1,857 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

    1. Lol try looking beyond your personal environment and think about how most households are. This is spot on on how women on take much more responsibility at home because of the absence of responsibility from their partnes.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Tbh you’re the only regressive here because you think your experiences 1:1 speak for other women constantly.

      You just don’t care about other womens’ experiences that much, or the endless statistics/research actually indicating that the artist actually…has a point. There’s even stuff on how single mothers often have less chores than married mothers (which is outrageous–imaging having a partner yet having your workload INCREASE). Literally she never implied that ALL women experience this either. Would you get offended if your friend expresses that she feels as if her husband has a case of weaponized incompetence? “Oh no, you’re a blight on womankind for living in the 1950s!” Lol. What even is that? You seem like the type of person to just start going on about how backwards a woman is, if she is pressured into such a role.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Wow then I guess it doesn’t apply to you then? I don’t know why your screen name is Ann Smith when you’re clearly a man LOL There’s not a single woman or mom out here doing all these things and looks at this and says “this is sexist!” Get a grip, sir.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Don’t forget feminists are some of the most sexist hypocritical people you’ll find. They claim they want equality but don’t care about a single mens issue. How often do you see feminists fighting for more male DV shelters or more funding for testicular cancer? And as the responses to your comment clearly show, feminists aren’t about supporting all women but ONLY women who agree with them. If you don’t see eye to eye with them on every issue they resort to name calling and gas lighting. Just look at the responses to your comment. Not the most rational group to try to have a conversation with. Some of us women don’t think like this / live in households like this because we don’t allow it. If you allow your partner to be lazy and selfish it’s not a womens issue, it’s a your relationship issue. Stop thinking all women are so afraid to speak up. We’re not.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Speaking of rationality, why is it that feminists get called sexist for advocating only for women’s issues and yet we also get called hypocritical for only advocating for women’s issues? And you do it in one lovely, irrational and oxymoronic sentence!

        I mean honestly – putting aside the fact that the post basically ended with a plea for all, especially men, to support family leave – why would you blame feminists for “not fighting for a single mens issue” when, the whole point of the movement is to support women and fight for equality? How does advocating for testicular cancer funding either support women or work towards creating equality between men and women??

        Do you also call the Black Lives Matter movement hypocritical for not advocating for testicular cancer funding even though they too are advocating for equality? And would you also call them racist for advocating instead for sickle cell anemia funding?

        If anyone isn’t being “rational” here, it’s people like you who seem to not recognize that you can’t have it both ways – you can’t condemn us for being one thing and not another and then ALSO call us hypocrites for being one thing and not another. Doing so makes you completely irrational in your argument, sir. Either that or you put the moron in oxymoron – to which, all I can say then is: I do not think these words you use mean what you think they mean.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Let’s look at some numbers here.
        Per the American Cancer Society, one in 270 men will develop testicular cancer, as opposed to one in 8 women develop breast cancer. Where should our attention be?
        As far as DV shelters for men…. I totally get that men are frequent victims of DV, and it typically goes unreported. You know feminists are all about fixing that, right? Promoting services for men. However, we’re still a bit imbalanced financially with the menfolk, so when there’s a DV issue, no matter which partner is which, the man is usually the homeowner or leaseholder, so safe to say, they don’t need the DV shelters nearly as much as women. And conversely, my local DV org, SAFE, has housing/shelter options for male and female victims of DV.
        Furthermore, this is not a matter of being afraid to speak up, this is about letting the people in this system know that this is an issue. LOL I know women who live like this, and they don’t see that there’s a problem, because it’s what they know. You can’t speak out or fix something you’re not aware of.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. How hilarious that women do so much for men as it is but you also think women should be fighting for more DV shelters or Testicular cancer research. Do you think we could just sort out some of womens problems first seeing as there’s so many of them? You or any man are more than within your right to create groups for mens issues. Why are you asking women to do it? Also as said in the article it’s women who are fighting for longer paternity leave something I know that a lot of men actually do want! So what does that tell you? Lots of household homes are super progressive but I didn’t read this article as if it was brand new information. I’m not even a mother but I recognise these dynamics from my own childhood, friends childhoods, friend relationships today. And from tv stereotypes. It’s so much more common. If it’s not for you then great but this article was super on point.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. What are you doing to help open more DV shelters & raise funding for testicular cancer?
        * Of course we all already know you do absolutely nothing & only bring up “men’s issues” when women’s issues are being discussed to try to derail the convo. It’s so pathetic & unoriginal.


      5. Men’s needs are not women’s responsibilities, create your own movement. The comic IS a women’s issue, you just live in a bubble and are clearly male.


      6. So you say (edited for clarity) “If you allow your partner to be lazy and selfish, it’s not a ‘women’s issue,’ it’s a ‘your relationship’ issue.”

        Um … “if you allow”? So you believe it’s a woman’s responsibility to control the behavior of a man if they are in a relationship?

        Yikes, no thanks. Please — a partnership based on shared control/responsibilities over one based on male infantilization.


      7. Women are the only group not allowed to center themselves in their own liberation movement. We mention domestic violence against women? Cue some guy who never gave a shit about either going “yeah, but what about MEN experiencing DV?”
        Rape? “But what about MEN?”
        Lack of pain management for gynecological procedures? “But what about MEN?”
        Femicide? “But what about MEN?”

        Well, what ABOUT men is it that makes it impossible to even mention a women’s issue without someone, sometimes even another woman, complaining that for three minutes the attention is not on MEN?

        Seriously, what is up with that? When someone says ‘police violence against black people is bad’, or in my own country, ‘the government shouldn’t treat people like frauds just for having a foreign last name’ do you go ‘well, ackshualley, you say you want equality but I haven’t heard you say anything about white people living in poverty, so you’re racist’?


    5. It lets WHICH womankind down? The ones that are cleaning up after their husbands or after other women because their husbands are paying them to do so?


    6. What makes you say that? I revisited this post after giving a month notice to my subletting roommate to get out due to his lack of consideration and absent-mindedness around the house for his own mess. I’ve lived and shared with many men over years, and the only organized person that I had who could even beat me if not just competing in keeping up with the mental load, was a gay guy! None of the straight men behaved like adults. Usually after asking them once or twice, they’d acknowledge and stop doing the crap, and it always seems like they need to be reminded (“You should’ve asked” so that I’d stop sprinkling bread crumbs all over the house because I’m too lazy to grab a plate under my sandwich) and they are aware of what they’re doing wrong but they won’t change unless they’re asked about it.

      I am really happy to hear that things are different for you and you’re living with a mature man. He must have a fabulous mother and a great upbringing. But unfortunately this doesn’t apply to the majority of people out there, even in 2023.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. This was my experience as a young mother! The dad didn’t even change our 1st child’s diapers until she was a year old! Then when we moved in together, (upon his insistence), all of the cleaning duties were up to me to manage! Then I had to work, get the kids to school and daycare, come home and cook and clean, while all he had to do was work, and occasionally wax the tiny bathroom floor once a year and cook about 3 times a year (ballpark). I’m so angry that I put up with that for so long! I’ll never deal with a mommy’s boy again, and my sons had better not be a problem for their future partners! I’m so thankful that my daughter has a decent partner in her life who actually takes care of her better than her father did me, her and her brothers!

      Liked by 1 person

    8. This is going on for ages & the parents should teach the male child to do all the chores like dish washing tidying the house cooking from the beginning so when they grow up they take care of the house & children . I have seen old parents laughing at their son & stopped them if they help their wives & the sons won’t help their wives in front of their parents 😃


    9. Are you sure your name isn’t Dan Smith? Or Man Smith? Or Man Myth? Sheesh. This issue is SO universal to hetero women that I can’t think of a single person I know who isn’t living in this reality. Except you, apparently.


    10. May I refer to you identical statistics in Australia quoted in Annabel Crabb’s excellent book ‘The wife drought’.
      Wake up, my husband is great, but the 7 other married women I work with would identify with this completely.
      Also some women are part of the issue, when I was working and my husband was on leave caring for our second son, he wouldn’t take him to the health centre as the at home mothers bullied him mercilessly, we all need to take a damn good look at reinforcing dated roles.


    11. This is real. This is my house, absent the babies. In large part because my husband has ADHD. Not his fault, but still, this is the result. I work full time and he does not but because he procrastinates and is not a detail person, I have to manage everything and it’s exhausting.


    12. See thats the problem now because people say this, they think its ok that women do more then men. No this is not the 1950’s but when you get a partner. Thats what he is suppose to do, help take the load off for us. Not help build more stress. It should always be a 50/50 thing. Nowhere in this comic did she say we should be bowing down to our men, like they did in the 1950’s.


    13. Yes but unfortunately some people still think it’s the 1950’s. This actually summed up my life to a T. I am the mother in this story and my husband acts just like the father in this story, unfortunately for me he still expects it to be like this and thinks it’s the 1950’s. Me however am full of resentment and feel alone and overwhelmed.

      No it is not the 1950’s anymore and no not everyone thinks like this… but SOME unfortunate people still do and it is still a problem. It is not sexist.it’s creating awareness. My mental health has declined rapidly because of the constant state of being overwhelmed by the “mental load”. My husband just doesn’t get it because he still thinks it’s 1950.


    14. I will say this may be the majority in some peoples eyes, it comes across as an absolute (whoa is me) and I feel it is extremely off base. Especially when there are households that do not have children and both adults work from home. There can be different tasks which do not lessen each other’s contributions.


    15. Ann Smith (nom de plume for a man, I suspect), if this truly doesn’t describe how things work in your household, congrats. But also, if you don’t feel like the one with the additional mental load… it’s very likely that your partner is carrying mental load you’re not aware of. This comic is a very accurate description of the division of labor at my house. I’m the third adult in a household with married woman and man and two elementary-aged children, so I am a third party observer of this dynamic. (Not completely impartial as I often pick up his slack to ease her frustration.) He does plenty of childcare, including school drop off and pickup, because he works from home and she has an inflexible start and end time as a teacher. He takes them to soccer and scouts because he likes those activities and bro-ing around with the other dads. She keeps them in clothes and food, deals with appointments and permission slips, laundry, school/PTA things, tidying up. It might look like an even division of labor in the routine tasks. But when they are going to the beach for the day, she has to pack the cooler AND the beach bag AND hound the kids to find and don their suits and goggles and sunscreen. He wouldn’t see that this needs doing, that he could take over either food or gear or kid wrangling, unless she asks. If the kids have a birthday party to attend, he may offer to take them if she has a conflicting appointment, but he would never think to buy and wrap the gift. He often does some dishes, but rarely empties the sink, nor does he look for dirty dishes beyond the sink, or rinse the food particles from the empty sink and empty the drain-guard, or wipe up the water from the surrounding counter. When he oversees the morning routine, he makes sure the kids are dressed appropriately, but he never makes sure their pajamas go into the laundry basket. He thinks he is doing “his share” of household and childcare responsibilities, but he simply does not think comprehensively about them. He does not carry the mental load. And if you don’t believe uneven mental loads exist – nor, I suspect, do you.


    16. It’s not a matter of “thinking like this”. It’s objectively true that women are the household managers and that that mental load is entirely overlooked when it comes to the perceived division of labor.


  1. Asked my boyfriend to read this, then asked him again, and again, and again. Finally today. he read it, kissed my forehead and did an hour of stuff neither of us wanted to around the house. Thank you for animating this also. Hope I have more mental space in the future and am not the “To Do List Generator” as much in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, I am giving this book to my husband for Christmas. Would be the best Christmas present ever if he listened to it. I stopped doing the washing. Now he does the washing. He spends all weekend doing the washing. Does not have time to do anything else but the washing. When he started he used the dryer. His undies got destroyed, I kept buying replacement clothes to replace my stuffed items. He then saw the electricity bill skyrocket and I said “Oh well, we can’t afford the air conditioning anymore unless we find somewhere else to cut back on electricity”. Now he has started hanging the clothes out on sunny days.
      Last night at about 9pm I filled our bed with Christmas presents and started wrapping. He did not help but watched his phone. He did notice no presents for him. I said I am still trying to figure out what is left to buy. He has not bought a present for years and if he does its not thought out. He does not buy from the heart or ask what someone would love. Not even for me. I said that this is a year in the planning. I am thinking about birthdays 6 months away, planning, as referred to the ‘Mental Load’. His response, I don’t because I spend to much and you are so good at it. Next year, I quit.

      I love my husband, but totally relate to this. Oh I am also homeschooling my year 8, not by choice, I work full time, I am the Home Manager full time and I get asked by others to help fix their issues as well. I am 1000% over capacity on my mental load.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As if men don’t have their own mental loads. We go to our jobs, serve others, take lashings from our peers, customers, and supervisors, go home and are expected to walk right in the door and start chores serving another person so that they don’t have a “mental load” of their own. Both partners have different and shared responsibilities, but when you insinuate that the man doesn’t do anything, you can’t expect to be taken any more seriously than a sniveling little brat that’s pitching a tantrum for a candy bar in the checkout lane while both it’s parents ignore it.


    1. Let me get this straight:

      ‘Because men have “mental loads” from their jobs, women with “mental loads” from their jobs and mental load from taking care of the house, shouldn’t give men “additional” chores to do, serving “another person”.’

      If this represents thinking capabilities and reading comprehension of men who are bigots then we’re all in for a fun life.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. seems like the the comic is talking about the stay at home mom with a working man scenario. You can see the comic talks about how women are taught by their upbringing to care for the home but men are taught to go to work to “save capitalism” as the comic put it. If both parents are working the chores should be split 100%.


    2. Not to be rude, but women work too and go through everything that you listed there plus the mental load that was mentioned in the comic, which is the whole reason why it is unfair. It’s not insinuated that men don’t do anything, but that women do more when it comes to taking care of the household (even if both parties are working).

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Took me a second to stop laughing. Way to literally miss the ENTIRE POINT.

      Women go to their jobs, serve others, take lashings from their peers, customers, and supervisors (and generally women have less recourse because if they stand up for themselves they’re labeled the “office bitch” or if they report sexual harassment then they’re the “bitch that can’t take a joke”), go home and aren’t “expected to” but actually DO start chores and serving another person.

      Here’s a quick test.. if you can’t tell me what indoor household supplies are low and need to be purchased within the next week (cooking spices, condiments, detergent, hand soap, toilet paper, dryer sheets, paper towels, vacuum filters..) and your partner can?

      She’s the one handling the mental load and you’re not pulling your fucking weight.

      “Realist Man” lmaaoo k

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Except women like me we do both. I work and am the household and Kids manager. And yes my husband is in the way to learn to take the same duty and resposibility. But its a process because He saw and learned it differently in His Family. So we are getting closer. And I can recommend: make a list with all the ‘having a Home, children, car, Garden so on’ tasks you can come up. Thats what we did. And we were both asonished how much more I am doing. So it was a help for my husband, cause many things I am doing are “invisible” to him and that makes it unfair to him if I complain rather that taking a logical move in how to clarify the facts. (Sorry I am from Germany. My Englisch isnt fluent)


      1. Hi, I just read your comment and thought about a card game that I came across a while ago. It’s based on the book “Fair Play” by Eve Rodsky which is also about the Mental Load. It’s a game that can support you sharing your household chores and make it more fun. I haven’t tried it but am reading the book


    5. I work just as hard as my boyfriend, I am just as tired as he is after we both come home from a shift of 9 hours. We both go to our jobs, serve others, take lashings from our peers, customers, and supervisors, go home and do things we DO NOT want to do for the benefit of our SHARED household we BOTH LIVE IN. So I’m expected to serve someone else as soon as I come home from my own job, just because my boyfriend went through my exact same daily experience? Who is supposed to do all the chores in the house? And why is it me who has to think about my job all day, then come home and think about everything that needs to be done around the house or for the house? Am I supposed to work 24/7 for my employer AND my boyfriend (for free?)? We are just as exhausted once we’re home from work, and either no one does anything because we don’t want to “start chores serving another person so that they don’t have a mental load of their own” and the household falls apart, or I do all the work and manage my boyfriend around and continue to work once I’m in my own house because he needs to be told what to do like I’m his mother, or we both contribute to our chores when we both don’t want to because we’re both adults living under the same roof and we HELP each other because we LOVE each other. It must suck to be your partner oh my god. You sound so entitled and self centered I’m so glad I have no one like you in my life.


    6. Women get just as much shit from work as men do, if not more, in the form of sexual harassment and casual misogyny. Then they return home to deal with the additional mental load. If men can’t handle more than their job, maybe they should just git gud or whatever bros tell each other.


      1. Most SAHMs have a more than a full time workload taking care of children and household. If the mom has been working all day taking care of the kids, errands, meals, and cleaning, and then the dad gets home and she’s still working, cooking dinner, cleaning up, then she is working MORE than a 40 hr workweek, without pay, while he gets to relax after his 8 hr day. Both partners should contribute equally to childcare and household chores AFTER the workday, and have equal relaxation time. And of course this doesn’t even touch on the mental load. If the mom has to keep track of all the kids’ activities and appointments, the chores, the groceries, etc. and the dad needs to be told what to do in his own house and for his own kids, that’s an uneven mental workload, regardless of the time spent physically working, and both time spent working and mental workload should be equally shared, not to mention finances should be equally shared with the stay at home parent, since their full-time labor allows the other partner to go to work! Now if you’re a stay at home partner with no kids, with full childcare, or older kids who are in school all day, that’s a little different, lol.


    7. WTF how did you completely miss the point?

      It’s not saying men don’t have a mental load, it never did. It’s highlighting the systemic issue of women having a LARGER mental load because they often have jobs where they have a mental load as well as all the house/child work.

      This comic just wants the male partners to be more responsible for their duties in the household and not just think their responsibilities end when their job does.

      It makes sense if you have a stay at home wife for her to be doing most of the housework, but you should still be helping with what you can.

      I had a long physically exhausting job and I was so appreciative to have someone looking after the home while I was away and to prepare meals for me when I was home, but they’re not my slave or maid, I don’t expect them to wash my clothes and cook me dinner and then give me a blowjob before bed every single night. I’d still help with things I could when I got home but sometimes I’d just be exhausted and have to retire to bed.

      That’s the trade-off. If you are working really long and hard and are the sole provider I think you have a pretty good excuse to not do much housework (if the other partner doesn’t work) as the only reason there IS housework is because you provided the house and the ability to keep living there.


    8. Men like you are why I won’t let ever let another man besides my son live in my home and why I absolutely refuse to date men who don’t have their own place and refuse to get serious with them, either.

      y’all are a burden.

      I was running two small businesses, and working an abusive af full time job, and raising a child, and coming home and dealing with literally everything at home the last time I lived with a “man” who thought he worked hard enough at his one single job so when he came home it was time to relax.

      only once in my life have i ever dated anyone who did his fair share.

      so I’m done.


      My life has never been so relaxed or easy.

      Or better.

      There ain’t no looking back.


  3. This is my life. What woman would knowingly add kids to this dynamic? It’s self abuse to even consider it. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. I’ve explained each part of this to my partner and he doesn’t get it, though he wants to. Maybe it’s because it’s drawn, or because it’s third-party, but it captures what I’ve been trying to say in a way I never could. I’m definitely showing this to him. I cried so hard when I discovered this because FINALLY someone else understood what I’ve been trying so hard to communicate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Men do have their own mental loads.
    The post is about women who may be working full-time they do all of the planning all of the meal preparing all of the child care and child rearing. Women who just want a break. Women who want some assistance without having to ask for it. So this is not addressing all men. There are men who are very aware and involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author literally says, “If you already do your share of the load, that’s great!!” and then makes the point that even if you and your partner split the workload evenly, it still behooves you to advocate for things like paid maternity/paternity leave and normalizing men taking off just as much time as women when they have a new baby. It’s absolutely insane that even though she basically literally addressed your point, you STILL felt the need to come here and whine about “nOt aLL mEn!!?!!one!!”


      1. No it says “that’s great!”
        “BUT, not according to their partners”

        So it’s encouraging discussion between partners about this issue and even though the men might think they are doing their fair share it doesn’t matter if their partner doesn’t agree.

        These comments from that person are pointless and they just aren’t understanding but most people online don’t, they think when you say something you are attacking them and they feel the need to defend.


  5. Imagine making this statement: “We go to our jobs, serve others, take lashings from our peers, customers, and supervisors, go home and are expected to walk right in the door and start chores serving another person…” not realizing that this is the standard for the majority of women today and it being the basis for your argument against this article.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. An average *humans life.

        That literally has nothing to do with gender and more to do with what kind of work you do and how much shit you’re willing to take.


  6. Here is where I struggle with this…I’m perceptive enough to understand that isn’t actually about the task, it’s about the feeling of being overwhelmed. Hence the “mental” part of the mental load. I understand that, so, if you’re a man reading this, trying to argue a tit-for-tat on “well I do these things” will never work. It’s about feelings, not tasks.

    Until it becomes about tasks.

    Here is an example: I like to think I’m a pretty involved dad. My young daughter needed her diaper changed. So I started changing it, and as babies do, they get fussy and don’t want to be still. So my wife comes in and helps me change her. I didn’t ask for this help. And I’m like “I got it.” And she says, literally, “it’s a two person job.” (It isn’t.) So, who decides how many people are needed for a job? Managers.

    And this happens over and over. I don’t *want* to live in a messy house, so I will clean up, I’m happy to. I was raised mostly by my mom; the marriage did not last long. So I definitely know how to clean and prep, and take care of kids (oldest of three). So when I am trying to do something, and I’m told I’m either doing the wrong thing (priority) or doing things in the wrong way, of course I’m going to learn to defer to you. Then when I say “how can I help,” I’m told I shouldn’t defer to my partner. I don’t think you can have it both ways.

    I try to encourage my wife to go out with her friends, go to conferences for business (she earns much more than I do, so her career growth is essential for our growth as a family), take a girls trip etc. When she goes away, it’s usually easier for me to take care of everything because I can do it without feeling like I’m being hassled. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself and our two kids and don’t need help.

    I’m just incredibly frustrated by this concept and its application, or maybe there really is just too much to do for parents of young kids. If you’re not a deadbeat dad I think a more subtle approach would be helpful, but nothing seems to work.


    1. Thanks for adding your experience, I feel like this helps expand the conversation. Curious how conversations between you two at home about this go. There’s lots to change – in all of our minds and ways, not just ‘men’s’.
      And what you shared is also a known part of people in the modern day trying to reshuffle these kinds of old role models.


    2. If she’s in the habit of taking care of more things, she’s going to feel on the hook for taking care of those things. Even if you can do it, she will feel and compulsively assist, and that comes from being responsible for more to begin with. She earns much more than you? This tends to support my theory.

      The statement that it’s about feelings is condescending. It’s about actual work. Thoughts and planning. The engineering of our days, if you will. Women plan and Engineer and execute so much.

      If you don’t like the way we are doing something… then communicate. We can’t read your minds.



    3. Josh, here’s the reason you’re having a problem with this: you’re trying to apply a general, social problem to your personal situation. Yes, I know, feminists coined the phrase “the personal is political,” and there are good reasons to adopt that standpoint, but what you are describing – a kind of catch 22 for sensitive men caught between the personal and political – is not something that can be resolved by the political, and it’s not fair to blame the political for not resolving your interpersonal problems.

      The real issue you seem to have is that your wife doesn’t act like she trusts you enough to take care of the house & kids without her input. Now, maybe she takes this view because she has been taught (by her family or community) that women are supposed to be the house managers and take care of everything so she thinks it’s her job to make your life easier by “helping” you – so she doesn’t see that her behavior isn’t helping, it’s controlling and also perpetuating the problem. Or maybe she is so worn out by the mental load she’s carrying that she’s worried that if you don’t do something the way she knows it will work that it’s easier for her to just do it herself or micromanage you. For example, perhaps the baby always fusses if there’s too much powder in her clean diapers, so when she sees you changing and the baby fussing, she might rush over to help to forestall a 20 min crying jag she knows will result if the diapering isn’t done with specific precision. There may be effects that you aren’t aware of – not because you’re absent or dumb, just because you can’t see everything that she sees.

      And vice versa. There may be plenty that you see that she doesn’t. Maybe the baby only fusses over the powder when your wife does the diapering, for example. But because the baby and you have a different relationship, you can use as much powder as you like and the baby won’t fuss. OR maybe the baby will learn to stop fussing when it is regularly subjected to a different diapering process. But your wife doesn’t see that – or prevents it from becoming – because she jumps in to “help” before you “do it wrong.”

      There are more and less sympathetic explanations for your wife’s behavior. Maybe she’s just naturally a dominant personality and is used to telling people what to do. Or maybe she really doesn’t trust you. Only she can answer that. And I truly hope that she is self-aware and sensitive enough to see herself from your perspective. But regardless, however you resolve your communication problem with your wife, it will not solve the overall socio-political problem of the lack of parity overall between men and women. But it will go some small way, perhaps, to changing the lessons that your children learn about so-called men’s & women’s roles. Which may, in turn, work to lessen the inequality between men & women for the next generation.

      And that’s how the personal is political – the personal changes you make will affect the next generation. Not every man was raised by a single mother and learned how to care for children by necessity. But if more men like you work with the women they love to create better parity in the home, then even men who were not raised by single mothers will learn how to take responsibility in the home and then society *will* change.


    4. As the comic says “role reversal is the most effective”

      What you are saying is one of the biggest issues with this discussion, a lot of the time the women take it on themselves to be the manager and don’t let you help, usually this is because of a bit of neuroticism, like my mother always had to step in when I was baking, and take over.

      There was nothing wrong with how I was mixing ingredients, she just wanted to do it her way, and that’s just one example ofc.


  7. My partner often stands by the dishwasher, opens it and shouts to me through the appartment: ARE THE DISHES WASHED???
    What? XD I’ve already told him like 5 times: you’re literally seeing this, how could I know? And he still asks.
    At the same time I’m really scared to send him this. I fear being gaslighted just like the ‘wise men’ in the comments just go further into their egoistic thinking instead of taking the point. I don’t want to argue who has worse in life. He doesn’t sit in my head. Before I encountered the term ‘mental load’ I was thinking about noting all my thoughts related to our life throughout the day.
    I have no idea how to communicate this.


      1. Yeah I’m laughing too but the absurdity! The comic summed up my long journey of thinking about this. I always was the ‘nagging person’ and he made me feel bad for it. It was ME who had to do the work: do the research, change, work on myself. I knew nagging is not cool and it made me nervous too, but not nagging didn’t seem to be a right solution. I had two mindbreakers: first was when I read ‘it’s not about helping, it’s about taking responsibility’ and the second one was ‘it’s a home of you both, he decides he wants to be messy, you gotta compromise’. The second sentence helped me in times I didn’t want to do things for him. We have a very long (detailed) list of chores and I’ve been asking for a year so he puts it in his todoist so he gets reminders… The third revelation was the term ‘mental load’ and it let me really stop certain behaviors or change my reactions. What shocked me, he got really angry a few times. Like when I reminded him “when you finish something, please put it on the shopping list”, and asked for acknowledgement. He said “yeah yeah A REPRIMAND to put something on the list, like cleaning up a spilled coffee”. Yeah I’m the mom for my 15 year old husband. Well! Working on this. I’d love to see more materials for childless couples. We only have animals. But still the mental load is enormous. I told him once (long time ago, like 9 years ago, in the beginnings of our relationship) I don’t want to have children with him because everything would be on my mind. He got offended. Yeah, he felt bad. But didn’t change anything lol.


    1. It literally says in the comic “role reversal is usually more successful than confrontation”

      You should send it to your partner, but if he can’t look at a dish to see if it’s clean he might just be absolutely useless.


  8. This is brilliant. Too bad for the negative comments. Your work brings awareness to what many ‘good girls’ feel the need to keep quiet and carry on. Keep sharing our truth!


  9. I showed this to my partner. He said it didn’t apply to us because he works. I work too. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.


    1. You need to make it clear to your partner that he isn’t understanding and that this is a big issue for you and if it doesn’t get resolved you are going to leave.

      As it says in the comic “role reversal can be more effective than confrontation” so just tell him if it’s not such a big deal, we’ll swap duties!

      If you both work the same amount, you should both have similar workload around the house.

      But hopefully if he sees what you are having to do after work, and he struggles with it, he’ll be able to empathize and understand what you are going through.

      Have you sent him this comic?


    2. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this.” Honey, don’t take it. It’s clear that what you’re in isn’t a partnership, it’s an arrangement in which he believes that he is exempt from sharing the workload despite the fact that you’re both working adults. You know what I like to call that? “Fantasy land.”

      If you want to give him a taste of his own medicine, stop doing the extras. Don’t clean up after him, take care of you and children (if you have one/multiple), do not remind him of meetings, errands, etc. Men need to be slapped with the reality of the situation, and when he complains (because he will), make note that everything he sees is attributed to his existence. Do not begin to clean up. Do not cave.


  10. Women have a proclivity for only being able to see the work they do and absolutely nothing that anyone else does. How many times do you mow the lawn or take out the trash or clean the gutters, clean the car, salt/plough the driveway, change the oil on the car or take it to get serviced? Moan, moan, moan moan. Move to Asia and have a look at what a real woman achieves.


    1. Hello The_price_is_right

      So you:
      Mow the lawn – every 2 weeks
      Take out the trash – once a week
      Clean the gutters – once a month
      clean the car – every 2 weeks
      salt / plough the driveway – Sometimes daily in winter
      change the oil in the car – once every 6 – 12 months
      Take it to get serviced – once a year

      How many times do you:
      Cook meals for others – daily
      Prepare school lunches – daily
      Help the kids with homework – daily
      Drop the kids / pick up the kids from school or child care – Daily
      Miss paid work to look after a sick child – 1 – 2 times a month
      Leave work early to take a child or an elderly relative to a doctors appointment, dentist appointment etc – Once a month
      Wash, dry and fold the laundry – weekly
      Wash, dry and put away the dishes – 1-2 daily
      Grocery shop – weekly
      Plan meals – daily / weekly
      Change nappies – 5-6 times a day
      Bath and dress the kids – daily
      Tidy up after others – 1-2 daily
      Organise play dates for the kids – weekly
      Feed, look after the pet – daily
      Rush home from work to cook dinner – Daily
      Book in household repairs / pay bills / home maintenance – weekly
      Mow the lawn – every 2 weeks
      Take out the trash – once a week
      Clean the gutters – once a month
      clean the car – every 2 weeks
      salt / plough the driveway – Sometimes daily in winter
      change the oil in the car – once every 6 – 12 months
      Take it to get serviced – once a year

      I know what list I prefer.


    2. I will answer these for my husband. How often does he:

      Mow the lawn? Never. He outsources all yardwork to a gardener. Interestingly, we “never have money for things that will make my life easier like frozen/prepared foods,” but we have $250/month for a gardener.

      Take out the trash? Never. My kids and I do this. If i go out of town or to the hospital, I will come back to piles of overloaded trash in the kitchen, even just thrown straight on the floor. I will then need to mop, clean the grout, clean the wall, the trash can, etc.

      Clean the gutters? Not once. According to him, this is unnecessary and I like to do work for no reason.

      Clean the car? Never. He just throws his trash on the passenger seat, floor, or backseat. I can’t even get him to stop throwing half-eaten burgers and straw wrappers in my car. Sometimes he will even take the trash from his car and just throw it in mine, even though our outside trash cans are RIGHT next to where he parks his car.

      Salt the driveway? Not once. He works from home so ice is irrelevant to him.

      Change the oil? He hires a service to come to the house. But who actually arranged it? I did, after he hadn’t changed his oil for 30,000 miles. I take my own car and my kids take theirs to get serviced.

      And who pays for all this? I will generously say 50/50 but I earn more than him.


      1. “I will come back to piles of overloaded trash in the kitchen, even just thrown straight on the floor”

        What kind of animal are you living with?

        Seeing as you seem to do everything and make more money, what exactly is he for? Seriously. He just seems to add more stress to your life.


    3. Managing and completing day-to-day tasks around the home cannot compare to cleaning gutters, ,mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, cleaning your car, salting/ plowing your driveway and changing the oil in your car.
      Trash gets taken out approximately once a week, mowing the lawn is something I do once a week. Cleaning out the car is done once a week or when I think about it. Oil Changers are done every 3 to 5,000 miles. Cleaning out the gutters isn’t done every week. Salting plowing the driveway in the winter I may do that everyday depending on how much snow we get otherwise it’s not a daily thing.
      Women are not moaning and complaining they want a partner, not another child.


  11. Interesting comic but I couldn’t relate to these scenarios in relationships. I know these types of relationships exist out there. Maybe I could say my grandparents are a bit like this. But this really hit home when looking at several of my ex roomates (all women by chance) who paradoxically could only ever do one step of chores at the absolute last moment causing them to be constantly stressed as their life falls apart. I wonder if it’s common for one party to take advantage of the fact the other party actually maintains the home to not do any further steps in maintenance than the current most necessary step.

    I think if I saw that situation in an actual relationship I would really question the reasoning of the person staying with the non-maintainer. If they can’t live on their own without you successfully then the only true option is to let them sink or swim. Maybe the relationship between women more often taking on the maintainer role and also being the ones to more often initiate divorce and take parental responsibilities afterwards.

    I think women have a bias to take on caretaking responsibilities but I think the real question is why do so many people feel that they need to be caretaken rather than playing an active role.

    There’s an ongoing problem with men finding themselves increasingly single, but they also seem to be stuck in incompetence loops. I think the biggest part is that society literally doesn’t teach men how to live independently other than monetarily.

    I think the real most important thing to do is to make sure you give young men the opportunity to take on mentor and leadership roles outside of work. Roles where they have to taken maintenance. I think women often have tot take these roles by default due to initially small biases but by the time we become adults we actually have the experience.

    Still wish the author didn’t lean in so hard on her own pretty small bubble of experiences. I see these relationships play out in much more complex forms in the real world than presented here as a woman super hero taking care of everyone around them and with no awareness of how the situation came to be.

    One doesn’t simply accidentally become a mother to children with a deadbeat husband. At least not like it use to be when an accidental pregnancy meant a quick marriage to a near stranger.


  12. I’m confused. Are you saying that you do more than your share and your partner does not appreciate you? Then instead of taking offense, wouldn’t you empathize as You are the person carrying the bigger mental load in your relationship? Or are you triggered because you exhibit the self-centered behaviors in the comic that people are bashing on? All partners deserve to feel cared for and appreciated; people are calling out the imbalance and how it hurts them. If you/we are unfulfilled in your/our relationship, it’s ok to speak up and ask for what you/we want.

    Neither of us can define a “real woman” or “real man”. We were born into geopolitical constructs and have been doing our best. But when we learn better, we should do better.
    I am an Asian-American woman who was born in Asia–do not pit us against anyone. My mom has always overextended herself for her kids and neglectful husband, and I hate it. As an adult, I see myself being the project manager in my own relationships, and I’m resentful. We’re not trying to oppress men, we just want to be more fulfilled!


  13. what utter malarky. some choose to buy overpackaged cleaning products and fret about stuff. others grok our skim is a pretty good barrier and the kids will probably do fine without being helicoptered.


  14. Je suis assez époustouflée par certains de ces commentaires…clairement, votre excellente BD a dû être postée sur un réseau de trolls misogynes qui ont décidé qu’ils n’avaient rien de mieux à faire que de perdre leur temps à se défouler ici. Eh beh!
    Perso j’ai trouvé que cette BD était excellente et représente une dynamique qu’une large majorité de femmes peut reconnaître, malheureusement. Merci pour votre travail, que je vais me tâcher d’explorer plus!


  15. A lot of times when you initiate the help it doesn’t work the way the other person who needed help want it.
    I had a lot of examples when i tried to help but the other person didn’t appreciate it.



    “Just ask, I’ll do whatever you want.”

    “What can I do to help?”


    I even made master lists for: having guests over, day trips, vacations, etc., because it aggravated the hell out of me to keep going over the same routine. Having to think everything out, stop what I’m doing, give instructions (including WHERE something is – HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED HERE!?) disrupts my thought process and the way I organize various things.

    It’s all BS because you know he doesn’t have to be told what to do at work every single day. He does it AND even thinks beyond the task at hand so as to keep things organized and flowing smoothly.

    Even if your mother was the great organizer (mine was), I emulate that skill and so does my brother.

    No amount of conversation, list making, bitching, or sarcastic rhetorical questions have made much difference. It is a choice to disengage and not do anything until asked.

    I could go on and on about how there is no mystery here.


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