A Short Soapbox about Fat Old White Guys and Doing the Housework

A Short Soapbox about Fat Old White Guys and Doing the Housework
1869 Currier & Ives cartoon depicting female man tamer
By Currier & Ives. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been thinking about modern life. And how fat old white guys still run the world. And that they believe they know what is best for everyone else. Even when it’s usually only best for themselves. I’d shared my irritation about that before the latest round of rorts and scandals, so there’s not much point going over that again.

And while I talked about the difference between YOU and your role, that doesn’t really make much difference when it comes to politics or sport. It’s (generally) still a bunch of fat old white guys who think they’re more special than they are.

Sometimes It seems to me that the real feminist battle is not about equality.  It’s about who has to clean up the blood and pus and shit and puke.  Which is kind of ironic given that historically speaking, fat old white guys are responsible for creating the mess of bodily fluids through war and conquest and subjugation.  And as most wives can testify, most men are very bad at cleaning up and putting things away once they have finished their little projects. Assuming that they do complete them without someone (apprentice or female) holding the hammer and watching.

Are men the weaker sex?

My opinion is that men are the weaker sex. A Toseland I know came within one millimetre of passing out last time he had to have a blood test.  Another Toseland told me he actually puked when he had to clean up his daughter’s puke, (and I bet you can guess who had to clean that up).  And Katy and I both know who picks up the dog shit, and it isn’t a Toseland.

Women are made of sterner stuff; we do what must be done because we have to.  Not because we are nurturing by nature, or because we like doing it. We only do it because someone has to.

It’s a small fact that is borne out by the early results of my minimally viable housework survey (now closed). Aside from the fear of what their mothers think, women do the housework because no one else does.

Are women to blame?

Which makes me wonder a little, whether the many historical generations of women who needed protection, and wanted love have trained us all to be this way. Women of my generation and younger face a particularly difficult time because we were brought up to believe that we could be and do anything we wanted. But we’re still the ones cleaning up the shit. Literally and figuratively.

A while back, while I was researching for my International Women’s Day post, I came across a political cartoon (which I now really regret not downloading), arguing that giving women the vote was the first step towards men having to put pinafores on and do their own ironing…  As if that would happen. It would just suddenly become acceptable for fat old white guys to wear wrinkled clothes. Or dare I say, de rigueur? Still, I rather like the man tamer shown above. I’d vote for her!

So, what’s the solution?

We could all take a little more responsibility for the world we live in. Rather than bypassing the fat old white guys, we should engage with them and tell them they’re wrong. We’ve moved on and they’ve been left behind. Or elect more women and young people.

And men who think women shouldn’t be allowed abortions should stop getting them pregnant. And women who want to choose if and when to have children should stop relying on men and take control of the situation themselves.

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