Newsletter editor Lily here. I’m back with my first intro of 2019! Hello!
To re-introduce myself to new newsletter subscribers, Sarah typically writes these intros and I write all of the other content you see in these newsletters every day. A lot of the writing I post below also comes from many of our wonderful Mama Bears, so if you see an article you think would be great or have a recommendation or call to action, you can email me at lily(at)chairmanmom(dot)com.
Onto today’s intro.
Recently, I feel like a switch has flipped. I don’t exactly know how to categorize it yet, and I can’t tell how much of it is being a young and very vocal feminist woman in this current American hellscape versus how much of it is my birthday coming up in a few months and feeling a little bit older and wiser. But lately, I’ve seen a pattern emerging: I’m noticing the seemingly tiny sexist norms we’ve all come to abide by more and more, and I’m becoming increasingly aggravated by every single one of them.
As an adult child of divorce with extended family in town, I spent quite a bit of my two-week vacation over the holidays back at home taking part in a number of different family outings and events. In particular, my dad’s serious girlfriend has a daughter who’s getting married this spring, and the happy couple had a joint shower to celebrate.
The shower itself was fun—love me a cheese plate (and this shower had three of them). But when it came to the end of the night and it was time to wrap up a party that had 40-50 attendees, I saw something we’re all pretty familiar with: A group of 5-7 women left were bustling around trying to clean up the house while all of the men (save my dad and the groom-to-be) were watching a football game. And even worse, more than one of these guys had the audacity to make a “joke” about a “women’s place” while they were sipping more beers and eating more snacks that the women were expected to clean up.
Are you freaking SERIOUS?
I made a few neutral comments to see if I could, uh, get the men off the damn couch. But aside from throwing away their own plates, they seemed pretty hellbent on just sitting there and watching a bad football game. None of the women also seemed to notice or say anything either.
Obviously, it’s hard for me to change the behaviors of the conservative friends and family of a couple I don’t know well. But it did once again strengthen my resolve to point out these small situations more frequently and correct the behavior as I see it, especially in myself or people I’m close to.
I don’t mind cleaning up after a party; that’s a nice thing to do. But I sure as hell believe every guy there needs to be putting away leftovers, throwing out trash, and washing dishes. I’m over this crap. I’m sure all of you are too.