Why Do We Praise Men for Doing the Bare Minimum?
When my daughter was little, I used to love dressing her in cool clothes (that I typically bought on sale or used, because saving money was a huge concern), and putting her hair into cute little “ears” on the side of her head. Off we’d trot to the playground, and nobody would say a word about what a great job I’d done. Not even when I pulled out a snack trap full of healthy wee snacks and a sippy cup did a single person “Awwwww” for me! Isn’t that obnoxious? When I gave up my plans to get a Masters degree, and rearranged my entire life to become a stay-at-home parent, nobody even clapped for me. Pretty rude if you ask me.
I keep the laundry done, the house clean, the fridge full, the lunches packed, the kids up-to-date on all their doctor’s visits, and yet, nobody is telling me what a great parent I am. I take care of the hair of both my kids, imagine that? And I teach them both about all the issues for all the humans, yet look… nobody wants to tell me I’m just so amazing for teaching my son about puberty, right? Just look at me taking the time to learn about boys, awwwwww, you guys, I am amazing, you should lock me down, right?
I remember when they need new supplies for school, and check their clothes before the season starts to ensure stuff fits, I remember their food preferences, and plan the meals and buy the groceries, I set the chores, plan the room updates, I remember what time and what meds need to be taken, I plan the vacations, maintain the house, remember the vehicles need maintenance, run the errands, provide the snuggles, do all the disciplining and teaching, get them wherever they need to be, keep things running smoothly, and I am hearing. no. applause.
Yet when one dad posts a TikTok of himself brushing his kid’s hair, he’s praised like he just saved a litter of puppies from the top floor of a burning highrise.
Yet when a husband makes a half decent dinner, his wife will post it to Facebook telling the world how lucky she is, despite the fact that she cooks the rest of the meals 364 days a year.
Yet when one guy manages to be a barely half way decent single parent, he’s a goddamn superhero, while I’m a pariah for being a single mother.
We tell women they’re “lucky” their exes pay support, when it’s literally the law. Lucky? Pfft.
Lucky me, didn’t get sexually assaulted today, #blessed.
Lucky me! I didn’t get beaten today, woohoo!
Lucky for me, nobody stole my car out of my driveway today… the world is so good to me. How’d I get to be so lucky?
Stop praising men for doing the bare fucking minimum.
Stop telling people you’ve got an incredible guy because “my man does a lot around the house”! You know that just means he’s a grown-ass adult, right? That’s not praise-worthy, that’s just him doing what he’s supposed to do. Like, it’s ok that I have to remind my child to clean up his own pee on the toilet seat, but anyone over the age of, like, 12 should probably handle that job on their own without a trophy?
Nobody is descending from the heavens with a ready-made To Do List for moms, so why is it that so many men need to be asked or told how to be partners in the household?
“HoW cAn I HeLp YoU?!” they say. It. Isn’t. Called. “HELPING”. It’s your own responsibility, gentlemen, to do half of what it takes to keep the family and household running smoothly. You don’t get a special certificate because you did one job today.
Women: stop acting like you’re beholden to a man who treats you half-way well, when you treat him like a fucking king. We don’t need to hand out medals when they take out the trash one night a week, or give standing ovations when they empty the dishwasher. They’re not “helping” you around the house, if they live in the house, that’s just called being an adult. You’d expect more of a roommate, why are you taking this from someone who’s supposed to be your partner?
#BareMinimumTwitter is my happy place — shining a beacon of feminist light onto these ridiculously trivial things we’ve trained women to praise men for that are seriously less than what a grade 3 kid can accomplish.
We’re doing men no favours allowing them to remain infantilized, either — you realize that this is why they end up as 35-year-old divorced dads without a clue where the clitoris is, because we just clapped for them and faked moaned when they managed to not absolutely bore us to death in bed, right?
You realize this is the reason why they’re still posing with fish in their Tinder profiles, because we prop up those fragile egos telling them we love an outdoorsy type, right?
You realize this is why they have no idea how to look after the kids, right?
Men are showered with praise when they accept women without makeup, or say trite things like, “I love a curvy girl, so save the hate”… oh, gee Jason, that’s pretty special coming from someone who has feet like Bilbo, and nose hairs longer than my cat’s whiskers. Thank you. Thank you for being soooooooooo amazing.
If I wrote a list of all the things I have to remember and accomplish in a day, it would overwhelm most people (men). And yet, that’s how most women roll, isn’t it? If you’re not helping, step out of the way and let us handle it ourselves? But why does it have to be this way?
Let me tell you something: It isn’t enough that a guy is just “nice”. If he’s not pulling his weight, he’s not that nice. If he’s not listening to your emotional needs, he’s not actually nice at all. And if it’s not 50/50 in your home? Then he’s not only not “nice”, he’s actually just excess baggage, and not worth the additional fees.
I watched this past Valentine’s Day as women lamented the fact that wax bars weren’t open, thanks to the pandemic lockdowns, and they worried about how to “handle” their pubic hair for their male partners. Seriously? How much time do these husbands spend worrying about their body hair, I wonder.
I watch marriages fall apart because women are so exhausted by doing absolutely everything, so the last thing on their minds is dull sex with their infantile husbands… and, that’s right, you guessed it, when those man-babies inevitably cheat, everyone still blames the wife because she neglected her poor wittle husband.
I watch girls fall into mushy piles of love over men who take the kids out for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon “to give me a break, isn’t that SO AMAZING”?! No, Cheryl, it’s not. That’s called praising the bare minimum.
We deserve more. We deserve better. And if sexuality were a choice, we’d likely choose other women, but dammit, here we are still choosing the men.
Now I know you’re going to nOt AlL MeN me on this post, and I get it. But enough.
But like @phebed_ so eloquently said:
@phebed_feminists have taken over the chat 👭💬 ##fyp ##notallmen ##feminism♬ original sound – Phebe Daniels