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Ingrained sexism

(12 Posts)
Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 11:12:04

My husband is overweight. He knows this and is pretty fed up about it. I'm not bothered about his weight from an appearance point of view but I care about him being happy. Whenever it's mentioned in passing to anyone people start advising me about what I should 'give him' for his lunch and dinner. What I should by for him and how I could make his healthy lunches in support of him.

On the face of it there's no big problem with this. I could make him a hearty healthy lunch.

I'm thinking could you ever imagine a man being advised to make his wife healthy packed lunches in support of her diet, cooking her healthy dinners and so on?

Imagine the conversation.

Man: My wife is trying to diet
Friend: Why don't you make her healthy and filling lunches, chop her come carrot sticks and hummus.

My husband forgets to give his family card and presents, he forgets to reply to invitations to his own family events and forgets to thank his own relatives too.

Again the advice is always that I could just do it to be kind.

Fair enough but can you imagine the reverse with people telling a man he should buy his wifes mother and sister a present?

Can you think of any examples of stuff like this?

The reason I can't stand it is become it somehow makes everything my fault.

My husbands weight, people not receiving gifts, in no other relationship would someone be expected to keep rescuing someone.

PoochSmooch Fri 13-Jan-17 11:24:25

Totally know what you mean, zara.

My mum has been known to observe that my husband's shirts often aren't ironed, and how scruffy he looks, while giving me pointed looks.

I pretend not to understand. Not my circus, not my monkeys! I hate those expectations. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to tell us that we're wet lettuces for not just telling people who say them to get stuffed though grin

Datun Fri 13-Jan-17 11:44:39

I have found that just asking the question why? sometimes helps. And keep going. Eventually the conversation has to end with something along the lines of 'because you're the woman'. And, whereas died in the wool sexists might say this, a lot of people pause at this point.

Xenophile Fri 13-Jan-17 11:48:34

I do what Datun does as well. My DH is a capable adult, if he doesn't do it, then I have to assume he doesn't want it done.

No doubt someone will be along in a bit to tell us that their male partner has never done this/no friend/relative has ever done this so we must just be making it up to be difficult, but not everyone lives a charmed life.

Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 11:49:50

Please excuse all the spelling mistakes.

Someone avoided that by saying "because you're his wife". Which doesn't sound quite so bad.

MooMooTheFirst Fri 13-Jan-17 11:52:23

My DP is 35 and until I moved in (pregnant with his DC) 9 months ago he had never had a live in girlfriend (I know, I know.) he is perfectly capable and has lived on his own in a nice clean house for years but as soon as I moved in his DM started asking me questions like 'how often do you do his laundry/water his plants/what sort of meals do you cook for him?' As if DP is a) incapable and b) just because I am a woman in his house I should automatically do the cleaning and the cooking. It did my head in!

The other one that gets me Every Time is the notion that DP is somehow a martyr or superhuman when he looks after his own child. Never mind the fact that obviously I'm on maternity leave ATM and do it all day every day, if DP takes dc out for the morning he is 'so good' and I'm 'so lucky' to have a DP that 'babysits'

Erm no MIL fuck off you can't babysit your own child!!

MIL really gets on my tits

Their ingrained racism and homophobia is something to be hold as well. But it's ok apparently because FIL once had a friend called VeeJay do he can't be racist... hmm

Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 11:53:50

The thing is, I do sometimes wonder if I'm just being difficult.

It's not really doing these tasks that I mind so much, it's more about me not wanting to be responsible for another adult. That makes it my fault when it fails.

MorrisZapp Fri 13-Jan-17 11:57:02

So many conversations just don't exist the other way round:

DP goes on a golf holiday once a year. I take two long weekends away on my own.

I'm regularly told how lucky I am, or asked who's looking after DS when I'm away.

As yet, nobody has told DP he's a lucky man to be able to leave his son for a week.

I also maintain that you never ever hear people saying 'well he knew exactly what he was doing, he threw himself at her despite knowing she has kids, what kind of man does that? He'll get his punishment though when karma comes around and she dumps him for another man'

But that example gets me in trouble on the relationship boards every time. The man 'creating a vacancy' schtick simply doesn't apply the other way round. Men are the prize.

Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 11:59:24

Oh yes, dh is 'so good' for making guests a cup of tea. Even if they're his guests!

ErrolTheDragon Fri 13-Jan-17 12:00:47

No, you're being entirely reasonable. Something like weight loss IME really only works if the individual takes ownership of it. My DH had a wake-up call about his weight last year, he decided what he was going to do about it and has taken responsibility and is doing really well. If as part of this he asks for my help then thats fine, in the same way as if I need his help with something he'd do it. Its not about the task itself so much as the responsibility, does that make sense?

Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 12:05:37

I would absolutely support dh in his weight loss attempt. I just don't want to be completely responsible for feeding him 24/7, and actually personally I wouldn't have any issue making him some lunches if it would help. It's just so funny the way women get told they should do these things, that would just never get suggested to men.

MorrisZapp Fri 13-Jan-17 12:23:34

Sorry, my example is about married people being tempted into affairs, in case it was unclear.

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