Sunday, October 9, 2011

How Does This Happen?

A few nights ago, my husband made a passing comment about his socks being dirty from walking in our apartment, and that the floors should probably be vacuumed. I immediately felt guilty, and told him I felt bad that the floors were dirty. He asked why I felt bad since he hadn't cleaned up either, then said, "It's not because you're a girl is it?" he went on to remind me that it was as much his job as mine to keep things clean, and when I got home from work the next day, he had vacuumed.

I grew up with progressive parents who divided housework up based on who was home, who had time, and who enjoyed what, with things coming out basically even. I was never taught that one job was for boys, and one for girls. I have two sisters, and we all did all kinds of chores growing up. My husband has never said, implied or suggested that I am primarily responsible for household chores because I'm female. He does the laundry most of the time, we split the cleaning based on schedules, and cook and shop together. I've been a feminist all my life, and never bought into the notion that being female made me better at or more responsible for household chores. The only place I heard that was at church. Despite all this, I felt guilty for not cleaning the house. I felt like I had failed in a responsibility, that I'd fallen down on the job. How does this happen to someone like me? How does the church have that much power over me?

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