1,812 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. Wow this is the most sexist nonsense I’ve read this year.
    This really lets womenkind down.

    We do not all think like this because it isn’t the 1950s.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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?

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  2. 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.

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    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.

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  3. 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.

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    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.

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    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).

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    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

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    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)

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      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

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    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.

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    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.

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      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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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.

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    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!!”

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

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    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.

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    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.

      😉

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    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.

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  8. 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.

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      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.

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  9. 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!

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  10. 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.

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