Sunday, November 22, 2009

Know your role

Am I the only one perplexed by the current expectations of today's woman? Nowadays women are expected to work the same hours as their husbands, AND have the dinner on the table by 6. We must stay fit and exercise so our husband's eyes don't wander while making time for the cleaning, laundry and ironing. We must remember birthdays, anniversaries, doctor appointments, ballet lessons, soccer games and carpool schedules. Thankfully husbands do take out the garbage, bring in (not shop for) groceries and will lift their feet as you vacuum, but aren't the scales a tad imbalanced? Now before you start with the hate mail, I know there are exceptions...God bless such men...but these men are anomalies, statistical outliers. So for the sake of my brief time on this soapbox, they don't exist.

Whether you quote Qur'an or the Bible, gender roles have been religiously defined. Essentially men are tasked as providers, and women as responsible for the children and home. However, over time it seems that the role of the woman has expanded, while the load of the man has lessened. Let me be clear, I am an advocate for marriage, and a strong advocate for gender roles, but if understanding gender roles were so simple, the divorce rate would not be nearly 50%.

Women are tasked to be confident, assertive and competitive in the workplace, yet demure, nurturing and obedient in the home. Yes, I know...the dreaded "O" word. I'm sure that I don't speak for just myself that at first glance, this word is...unsettling. The confident, assertive, fully capable and independent woman in me screams "What do you mean by OBEY? Dogs OBEY." And I, for sure, am nobody's b#*@%. But I realize, after *mumbling inaudible number* years, I'm tired. Wait, lemme re-frame that statement. I'm ready. Ready to love. Ready to be relieved of the weight of the world. Ready to not have to make all the decisions all the time. Ready to lean vs. being leaned on. Ready learn vs. having to teach. Ready to ride in the passenger seat. Ready to listen. Ready to be lead.

So I guess that also means I'm ready to obey. But hell, if I'm going to draft a quarterback, I at least want a top draft pick! Just because he can throw and call a couple plays doesn't mean he is the best one to lead this team. I have to trust him. I have to believe in him and his leadership. I have to believe he can make me better. This is only possible when a woman feels her voice is heard. He must be kind, and so in tune with his star player that he sees you need help...even if you are too stubborn/pissed/crazy to admit it. Women all WANT to be Superwoman, but it sure is nice to see a man rip open his button up to show the S on his chest once in a while too.

Ultimately, we have be honest with ourselves and each other. We can't start to resent the opposite sex because of our varying interpretations of gender roles. Truthfully, we often times drive ourselves crazy being the "perfect girl/woman/wife" based on expectations WE have for ourselves...not because of anything men actually request. Men are simple. So when you find yourself reaching your breaking point, I suggest the following: 1) Pause for the cause. Pull out your wedding album or something to remind you why you love him and to give you a minute to fix your face. 2) Get him and yourself something to eat or drink. 3) Check for commercial break-hey, I'm trying to set you up for success. 4) Say verbatim "Hey honey, (insert time reference like "after the game" or "tomorrow") will you (insert task/chore) for me? I'm getting a little overwhelmed and it would really help me out a lot." 5) Do something obnoxiously sweet (but genuine) to say thanks. Whatever you do, don't start out with "I was thinking"...because of the male levels of testosterone these words actually cause their ears to fold inward and you will not be heard. Scientifically proven. But seriously, if you need help, just ask him. Most men will step up...because ask any divorced man, it's still cheaper to keep her. *kanye shrug*

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