1,498 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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    1. You’re right it is a choice, a choice that men make to not be invested in their home or responsibilities as a partner in the family. The premise of this message is not necessarily that both partners do equal amounts of everything, it’s to be equitable about the responsibilities which is wholly different. Doing that requires honest communication something that men aren’t doing when they say “you should’ve told me” because it already assumes and projects a managerial role onto his partner. Thank you and I’ll take your response off the air.

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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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      1. I think everyone is missing the point. This was about the Mental Load not the physical load. It’s about when obvious things are only noticed and taken care of by the woman. When we hear you should of asked when we what we want and need is for someone else anyone else to see the dirty towel on the bathroom floor to just pick it up and not just put it on top of the laundry basket but to actually do a load and not just wash it but see that whole load through as in drying and folding and putting away. That’s the point. We want a partner that knows to check the family calendar and see what’s going on for the week and say hey can I do this or that for us? I hate when my husband says what can I do for you? It’s not me it’s the family. What can you do to help the family. Be pro active be a self starter see and do! Don’t sit on the couch waiting to be commanded. This isn’t about gender roles and who does more it’s about awareness and being a doer. You are not employed by your wife she shouldn’t have to give you assignments. Think of your marriage and household like you would an entrepreneurship you started together from the ground up. You both know everything that needs to be done to be successful if one person starts to only do things when asked then it starts to fail. Resentment will begin to grow and and then the comparison game begins. I do this and I do that…. this is just a distraction to the real underlying problem. All the stuff that you both needs to be done but somewhere along the way one person put blinders on. They no longer see the in between stuff they only see the big stuff and when said big stuff is taken care of the little stuff gets left on the floor and we stop looking down. If we don’t look down we don’t see it. But if someone said hey can you pick up the towel on the floor then you’d do it? Mental exhaustion of a woman will mostly likely affect your realationship in very negative ways. Ways most men won’t like. This is not a threat it’s just a fact. So start looking down…see the bigger picture here.

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      2. The truth is that most men don’t do those heavy chores either. We hire people but oh yeah I have to be the one to schedule call and be there for when they come over.

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      3. Re division of labor and fairness: Women tend to do the tasks that cement everyday life, so those tasks are before their eyes constantly (clean, feed, pick up, tidy, remind,…) . Men tend to do tasks that take big chunks of time (like mow the lawn) and they do them occasionally (the weekend), while women do lots of little things constantly (while men are mowing the lawn *and* while men are reading the paper…). Plus women manage men’s doing those men’s tasks (aka “nagging”, which is to say they don’t exactly get much thanks for it).

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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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      1. I understand why people think that when Emma says that you have to write it down it’s a bad thing. I’ll do my shit and some of yours, but if you want me to do more you’re gonna have to tell me WHAT it is. I feel like you guys are thinking that men can sort of mind read and see “oh, she’s doing some chores and needs help”. Communicate or just piss off

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      2. @Shady I presume you prefer eating off of clean plates and wearing clean clothes, etc. The point of all of this is, if you see that a chore isn’t done and you are physically capable of doing it, then do it! Not noticing a chore needs to be done suggests that you are only concerned with your own needs. If someone else must provide an adult with a written list of basic household tasks as though it’s a homework assignment, that’s not a communication problem.

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    6. See, i actually do all of that. Car maintenance, leaky faucets, mowing the lawn. Feeding, playing, bathing the baby. I work 2 jobs 5am-9pm then get home and realize the baby hasn’t eaten, theres no clean dishes to feed him. His bedtime is 9, but he’s up til 10. If i ask for help,(gently a few times, then frustrated) it’s nagging. When he does take out the trash, my thank you is condescending. If i don’t ask for help it’s controlling. Idk what to do. Im at my limit and I’ve told him over and over. I work 16 hr days sometimes and god forbid i dont do chores. Why do i have to do the dishes-you didnt. Candy for breakfast…im so done and he just doesnt see it. He’s a sweetheart and a great lover.. But very lazy

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      1. Also.. He just pawns the baby on the inlaws and sleeeeeeps. The one thing i havnt had in 7 years it feels. He was out of work for 2 months. The house was always still a mess. The baby physically left the house and walked across the street to my inlaws house a total of 3 times in those 2 months because daddy fell asleep on the couch… I called home from work just two days ago. Hey, I’m gonna bring diapers home on my lunch, anything else? Get home. He’s passed out and the toddlers in the back yeard completely naked. Wake him, go back to work. Get off 5 hrs later… He’s still asleep on the couch. He just took the baby to his parents house. But I’m the bitch for getting upset

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      2. That sounds really bad. Has he been screened for depression? Does he see his behavior as a problem?

        But, I dunno- it sounds like your toddler survives when he dances outside naked, so maybe you need to take some naps too.

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      3. Yeah. I figure that it depends on the specific circumstances- there were a few kids in the neighborhood when I grew up that would just strip down whenever possible.

        I guess, I’m advocating as much self care in this situation as possible. It’s impossible to do everything perfectly under these circumstances. So husband’s got to step up, and Shannon needs to take the best care of herself that she can, while keeping her kid safe.

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      4. Doesn’t sound like a sweetheart to be honest. This is serious S Bates. He’s not paying attention to you or your child and he’s putting your child in danger. Also sounds like he has a sleep or mood disorder. Something has to change or you should leave.

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    7. I am sure most women would happily take on those tasks if she didn’t already have so many other household/childcare jobs expected of her. And I am sure most men happily do those jobs or at least do them without being asked. So why would any woman choose to take on extra work in that way? If you and your wife decided to swap tasks, regardless of which you prefer doing, would you think it was fair? I’d doubt it. That’s because none of the jobs on your list, while necessary, would come under the everyday tasks such as preparing meals and cleaning the kitchen three times a day, the laundry, dressing the children or any of the general household and family organisation that women take on often single handedly unless they ask for help (think that is the point of this cartoon).

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    8. Ha! Military wife here… add remodel & construction to that list and you have my life. I literally physically do all of those things, plus take care of three small children and a home and piano lessons and Girl Scouts and the dog and the cat… I literally do it all and about half the time it’s even Pinterest worthy. A fully functioning two-parent white picket fence life with only one parent at home… I don’t know if that makes me amazing or an idiot to do it all on my own – lol! But it’s happening… he should be home by Christmas. That is, to enjoy the decorations I hung and the presents I bought and wrapped and the tree I cut the bottom of and wreastled into a stand (not once but twice bc I accidentally let it dry out)… Christmas Magic falls to me too, and when someone knocks that gingerbread version I made of our house off onto the floor while opening stockings, at least he will be here to sweep up the mess. Maybe not like I would, but still, he will sweep. *sigh*

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    9. It’s not just doing the tasks. It’s organizing the tasks to be done. The tires needed to be replaced, and while I knew they needed to be done, and asked my husband to make it happen because I was too busy with work and kids, nothing was done until we were on the side of the road with 2 kids and a flat. And *I* was the one under the car getting the spare out. The brakes didn’t get fixed until they started screaching, metal on metal, even though I bought the pads for the job months ago. I was out of town, in a different state, and I had to call and make sure my husband got up to take the kids to school while I was gone, only to find out he got one to the bus, and fell asleep before getting the 2nd to school.

      I’m managing the load even when I’m not there.

      In my home, it seems that I have to organize the tasks, do the tasks, keep the kids fed, clothed and healthy and hold a job all at once. Sometimes, it feels like I’m raising my kids, and their older teenage brother, instead of sharing the responsibilities with my husband, their dad. There are only so many day in a week, and only so many hours in a week. I CAN NOT DO IT ALL MYSELF. And I shouldn’t have to!

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    10. I agree with your comment. The point to me is- the mental load is immense and it doesn’t get credit regardless of who carries the mental load. It just so happens, I carry the mental load in our house. That does mean organizing the outside chores also. We have a dead tree costing $1800 to take down. I raised the funds with my second job, arranged for the guys to come give estimates. Arranged their days here, surprised them with lunch on their work day. Hubby handled the negotiation at the estimate and handed the check after. Guess who took the credit.. LOL.

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    11. You’re not seriously chores that you only do say two times a week to a couple of times a year with work that is every day (often several times a day) all year round? Stop blowing your own horn and try to take some fucking responsibility over your own life you lazy fuck.

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    12. Let’s also note that women never offer to do these things or proactively do them as this article implies men should be doing of the tasks that women are more familiar with doing. I think there is a double standard here that this article brushes over.

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    13. yes, men often do these tasks. They are not daily tasks but occur once a quarter (or never). I have a husband. He’s never fixed an appliance, worked on the brakes, and he changed his own (not mine) oil twice before he said “f*ck this sh*t” and took it to a mechanic. Laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, home care and healthcare is an daily task. DAILY TASK. Lawn care-weekly at best. Gardening-weekly at best (except running outside to harvest for the evening meal…) Computer repair- rare if ever. You’ve got it great.

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    14. And beside that, man and woman have diferet brains. In a woman the corpus calosum is much biger (that is the stucture wich conects the two hemisferes ) and thats why the mental load is biger for them and also why they can multi task. Where as man can only think at one think at a time and do one think a a time. One is a hunter, goes out and gathers food (resources) and the other stays in the cave where she is safe and takes care of the offsprings. There is only one woman in the cave. That is the problem. Monogamy is a fairly recent ideea in human history.

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      1. this is not true – peoples brains are all the same its how we exercise and train them as we grow that makes changes – watch Todd Sampson and listen to his podcasts and experiments he’s done to put his body and mind to extreme tests – he’s had scans done in the top facilities in the world to prove this and there is no such thing as multitasking you just do 2 things not as well as it takes your attention of both.

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    15. You do make a fair point. When I find myself complaining that I’m the only one who ever cleans the bathroom, etc., I remind myself that my husband takes care of the garbage, electronics, car maintenance, house repairs, lawn, etc. Those are a few things that I nearly never have to think about.

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    16. Actually, I do the lawns, fix the mowers, change the oil in the tractor etc, he does the vacuuming, cleans the windows and cooks most meals. And he’s not whipped, just a bloke born in the late 50s who learnt a full range of life skills and enjoyed being an equal partner.

      Well he did, until he died last year, what I wouldn’t give to hear him padding down the hall with a cuppa tea and freshly baked melting moments.

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      1. Well, Truth (very not gender neutral… nice touch, sir), the qualities of a hero are to go above and beyond in the face of opposition with courage and tenacity… pretty sure this story qualifies on all points. Game. Set. Match. Thank you for playing! 🙂

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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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    1. Jon, it’s definitely wonderful that you’re incredibly engaged with your kids and are working to do your share throughout the evening. With that said, it sounds like your wife doesn’t also have a job outside the home, correct? Being a stay-at-home mom is 100 percent a job…BUT if you are a mom also working outside the home and have the exclusive responsibility of being on top of the doctors appointments, the daily schedule, the meal plan, what the kids need to bring to school, (the “mental load,” etc.), you truly have two full-time jobs that can sometimes begin cannibalizing each other. This can be almost unbearably overwhelming. I

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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.

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      1. What happens if the man has paid work where he works more hours, or is under more ‘mental pressure’ compared to the woman’s paid work?

        That’s what I struggle with (if I’m honest). I work longer hours, in a more stressful job. Yet I get called up on not taking the ‘mental stress’ of taking responsibility of managing the housework tasks (not doing them, but thinking about them).

        And if I mention my partner should shoulder more of the financial responsibility, we end up arguing.

        Would love to hear a pov on that. Agree that things need to change, for everyone’s sake

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      2. I guess, with my partner and I- I’ve found that it needs to be a moving equilibrium depending on what’s going on at either of our work? Like, it’s not just about finances either- for a while my work was more relaxed and he was in the middle of finals, and I dealt with this by taking over all grocery shopping during my lunch hours. Now that he’s out of work and I’ve changed jobs I pick up farm shares from work, and he does a lot of the shopping where you have to leave the house and go look at fish fillets. But probably each person in the household should be responsible for managing at least one class of tasks. “King of the Laundry” and “Queen of the Gutters”.

        I’m in a situation where I, the female partner, is more stably employed than my (male) partner. He does a lot more of the day to day chores than I do, and I make calls on the big cleanups that need to be done (eg. cleaning out closets and storage areas, rotation of seasonal clothing, determining that shelves need to be purchased and installed). I also am able to do a lot of the shampoo buying and doctor appointment management during lunch at work.

        I think that if this were to continue into a time when we have kids, what would end up happening is that he’d be King of the Mornings, and I’d be making calendars and comparing daycares.

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      3. Jim, I’d start by taking an honest look at the stress load of your job vs her’s (on her, from her perspective) and see if it is, in fact, as “lower stress” as you’re saying. Just because *you* may not feel it’s a certain level of stressful doesn’t mean *she* doesn’t feel that way.

        “Yet I get called up on not taking the ‘mental stress’ of taking responsibility of managing the housework tasks (not doing them, but thinking about them).”

        The way you write it here suggests that you don’t believe that there is any kind of cognitive load for managing the tasks.

        Try it sometime.

        Spend six months being the household manager. Keep your job and the execution of your workload the same, but take over the orchestration of *everything* involved in running the house.

        Work with your wife to document the things she executes and she does those and only those unless you otherwise explicitly ask, and when you ask, she does that and only that. (ie – if emptying the dishwasher is not on her list and you ask her to get a certain item out when it’s done, she only gets that item out.)

        Then, watch what starts falling apart. And it will happen. It may take days or weeks or even a couple of months, but it will.

        There’s a reason “Project Manager” is a full-time job, in and of itself.

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    2. Hmm, hard to agree with you here. The problem in the cartoon is the mental load, not splitting the chores. I take that responsibility when I have to ask my partner to do his chores most of the time and give him reminders. That’s the bubble that is going on in the woman’s mind, the invisible load we take on as women. We’re in charge of who does what, keeping addresses, buying clothes often, and paying bills. My Mom always paid the bills and kept the books.

      PS: I love drilling. Would take that one once every 6 months in exchanged for loading the dishwasher, but I do both. 😉 In other words, women are incredible and we want credit. 🙂

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  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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      1. Since when is feminism fairness and equality?

        Take this quote from the Washington Post, for example: “a lot of feminist rhetoric today does cross the line from attacks on sexism into attacks on men, with a strong focus on personal behavior: the way they talk, the way they approach relationships, even the way they sit on public transit. Male faults are stated as sweeping condemnations; objecting to such generalizations is taken as a sign of complicity. Meanwhile, similar indictments of women would be considered grossly misogynistic. This gender antagonism does nothing to advance the unfinished business of equality.”

        In summary: Feminists love chastising men for being men. If the male party denies that they did anything wrong, then it is taken as complicity. Then, if they (feminists) do anything wrong and get in trouble, it is the male patriarchy’s fault. That is a prime example of hypocrisy and doesn’t sound like anything like “fairness and equality.”

        *Also complicity is: the state of being involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing. Just in case you didn’t know.

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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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      1. All of my son’s cars/trucks have names and stories to go with them. They also do a demolition derby from time to time (taught by my husband).
        He takes care of his stuffed animals and we tell stories with them too.

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    1. I think that when it comes to parenting, it’s actually super important for everyone involved to be trying to ease the load on the other parent as much as possible. Everyone is running on not enough sleep, and it’s a really stressful task. It’s easy to get complacent and let the other parent take over because “they’re better at it” and you’re as tired as you could possibly be. \

      Whether or not “nesting” is nature or nurture (and I’ll promise you that it’s both), we don’t live in traditional extended family groups and a lot of our lives have very little to do with natural settings and circumstances. If it works for your family that one partner takes over most of the childcare, then the other partner’s job shifts to managing other household tasks and trying to guess at the partner’s needs. “She does all the evening diaper changes because she’s breastfeeding, but by god I can make sure that we never run low on the correct size of diaper, and that wipes and diapers are plentiful and in position every evening, whether I’m on a business trip or not.”

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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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    1. I have exactly this and I am a female who is married and we have 1 child, and I always get the “blame” for not doing enough and not being a “proper” wife for not doing many household chores even though through practice I still manage to do almost all of the mental load.

      I agree with this comic, even if the man helps out a lot, because of stereotypes and certain societal expectations it turns out women always have to do most of the household management regardless, and I wish that would change.

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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.”

    Liked by 4 people

    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 7 people

    2. So men are OK living like pigs, is what you are effectively saying. Their mothers have nagged them for at least 18 years to pick up their laundry. How do you see a cluttered table or a misplaced towel and not immediately recognize it as something to be remedied? Sounds like the stimuli is there but men are selectively attending or choosing to ignore on the basis that if it’s not a problem for them, then it’s not a problem at all. Men have functioning brains that permits learning new things and changing habits. It all comes down to not caring to learn because either why bother when the woman’ll do it anyway or if it bothers her and not you then it’s her issue and you don’t have to work on fixing it or improving yourself to take others’ POV. People just need to slow down and actually *look* at their surroundings attentively instead of believing laundry just magically appears clean and folded by divine intervention.

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  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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    1. But Connie, the whole point of this is not that men “need to pick up the slack” and “women need to delegate”. The point is that women shouldn’t need to delegate tasks in a household that belongs to two people. The woman is not the manager. She is a partner.

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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?

      Liked by 3 people

      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!

        Liked by 1 person

    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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      2. Emmanuel, women have always worked on farms, in factories and down mines too, as have children. Equally dangerous and backbreaking conditions and paid far less.

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    3. It sounds like you have had some negative domestic personal experiences with women. I wouldn’t jump right away to the conclusion that you are misogynistic- your world view is always influenced by your experiences- but the fact that you feel compelled to defend your gender in this discussion indicates that you feel attacked in some way by the information or how it is expressed in the comic – You immediately empathize with the male in the story, understandable as you identify more with his situation. But why go so far as to entirely dismiss the female point of view, going right on to list the great worldly accomplishments of males? A true misogynist would say ‘ because it’s the reality- men are responsible for all of the most important accomplishments of our civilization, while women contributed and contribute nothing of note.’ If you believe this- do you consider yourself to be a misogynist?

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      1. Am I a misogynist? No. At worst, I am apathetic to women, especially those that I have no personal relationship with. In reality I do empathize with women because they created their own problems, unless you can convince me that it was men pushing women into the workforce. I do not believe that women contribute nothing of note. Men and women contribute to the survival of the species in two completely different ways. Men are much more useful for survival due to the natural dimorphism between men and women. Women are much more useful for reproduction because they are the limiting factor. These are immutable facts of life that can not be changed or abolished and is problem with trying to treat the genders as if they are equal. It has nothing to do with misogyny.

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      2. Yeap, Emmanuel is a misogynist. He “emphasizes with women as long as they assume and admit it’s all their fault”. I’m sorry, but I’m ROTFL. I’m afraid to think what he thinks about the whole “me too” movement. It was all our fault that we complained about men assaulting us as well, I”m sure.

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      3. Ok sure you got me, I am a misogynist. The fact that you have to resort to name calling proves you have no argument and that you cant refute what I have to say.

        Yes, men are also at fault. They have given women everything they could possibly want and they are still unhappy.

        I’m sorry but the metoo movement is a red herring and has nothing to do with the topic we are discussing

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      4. Is there something I said you don’t agree with? I am willing to change my mind if you can convince me otherwise. I have no ego and just want the truth.

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      5. Why is it important to establish whether Emmanuel is a misogynist or not? Seems like a discussion about whether another person can be labeled with a negative label is, well, labeling. How does throwing that word in add anything to the discussion, beyond getting everyone’s ire up? I really doubt that attaching a label to someone will be effective in attracting them to your viewpoint.

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    4. Emmanuel – did you know that women started predominately becoming part of the work force during WWII? Men went off to war but the jobs still needed to be done, so women took up the task. By the time the war was over, the women were used to their jobs and the lives they had. Life changed, and so did society, but not something you can blame on women. Most people (CEO’s, political powers) are male (especially in the past) and those people were the ones who truly had control over wages. They are the ones who were greedy and made it so both family members had to work (look into history and you’ll find that the issue was occurring long before women really started joining the work force). Also, at first, men were the more educated ones, so more often than not men had not necessarily easier jobs, but less labor intensive jobs. Also, as I’m sure that you’ve heard from others before, women more often than not get paid less, but it’s not the fault of the women, but the fault of the company. At that point, of course they would want to hire a woman, they save more money, but that is not okay either. Also, while it is true according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that males do on average work more hours than women at their jobs, I think it is important to note that a job is not necessarily limited to at work, but that there is also work at home, which if equal work is done by both people should also be shared equally in the home. Also, to counter your argument about women’s happiness being in decline, I would like to point out that this is true across the board, including women who tend to fill what is generally considered “traditional” housewife (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pressure-proof/201303/women-happiness-is-it-still-declining). So, to be honest, there is probably a larger issue occurring here that has nothing to do with women working. Think about it like this, what if you were suddenly told you had to stay at home, do all of the housework, take care of the children all the time, and you had limited social interactions with your peers? And don’t try to argue that men are fit for certain roles, including working, because with the types of jobs available in today’s society a woman would be able to obtain a job that could provide for her whole family. All I’m saying is to try to step into the other person’s shoes, and while I see your arguments, I do not believe they are the women’s fault, but the fault of a greedy and toxic society.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I’m not sure if you are joking or not. If you aren’t, the collapse of unions, globalization creating international supply chains connecting North American suppliers to cheaper labor and the explosion of AI being used in manufacturing and other primary industries (farming, mining etc.) making it possible to cut the manpower to complete the same amount of work by orders of magnitude has had a larger impact on wages than the financial autonomy of women.

      Wages started noticeably stagnating around the same time monopolistic corporate groups started M&A (1970 and 1980s) started eliminating the majority of competition from global capitalism. When a few hundred companies own every single brand you consume, employ you, and pay off governments via lobbying to pass bills that effectively subsidize their business expenses and infrastructure, is it really surprising that wages stagnated?

      But it must be the femoids. /s

      If you want to have a reasonable conversation, I’d be happy to recommend literature and links. Considering you posted drivel on a female comic’s page, (shot in the dark) you don’t?

      Oh and before you start screeching; I work in STEM and specifically chose a career path that was in demand to beat wage stagnation. Did you?

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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.

    Liked by 1 person

  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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      1. It’s not about being able to handle it or not, it’s about being apparently the only adult in the relationship. Your partner should care about house chores, if he waits for the woman to command him what to do and when to do it, he is just behaving like a child.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Let me guess, if a man handles the ‘mental load’ of telling his woman what to do then he is a controlling misogynist who undermines her capabilities.

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      3. If I were confronting this problem I’d quit looking at male character defects and find practical ways to approach the problem. One thing I’d look at is how both men and women train and coach co-workers. People often have jobs where they have to develop awareness that they don’t naturally have; for example waiting tables, dealing with different boss personalities, or protecting your military unit from attack. With a male or otherwise oblivious partner I’d start with identifying some daily household area they’d like to take responsibility for (beyond the yardwork and handyman stuff).

        Then, objective training on what that chore involves. The first step would be for **the man** to come up with himself with what he thinks the characteristics of the job are: how do you know it needs to be done; what’s a good schedule for doing it; what are the indications of completeness. This will make him observe and analyze what’s going on from the woman’s perspective. Then there needs to be mutual agreement on schedules and standards, and this needs to be documented. If he has different standards, then there must be room for compromise. In business terms: what are the requirements, deliverables and the success indicators. Use business standards for objective feedback, for example the “sandwich” method – praise, negative feedback, praise. Keep logs of increasing success. Deal with problems as they arise. Help him self-motivate when he confronts the interruptions and lack of sitting around that the new responsibility requires.

        Nagging, micro-managing and character assaults such as “lacking in initiative” may be emotionally satisfying but the erode the relationship and make the guy feel like it’s not worth trying – if he tries to help he gets attacked, and if he just sits back he gets attacked: there’s no path to success.

        I don’t think it’s a character defect in many men – it’s an unintentional lack of awareness. Men who have to become caregivers successfully learn this. Yes, the woman has to be the initiator and trainer to begin with, but the goal is worthwhile. Training will probably be short-term with lifetime results. Plus you’re developing skills you can learn at work!

        Unrelated case in point: When I learned how to teach (after retirement) in the Peace Corps, I suddenly understood a whole lot more about what the job of teaching requires. Most people have no clue what teachers do – they think teachers just stand up and teach. Once you learn to do it yourself your eyes are opened (and many men successfully take on the “mental load” of teaching.) So it’s the same with men who are used to being looked after by women: they have no idea of what the “mental load” of managing a family means. It’s only by carefully and kindly helping them shoulder pieces of that load that they’ll catch on.

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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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    1. “Otherwise, you’ll get be ignored and your house” – so, again…it’s her house and you just live in it? So she will manage it and you are just someone who “helps out?”

      And why should it turn into a “bachelor’s pad” just because your place did? I’ve met plenty of men who were not slobs…

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  16. She shouldn’t have to tell him to do basic things like empty the dishwasher or put the dirty towel in the laundry basket. He is apparently totally lacking in initiative. If this were one of my staff who so thoroughly lacked initiative and had to be told everything to do, I would give them constructive feedback and–if it didn’t work–fire their lazy ass! This story above makes me so glad I never married. At least if there’s a mess, it’s my mess, and when I clean it up, someone else doesn’t immediately come along to mess it up again.

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  17. This is my life to its entirety. The only difference is I’m a stay at home mom of four one being a newborn and one a toddler. My husband took the bonding leave for 6 weeks and he still has not woken up one time with the baby or helped with anything else for that matter. The only thing I can think of to change this is to teach my boys how to cook, clean and take initiative.

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  18. I think people keep missing the mental part of this. No human is genetically programmed to think of how to run a household. It takes just as much work for one partner to constantly monitor what needs done in the house as it would the other partner (no gender bias here). That means if one person can do it, so could the other person. Why in most cases it is the female that takes on this role, is because of how we are raised, we imitate what we know in our parents relationship, depictions on TV, in magazines, etc. So if a wife or husband can keep track of doctors appointments, laundry, schedules, school, appointments, and general house upkeep, than the other partner can do it to. And they should. Ideally the pair should share responsibility equally so that no one feels or is overwhelmed.

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  19. This is brilliant, Emma! I do couples counseling and i have started showing your comic to some couples I work with. It really hits home in explaining this very common issue. I’m in Germany and I would love if it were available in German, as well, so I could use it with the non-English speakers as well. How would you feel about having it translated into German? I’m bilingual and I could totally do it.

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  20. This just makes me really how jolly lucky I am to have the husband i do!
    We have 5 kids, work form home and home educate the kids.
    He works long hours, cooks the kids meals, sorts out billy paying and banking (I hate that) and balancing the books, makes me meals sometimes, puts the boys to bed, gets up for the toddler during the night (I look after the baby), and just gets stuff done.
    Yeah, i do more dishwashing and tidying, and clothes washing etc, but that is only because he is tied up working, and I do it in between other things.
    He is just as much of an adult in the home as I am…
    I think of some of the people I know, and their lazy, pathetic husbands who put their feet up on a friday night while their wives iron their work clothes for the next week, and than k God I did not marry such a rubbish partner!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Want to know the true reason that wimen have such a heavy mental load?

    Because their expectations on how things “should” be done are so fucking high and immediate.

    Let me explain.
    High expectations – if the partner does what they should be doing, they should not be chasticised afterwards if something was not done right or missed. We are not fucking perfect.

    Immediate – unless there is a dire emergency that definitrly requires immediate action, give us some time to finish what we are doing or a few minutes to think about what needs to be dkne next, OR if we need to get out of bed to change a diaper, JUST GIVE US A MINUTE TO WAKE UP AND DONT GET ALL FLABBERGASTED BECAUSE WE DON’T SAY “HIGH HIGH” WHEN YOU SAY “JUMP”.

    Also, when we go to work, do you think we are on an “adventure”? This is the image and thoughts you instill to our partners to make them feel tht we rather be outside of the home rather than with them and the children. It is this very poison that makes thr family fabric tear apart over time to suggest that each partner is out to avoid and dodge responsibility. How fucking dare you.

    Ok sure! Let the bills and the mortgages pay for themselves. I can stay home with mum and bub 24/7 and make sure the household is spick and span and i spnd time with them. You know whats next unless you are a complete idiot, but just incase you are, here it is “Why dont you work? We need money!” But hun…i thought you wanted equality?

    EQUALITY WITH VARYING DEGREES OF ADVANTAGES…like you do not have them already in this day in age.

    That comic represents a deeper issue with families and relationships that is way beyond the oettiness of chores. It is a commubication isue. A trust issue. Abd slowly it is becoming a feminist one as well by naking our partners think “it shouldnt be like that, it shoild be like THIS!”. Same shit, different wrapping paper.

    Women, TALK to you partners. Sit them down and discuss this, even if it has to be more than once.

    If at this point your partner blatantly refuses no matter what, the thos goes way beyong this subject and you should get your affairs sorted out.

    But the rest of us, it is a sea saw. Some times do more, the other does less and vice versa, but don’t instill the idea that women always do more no matter what.

    And guys, dont feel bad if you are not on the same wavelength. Try your best and improve each time. Who knows! Maybe we wont end up needing women or marriage or any other bullshit society tries to dictate on how we should rin our kives, how to think and how to feel. We just go on our phones and try to feed off the opinions of others instead of those who matter the most.

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    1. Richard, why do you assume that only the man works outside of the home? Studies have shown that even when women are also working full time outside the home, they are still largely responsible for household management and parenting. It isn’t just a lack of communication, I’m afraid. It’s how the genders are socialized. I’m extremely fortunate that I have a spouse who takes on a great deal of the household tasks without me having to say a word. He sees that it needs doing and he does it. HOWEVER, the basics of child rearing just don’t seem to enter his mind. Does he think about when they need their next set of immunizations? Does he make lists of school snacks for the week? Does he put in the legwork to find our autistic son a new speech therapist. No. This doesn’t mean he’s an asshole. It just means that he doesn’t even think about these things. I’m sure it’s unconscious on his part, but he sees them outside his realm of responsibilities. The mental load of managing all these things – and then having to consistently ask your partner for assistance – is exhausting. For me, that’s the point of this comic.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My goodness! Who are you married to? And again, the point isn’t so much in “helping” but in awareness of the house and all that goes in managing it.

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  22. Seriously now, let me ask you something, Emma. I won’t even go into everything else. Why should a mother leave her toddler (or even worse, infant), go to work, use a significant amount of her salary to pay a nanny to look after her child, and then complain about life being, I quote the comic, ‘hellish’ under the double burden? Let me guess, because it’s important to be financially independent and intellectually stimulated, whatever that means. Have you ever thought about what’s best for the child? Have you ever considered what it says about your attitude to children that you think they need to be outsourced to other people? Why is parenting so low-status that you have to get other people to do it for you? Why would you work to pay for someone else to bond with your child instead of you?

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    1. Ah, but although most of us can reproduce, raising children is a skill that not everyone innately has – and you might not know that in advance. I used to think ‘home for the first five years’ was best too, until my sister found daycare for her children. She’s a children’s mental health counselor, so she knows well what can happen with poor care skills, and this place is so high quality! The kids call it ‘school’ – but it’s age-appropriate school, with peers, moved along to the next older room when they hit child development milestones. They have had art/music/daily outdoor play since infancy, and are so solid in so many ways! They have great teachers, but we don’t hear overattachment stories from them, which I think comes from changing rooms (and slight cohort changes) every few months. We can all watch them anytime on streamed video, and pictures come home constantly from things they do. They are even reinforced about relationships by having posters on the walls with their names and photos of their relatives. I thought my fantastic pre-k experience in a Montessori school after early childhood at home was the best childrearing choice, but I’m more impressed by this organization. They feel very lucky to have such a place, and I wish every family could find such a quality option.

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    2. Gee, Margarita, I dunno. Maybe she works because the family needs the money? Maybe she works because if something happens to her husband, she’ll be caught out there with dated skills and no way to earn enough of a living? Maybe her being intellectually stimulated is what she needs to be a fulfilled person who makes a good mother? Ya think?

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  23. I agree with d. I too do not have a partner and do all the man stuff and have a problem with women whining about what the man doesn’t do. We are mothers and the only ones who can change this. My boys are grown now and I believe it is up to the mothers of the males to ensure that they do their fair share of helping around the home then we wouldn’t have this problem. I was in the age of “burning the bra”. I didn’t feel I needed liberating, I already was and I think through the years women have become more and more demanding. Basically Mothers, you are the ones who can change this so that in the future there is no issue, but you must also be prepared to help out your male too..

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    1. I think your answer sounds like a sexist male. Boys get their social cues from fathers and other males not women, otherwise we would have no need for feminism, so your ‘whining’ (how you describe women talking) about mothers is both sexist and inaccurate. Alot of men are extremely violent in the home and in the workplace, a factor you seem to be deliberately evasive of. To be honest, you sound like a biological supremacist or sexist as they used to be called. I hope your sons dont turn out to be porn gulping women batterers like millions of men are in the UK (1.4 million sexist attacks on women and children last year in the home alone, hundreds of thousands guzzling child abuse on line) or in the States where over 1,500 women are murder in sexist attacks in the home not to mention the millions that are stalked, battered or raped. Because all of that would be down to mothers teaching them to call women and children bitches, sluts and whores and to treat them as inferior humans, rather than fathers, brothers and other males wouldn’t it? I don’t think so …

      Liked by 1 person

  24. This is basically why I’m permanently single. If I’m responsible for everything anyway, then I’m not adding someone else’s load to my life. After several relationships exactly like this I broke up with my last boyfriend and never bothered to find another. Being in a relationship is often like having a child, except he’s fully grown and just refuses to take responsibility for himself. No thanks, you’ve got a mother and it isn’t me.

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    1. I like the comparison of a relationship with a child!
      Because that’s the way it should be. You have to cultivate a relationship (and you should definitely want to aswell ) and invest a lot in it because it is as important to you as your childrens are. I do not know, why all people forget the sense of this, because it’s something obviously much more valuable, than all your personal stuff … it’s happiness, contentment and love! Of course it is crucial that you find the right partner!

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  25. I live in Finland where equality is in high level and typically male has to do all the chores in the household or to be nagging to female about them. I cook every day and do all the grocery shopping, wash clothes and dishes and keep the house clean. I have never been in a relationship with a woman who would do anything at home unless they are asked to. I got so bored of this that, I don’t want a new one. I don’t understand why female would want that kind of partner and to be in that kind of relationship. It is much less stressful to be alone. I started dating quite old and it might be one reason behind this. I already got very independent and got used to doing everything myself, but I don’t want to do everything for the partner as well, while she is watching tv or staring at her phone.

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  26. desperately waiting for your comic about emotional work….

    At the Moment I try to understand what this means, because i have the idea that this is what is heaped onto me. In my relationship. But im struggling defining it. Articles in the Internet always mix up emotional work and emotional labour and mental work….

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    1. Do you know single men are less likely to go to the doctor for preventative care because they’re not used to making their own appointments?

      Yeah.

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  27. First of all, thank you for giving me a voice. Sadly this topic I can relate to very well. The mental load is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I’ve discussed the household responsibilities with my partner, usually to the point where I’ve exasperated myself. My partner interprets this into; I am being a nag or a bitch, and I don’t appreciate him. The discussion is then flipped around and I’m made to feel like I’m the one with the problem and that I don’t appreciate him enough. I start to question my own appreciation of his efforts. Even though I know this is total bullshit and he is just gaslighting the issue. It’s his way avoiding the issue completely by making me feel bad that I’ve asked for a little bit of help. Because what appreciation do I receive???? None!! These things are expected of me. However, I have to praise him for every little thing he does. When he does do something to help out he will say things to me like, “Aren’t you going to thank me for cooking dinner?” or “You’re welcome for me doing the dishes.” I can’t help but get so angry because I never ask to be thanked. The things I do go unacknowledged. So this is a never ending cycle in my household. I do everything > I get frustrated to the point I can’t take anymore > I try to express my feelings to my partner, but now I am a crazy nag and a bitch who doesn’t appreciate anything > nothing is resolved and I question myself. Meanwhile, I want to jump off a cliff. You want to see crazy, I will show you crazy…

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    1. Honey, I lived that life for three years and I was suicidal at the end of it. Being a single parent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but my kid folds her own laundry, which makes her 100% better than my ex.

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  28. Are you really suggesting moving the goalposts as a way to *improve* relationships?? If you want the whole dishwasher emptied, just be honest about it. Some of us actually realize that we can’t read minds, so being straightforward is really the only option. People who speak in riddles and punish those who don’t understand (aka: bullies) will always be miserable, I don’t need that in my life.

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    1. It’s not mind-reading to know that the dishwasher needs to be fully emptied. Doesn’t the whole dishwasher full of clean dishes ALWAYS need to be emptied? Why should one partner have to ASK the other to do it? Don’t both of them KNOW it has to be emptied?

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  29. Reading this really highlights the difference between my ex-husband and my awesome husband now. Now, I have a relationship where we split the cognitive load as well as the actual tasks- and it’s amazing. Every time I go to scoop out the litter box I find it already done. I’ve started to take for granted that dishes will get clean and find their way back to the cabinets and the laundry gets done and put away. I’ve kept doing the meal planning and grocery shopping and cooking and most of the kid stuff as my share. At times, I feel guilty for not doing more, because I’m so used to be the one doing ALL of it and it seems like I’m slacking to let him take some of the load. But… I’m so much happier when I feel like the whole world isn’t depending on me to remember everything all the time. I feel like if I have an off day or a brain fart, I have backup. I feel like if I have to be gone for a while and he has to do things, I can trust him to be competent and if he’s not used to doing that task, he’ll figure it out. It feels like I’ve won the lottery every day. Men, be like this! Everyone will be happier.

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  30. I’m a woman, I like yard work and I keep my yard tight and clean every summer. I mow, weed wack, mulch, etc. My bf is a mechanic. After having to wait months passed the due time for him to do my oil change, I asked him to teach me to do it (so it gets done on time). Now I do maintenance work on my car. I’ve recently started getting rid of things in our home to make cleaning easier. I take our dogs to daycare (all funded by myself) and the dog park on my days off. I’m not perfect. I let messes pile and things get dirty, especially when I’m not in the mood to do it. But everytime I try to talk to him about noticing messes around the house and doing more, it starts a fight. He says that I’m not perfect either and that he does more than I believe he does. Now aside from him being my teammate in the home, he really is a good guy. Loyal to a fault, same interests, has good morals, etc. But hes recently started pressuring me to have kids with him. I want to, believe me. I firmly have always wanted kids and I think he would make a good father. But I feel terrified. After living with him for years, I dont want the burden of mental, emotional, and physical work to fall on me. I work full time in an operating room as an RN.

    How can I tell him how I feel without it making him feel inferior and thus starting a fight? I’ve been with him for 12 years but…when it comes to kids added to the mix… I feel unsure

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  31. The only thing I want to say about this is that some women promote themselves to manager because they refuse to share decision-making power. i.e. Husband, you load the dishwasher wrong. You bathe the kids wrong. You stir the soup wrong. It’s discouraging to constantly be told you’re an idiot! You either tell me what you want and when (seems like a good deal), or respect my autonomy as a co-parent (not as scary as it sounds). But don’t rule everything with an iron first and then gripe about being “the manager”, because that’s a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like there’s less of an excuse for this now that we live in the age of youtube. Google “How to fold a fitted sheet”, for example. And if she is a micromanager, it’s definitely her fault. But asking someone to take the garbage out before it attracts flies is just common sense. If you’re interested in learning, in doing, in having a peaceful home, maybe ask how she wants it done and then do it that way?

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  32. Ah, shoot. I’m the lazy guy. I do work 50-60 hours a week, he’s in school, but I use my long hours as an excuse to leave messes around longer than they should. Talk about wake up call!

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  33. The solution seems simple. Quit marrying and having children with useless blokes. Dont put up with it. Quit martyring yourself and live your life for yourself.

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  34. Mental Load happens to both sexes, depending on mostly circumstantial things like your health, the health of your spouse, where in the birth order you are with your siblings, and what’s been required of you throughout life.

    My mental load as a former foster youth, and eldest of my siblings, has always been quite high–at least, for as long as I can recall.

    I cooked, I cleaned, I got my siblings back and forth from school, I worked to put food on the table, and tried to maintain at least a C average–all by 8-9 years old.

    As a teen, when we’d been adopted, I sorted through the emotional affairs of my family, while looking out for the homeless in my neighborhood, taking care/helping my peers who were struggling educationally or going through trauma, building up my graphic design business, writing my book, and still being there to help translate and bring understanding between my grandparents (adoptive parents) and younger siblings.

    I suppose all this high impact activity is what made me into such a workaholic as an adult, though I still played support for my siblings and community, while being the person who traveled to everyone else (I was the only one to make a budget happen for such things).

    The problem with being in such a position is I never gave anyone else the chance to grow into being more considerate, and by the time I got sick… Seriously sick… No one in my support network actually had the ability to help.

    My wife has anxiety and thyroid issues, and her mental load threshold tends to be much lower than mine as a consequence when I’m healthy, but things change when my symptoms flare and I can’t be there the way I would be otherwise. They tend to meltdown, as I’m not there to monitor her eating habits, help with her emotions, make sure the common obstacles in her life don’t bring her down a rabbit hole that takes weeks to recover from, all while trying to recover from my lapses in my own affairs.

    I wish more people would talk about their burdens in general, as I think it would not only be healthy–it would be unifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. What bothers me also is this mindset that if a man does anything in the house he’s “helping” his female partner, implying that it’s her job and not his. Solutions range from women speaking up, to the new generation of parents teaching their sons that these chores are everyone’s responsibility.

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  36. This was a pretty interesting read! I don’t really find it applies to my house, but thinking back on it, I can see how it applies in friends’ families. I guess maybe my mum does delegate a lot to us kids, but my dad does so almost as much (although in a ruder way). It’s just automatic that my dad does the laundry and the dishes and cooks on weekends. My mum cooks in the week (she’s usually home while my dad arrives at 6 anyways), she does the groceries, and she does most of the cleaning (my dad vacuums a lot but wont really go into small details like dusting and windows). I think if this is something that bothers you, sit down with your husband and assign tasks to him that are always his to do (kids too) and explain to him why it is mentally taxing to worry about everything. That way, you have less to worry about bc you know it will be done. Like it was stated, men aren’t inherently lazy, this was taught behaviour. They can unlearn it/learn different.

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  37. Women need to realize they do not hold some kind of dictatorial power of the way the household should be run, something which is incredibly common. If you wish to keep the home spotless and with home-cooked food every day and the guy is more than happy to keep it a bit messy and order take-away food every now and then his ambition is what sets the limit for his effort, not the other way around.

    Not saying he’s not happy you’re putting in the effort, but that’s entirely your choice, not his. It of course goes the other way around as well. Just because he’s happy spending 60 hours a week at the office doesn’t mean you have a moral obligation to spend 60 hours a week at your work as well, even if you appreciate the extra income he’s bringing home.

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  38. One of the most draining aspects of being a household manager, especially when you have small children, is that you are always on the clock. You have to leave the house by a certain time, you need to be at childcare by a certain time, you need to be at work, to leave work, to be at childcare, to be home by a certain time – so from when you wake up in the morning till probably 9 at night (dinner dishes, getting children to eat wash and sleep), your entire day is accounted for. Saturday is pretty similar when you are the children’s sport chauffeur. Sunday is for catching up on everything that didn’t get done during the week.

    I remember saying to the leader at a self awareness class I took some years later, that pretty much until my children could drive, the only time I felt completely relaxed was during that half an hour right before you go into surgery for a general anaesthetic, because that is the ONLY time when no-one is expecting anything of you – and even if they were, there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!

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    1. That depends on each family. Is the wife disabled? Is she Melania Trump? Is she lazy? There’s a whole world of nuance there.

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  39. I guess it depends on how the relationship was established to begin with. There may have been an understanding that the woman would be supported if she took on the household manager role.

    If a woman under 60 is in good health, is not working, and does not have children to care for, I can only think she would not be working because the husband makes so much money (6 figures at least) that whatever she could earn would not be material in comparison. These women are in the ‘ladies who lunch’ category, and I am pretty sure THEY are not the ones doing the laundry and the cooking in their household. That is what staff are for.

    I’m 55 and middle class (Australia) and I have never met a woman who is now 70 or younger whose husband is or was on an average income and who simply chooses or chose not to work. In my parent’s generation (people now in their 80’s) when wives left work when they had their children, many of those women were able to continue staying at home because it used to be possible to buy a house and support a family on a single average income. And those women DID do that household manager role, and probably didn’t have an issue with it. Many of their husbands were blue collar workers who worked 6 days a week. It is no longer possible to support a family on one income unless you are a highly paid executive, so I can’t see that women these days would be making that choice.

    Also, most women back then (people who were raising their children in the 60’s and 70’s) had limited opportunity for education (they might have worked in a shop or office before children) and their earning capacity, 20 years after they left the workforce, would not have been great.

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