You guys, I don’t know why I did it, but I went on XoJane—oh, I remember, because I was bored at work, why does anyone go on that site—and came across a little ol’ piece entitled “Feminism Has Enabled My Husband To be Lazy and Selfish.” I clicked on it, thinking, “this can’t be nearly as bad as it sounds—surely this is really shitty clickbait.” I was very wrong. Because I’m over here dying of a rage heart attack, I thought I would break down the most absurd, rage-inducing parts of this poor woman’s essay.
We start off with the story of a sad woman who works a job that she hates to support her 2 kids while her deadbeat husband can’t hold down a part-time job for any extended period of time. She says “I always thought feminism was about choice”—I’ll get back to that momentarily, but I just want you to be aware of the type of person we are dealing with.
“I currently work a soulless nine-to-five job. I got my bachelor's degree in mass media, and my professional history has mainly been working as some variety of receptionist or front-office staff in typically male-dominated workplaces. The first and only place that I ever worked that was mostly women was in yet another previously male-dominated industry (What industries outside of nursing and teaching weren't previously male-dominated?)”
Yes, correct, almost every profession started out as a male-dominated one because of this thing called "women weren't allowed to work because they had no rights." The reason some industries aren’t anymore? Another little thing called "feminism."
As for her husband’s line of work?
“He now works full-time from home for part-time income as a travel reservations agent. Working retail made him want to drink too much, he says, so instead he has a wife that hammers away at her soul-extinguishing nine-to-five and considers having a 1.5-liter bottle of vodka in the house at all times necessary.”
See, your problem isn’t feminism; your problem is that you married an asshole who thinks it's okay to do jack shit while his wife slaves away. How exactly does one work “full-time for part-time income”? Is he just THAT inefficient? Also, I have a handle of vodka at my house at all times—I don’t appreciate your tone.
“But somewhere along the line, my husband decided that his life was for the living, and to heck with virtually everything else. Somewhere along the line, someone told him that this was OK.”
Ah, yes. Suspicions confirmed. Your husband sucks. And by the way: that "someone" who told him living like this was okay? Yeah, you...may want to look in a mirror to figure out who that may have been.
“I prorate his half of the bills to accommodate his being the smaller earner, believing his promise 14 years ago that he's going to make it big (or even just sustainably) in car racing if he just has enough flexibility.”
Oh boy. It’s worse than I thought. 14 years? Car racing?
“The men of my parents' generation would have raked my husband over the coals, but I am stuck having to be thankful for the mind-numbing job that I work and on which my husband is content to ride, just as sure as he rides his snowboard four times a week.”
This woman seems to think that if this were the 1950’s, societal pressure would force her husband into holding down a job and providing for his family, seemingly forgetting that deadbeat husbands and dads existed in Don Draper’s time period, too. If a person wants to be human garbage, they will find a fucking way. Society will not hold them down. Next argument.
“If one partner is overcompensating to work harder and longer than the other and you still can't afford to repair your home, to put away savings, or afford trash service, something is broken.”
YES. Something IS broken. YOUR RELATIONSHIP. This is not feminism’s fault.
“I don't have a choice, any more than the women who felt like they were chained to their KitchenAids did, but they got to build an entire movement around it.”
Huh? Yes you do have a choice. It’s called divorce. It’s called couples therapy. It’s called telling your husband to shape up or ship out. Feminism doesn’t force women into the workplace. If it did, I must have missed that. Also, you can totally start a movement around having a shitty husband. Beyoncé literally just did this. Maybe your movement can also involve leaving said shitty husband.
“I am angry in the same way that women who felt forced to stay at home must have been angry. I'm angry that I push paper around when other mothers push their children around in strollers while the sun is still out.”
See, that right there is proof that this isn’t feminism’s fault—the fact that there ARE still stay-at-home moms means that big, bad feminism hasn't forced every woman to work instead of raising her children. You SHOULD be angry about your situation, but again, misdirected anger.
“My husband is part of a growing number of men who have discovered the loophole in the feminist movement—the one where we say we'll work, and so they no longer make as much of an effort to, in virtually every professional and domestic capacity…Either way, I have lost my freedom, and feminism has won me no choice.”
Your partner deciding to be a lazy scrub isn’t some “loophole” of feminism—it's called a lack of respect and you being a doormat by not taking steps to make sure he pulls his own weight. And actually, feminism has won you a couple choices. Like, you can divorce your shitbag husband and aren't expected to stick it out in a horrible marriage, popping out kids continuously until one of you fucking dies, thanks to feminism! You can, say, choose to write
a whole bunch of garbage an essay to vent about your issues, publish it yourself, and make money off it, all thanks to feminism! You can publish the aforementioned essay on a women's (dare I say, feminist?) website thanks to—you guessed it—feminism!
So don't go blaming feminism for this. Yeah, the movement ain't perfect, but it didn't make you marry this manchild. But you know what feminism can do? Give you the confidence and empowerment to realize you deserve better than this, and provide a supportive community if and when you ever realize it yourself. Sorry to end it on a corny note, but honestly, this author's got enough dicks to deal with at home without me jumping in to drag her to oblivion.
Boy, bye. Girl, bye. Just bye. I hope this was satire.