits our taste, we want to be “equals”. It’s the “You need me but I don’t need you.” or “I can hit you because I’m a woman, but you don’t dare hit me back or you’re a woman beater.” or “I can say no to sex, but how dare you not feel like it?” rhetoric. It’s manifested in soo many ways.

It’s fine to be equals, so long as we acknowledge and understand that everything as consequences, and as equals, we have no right to the chair a gentleman is sitting on as a lady, or any right to turn up our nose at the man who chooses not to hold the door for you as a woman (though that’s just common courtesy, for both sexes). There’s no right to be regarded as ‘the fairer sex‘.  But these are the same woman who are the first to say, It’s a man’s job to propose, quoting the Bible at the first chance. Then they will shun the Bible saying that times have changed and a woman’s place is no longer in the home. Equality, remember? Or is that what they really mean is, ‘equality with double standards‘?

I don’t know man. I just think modern times allow us to determine what we want for ourselves and me, I’ll keep gender roles and the simple, true definition of feminism. Thanks!




  • kemistkris

    Not equality with gender roles but an equilibrium wherein they can push any direction they feel. I love this article. Love the truth, gonna ruffle up some feathers with this one 😊.

  • Patrice

    I looooooove you!!! This hits the nail squarely on the head. I don’t speak too much on feminism because it’s not something I understand much. However, reading what you said is what I struggle with to put in words so thank you. I believe in gender roles but I also believe in each individual taking over a role that they’re good at. Some women are better with money than men, let her handle the bills, some men cook better than women, let him cook. I think it’s more productive and healthy for the relationship.

    • Shandean™

      Thanks Patrice! I usually avoid feminism topics too, but this is my safe space for my 2 cents.

  • Renegade Expressions

    This post hit the mark on so many levels. Great job! Good for you.

  • Robyn

    Such a good think piece. I have to say I would flip out if my partner said combing baby’s hair was MY job, but then I am very sensitive to feeling boxed into gender roles. I think it’s the way I was raised. That said, my partner and I recently had a stern talk on the topic of him picking up the domestic slack so I totally feel you. Mode day feminism is about women having the right to choose the way they want to be treated!

    • Shandean™

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Robyn. Your last sentence embodies everything I believe as well. That’s what its all about. But it seems most feminists nowadays want to tell women what they should want.

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