(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)
Ah, 1950: A man could be a man and a woman could be a domestic servant.
Thank goodness it's 2010. Or at least I thought it was. Judging by the crappy economy, these kids yelling ‘Mom!’ and the spiderwebs of lines on my face, we're at least ten years into the new millennium. Plus, the Internet says it’s 2010 - it must be true.
Or is it?
If so, then why do I still sometimes hear:
Yes, folks, believe it or not, I occasionally hear this sentence from the mouths of men.
(And then I kick them in the junk.)
They say they’re joking, they’re teasing. They say it with a gleam in their eye, then laugh, hug us and wink at their buddies across the room.
But, you know what?
Sometimes they mean it.
Sometimes they mean it when the windows need cleaned.
Sometimes they mean it when the laundry needs done.
Sometimes they mean it when a football game's on.
Now, now - I don’t mean to throw ALL dudes under the proverbial sexist bus. Guys have come a long, LONG way in the last 60 years.
And my spouse, especially, has proven that real men take on what were - not so long ago - female tasks. He's changed many a diaper. He's fed many a bottle. He's laundered many dark pants with many light shirts.
Still, my guy - and some other male friends - have 'jokingly' uttered the dreaded BTWW phrase. Laughing, eyes twinkling.
(Until I kick them in the junk.)
Gents, save your junk! Don't say it - don't even joke about it. Especially around me, the junk-kicker.
Everyone knows there’s a little bit of truth in a jest, and when a guy says "BTWW," here's the general thought pattern:
“What!? She asked me to wash windows!? That’s something my Mom did while my Dad watched football. Football…there’s a GAME on…”
So he says:
Please note that, despite his junk-pain, our windows DID get cleaned recently. And not by me. Bonus? We are still married.
While my husband washed windows outside, I loaded the dishwasher and thought: If domestic chores are still women's work, then, indeed, we have gone back in time.
And if that's the case, then...I had great news! I took it to my man:
"Hey. Since you said that's 'Women's Work,' we must have stepped back in time, to 1950 or so....," I said.
"Oh jeesh, here we go - you'll probably write a blog about this..." he said. "I told you I was kidding..."
"And if that's the case, then I can totally quit my job!" I said
"What are you talking about?" he said.
"Because working outside the home is 'Man's Work,' in 1950!" I said.
"Yeah...right," he said. "Nice try, honey. We need your paycheck, too."
And suddenly, it is 2010 once again. Convenient!
You see how that works?