Oh, man. I have so many feelings about this subject. Every Thanksgiving my mother would kill herself to cook dinner for our entire family (including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) while my father would sit and watch football. It always pissed me off.
Okay, a rant is beginning.
My father never did ANY cooking for the family (except grilling burgers and steaks, but that doesn't count). I asked him once why this was and he responded, "Well...I don't know how." It was clear, however, that there was more going on underneath the surface of his answer. He didn't cook because that wasn't his job. His job was to fix things and mow the lawn. My mother's job was to cook.
I think when I hit about 13 my mom started pulling me in to help with the holiday cooking. Then, one by one, my sisters joined us. It galled me that we would be peeling yams and stuffing potatoes in one room while dad would be watching the Giants in the other, but I never said anything. That was the status quo of my suburban New Jersey home.
One spring I went out to Los Angeles to visit my cousins. We always thought of them as our opposites: they were on the west coast, we were on the east coast, they had 3 boys, we had 3 girls, etc. One day my aunt wanted to go out to dinner with the family, but my uncle sniffed at the idea of spending the money (on going to a pizza place for F's sake). So my aunt cooked dinner for the whole family. I helped her as much as I could, as I was accustomed to doing, while my boy cousins and uncle did fuck all.
After the meal was finished, my cousins sat at the table, like sultans, and talked while my aunt started clearing the table and cleaning. I watched in disbelief as the men continued their conversation, oblivious to the work my aunt was doing. I turned to one of them, picked up my plate and said, "Well (cousin), let's help clean up." My words visibly startled him. He looked down at his plate and took it into the kitchen in a state of shock. Afterwards, he bragged to all who would hear how he "did so much work cleaning up." (Clearing his plate was the extent of what he did.)
I couldn't believe it. Maybe they didn't have any cooking experience, but at least they could pull their goddamned weight! My father always helped clear the table. It was just the polite thing to do. And why didn't my cousins' laziness bother my aunt? I would be yelling at all of them to get off their butts to help me!
It all got worse when I went down to visit my boyfriend's family for the first time. Here was in a similar situation -- one mom, one dad, three boys -- but their family took it to the next level. His mom did everything for them. She made everyone breakfast, cooked dinner for the family, walked the dog, and did everyone's laundry. (My boyfriend, a grown man, actually brought laundry home with him so his mom could do it, AND THEN asked me if I wanted her to do any of mine.) When I got frustrated with him treating his mom like a servant, he justified it to me by saying, "She likes doing it." The woman is an oncology nurse. She works 12 hour days and then has to come home to do her grown son's laundry. I couldn't believe that was something she enjoyed.
Why is it that in 2012 men are still treating women like their slaves? Furthermore, how have they managed to convince themselves that we like the treatment? That is never going to fly in my house. Just because you have a cock doesn't mean you don't have to cook. — Anonymous