You should’ve asked

Here is the english version of my now famous “Fallait demander” !

Thanks Una from unadtranslation.com for the translation 🙂

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1,103 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. I started out reading this article with an eye rolling “here we go again” but I can honestly say as a male I did get something out of reading it. I like to think I do alot for my partners son (not mine by birth and we are not married) who was five when we met and now ten, but its made me realise I was only doing the “cool” stuff. Buying him books to read, reading to him at night, taking him to events, playing with him outside. What I was neglecting were the everyday managerial tasks of school lunches, drop offs and pick ups, sports days and play dates. Its easy to be a great dad when ur doing all the fun things but easy to leave the others to the “experts”.

    My final note to mums though is to ALLOW your male partners to help. Not in all cases but often times as a male I may not put up my hand to help because I had previously been berated for not having done the task their way. Allow your partner to do it his way or don’t expect him to offer again. No one likes to be told they are wrong especially when they are just trying to help out.

    Liked by 19 people

    1. Your comment started off well, but you’re still TELLING a woman how she should do things at the end. Why not do things the way she does because it’s her child and she was doing everything for five years before you came along already? A man participating in chores or saying they will participate in chores is different than doing then half assed when she would have done it 100% from the start. Instead of criticizing her for expecting 100% from you because she gives 100% all the time is not left for you to say it’s ok to do everything at 50% or less just because you tried. You’re both adults and there is a child involved who depends on you 100%, why does your partner only deserve 50%??

      Liked by 6 people

      1. You’re putting words into his mouth and then refuting them. Just because something is done differently, doesn’t mean it’s not 100% done.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wow, what an assumption, that Callum only did the task 50%! He did not say he was berated because he only did it 50% of the time, he said he was berated because he did not do it her way. There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. I am on Callum’s side on this one. Women need to allow the men in their lives to do things their way. Seldom do two people do the same task in the same manor. And besides, kids are extremely adaptable and even really like the fact that mom and dad do things differently. How do I know? I’ve been married for 30+ years and have raised 3+ children and allowed my husband to do it his way. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Okay, Teresa it wasn’t his natural son but you automatically go to he’s telling a woman how she should do things. That is not the case. Many men share chores and responsibilities with their wives/partners and often this problem arises. We’re told that we’re not doing it correctly. I’ve been told that I don’t load a dishwasher correctly (dishes just as clean). I don’t do laundry the same way. And no we are not talking about caveman style, all color/whites/dishtowels/muddy clothes all in one load jammed to beyond full,and set on quick wash.What tends to happen to the Dads out there that do help with the household chores and attempt to do their fair share is that often we come up against the “that’s not the way to do it”. Our partners will scoff at us, joke with their friends on our weird work ways, and even occasionally tell us “why did you even tell me you would do it if you were not going to do it the RIGHT way”. Men are expected to take it on the chin with no complaints, but the truth is done is done. If the results are the same i.e. clean dishes, tasty food, wearable clothes. Most people, not just women, are taught these chores when they are young and EVERYONE tends do them the way they were taught. That to them is the “Right” way. Women tend to place themselves as the ultimate authority on the “correct” way to maintain a home. Men tend to have been trained by a different person of the right way to do things. Men don’t tend to not like to be told we’re doing things wrong when we are just doing them different. Just because I use mustard straight out of the jar in a dinner recipe doesn’t mean I’m wrong it just means I shouldn’t let my wife see it, even if it tastes great… One last thing… Guys,men,amigos, Repeat after me “I know it’s not the way you do it but, this is the way I was taught and the way I’m comfortable with the results appear to be the same to me what bothers you with the results.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Teresa, “do things the way she does”, … previous sentence, “but you’re still TELLING a woman how she should do things”. I suppose the situation is improved if the expectation is maintained without being communicated.

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      5. What a terrible thing to say, Teresa! This man was just stating how he felt while helping to raise a child that he CHOSE to raise w a partner. He also shared that this raised his awareness to another level on the menial tasks of parenting, which I thought was sweet in that he wanted to help with those. I am a mother of a 10 year old boy that also found a man that chose to be part of our lives 5 years ago and has enriched our lives every day that he is with us. Callum is not giving 50% because he’s worried he wouldn’t do it as well as Mom! He’s just a different person than Mom and he’s going to have a different way of doing them. It doesn’t make it right or wrong, it’s just his way. This child is far better off with having more people to care for him than having just one dictating the right and the wrong way of doing things.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. @Teresa: Watch as your perfectly reasonable comment gets you attacked just because some dude feels entitled to boss his wife (and by extension all women) around. As Callum’s presidential choice might say, sad!

        Abusive men also react badly to criticism. Callum is showing his wife that she can’t tell him except that he posted it publicly. I honestly hope the poor woman divorces him. No woman deserves to be at the mercy of the whims of an abusive man. I suggest you read “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft, but I seriously doubt he will because abusive men never see the fault in their own actions. They feel entitled to the labor of the abused partner.

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    2. Callum, I agree. As long as there’s a satisfactory outcome, I don’t care how my husband gets it done as long as he gets it done. However, if his way is incredibly inefficient or wasteful (e.g. using a bunch of paper towels to wash dishes instead of a dish cloth) then I’ll tell him I prefer he do it another way.

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    3. I find your comment interesting because I hear this complaint about allowing men to do it their way a fair bit from men. In fact my partner makes the same one sometimes if I criticize something he does. For me it’s a little frustrating because:

      1) Sometimes I feel like the fact that I spend so much more time doing things actually does give me more expertise on things. So it’s not really a matter of my way vs his way. Some household tasks I’ve done a hundred times as many times as him. And I’ve done the follow up things as well. So I’ve see what happens when he does things his way. I’ve done it that way too before and found out there is a problem. Sometimes I’ve even read articles or books about it while he’s never read any. That’s why I’m telling him. Sometimes there’s a real, legitimate reason for what I’m saying.

      There are countless areas where I defer to his expertise. If I express my opinion on those or do it my way, and he criticizes it, then I try to do it his way the next time. I accept that he knows more than me about that topic. Can’t he let me have something that I know more about than him? Where my opinion is actually more valid than his?

      2) He criticizes me a lot too. But it doesn’t stop me from doing things and I don’t complain about that. I don’t have a problem with the criticism. I think it’s natural and normal. How could expect myself to be perfect all the time? I expect I will do things imperfectly and get criticized for it. But for some reason is he it just feels completely natural to criticize me (and for other men to criticize other women) while when it is the other way around, he takes it as a reason to *never do that task again*. It seems like he expects I should treat him as if he always perfect and everything he does is perfect.

      It’s so frustrating to me that I always have to hold my tongue and only ever compliment him and never criticize. If I accidentally slip and criticize him, he gets upset. While he can criticize me all the time, with no problems. Like my ego is no big deal, but his is a third person in our relationship. And I feel like it is a common pattern between men and women.

      I think I don’t stop him doing it his way, but if it’s a way I don’t like, isn’t it fair for me to say so?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting comic. As a father to two young children, i’m sure my other half thinks i don’t do anything around the house, because hey, getting the kids up on school days, getting their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up their breakfast things, going to work, picking them up from school, coming home from work and cooking their tea, giving them their baths, helping them brush their teeth,reading bed time stories and putting them to bed, whilst somewhere in there having my own tea, counts as doing nothing. This is on the days she works. On the days she doesn’t, i’ll get home and still have to do tea. Unpack the dishwasher, pack it with the days worth of things that her and the kids have used. On a sport night, i won’t get home with the oldest until bedtime for her, yet tea won’t be cooked or will be baked beans or the leftovers i made the day before.

    Yet on a day when i might be home, i get the kids up, fed, dressed, get some washing on, take the kids out for an adventure in the morning, get them home in time for lunch, play some games, hang washing out, get it in, put it away, organise tea so when she gets home, there’s tea for her.

    yet i don’t do anything apparently. I also do the grocery shopping and pay the bills. She wants me to earn more money but be at home more too. I’ve offered to resign and have her go to work full time so i can be a stay at home dad (Because yes, two small children are hard work and i understand that) but she doesn’t want that. So tell me, what am i supposed to do?

    I’ll note in your comic you point out the veges need putting away etc etc. I do one thing at a time and do it properly. Multi-tasking is a fallacy. Clear the table? Sure, put the things away where they are supposed to go and don’t get distracted. Then move to the next job and do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “If things are like that in your home it still doesn’t change the problem: statistically, women are still the ones managing household tasks.”
      Just because this doesn’t apply to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Stop taking this as a personal attack and be a part of the solution. Instead of being that nagging guy always saying “I’m not like that, so no man can be like that”.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Where did i so no man can be like that? I didn’t. Plenty of men are stuck in the 30’s, i acknowledge that. Just pointing out not all men. And that the feminine perspective is not always correct.

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    2. Hi Trevor, I believe you are finding her point. You may be in the minority house hold were the roles are reversed … it’s not gender, but society’s treatment of it. The issue still stands and impacts the family dynamic.

      And I say this humbled as a dad who feels I ‘do my fair share” but recognizes way too much in her comic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Is it societies treatment? I’d suggest society is changing…slowly. Every one of my friends who are recent father would love to give up work and be full time house-dads. Heck, my brother did it about 18 years ago (With full support of his wife)
        And by the way, I certainly acknowledge that I did NOT do enough in my first marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I like seeing the perspective of the man in all of this. There are so many different family dynamics, that it is only fair to take everything with a grain of salt that it isn’t this way in every house. I feel like both partners probably feel that they are doing more than their fair share in things during certain times, and this mental inequality can become a difficult burden. I like the idea of swapping roles to get a clearer perspective, but even that isn’t always possible, due to work schedules and the fact that certain tasks are long term issues, such as the kids growing out of clothes and needing new toothbrushes mentioned in the comic.

      A point I find relevant in all this is that there are supposed biological differences between male and female brains that could account for some of this. I’ve read several articles over the years that believe the female brain generally has a larger corpus callosum than male brains. The corpus callosum is responsible for the communication between the two hemispheres. This is one reason woman are seen as better multi-taskers. Female brains are sending information back and forth, linking things together, and creating more of a web for everything we do. I’ve also heard it described in terms of boxes in the brain. Women tend to have many boxes open, regarding what to cook for dinner, what the kids need, what’s going on schedule wise two months from now, etc., whereas men are more likely to open one box, finish with that box, and put it away before opening a second box (like taking just the baby bottle out of the dishwasher instead of putting it all away). The endless stream in women’s minds is what can create the burden, whereas men take one thing at a time and therefore feel less burdened. Again, everyone and every situation is different, so this by no means explains all situations, but it could potentially have some correlation in the differences brought up by this comic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe you should consider why you find men automatically trustworthy while women are ‘biased’. I mean, maybe you should think about why it is that you automatically think women aren’t authorities on how much work they do?

        Maybe you should think about why it is you automatically support debunked studies into male-female brain differences (hint: until we can remove socialization we’ll never be able to study any controversial findings about differences in male and female brains). There are several meta-studies that suggest that observed differences are in fact artifacts and/or nonexistent.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To GE, I apologize if you interpreted that I find men more trustworthy… That was definitely not the message I was trying to send. I just enjoy hearing other opinions, as I am very open minded to all sides of a story. As a woman (I am a 25 year old woman), I believe there are too many variances to say any definitive facts about either men or women. Out of 7 billion people, nothing is concrete. If my information about the corpus callosum differences, and other behavioral differences I found interesting in my studies, I do apologize and would love to see any articles you have with different information. I do feel that the box thing does speak very truly in many observed situations I have seen between men and women in my life. Men tend to have a harder time thinking about several situations at a time, whereas I can be thinking about 20 different things and why they are all relevant to the conversation in my mind but not to the man I am talking.

        Personally, I KNOW I do the vast majority of household related responsibilities in our home, from cooking to cleaning to child rearing, even though they are my step kids and I don’t have any kids with my husband yet (they . My husband works, and I work with him a lot of the time, and then we come home and the duties of preparing dinner and getting the kids ready for bed and every other thing falls on my shoulders, and I can’t stand it. I feel constantly overwhelmed and he feels he does enough by working, and would prefer I just hire someone to help with the housecleaning, because in his mind, that would make all my stress go away. He doesn’t understand the constant burden I bear just trying to plan everything all the time, from helping him work to what we need at the store to the kids schedule between us and their mom. This article spoke to me in very strong ways. I just know that not every home is this way. In some homes, the roles could very easily be switched. When I first read this article, I felt that it really was only about women, but men can feel this way, too, and their feelings should never be discounted. Men and women have differences, both pushed on us by society and how we are made up biologically. And both deserve to be heard. Trevor, to me, appears to be a man frustrated by his home, just like the author is frustrated about hers, and I am about mine. The problem isn’t gender specific. He is allowed to be frustrated, and I feel his frustration in his writing. He should be our ally in trying to create a more balanced home instead of attacked.

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    4. The issue is that the woman’s brain is jam-packed with things that need doing because of the mental load that if we don’t do the other things as they are noticed they may be forgotten. More importantly, why did the other tasks get left to begin with?

      It sounds like you and your wife have some discussions that need to happen, but I’d like to point out that the instant defensiveness just makes it harder for women to address the imbalance in MOST homes. Maybe your home isnt, but immediately jumping to the defensive, you are giving permission to others to do the same whether they are part of the majority or not. That makes the women less confident in raising their concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. *applause for being a good husband* — I wish you could understand sir, that while you are doing well, this post is not all about YOU. Your rant claiming that you do so much, and this couldn’t possible be YOU (it’s not, remember? This isn’t about you! You do things and participate, so it’s ridiculous that you’re this upset!) is the same thing as when a non-racist normal good human being gets all in a huff and rants about racism not being a thing, when they’re just not exposed or participating in such a shitty ordeal that humans actually have to deal with on a daily basis. Soooooooo maybe take a look at your neighbors and friends, and see if you can be a good example and speak out to your fellow husband/dad friends who aren’t doing as much as you are, instead of telling off the author for pointing a big problem that does, indeed exist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. entirely not trying to make it about me, putting it out there that not all men are the same. Who’s telling the author off? Not me. That’s her point of view and a point of view is formed by your experience. I totally understand where she’s coming from. My father could well have been the typical male in that scenario to be honest.

        Liked by 1 person

    6. Trevor, I am sure your partner appreciates everything you do. But the point of the comic is when men in our society do things involved in parenting they break it down into chores they have accomplished and want acknowledged and thanked for their contribution. Women look at it as “that is all I had time to do and there is so much more that needs to be done” it isn’t an accomplishment it is the minimal necessities and not a reason for a reward. Women carry all the lists in their head constantly and manage the family. Arranging Dr. appointments, school events, summer camps, birthday parties, enrichment activities all have to be done months in advance. Taking them to and from the events is the easy part. My husband and I both work and have split the household “chores” (the kids also have chores). But when it comes to planning, organizing, scheduling, anticipating what is coming next that is usually me. We talk about it and my husband understands when my brain is running and full of to do list, it makes it hard for me to relax and just enjoy being a family. (and yes that is when I get a little defensive and grumpy from being overwhelmed with things that aren’t physically visible). It really helps when he recognizes that those things I do are for the good of the whole family and he will occasionally simply say “thank you for doing that.” To me that means the world. Just like when I thank him for completing a chore, he is recognizing the effort it takes to do the planning and organizing. That little acknowledgement goes a long way. We have been married for nearly 18 years and have found a system that works for our family. I am aware that he does not see all the needs that I see, his brain simply does not work the same way as mine. But when he sees me working on something he offers to help without being asked. And I make a conscious effort to ask him if I can help with anything when he is feeling overwhelmed. This two way street works for us. I still carry the majority of the mental load, because that is the way I was raised, and the pressure I put on myself for perfectionism makes it hard to let it go. That isn’t his fault. But he now recognizes when I am struggling and jumps in, and the kids have seen him do that all their life and now offer to help too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on AmplifYoga and commented:
    This. This so much.

    Mental load and emotional labor have been talked about for a while but just coming into the “mainstream” attention. Emma has nailed this.

    I especially like the part at the end about it being a two way street – many women (hello!) have to recognize that we’ve had an unhealthy conditioning that everything has to be “perfect”, and we have to set our own priorities based on what’s really important to us. Sometimes that’s going to require letting go of the fact the house is a mess so that you can spend time with friends or family, go work out, or just relax – without holding it against anyone else. I feel the more we acknowledge what we can do too, the more men will be open to learning about how their conditioning and unconscious behavior can affect the women around them.

    Here’s to living with dirty dishes 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Mit viel Gefühl and commented:
    Ich finde dieser Comic zeigt sehr genau, warum viele Frauen trotzdem unzufrieden und ausgebrannt sind, auch wenn sie eine völlig egalitäre Partnerschaft führen wollen, ohne selbst gatekeeper zu sein. Es gibt einfach noch unglaublich viel zu tun, um diese unsichtbare Sozialisation zu verändern. Vielen Dank für diesen großartigen Beitrag. Thanks a lot for that great piece!

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  5. This makes the assumption that the writer is the only one in the relationship with mental burdens they bear silently, knowing it is for the good of the family and is their best effort to give all they can. Respect for the other person as an equal means that you trust they have the same well meaning intent as yourself. But men think differently and have a lot of “mental loads” that rightly or wrongly are born in silence as well. Sometimes what a woman may see as an indiference to the needs of the house, assumes that men see the tasks in the same way as a woman. He may not care at all about a towel on the floor. He may decide to be with himself on the couch and let himself disconnect from another stressful day instead….and maybe even stepping over it on my way from getting a cold drink and settliong into my . knowing that it can be gathered up with everything in mass ONCE instead of spending more than double the effort and time picking up each individual item as spotted….sorry. I am sympathetic to the tremendous amount of thankless work a woman has just been assumed to be responsible for in our culture. But, this assumes a superiority over the husband based on unshared grievances and an unwillingness to accept that he might have a perspective equally misunderstood and equally doing things and taking on “mental loads” that he doesnt share. And even a man’s act of not sharing all the stresses he handles to his wife is an effort to ease her mental burdens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry- I covfefed part of that comment. Should be:
      “….and maybe even stepping over it on my way from getting a cold drink and settling into my La-z-Boy. knowing that it can be gathered up with everything in mass ONCE instead of spending more than double the effort and time picking up each individual item as spotted….”

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    2. I’m sole breadwinner. I’m a software engineer in a high stress environment. Trust me, this is FAR less stressful than being the whipping girl for the entire household while you step over the towels on the floor.

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  6. …also not fully translated to *American* English. The section about 11 days of paid leave for the husband needs to be removed and replaced with: “Immediately after the birth of his child, he is forced to go back to work and contemplate moving to France where they guarantee 11 days of paid leave for the husband as well. He can at least physically work and take on the economic burden of his wife also not being guaranteed any paid leave as well”

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  7. What about the mental load of having to be the sole income provider? Of making sure that the money is invested properly and safely, of making sure that the family earning potential is going up not down, the pressure that even when you hate what you’re doing you can’t quit. My father played a very “traditional” role, being the sole income earner while mum stayed at home with my sister and I. He dropped to the floor with a heart attack at 40 years old in his suit on the way to work, on the way to “save the world” as your trite example shows. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a lot of what you’re saying in families where both parents work (and there are different grades of work requiring hugely varying degrees of mental load), but I also think you’re trivialising a lot of what goes on in a father’s head. You also don’t discuss a point that is mentioned in another comment- men and women have different ways of approaching a given task, and often it’s “my way or the highway”.

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  8. Uhh. Sure but NO! I’m a guy and I’ve faced this mental load a lot from my own sister. She takes bottles from the fridge but doesn’t fill them and throws them in her room under the bed or somewhere, after eating she dumps the dishes on the wash basin without washing them, doesn’t turn off lights when leaving the room. Today she had to catch a bus at 1pm and I had to drop her through my bike. I said there’s nothing wrong in leaving early and she came only at 12.30pm. Fortunately, the bus was running really late but the whole trip she was blaming me for no reason. This isn’t the first time this happened and she tends to blame me for one thing or another. So this isn’t exactly a gender based issue! It’s a lazy person issue.

    The most weirdest thing is that all of a sudden, once in a blue moon she would clean all the dishes or fill all the bottles and then come and tell me that we need to set ground rules where we clean our own stuff and fill bottles every time we use it. It’s a weird kind of double standard which annoys me. I do my part regularly, hunting for empty bottles in her room to fill it up, switching off lights and fans, etc. When she’s not around everything is clean and ordered so I clearly know she’s the problem. So no, the french are clearly wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you have to constantly clean up after your sister. But it is worth noting that the point of the comic was not to say that “between any given man and any given woman, the man is always the slob”, but rather that “in heterosexual relationships, society heaps inordinate pressure on women to take on the mental load of managing the household”. There are exceptions, of course, as this comic is about a social phenomenon. But it remains centred around relationships and family-building, not about messiness among human beings in general.

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  9. Emma,

    Thanks for this. I’m a good Dad, but can always be a better partner. I sadly recognize way to much in this comic. Its good to get a decent shake to pay attention and think about life habits, how they play out, and what we can do about them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Things like this make me sad for families everywhere. My SO (we aren’t married yet) and I have 7 children between the two of us. From day one he has been the better one about housework, kids needs, and paying bills on time. I have never had to beg him to help, actually I am less lazy because I don’t want him to have to do everything. I am a better person and mother because of him. I have friends who have spouses that are angry when the house isn’t spotless or dinner isn’t ready on time and my hear breaks for them. I am extremely lucky to have found the man I have and am even more grateful for him when I read things like this. He was the 8th of 10 children and always helped his mom cook and clean because he wanted to while his siblings did whatever (they even admit to it lol). If he could be a SAHD he would absolutely jump on the opportunity! I just cannot make the type of money he does with only a high school diploma or I would provide financially and let him.

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  11. I’m actually the exact opposite. My wife is the one being the “hero”, working every day, doing an impressive job in a big company, and I’m the one staying at home, taking care of the house, dealing with the mental load. I’m doing some small jobs as a freelancer, but planning to be a stay-at-home dad when we have a child while my wife continues doing her job.
    This is kind of fascinating because we didn’t plan to do that… I mean we’re both feminists, but we’re doing that mostly because that’s how we are.
    I don’t know what I’m trying to say… Maybe that everything is possible? Society is evolving with us not even thinking about it? I don’t know.
    We’re happy that way. That’s the important part, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just because your wife is working F/T and you would be home with the kids, does not mean she’s not the one handling the mental load. When my husband and I were in this situation, I was still the one managing the kids’ medical appointments, play dates, soccer schedule, planning vacation, handling visits with family and friends, handling the grocery list, paying the bills, etc. Something very easy to just slip in to if you are not having regular, clear communications about it. As noted in the comic sometimes it just feels easier to keep doing vs. trying to explain what would be better and actually fix it.

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  12. Is this your opinion on all cultures worldwide? Is there examples of cultures that we could learn from, as far as roles and gender and households? It was a bit weird for me reading the generalizations, for instance the lower income projects that I grew up in were hugely single parent situations…..where either spouse that had the children, were in fact totally responsible for the family outcome. If it’s the popular “generalized” situation where the wife is at home at husband is at work, does the amount on his mind of workplace situations and needed income weighing on his mind factor? Obviously the same for stay at home husbands and working wives. Is there possible examples from gay marriages that we could learn from? Or is it possible they (gay men/women) are faced with the same dilemma? I love the idea and subject matter of the comic but am disappointed at the delivery. It looks like you categorized this under anti-racism as well, if so….how come?

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  13. I noted it before, however, in general most of the comments and the author are people who have at lots of time to read, comment, and write the article. Though it seems that they have enough time for this, they still have the overall assumption that they are doing too much, but their other half is doing not enough (or is organized incorrectly).

    If a team wants to improve, it’s not the best approach to blame the others and tell them what they can do better. And in the same way telling how great yourself are doing and that the others do not understand your amazing effort or are just too simple. The other probably thinks the same and becomes very defensive. At the end there will be no solution.

    A much better approach is, to think, what is the other person doing great? And maybe I should tell him. Maybe this motivates that somebody even makes more. It’s so called positive motivation.
    Further, where I can improve, where I’m not fair? It’s called self- feedback. Sit down with your partner, and everybody writes down 10 things, where he/she things the other is doing really great, and next write down ten things, where you think that you are not fair, or where you can do better. Those person, who have difficulties with this exercise, may have really some biased opinion.

    By the way and to get away from this man/woman thing:
    The same issues are also discussed between homosexual partnerships. But, if the same issues occur between two men (or two women) in a partnership, it’s difficult to blame men in general for the above topics….. just from a logical perspective.

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  14. It is true. Here in the United States a Fathers/Husbands are required to return to work regardless of the health or status of the mother and baby. I worked with a guy who’s son was in the ICU for over a year and he had to come to work. 1 to keep his job. 2 To have the money to keep baby alive.
    I don’t think anyone thought of how hard it was for him to have to leave his wife and child every day unattended by him to go to work. I think that would be living hell.

    I think this article hits on many good points. However it do think it is written with one point of view and not two.

    There is so many different kids of families out there. Some with one adult. Some with 2.

    I think it is unfair to both sides to say that the other is insensitive or uncaring. The people in those families are there because the do care and are working in their own way to the betterment of the home.

    Failure is brought in by a Lack of communication. Success is found by strong efforts to communicate.

    I am not a good communicator when it comes to my wife. I SUCK AT IT!
    However I am trying my best to change. I know she is under a great deal of stress at times ( a lot of the time).
    I am also under stress. There is many things I have to do and need to do. Do they all get done? NO, but I do my best to get them done. Some things will end up not getting done. I will however try to get them done if I honestly have time.

    I know my dear wife needs a break form the constant movement and schedule of the day. I try to give her that if I can. Some days I also need a break, and even some days her need for a break and my need for a break run smack into each other. Those days SUCK ROYAL!
    To make things just that more difficult for both of us, My son is autistic. Add that to your mix.

    I think what Emma Is trying to say is that communication is needed so that the Mental Load is not so great for either person.

    There is Loving your other half and there is talking with your other half.

    In the end we need to speak with love to our other half and listen just as much.
    I just spoke with my wife just now after her having a hard couple of weeks. The conversation went well. She is not angry with me and I am not angry with her. There is peace in the home and she is tending to the baby.

    Guys I did however have to swallow my pride and humble my self.
    We are a prideful bunch and it can be a problem. Please keep your pride in check.

    Ladies, we work hard for you and the family. Please don’t forget that point when talking to us men.

    I take example from my own parents. They both communicate a great deal with each other.
    Because they talked a lot, the are still happily married 30+ years latter.

    Speak and Listen to one another. Share the Load.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In France fathers have 11 days home before returning to work and although it is fully paid almost 30% of fathers do not take it.
      The parental leave is worst only 3% of fathers do take it.
      After my comic a man initiated a petition to increase the duration of the paternity leave : the large majority of people who signed were women.
      When fathers come back to work after the 11 days a lot of them act as if they do not have a newly born at home : they do the same number of hours, come home late to finish their work.
      I do not mean to say that men do not care, but there is a huge societal problem in France : paid work is very much more valued than family.
      Everything is done so that men are proud to stay late at work whereas everything should be done so that men are shamed for this !
      To change people we must change society 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The author compares this to being a manager at work. Well, a work manager would not only not do all the work, but would hand out assignments. The big problem in the beginning scenario is not that the wife is “the manager” (in my experience it’s more efficient if one person is keeping track of things), but that she is not telling her husband what needs to be done. He’s not a mind reader! And a lot of women will get irritated if their husband just jumps in, or doesn’t do things HER way. Perhaps if we got away from the mindset, supported by too many TV shows, that the woman always knows best, there would be more equality in the home.

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    1. Give me a break. You’re infantalizing men by assuming that they need to be told what needs to be done. Anyone who is checked in to their family and household should be able to see what needs doing.

      And no, an effective manager would NOT being doing all the work anyway, unless they’re a control freak hoping to burn out in a few months.

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  16. I found this very interesting as a Muslim Woman.
    Because in Islam, a man who assists his wife in this way is rewarded. It is a highly commendable act in Islamic theology. Also, if a woman wants she is able to demand her husband pay her for domestic labour. This is simply because Islam acknowledges that these jobs aren’t biologically ordained for women. But if she chooses to do so, out of her own will, then only if she wants, she has a right to demand her husband to compensate her monetarily. Because women aren’t slaves that should be expected to do all this work, and not receive anything in return. But this doesn’t allow men to just slack off and pay their wife. They are stressed to see running the household through equality as the best of deeds.
    Mind you, this was said by Islam 14 centuries ago, glad to see society finally catching up and treating women with the respect they deserve.
    If you read this and say, what?!?! But don’t Muslim men expect women to stay home and all this rubbish. Remember there is a difference between culture and religion. Unfortunately, mainstream media doesn’t distinguish that difference when reporting.

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  17. I relate to this comic really well. For me, this same situation applies to me and my brother. I broke down crying in front of my older sister a while back because I felt stressed that my dad was off on a business trip and I had to take care of me and my brother (including doing the cooking, the dishes, the laundry, and taking out the trash, and other chores), all while attending a full load of university courses. My brother, on spring break in high school, was spending his days at home on the computer. When my sister then confronted him about it, he accused me, “Well, why didn’t you just ask me to help? You should’ve just asked, I would’ve helped.”

    And I said I would just ask him next time and dropped the subject, even though I really wanted to ask him, “Well, why didn’t you offer?”

    At that time, I thought there was just a misunderstanding in communication between us. I never even considered that it might be related to a whole host of other problems in the gender roles of males and females in society. Obviously, this situation doesn’t apply to everyone… but it happens to enough people that it’s worth bringing to attention.

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  18. The problem is the statement – men are helping out with chores. ‘My husband helps out with chores.’ ‘My BF helps out with chores.’ ‘I offered to help with chores, said James, my husband.’ Well, I also want to help out with chores. From now onwards, I will sit down and only offer to help you with the chores, dear husband/bf…lol. (James is not my husband, that’s just an example to drive the point across). Lol.

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    1. And, I agree. The perfect solution is to wake up very early one morning and leave the house as is – just shower and leave Let the husband or boyfriend in question prepare the kids, cook lunch, etc etc. By the way, this also applies to households where the man takes care of everything and the woman is the one saving capitalism. The roles will be reversed then. lol.

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  19. Great comic. It did make me think about how women and men interact over household chores. I’m afraid to tell you, ladies, and this might even come as a surprise to some of you, but most men just don’t care as much about tidiness as most women. That jacket on the couch? It’s not harming anyone, it’s just sitting there. Those dishes in the sink? We can sort that out later, right now, I want to watch my football game…. Men aren’t inherently lazy, they often just have a higher tolerance level for clutter and a greater “flexibility” about when small tasks need to be done. For me, when live sport is on the telly and it’s my team, wild horses couldn’t drag me away to wipe the kitchen bench….

    That is obviously infuriating to my wife and no doubt, many other women, but it is what it is….

    Another point in defence of men is that if they are the sole or major breadwinners in a house, they might not actually think that it’s reasonable that they do 50 percent of the housework, too. They’re already working 40 plus hours a week to keep food on the table and a roof over their family’s heads. So they may well be reluctant to do unpaid labour on top.

    Speaking for myself as a husband, dad and full-time worker who takes care of all the bills while my wife stays home, I would be 100 percent comfortable for my wife to look after all the housework. I would feel no shame about it…. And if our roles were reversed, I’d be 100 percent comfortable doing all the housework and I would feel no shame about that, too.

    Of course, it doesn’t work that way in reality. I actually take a very active role in housework and childcare, not because I feel guilty or obliged or that it’s “fair”, but just simply because the house would fall into ruin if I didn’t. My wife doesn’t like the idea of doing all the housework and childcare because she’s been conditioned into believing that men should do an equal share of it, regardless of their work. It’s a view I disagree with and it occasionally creates friction between us, but it’s certainly not an argument that’s worth tearing our house apart over…. I’m ok with doing more to keep the peace and I am certain there are quite a few men out there who are just like me.

    Anyway, I enjoyed that comic as elements in it definitely hold true for many families, but I hope women can appreciate that there is another side to the coin, too.

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  20. So glad you made this comic. I think the comic, and especially the comment section, reveals a lot of the problematic attitudes with married life.

    Now, whenever a man I know starts talking to me about getting married and having kids, I can point him to this article and ask him, “Are you SURE you want to get married?”

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