1,407 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. I don’t think is very fair. My dad works his ass off to do everything in the house including going to work at 4am every day. Meanwhile my mom sits on her lazy ass all day. Why do we have to put men and women in categories. Why cant you just mention the problem without assigning it to a certain gender. It’s not fair to my dad and a lot of other hard working fathers out there who never get the appreciation they deserve.

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    1. I don’t understand why you’re upset every comic can not be about your personal situation, you’re not the center of the world.
      The comic mentions this is not the case everywhere and that if in your home the man bears the mental load good for you ! Maybe you missed this part.
      Sociology is a science about trends, it is never 100%. But it helps understand why mostly women are raped and why most of rapists are men. Why there are still income inequalities between genders. Why women are still executing 75% of housework and I don’t even mention the mental load. And so on.

      Liked by 15 people

      1. Good for her? I agree that in many situations it is the women doing the mental work, but the man doing all the mental work is not better… Only by putting an emphasis on equality of workload, both physical and mental, can there be improvement. Even if it means admitting that I am the one who needs to carry more of the load to match my partner. It’s about equality, not moral high ground.

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    2. Kaitlyn, Why would you even say that of your mom? Even if nothing else, she still carried you for 9 months an went through labor or a C section to bring you here. Articles like this are to be read as general and never applies to every single household. My mom was a stay at home mom and I only realized how hard it was when I had to stay home with 2 small kids after my second child.

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      1. Just because a woman conceived you and birthed you, doesn’t mean you owe her anything. You didn’t ask to be born and were a helpless baby when you came into the world. That is down to choices and actions the parents took – not the child. It is never the child’s fault. Some people’s mothers and fathers do a dreadful job and cause untold damage to their children. Children/adults don’t have to be grateful if their parents were rubbish and should be encouraged to speak out about bad parenting, not internalise or even perpetuate it. Not everyone’s parents do a good job.

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    3. It’s not fair to your Dad & a lot of other men who never get the appreciation they deserve – appreciation for tasks that the majority of women do without appreciation too. Why does being an adult male mean you deserve appreciation for tasks involved in running the house hold that you live in?

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      1. Just because someone ‘should’ do something doesn’t mean they don’t ‘deserve’ appreciation for their efforts or that appreciation should be ‘withheld’.

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  2. Comments like this drive me nuts.
    The comic painted with a very broad brush, gender-wise, and did piss-poor job of acknowledging the myriad of exceptions to this frame.
    When a person says “Wait, that’s not me/my family” the response is “…you’re not the center of the world”.
    Really?
    Newsflash: neither are you, whether or not your situation is typical/common.
    Get involved with empathy, or hush up.

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    1. I don’t know if you understand how social commentary works Rob, but when you’re trying to make a comment on how the majority of society works, outliers don’t really have a place. Saying “you’re not the center of the world” is a perfectly valid response, considering while Kaitlynn may have an atypical household, the fact is that almost every woman you talk to will tell you something similar to what’s in the comic. Making comments like “well this isn’t how it is for ME” is purposefully trying to derail the conversation.

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      1. And that statement is even part of the comic, not just as a few words, but it has an illustrative cartoon woman!

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      1. Effective social commentary acknowledges varied experience. Absolutist language will kill your message with anyone whose lived experience differs from yours.
        How TF would Kaitlyn know what the norm is? Her lived experience is different, and to me her comment is essentially “this is not at all the way the world has been for me”.

        How about if someone writes a comic about the majority of men who feel like they want more sex than their wives do, and present it simply as a man’s burden without digging deeply into causation or acknowledging the many exceptions? When someone says “this isn’t absolute, it doesn’t represent my situation” do we shame them with suggestions of narcissism?

        Honest question: Is this a forum where ideas are exchanged, or a space reserved for 100% agreement and praise only?

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      2. Maybe you didn’t read well because I acknowledge it is not a 100% situation but a trend, that’s what sociology is useful for, highlighting trends.
        My blog is not giving coaching or psychology advice, neither is it a therapy group. It’s a place for feminist activism. So the aim here is not to expose everyone’s personal experience so that everyone fells good and comforted. The aim is to demonstrate that we live in a society of male domination (income, sexual violence, politics, housework and so on) and to federate to put an end to this situation. I don’t mind people needing to talk about themselves, I just say this is not the good place to do it and all the less when it is used to put into question several decades of sociology and feminist work.

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    2. For what it is worth, this is the majority of families from my era. I have always been the one to “think” of everything. From what clothes to wear, or wash to dinner prep, decide and shop, to the buyer of all presents for every occasion for everyone both sides of the family. I have spent the majority of my marriage doing what everyone else “needed” me to do. Including caregiving for parents and children. This is what normally happened in the past and too many of us passed this on to our daughters. The expectations. Women should be able to pursue whatever they want, the same as men. It should be our choice not forced upon us. I never knew how to put it into words. Your comic does it beautifully. As far as the negativity goes, the truth hurts, no one wants to give up their free ride. There has to be at least 100:1 ratio, as to the people who are affected versus the one who is not.

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    3. “The comic painted with a very broad brush,”

      Yes… that’s how these things work.

      “gender-wise”

      Statistically

      “and did piss-poor job of acknowledging the myriad of exceptions to this frame.”

      No. It did an excellent job. It specifically included “There are exceptions, of course”

      It’s a comic, for gods’ sake. It’s not a multi-volume PhD thesis.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m a bit stunned by the inclusion of nannies as totally normal – and as if they weren’t women. How about class as an issue? Most working mothers don’t have nannies – they struggle and panic and juggle and all that stuff.
    Hera

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    1. Well in France almost everybody has, either a nanny or a place in a nursery. The taxes system make the price progressive so that the families with the less income can afford it anyway, but with our government current politic it’s changing for the worse. Of course even before that it was not a magical solution, and for the most precarious families it was too expensive and women with the lowest income tended to stay at home.
      My opinion is that even in a perfect work without class inequalities we would need someone to do nannies’ job, I just think they would not be poor women from immigration, it would be a valued task shared among the community.

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      1. Just what society needs! Mothers spending less time at home and devoting her energy to pleasing the demands of a corporate boss while her children are raised by strangers making close to minimum wage!

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      2. This sounds great. Children can grow up optimally in contact with same-aged children. I always considered these opportunities in France for great opportunities. However, I have to say for myself that for me it was never a question to go back to work immediately after birth …. I decided to have children whom I wanted to take care of alone, to whom I wanted to show the world until it is time to let go because they live on their own. I would not want to have children if I did not want to do this task 100% myself.

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      3. I find it unfortunate that so many women go against their maternal instincts and leave their children with strangers for most of the day during their most crucial years of development. Babies are neurologically fragile and are born without a central nervous system. Mothers are literally act as the central nervous system for the first year after birth. The regulatory mechanism is oxytocin which works in conjunction with estrogen. Mothers produce it when they give birth, breastfeed or otherwise nurture their children and produce more of it than men do. Every time a mother comforts a baby in distress, she’s actually regulating that baby’s emotions from the outside in. Babies are not able to regulate their emotions internally until 3-5 years. Tales of abuse in day-care centers are enough for me to insist that my children never step foot in one.

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      4. I have no background knowledge at all, but this sounds very logical for me….I think the maternal instinct is the key… for me it was never a question… hopefully this instinct is not getting lost in our society…

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      5. France may be an exception, but in the US it’s very difficult to support a family on one income. The alternatives of my generation (approaching 40) are either to find affordable childcare somehow, when the average daycare costs as much as a month’s rent, or not have children. I am a single parent with one child, and I also care for my parents, and we have two renters to split the bills. If I knew this would happen I would not have had a child.

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  4. It’s gotten worse, recently. On top of that, there’s less income to go round. Perhaps we need to stop giving birth, like, at all. For good. Capitalism relies on the free reproductive labour of workers. People without children rely on reproduction for their welfare and pension. Companies rely on the supply of workers raised at no cost to them. Capitalist externalise the costs of reproduction and reap the surplus of cheap labour. It’s sickening.

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  5. I’m a bit surprised about the critical or even aggressive comments that ignore the mainstream of gender-roles in our society (it’s the same in Germany where I come from, btw sorry for my bad English..), Yes, there are always exceptions, but that’s really not the point – please be aware of how are families organised elsewhere (and sometimes the gender gap even worse); please note the many many scientific knowledge about that gender-gap, which the comic is talking about!

    Cool comic, Emma, thank you so much! And even if my partner is really doing a lot of housework and even takes his mental load regarding the household (feminists/women should be more sloppy, or let’s say: it helps sometimes not to see every grain of dust), you’re so right! When I got our children, everybody asks me, if my husband would “help” me or “support” me. No, why should he do that? I’m not the familiy manager, my husband is as responsable for our children as me! Nobody sees that – so it’s no surprise, that a lot of men (and even women) are sharing these traditional attitudes.
    I’m looking forward to your comic on “emotional work”, because this is indeed a hard and unpaid job which is almost exclusively done by women.

    Thank you and all the best!

    Elisa
    (feminist and art historian)

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  6. This hits home hard, and I’m using it to try to get my husband to understand what we really need to work on. Despite being the primary bread winner, I’m the one who gets all the laundry done, who finds the kids clothes, who finds his clothes for work, I do the shopping, the meal planning, the you name it, and I’m exhausted. Thank you for this comic, I wish more people could see it and understand it.

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    1. I respectfully suggest you stop finding his clothes for work. You are not only the household manager, you are taking care of him. You are also his caregiver. Think about this. You are finding an adult person’s clothing for them. I know a mom who does hers and her kids clothing but never does any of her spouse’s. I think that is a bit extreme as it is just as easy to do all laundry together, but you need to draw the line somewhere. When you go from not only managing a full home to also starting to parent another adult… YOU need to step back and look at how you might be contributing to your exhaustion. Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for a person is NOT do everything for them. If you want a partner, you need to relinquish a bit of control to that person. A journal can help you evaluate where you want to set your own boundaries. I wish you good change that works for you and your family!

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  7. I can’t believe some of these comments — if you don’t feel like this comic applies to your life, then great. For those who relate, it’s a nice reminder that you’re not alone. It doesn’t apply to my life EXACTLY, but I still appreciated the sentiment and enjoyed the comic. (Emphasis on the word “comic” ffs)

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  8. Thank you for this comic. As a husband I have definitely been guilty of this and when I found a link to this comic it really made me understand the concept, and spurred me to enact change. I have spread the concept to many people since but only just now rediscovered the source of this comic.
    Thanks again!

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  9. This is why men should marry a woman who wants to be a wife and mother dedicated to her household first and foremost instead of a feminist who wants to be ‘equal’. Ideally men should find a woman that finds a sense of pleasure and contentment in serving her household and family instead of seeing them as a burdensome sense of duty or enslavement.

    The problem with women and mothers having a career is that the culture tells husbands to pick up the slack and become a Mr. Mom by helping out with the chores. This only makes the problem WORSE, because it takes your man away from the role women truly want to see him in and turns him more into a woman. Men taking on more household tasks will not make women happy. When a man takes on traditionally feminine tasks or functions, women will either a) emasculate that man and look at him as weak, inadequate or not masculine enough b) complain that he does not perform traditionally feminine functions or tasks to her level of proficiency or to her subjective expectations, and/or c) complain that the man undermines her capabilities by invading the traditionally female domain. I have read studies that men who do MORE household chores get LESS sex from their wives. Whether or not this is true, it’s easy to see why a woman would not want to sleep with a man who acts like an equal partner.

    The ideal scenario is for the husband to WORK HARD to provide for his family during the day and relax with his wife and children in the evening. While he’s at work, the wife takes care of the home, runs errands, and prepares dinner. When the children begin school then the mother can focus on her business, education and career. This is far more superior to the schizophrenic model we have now where both parents work and the children are dumped in daycare or come home from school to an empty house. Life is long: there will be PLENTY OF DECADES to focus on your career AFTER your children are grown. If I had my way, women would focus on creating a family straight after finishing high school and attend university only once their last child is in school. This would ensure that they don’t miss out on having a family from making a career their priority or burn themselves out with ‘the mental load’ trying to do both at once.

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      1. Jim, your comment doesn’t even deserve more of a reply than that because it’s so ridiculously sexist and archaic. I doubt that logic would have much of an impact with you since you’re living in some sort of 1950s sitcom fantasy.

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    1. But you ARE living in a fantasy if you think that this scenario is even a choice for most couples. Not every family can survive on one income. As for your suggestion that this type of arrangement would make all women happy…all I can do is shake my head in astonishment that you actually believe this.

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      1. Its not a reality anymore since women decided to compete with women in the workforce (when jobs became much easier of course) which made labor much cheaper so one income is not enough to sustain a household, resulting in the schizophrenic model we have today. To make men accept this change, they had to be relentlessly emasculated until they saw women as an equally masculine partner, but this has so greatly weakened men that women no longer trust them to be strong enough to lead, perpetuating a cycle where a woman may feel she has no choice but to pursue a career if she wants to be materially secure.

        Who would have thunk that putting family first would make women happy? All I can do is shake my head in astonishment that you would actually question this.

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    2. I nearly fell off my chair laughing while reading your comment, Jan. The single, most sexy thing a man has ever done in my life was my old boyfriend who came for a visit and at some point just walked over to my sink and started washing dishes after dinner. I actually took a photo of the event and it still turns me on after 27 years. Yes, women should put their whole lives, dreams and hopes on hold for many years to “serve their family” (read: serve the man) just because they had the luck of being born a woman. I have so many things I want to say but I will remain civil. Go back to your cave, Jan.

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      1. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you were so turned on by your ex boyfriend doing the dishes but personal anecdotes are the weakest form of argument. I wonder why things ended between you. I already explained how women will react in general when men take on traditionally feminine roles.

        I already stated you have your whole life to chase your hopes and dreams/and or sit in a cubicle. Your children are only young once.

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    3. OK, Jim, so here are some logical counter arguments:

      Children “being in school” in no way reduces the mental load of a household. In fact, it increases it because there are more outside activities, more places to drive, more specialty clothing and equipment to tend to, more projects that need to be done where an adult has to obtain supplies or help with difficult steps. This lasts until a kid is driving, at least.

      Going to university when you’re in your 30s or 40s leaves you 20 years behind your peers (male peers, in your scenario), which means earning power is 20 years behind, experience is 20 years behind. Can you think how demoralizing it is to have to compete for entry-level jobs with 22-year-olds when you’re 40? Not to mention that most hiring managers are in their 20s and 30s and think anyone over 35 is too old to be any good at a job. Add to that not having any real-life work skills because you’re just out of college, and it leaves women where they were 50 years ago–as assistants to the “real” workers, i.e., men.

      Not to mention that university is not just about book-learning. It’s also about learning social skills, critical thinking, and how to interact as an adult instead of as a woman-child, barefoot and pregnant, making her man sandwiches. And your mind is a lot more malleable and receptive to learning at 18 than at 35.

      Starting a career later in life means you have less time to gain experience and can accomplish far less in your allotted time on earth. There are also jobs where you need to be young, strong, and full of stamina in the first few years–like being a doctor or a chef–because the apprenticeships for these jobs are grueling. It’s hard to have that stamina when you start in your 40s. Of course, you probably think women aren’t suited for jobs like that…

      Parents who start having kids when they’re 18 usually are poorer their whole lives and raise kids who are less successful than parents who wait till their mid-20s or later to start having kids. Children of mothers under 20 are often less healthy, and maternal mortality is higher. Not to mention that it takes time to find the right person to marry and want to have children with (but maybe in your world, you will bring back arranged marriages). Also, are these 18-year-old “women” marrying men who are successful and in their 20s or older? Because if they marry 18-year-old “men” who are still in college, where is the living money going to come from?

      A few other comments:

      Very few women are feminists simply because they want to be feminists. They are feminists because they’ve tried to help their families by working, and they see that they are not treated with the same respect men get, they are not offered the same promotions, they still have to do most of the stuff at home along with all the stuff at work. Despite what you think, many families need two incomes to survive. And people with outside interests, like work, are far more stimulating to their partners than those whose world revolves around toddlers. Many men appreciate that, even if you don’t.

      This is NOT about men “picking up the slack” and “doing more household chores”. It’s about men considering what needs to be done to run a competent household where kids get picked up from events instead of left to wait and you don’t run out of toilet paper and everyone has clean clothes to wear. If you can’t care about that stuff, you should probably live alone.

      I can’t speak to the women-only-have-sex-with-manly-men thing. Maybe there are some, or even a lot, of women around like that. People are weird, I know. But I also know there are a lot of women who are more attracted to someone who respects them and pulls their weight than to a guy with a macho act. I don’t know what role you think women “want” to see men in, but it sure isn’t uniform across all women.

      Finally, “if you had your way” this would be a dictatorship with one backwards man forcing everyone into, as Jenny says, “a 1950s sitcom fantasy” or the movie “Pleasantville” before color started showing up. We don’t all want to live that way. Even some men.

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      1. Sure children in school will still require a mental load, but not with the same frequency or intensity as infants or toddlers. Im sorry, but this is an mischaracterization of the truth.

        Stop comparing yourself to men. Men and women have completely different career interests so you would rarely be competing with men who have 20 years of experience, unless you are going to convince me that women are lining up to drive trucks or work in manufacturing plants. It is also demoralizing to turn 30 and have no family, husband, or children to show for it.

        The ‘critical thinking skills’ you get from a liberal arts/gender studies degree from a university is not worth the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that will follow you around for 20 years. I’m sure you are referring to the binge drinking and casual sex when you are talking about social skills. You will also need stamina and energy to have children. Better to have them when you are young like nature intended.

        Surely your dying thoughts will be how you should have spent more hours at the office being a corporate drone on your deathbed instead of with your family when you are contemplating how you spent your ‘allotted time on earth’. The average person, let alone woman, will be a doctor or a chef, so stop cherry picking to try and make a point.

        Stop implying that having children when you are young is the cause of poor health and mortality. And yes ideally a woman would marry an older more established man, like they do anyways if they get married. If you haven’t noticed casual dating has a very poor rate of yielding successful marriages, much less than cultures that have strong values and traditions around mate selection. And yes, the latter are much happier too.

        Many women are feminists because they want freedom, rights, and authority without the responsibilities, expectations, and obligations that come with those freedoms. Households need two incomes because women flooded the labor market (when jobs became easier off of men’s accomplishments) and drove down the price of labor. Men literally built the world for the comfort of women and their families and women are still not happy and get nothing but vilified. Life is not just about being stimulated by your partner. Its about values and responsibility for the greater good, including children.

        I’ve already addressed what happens if men were to handle or manage a majority of the ‘mental load’ at home. Women do not want to let go of the mantle of running the household, yet they want to complain that men don’t do enough. You cant have it both ways.

        Its interesting how you mock the idea of the 50’s sitcom yet women were actually more fulfilled and happier back then than they are today, even though they are now free to do whatever they wish. The decline of female happiness has been well documented, but I’m sure its men’s fault somehow.

        Good responses overall though

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      2. All I can say is that you are out of touch with reality.

        Between a baby and a school-aged child, the baby needs a lot more time and tasks done, but they are mostly physical tasks, not mental ones that involve project management. I don’t think women were happier in the 1950s; there were an awful lot of “nerve tonics” and “mother’s little helpers” on the market back then. And men and women often do have similar career interests. If you want me to stop cherry-picking, then you can’t do it either with your truck driving and factory work (FYI: I doubt men are really /interested/ in working in manufacturing; more likely they have to).

        I’m done here because you do not in any way have a grasp of how real people actually live.

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      3. Manufacturing and truck driving are not outliers, they are actually among the most popular jobs for men. And yes, you are correct that men have to perform this jobs, ie they take on this responsibility or ‘load’ like mature adults should.

        It doesn’t matter what you think, It is well documented that women’s happiness is declining decade over decade since the mid century.

        Thanks for commenting.

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      1. Hahaha sorry about that, I should have used a more unique name.
        The 50s were not so bad, women were a lot more happier and fulfilled then than they are today.
        You are not worse than me, you shouldn’t be so self depracating 😉

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    4. And if god forbid the husband dies? An undergraduate wife is supposed to do what? Work a minimum wage job to raise her children and ruin their future because you had your way?

      Dont tell me you have bought enough insurance that will set your family such that from payout your kid’s can be educated and your wife can live life you are providing today till she turns 85 and dies.

      Be a man, don’t play God.

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    5. Try this on for size:

      The ideal scenario is for the women, who seem to be better suited for project management and running a corporation anyways, to WORK HARD outside the home to provide for her family during the day and relax with her husband and children in the evening.

      While she slaying at work, the husband takes care of the home, runs errands, and prepares dinner. When the children begin school, then the husband can focus on his business, education and career. This provides the necessary training for men to develop these skills that they lack. It teaches them to be self-sufficient, to care for their own children’s needs, to learn how to do laundry/clean/cook. Think of it as a homecare apprenticeship. This is far more superior model we have now where both parents work and the children are dumped in daycare or come home from school to an empty house. Life is long: there will be PLENTY OF DECADES for men to focus on career AFTER children are grown. What man doesn’t want to start college and career in his 50s?!?

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      1. Trust me, I have thought this through but it sounds like you havent. This in theory would work for men, but the problem is that it would cause the entire infrastructure of the world to collapse and would leave women hurt, miserable and would cause them to resent men even more. Women are not better suited to run corporations. Running a corporation requires extreme levels of work ethic and leadership, much more than running a household. It would be incredibly unfair to demand or expect that women deal with the stress and danger of building roads, buildings, rail roads, cars, planes, dig oil rigs, farming food, building ships, sewage infrastructure, plumbing, electrical technology or any other tangible good required for the survival of humanity while men stay home cooking and cleaning.

        It would also be very harmful to small children. Babies are neurologically fragile and are born without a central nervous system and mothers are literally act as the central nervous system for the first year after birth. Mothers who breastfeed or otherwise nurture their children are regulating that babies emotions from the outside in. Mothers are essential to children development initially much more so than fathers are.

        Its much better for women to focus on having a family first before having a career since men and women have different reproductive timelines and limits.

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      2. I actually agree with you, although I know you were being facetious. Dividing up time so one partner stays home with the kids while the other works is the best scenario, by far, regardless of weather it’s a man or a woman. We should divide up jobs, not try to split each job in half.

        Although I do wonder how these men have young children all the way from early 20’s into his 50’s. Is he changing diapers on a 30 year old, or did his wife pop out two dozen babies?!?

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      1. What makes women happy then? Emasculating her husband, making her corporate boss happy and competing with men in the workforce while her children are raised by strangers making minimum wage? And why are women becoming less and less happier even thought they have more rights and freedom than ever before?

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  10. Jim, unless your “study” was performed by an accredited team on a large enough sample (please provide links for the proof) and has been replicated by many other studies, likewise performed by qualified researchers, the “study” you cite is anecdotal as well.

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    1. Don’t be silly, social behavior does not need to be quantified in a scientific study for it to be true. That is an insult to your own intelligence and intuition. If you want to know the truth do the research yourself, its easy enough with the advent of the internet (hint start with a google search: “more chores less sex”. I am not your personal research analyst.

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      1. 1. I totally agree that social behavior does not need to be quantified in a scientific study for it to be true (although it certainly helps to have peer-reviewed references and statistics to site to support your cause). But by your own logic, then the social behavior (women bearing the load) is true and doesn’t need to be quantified in a scientific study.

        2. Babies are not born without a central nervous system. If babies were born without a central nervous system, that means they would be born without a brain or spinal chord, and for the vast majority of babies, that is false. The CDC cites that 3 in 10,000 babies are born with some parts of their brain and/or spinal chord missing or under-developed (this is still a central nervous system, just not a fully functional one). Link: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/anencephaly.html

        I can’t tell if this is really what you think or just some top-notch level trolling (in which case, kudos to you for getting me to engage)

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      2. I made an account solely to respond to this. I won’t even touch the many sexist and outdated arguments you have made, as you are clearly sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating your outdated script.

        When you make a claim, YOU provide the evidence. You don’t get to say “women are less happy now than in the 50s” and then demand someone do the work for you when they challenge it. Google is very easy to use, you’re right. How about you do your own research and support your own claim, instead of hoisting it off on the person you’re trying to convince. You love to talk about logical fallacies, but this is argumentation 101.

        Nevermind the beginning of my comment, I am going to touch on some things:

        The way you think about sex is archaic and gross. Women don’t “give” men sex, just like men don’t “give” women sex. Sex is not a gift to be exchanged. Sex is a mutual act that both partners actively consent to take part in. You sound like you expect women to have sex with men just because men want it, not taking into account what the woman wants. You aren’t owed sex.

        I’m curious, what do you think about gay men or gay women living together? Who should stay at home and who should go to work? Or should both men go to work and leave their children while both women stay at home and let the power shut off because they aren’t working?

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      3. One more thing: you have absolutely no idea how women feel today compared to the 1950s. You are not a woman, you do not experience life as the average woman. I would bet money on it that the reason women seemed “happier” to you is because:

        1) It was socially unacceptable to even so much as hint at being unhappy doing everything and attending to your husband 24/7.

        2) Your knowledge of the 50s comes through ads and media showing stereotypical 50s housewives smiling as they daintily vacuum and bring a Coke to their husband. As you should very well know, media is more often than not an accurate representation of real life. Especially advertisements.

        3) If you did live through the 50s, you weren’t old enough to truly look around you and see behind what was immediately in front of your eyes. If you were 20 (old enough to start experiencing life through the eyes on adult), you would be almost 90 now. I highly doubt you would be here spouting your nonsense if that were the case. Even assuming you were 10, you’d almost be 80. Again, I highly doubt most 80 year olds are surfing the web and getting into internet arguments. But if you are an 80 y/o man reminiscing about the good old days, you still don’t know the true experiences of women in the 50s. Nostalgia is a tricky thing, especially childhood nostalgia. It blinds you to the bad parts of the past while you remain completely aware of every flaw you see in the present.

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  11. So I’m not surprised that there was negative posts from men. This resonated with me and EVERY woman I know. I just read “Fed up. Emotions labor, woman and the way up” by Gemma Hartley. Without exception EVERY SINGLE woman I have talked to about this has the same experience! It is almost universal. Completely agree that the people here disagreeing are outliers, or more likely the men who don’t see it. I’m struggling trying to get my husband to see it and he’s a good man. You are right!! Don’t listen to the haters! Pretty much all women live this unfortunate truth.

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  12. I do see a lot of negative posts… This is not man bashing, this is actually exactly how I feel. My husband is awesome and he helps!!! when I ask him to. But yes, I am the one planning meals, going to the store, cooking, dishes, laundry, remembering to change the sheets…… all those things. And sometimes I also think it’s my fault. If I wouldn’t do it, it would be done eventually, but it would just take way too long and then I’d rather do it myself.
    I love this honest post and of course it doesn’t apply to every single household. But thanks Emma for sharing so accurately for most household situations! xxx

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  13. Hi Emma, my girlfriend showed me this comic in 2017 after we had been living together for about a year and it totally changed the way I thought about household chores.

    I used to see it as fair that I was doing most of the cooking plus whatever chores I was specifically asked to do. I didn’t recognise the mental workload I was putting on her until I read this.

    We now regularly check in just to make sure we both feel we’re distributing the work as evenly as possible, both physically and mentally.

    I don’t think we’ve had more than one or two arguments about chores in the two years since, and even though I’m probably doing more work than I have in previous relationships I’m much happier and less stressed out knowing neither of us are feeling resentful over the way work is done around the house.

    We don’t have kids but I’m hoping that when/if we do, we’ll manage things better than we might have otherwise and set a good example for them.

    I just revisited this comic to show a friend, saw a lot of the nasty comments here and felt like it might be good for you to hear this made a positive difference for at least one couple 🙂

    Thanks!

    William

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is so true for my household! We both work full time and have two daughters. I do SO much! What he does do is because I ask (I’ve gone so far as to write chores on the calendar) and even what I ask of him is not close to half of the load. He doesn’t understand the ‘mental load’ and dismisses me. This causes alot of resentment… Men need to realize what’s happening ( women need to raise their sons differently) or the divorce rate will only climb.

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  15. I had not known this and just read it for the 1st time. To be honest: How is it possible that you have looked into my live – and into my (and my husbands) brain? By chance I just had a talk with my best friend last weekend exactly about that. And I didn’t even KNOW that there exists a WORD for the ‘situation’ I’m in for years now. Thank you so much!

    Like

  16. Omg thank you sooo much!

    This finally gives me a word and an explanation to the way a lot of the people in my life make me feel.

    I am going to share this all over the damn place! I am so sorry about all the negative comments here. It is unfortunate that people are unwilling to listen to your experience and try to use it to look within themselves and reflect on what you are trying to say.

    It’s just so easy to point fingers. And everyone is taking things so seriously. Instead of writing angry comments maybe people can take a step back and take a look and start asking some important questions. Have I been offloading my emotional labour onto someone else? Is there anyway I can help? I know my life can get difficult but is it possible I am making someone elses life, possibly my partner’s, even harder to deal with?

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  17. My husband does the shopping and cooking (begrudgingly) and helps a lot with our daughter. But I identify with a lot of this anyway. I make the doctor appointments, schedule the repairman, make mental notes about what we need to buy, if my daughter has her school things in order, etc. etc. The clearing of the table that turns into a two-hour clean-up, IT ME. I think it’s an interesting perspective, the “you should have asked”… because oftentimes if a woman DOES ask, she turns into the stereotypical “n” word: Nag. So do you keep asking/nagging, or just do it yourself? I haven’t found the answer.

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  18. Jim: ‘I find it unfortunate that so many women go against their maternal instincts and leave their children with strangers for most of the day during their most crucial years of development. ”

    Hooboy. Wow. What a perfect accidental underlining of half of what this comic is about!

    Let me rephrase your statement as it pertains o the comic right here:

    “I find it unfortunate that so many men go against their paternal instincts and leave their children with strangers(or only their mother) for most of the day during their most crucial years of development.”

    Do you see the problem more clearly now?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am not sure in what country this is supposed to be. But I know that here in Iceland 80% of all women are at work and 87% of men. Unexplained salary difference is 14%. Unemplayment rate is low. Almost all mothers go to work after parental leave that is in total 9 months. 3 months for mother, 3 for fathers and 3 for them to decide amongst them. This is a great way to change things. Half of icelandic women 25-67 have university degrees compaired to 33% of men. (https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/) So the lazy mother is not to find here in Iceland. Thank you Emma, I know all of this to well and tend to blame myself for not being good enough in distributing tasks.

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  20. Hi Emma, I really enjoyed your cartoon. It made me reflect on who I want to be as a man as I enter my adulthood. Thank you and keep up the wonderful work!

    Like

  21. I think there’s a second side to this, that the author (as well as many readers) are missing. This story hinges on the assumption that all this mental work is an unquestionably good thing, and that it should be done. Therefore, when women do more of it it’s because men aren’t doing enough.

    All this internal distraction is a bad thing, and *everyone* needs to reign themselves in from doing so much of it. Women do more of this mental work, yes, but it’s a bad thing that they’re doing and we shouldn’t glorify it. (I’m not saying this to insult them, I know most of them are good people and truly mean well, but that doesn’t make this behavior into something laudable.)

    For instance, the woman in the comic who gets distracted whilst clearing off the coffee table – that’s clearly something she needs to work on internally, to finish one task before worrying about another. Kick the towel out of the walkway so no one trips and move on. Put the dirty clothes in the overflowing hamper, they’ll still be there when you go to do laundry. So you’re out of mustard – so what? Just eat your meal without the mustard this time, no big deal. Putting away perishables groceries is the only time-sensitive task. And just like that, 75% of her “added” workload is gone. Because she burdened herself with it, for no good reason. Let the tasks that don’t truly need to be done go undone. The world won’t stop spinning if you only do your fair share.

    (Sorry, I think I submitted this under another comment by accident)

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  22. Okay, okay. How do we change it? If I have it and my husband doesn’t, how do we nail it into his head? And what if he works and I don’t, should I overload him with househould chores adding to his working headaches? Is this about feminism?

    Like

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