Don’t Ask Me If I Can Cook. Can you?

I am uninterested in “gender roles” and more interested in being in a partnership where two individuals are actively attending to the needs of each other. And not because grandma and grandpa did it “this way” and so did their parents, and so on, and yadda yadda. And not because he is a man and I’m a woman and this is how it should go because society said so. I grew up in a household where my father cooked and cleaned, too. Where the partnership survived due to the want and choice to care for each other. My father worked long hours, so my stepmom cooked; her hours were shorter. When he was off, he’d cook (and was/is better at it). I’m not sure what my father’s values are regarding gender roles, but I know that I, Sheena, will have equal stakes in the foundation of a home with whomever I build it with.

I understand that our nature calls for us to mimic each other. However, there are a number of ways to thrive. These traditions are from days of old. Our men, who are typically biologically superior in strength, no longer have to hunt and gather. Western culture has evolved in a way where the burden of financial responsibility is no longer dependent on male contribution. Yes, men statistically make more money then women, but it seems like there’s a resentment of any contribution from women that doesn’t involve cooking, cleaning, sex, and child rearing.

Tonight someone told me that the Industrial Revolution ruined black relationships. That because women started working, marriages began to suffer. I wanted to throw up. I don’t consider myself a feminist, but if believing, that as a human being, I should be afforded the opportunity to freely contribute to my survival in anyway I choose, then I’ll take the sash and go for the crown. Don’t bore me by falling in line with ideals that were created before our conception and without our input.

Maybe I’m befuddled because I don’t fully understand the nature of men. And to be honest, I doubt that any added awareness would make my conviction buckle. The idea of a man being a sole provider seems fairytale in 2018, but a fairytale that has no lasting appeal to me. Ego wants us to feel useful and men like feeling useful. I do, too. Shouldn’t usefulness reach beyond “bringing home the bacon”? Am I projecting my individual feminine nature onto men? I’m sure that there are women like me, who want to be able to give in a way that highlights our usefulness, which doesn’t involve our vagina and indentured servitude.

Don’t ask me if I can cook. If you want to be nurtured, find out if I’m nurturing. I’ll be happy to mow the lawn and help paint the house, too. I love being handy! Let’s put this IKEA desk up together (those instructions are a bitch). Pass me the carrots so that I can juice them. That is balance. You pour into me, I pour into you, we pour into us. There are no specifics that should be defined by your sexual organs. If you can do it better than me, do it, and I’ll do the same.

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