1,215 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. Truth to be told, it’s more of a choice.
    I could choose to be the irresponsible one and let me world slide, or I could become the driving force of my relationship and take it beyond the sense of mere equality, further into the equillibrium.
    Sure, that does mean more work, but sure it means more pride.
    And I like organisation of things, most women do, but it doesn’t have to be that every man does resonate with that idea.
    But I could make him understand the essence of it that I truly hold, deep inside me.
    Humanity isn’t equality, it’s about empathy.
    I would understand and respect his valuables and so shall he.
    Takes a bit of effort to pass the idea onto a new person, but ensures the elevated levels of understanding and mental peace.

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  2. As a man I understand this perspective and I want to help more as I know I can. I maybe do dinner, laundry, dishes once every 2 weeks. Lets also remember that house chores include, gardening, swap coolers, lawns, oil changes, brakes, computer repair, appliance maintenance, etc. Not saying woman cant do all those but you certainly will never see my wife doing any of them.

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    1. I have to say that I agree with you. I won’t clean the gutters, cut the grass, catch rats, build decks, redo insulation, move gravel around, fix the clogged vacuum cleaner hose, build a watering system, etc, etc. But I can clean the bathrooms, vacuum the floors, do the laundry (even though I hate it, I think I’d hate cleaning the roof more), I’d hate to fix the hot tub (hint: I wouldn’t), make some meals, walk the dogs, dress the kids, etc, etc. I don’t think it’s so much what each person does, but rather are both partners contributing, and are you happy with the division of tasks?

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    2. Are you doing lawns, oil changes, brakes, computer repair, and appliance maintenance every day, multiple times a day? No. You are comparing apples and oranges. Dinner, laundry and dishes once every 2 weeks? She should kick you to the curb, pronto.

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      1. As a single mother, i do it all. I clean the house, organize, manage, grocery shop, cook, clean the gutters, take apart the dishwasher, take out the trash, shovel the snow, mow the lawn, fix the leaks, fix the furnace , fix the toilet, fix the clogged vaccuum cleaner hose, manage the child, do the appointments, deal with the school stuff, spiders, mean neighbors…i take care of every single thing that comes up…. I’ve never had a nanny or a sitter. This comic is good but I would like to see one that makes women like me more visible. It sure would be nice to have a man doing 1/4 of the work. I do it all. Who am i to be mad at about that? Sometimes I get mad at upper middle class women for whining about what their men dont do. Well then, just go on strike and fix the problem, or hire some help, or leave him. Because your choice is to keep doing all of it and watch him lay about on the couch, or your choice is to let go of some of the control, and expect him to lead some of the household management too. I am single because I couldnt stand this expectation any more, and my ex husband would not improve. I was miserable. I am far less miserable this way but I really wish motherhood and home making wasnt always painted as this thing that only happens in partnerships, with people who have nannies.

        And whats with it not being ok to hire help? Just pay them a fair and living wage! If you pay that woman a living wage, or i daresay , above a living wage, with health benefits and sick/ vacation time too, then you are providing a stable job to someone who needs one. Its only problematic when you treat that person as a lower class, and take advantage or exploit them. Treat them like a professional, respect their time and their labor and you are being feminist when you hire someone to do the work you don’t want to do yourself.

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    3. Newly divorced, and recently I’ve taken over all my ex’s chores. Chores like the ones you’ve mentioned above. It takes a fraction of the time the “indoor” chores do.

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    4. Well most people live in apartments or condos now, so most of the above gets taken care of by your monthly rent or condo fee. Many people get their car maintenance done professionally too, especially with newer cars that are harder to do at home, and they take their Macbooks down to Apple or Geek Squad for repairs.

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    5. I made a list of all the chores I thought had to get done in our house daily, weekly, monthly, annually, and irregularly (stuff like vaccinations, taking kids to birthday parties – which includes getting present and card and knowing where damn party is taking place and when) and I tried to be really fair and include all the stuff he does, like paying bills (er, mostly by direct debit), reviewing the household insurance, planning holidays (WHICH IS FUN!) etc. I was pleasantly surprised to find that our day-to-day balance was good: he makes a cup of tea in the morning and empties the dishwasher, I get the kids dressed… But the weekly stuff. Ah. 13 loads of laundry to be sorted, put on, hung out, put away, for starters (at the time we had a 6 month old with reflux: there was a LOT of laundry). That added, I calculated, about 2 hours per DAY to the daily chores and I was doing ALL of that. Sorting the kids’ clothes, sorting their vaccinations, check. Most of “his” jobs were much more infrequent. It’s not the same. I actually used this cartoon to discuss it with him. His first response, after a lot of sulking, was “well if you want me to do more, you’ll have to write it down” (which absolutely proved Emma’s point!). But things did actually get a lot better and I am glad I brought it up. We’re still not even but it is a big improvement.

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  3. Great read. I have to say that my wife carries the mental load it in our household. I’ll stand up for myself and say that I’m never sitting on my butt, I’m fully engaged with the kids (1-3) and chores from the time I get home until the kids are asleep and the kitchen is clean. I never say some crap like ‘you should have asked’. I do some mix of dinner bath bedtime every night. But I don’t know how to make a doctors appointment for my kids. And I don’t know what size clothes they wear or how to get in touch with their friends’ Moms to schedule a play date etc. etc..
    My wife manages our family. I have a job and do housework. I still think that this is a good arrangement. The work my wife does should be respected and revered in society as much as it is in our house. I’m very curious to talk to her and see her take.

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  4. So, while the author’s message about helping your partner is absolutely true, it is horribly sexist in its delivery. While there are patches of the “old roles” in present day America, it is silly to view this country as the “Archie Bunker America” of old. Many households are like mine, where there is a division of labor within the house…For example, in our home, I admit that my wife does most of the laundry, though I do help with this, and cleans bathrooms more often than I do. However, she has NEVER mopped a floor (I do that), rarely cooks (I do that as well), and never cleans the cooktop or oven (me again). I’m not singing my praises, simply pointing out that both of us work to keep our house in order.

    The point the author SHOULD have made her main theme (in my opinion), is that we ALL need to be able to SEE when our partners need help and offer ourselves to them…right then and there. We should not wait for them to ask for help. We should be more aware. And IF they ask for help, we should be there, NOT ask ,”What do you want” from the couch. Many of us, myself included, are guilty of this. We can do better.

    This should not have been a “male-bashing” article, but one that bashes partners who fail to see the needs of their other halves, don’t want to see, are blissfully ignorant and lazy. Those folks are not gender-specific.

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      1. What Benji said. As is expressly pointed out in the cartoon (which is about France, by the way, but I would be stunned if the situation in the US were not similar), in practice this burden does fall predominantly on women, and this IS a gender issue.

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    1. I think you’ve (unintentionally) highlighted one of my biggest frustrations with this system. One partner…yes, either gender…shouldn’t need “help” with the household. It should just automatically be shared. To say that I need help with the house implies that it’s ultimately my burden to carry. My husband is incredibly supportive and means so well but when he sees me doing jobs around he house, he asks “what can I do to help”. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate this SO much and am not complaining, but it just highlights that this is my job or else I’d be ‘helping’ him by doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a man of 26 ,i always considered myself traditional man and yearned for the “good old days”. But your right, if we could help out with those things that we don’t even even consider doing, this wold would be a much better place. And it’s not even “feminism” its just fairness. We are moving (luckily) into a wold were everyone is becoming more equal, and so far we focused on job opportunities, women in politics ext. But it starts at home. Thank you very much, this comic actually changed me.

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  6. It’s scary how accurate this is.

    The one nitpick I have is with the assumption that raising children based upon stereotypes is the problem. There could be evolutionary reasons why women tend to commit to “nesting” more than men do. If you give a young girl toy trucks, she will often give them names and tuck them into bed at night. If you give a boy a doll, he is likely to use it as a pretend gun. Of course, these behaviors could be due to exposure to media and peers, so who knows. My point is at the jury is still out on nature vs. nurture.

    In either case, I have been guilty of the behaviors described by the author and “human nature” is usually easily corrected by education thoughtful action, so “being male” is not an excuse for my behavior. Fortunately, we finally have enough money to outsource some of the child care and cleaning duties. We have a male nanny, at least.

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  7. I have severe ADHD, with anxiety.
    I’m married, but without kids.

    There can be a biological aspect to it, even if the biological aspect isn’t gendered.
    And women can have this issue too. I know women who don’t see things around them… they also have been diagnosed with ADHD.

    ADHD functionally works off the premise of not having a filter

    When you are just in your average daily life, you can generally process around 7 simultaneous stimuli around you. You notice a few things on the counter, a mess on the table, and the empty mustard in the fridge. Anything not processed is simply discarded as non information.

    These stimuli, plus whatever you are processing in your head creates your mental load.

    When you are tired, the number of things you can simultaneously process goes down, to example perhaps 3 things. This reduces your mental load capacity. You either start processing less things simultaneously, or you have less deep thoughts about them.

    When you have ADHD, when you are tired, instead of going from 7 things to 3 things you can process, you are now processing everything in your environment, plus everything you’ve been thinking about in your head, with equal precedence.

    This means instead of noticing there are some dishes on the counter, you have a more abstract thought of “this room stresses me out” but you aren’t actually sure why it stresses you out.

    You don’t formulate the thought on how to take corrective action to alleviate the stressor. It just exists, and without some form of aide in formulating ideas, there is a high likelihood that it will continue to exist.

    This is why so many ADHD people work off the concept of checklists.
    Have a set time where you are like “okay, my alarm went off, I now have to check the kitchen counter for mess, and take out the garbage”… but more complex tasks will me missed from this system

    It’s just as frustrating for the person going through this as for the people trying to live with them!

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  8. While I agree the socialization of men is a heavy contributor to these issues, I also feel like a number of examples here are also matters of personal preference.

    I.e. The man doesn’t particularly care if the table is cluttered or there’s a towel on the floor and the woman does. So the woman thinks to pick the towel up after clearing the table, while the man ignores it until it becomes a problem in his own perception.

    Let’s keep in mind that men do live on their own for extended periods of time during their adult lives, before cohabitating with women. They seem to make it to the cohabitation phase just fine.

    The examples with children, I think, are far more relevant and meaningful. A child’s life is in the hands of his/her parents. Both should be actively involved and constantly vigilant.

    That said, no one dies if the table is cluttered.

    The man expects to be told what to do because often (again, exempting situations with children), the man doesn’t know what “needs” to be done, because that “need” isn’t his – it’s hers. She “needs” the table cleared and stray clothes picked up. He is fine without it, until it stacks up enough that he isn’t – and then he would take care of it, the way he did when he didn’t have her around.

    BUT by this point, she has already done it, because her threshold for a mess was lower. And so, over time as this pattern repeats, he becomes socialized to her doing what she wants, and telling him to do what she wants.

    Human beings, sadly, aren’t psychic. So communication IS important (despite how this article seems to undervalue it). Perhaps the message shouldn’t be “remember to pick up”, because one person’s threshold is lower than the others. Perhaps it should be “Hey, I don’t like it when the table is cluttered – I know you don’t care, but for my sake, whenever you use the table, can you please clear it so I don’t have to? Thanks, love you.”

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    1. Do you realize why men might might not ‘particularly care if the table is cluttered or there’s a towel on the floor ‘? He won’t be blamed/judged for it. I can think of many anecdotes of people mocking women for having a messy house while the man who lives there is entirely left off the hook and maybe even pitied.
      Yes, communication is important, but coddling men so they won’t resent ‘helping’ around the house is not the solution.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ll always remember the time I tried to help my sister out with a crying baby and she reacted as if I had done something terrible (Oh no! You’re doing it all wrong!) because the baby was supposed to be learning to put himself to sleep. I’m afraid of moving around in someone else’s kitchen until I’ve observed the flow. I try to remember to offer to help, but the men’s conversation in the living room is a lot more interesting.

    Anyone who wants men to pick up the slack needs to let them work out their own routines around the house and be very gentle about putting them down for ignorance or different standards. The internet can teach them everything they need to know about housekeeping. Women in the meantime can learn how to delegate without micromanaging – practice at home and then take the new skills to work.

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  10. Ah yes, the unintended consequences of feminism smashing traditional gender roles and ‘the evil patriarchy’ and women pushing to enter the labor force after the agricultural and industrial revolutions (when jobs became much easier0, which reduced the price of labor. Families now need two incomes to support a family because women wanted to compete with men for jobs, which increased supply of workers and drove down the price of labor. Now, families can not rely solely on one persons income in order to have a basic standard of living as wages have not kept up with inflation. So women feel overworked in the home and want to force men to step up while men also work more hours, work nights more, work outside more, work more physical jobs, more dangerous jobs to support their families. No wonder why women in the 60s had higher levels of fulfillment and happiness than women today.

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    1. Oh Emmanuel!!! Brilliant, you have just singlehandedly discovered the source of all the labour and social issues in the 21st century while also figuring out why women aren’t happy in 2018! It’s the damn women’s fault in the first place!!! Who would have thought? Genius! Now get back into your time machine and travel back to your time (I’d say circa 1950s?) where your woman stands by your armchair and hands you your newspaper and slippers.

      Seriously dude?

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      1. No, you are right it is actually men’s fault for giving in to women’s demands for rights and equality. Everything that has happened to society is because men allowed it to.

        Let me guess, you think men were just lounging around and ‘oppressing’ women and world just magically built itself. What they should have done was send women to work and break their backs on farms, foundries, mines and construction sites while the men worked in the house and cooked and cleaned. That would make a lot of sense!

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    2. They weren’t actually hence the movement for change. And “women” is a category of a lot of different individuals who are just people as are men. And there were women working in the 50s – just not the wealthy ones.

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      1. If thats the case then women dont even know when they are happy since women more unhappy today than they were in the 60s. Women have every right they can ever want today without the responsibilities of men and they are still unhappy and feminism is louder than ever before.

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  11. The author must not really understand what goes on in the thought bubbles of the men she is mocking.

    Quick question…you ever see a feminist in a power outage?

    Enough said.

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  12. My issue with this is how childcare seems to be lumped with taking out the trash or emptying the dishwasher. Eg “women are portrayed as wives and mothers while men get to have fascinating adventures away from home.” The thing is, parenting isn’t just one big chore—it’s fascinating and an adventure in its own right. Some mothers choose to do this type of unpaid work (yes, it is actually work) on a full time basis. That’s okay. Some fathers parent on full time basis. That’s okay too. 50:50 division desirable by all couples. It doesn’t mean that someone isn’t pulling their fair share of the household work load (necessarily).
    I would rather see a model in which partners together consider the work which needs to happen in the household to keep it functioning (paid and unpaid) and divide according to interest and aptitude, rather than insist that only a 50:50 split is fair.
    And please stop comparing taking care of children to a boring chore like taking out the trash. This hugely undermines the mental, emotional, psychological and practical skill that goes into be a good parent.

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  13. Reading this entire article makes me fucking sick. Men and women should all be ashamed of themselves. I feel like jumping off a bridge now. Why am I such a pathetic man?

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  14. I think it’s important to distinguish between – men who claim they share in doing housework – and part of the point of the article which is that women often have the mental strain of overseeing and managing it all (lifestyle management not just house chores). It’s not – I went to the grocery store, too. It’s I co-created the shopping list and noted when things were out, initiating making a list in the first place.

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    1. If thinking about the typical tasks of daily life causes you undue mental stress, then the problem is you, not your partner or the rest of the world. It’s an anxiety disorder and there are treatments for this. If your partner is fortunate enough to be relatively carefree, which frankly is not that common, then you should be more like them rather than the other way around. There are countless women who can quite well handle extraordinarily busy and hectic lives. What’s the difference between them and those who stress out so much about “mental load”? You would give the credit to their supportive husbands? I doubt that. You need to take responsibility for yourself and get professional help if being an adult is too difficult.

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  15. Men aren’t mind readers. We’re also not compelled to do household chores like a fanatic. If you want something: ask for it. Otherwise, you’ll get be ignored and your house will turn into a bachelor’s pad. It’s natural. Not a gender slight.

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