Forget gender equality and focus on gender priorities
Men do a lot more housework today than they did ten years ago, but they do the same amount of housework regardless of whether they are single or married. This means men are more self-sufficient than they used to be, but also that they are only doing what women would call “the basics.”
Women do more housework when they are married than when they are single — even with no kids. Which means women are doing more than the basics because they want to make a nice home for the marriage. And men already thought they had a nice home. Men don’t care about the extra housework women are doing: the genesis of unpaid, unappreciated labor.
Forget the wage gap. Let’s talk about the emotional labor gap. Parents have to decide who runs to the emergency room when the kid is sick, who goes home when ceiling fan falls in the living room, who remembers the dietary preferences and food allergies when the extended family comes into town. You can’t outsource everything. So one person has to have a job that has fewer time demands.
And I’m so sick of telling you that men and women are not the same so we can’t treat them the same. Women keep their marriages together by saying yes to sex even though they don’t want sex. This would have helped me a lot in my first marriage, where we had sex three times in six years. (I tracked ovulation every time — one miscarriage. Not kidding. I’m a very focused girl.) You don’t need to tell men to say yes every time in order to keep their marriage together. No sane woman in the history of the universe is badgering their husband for sex while they are breastfeeding and recovering from a vaginal tear.
There is no way that I believe society forces women to focus on kids. Here’s why. Because women do better than men in school. Across the board. In preschool, in elementary school, in high school, in college. And women earn more than men in their 20s and in the corner office. So how could it be that women feel pressure to suddenly start acting like men own them?
I think it’s the opposite. Women hear all the time how smart and capable they are. And then women get showered with cash for competing effectively with men. So why would women stop? No one is encouraging women to dump everything they achieved and wash baby bottles. Women choose it. Because women have choices. And they have a different list of life goals than men do.
And don’t tell me about the women who don’t have choices, okay? This is not a blog post about Syrian women in relocation camps. This is not a post about women in homeless shelters. Stop derailing my argument with discussions of women who are powerless because it’s insulting to women who are educated and in control and have time to read blog posts.
I’m so frustrated that the conversation about women is not shifting faster. So fuck every single woman who is still talking about how women need equality at work. Men and women aren’t equal and it’s totally ridiculous that we are still talking about this. Did you know that the reason women don’t negotiate as much as men do is because women have a better intuition about when they will get something and when they won’t? That’s right. Men negotiate because they are not as intuitive as women and then men penalize women for not acting as dense as men during negotiations.
You know why I’m really pissed off? The BBC asked me to do an interview last year and I said yes. They did a segment on the Prime Minister of New Zealand and how everyone was asking her if she’s gonna have children and there was outrage. So the BBC asked me what my opinion is, and of course all the other people they contacted said boo hoo hoo women should not suffer for having children. And of course I said why are people even asking because she will definitely have kids. (And I was right.)
So I can’t do any more talk shows. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand how far behind the world is in the discussion of women. We have so much data to get us to the next stage, and no one is moving.
But this blog is moving on.
Instead of gender equality we should focus on gender priorities, to support people in whatever choices they make. Instead of defining people as male or female, how about defining different types of people by what they care about — those who care what the house looks like and those who don’t. Those who care about getting the best basketball coach and those who just book whichever guy has the right time slot in their schedule.
Then you don’t need to make your family schedules a political platform. Instead everyone can push most in areas they care about most. And there will be a gap. For sure. Because we don’t all care about the same stuff.
And then we can talk about how I don’t care about being on BBC because it interrupted lunch with my kids. And that I care more about making grilled cheese than being a pundit. Because I’m a girl. And I bet I’m not alone.