As much as we may wish to deny it, there are still far too many out-dated, clichéd expectations in our world when it comes to gender and gender roles.
There are still people who believe that men and women should behave a certain way, and be skilled at specific things.
Even if these things have no bearing whatsoever on anyone’s masculinity or femininity.
Redditor housework1998 came under scrutiny from his girlfriend’s parents, not to mention his own girlfriend, for not being able to accomplish tasks they believed all men should.
This led the original poster (OP), to turn the tables on the living situation he currently shares with his girlfriend.
Wondering if this was too far out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for doing the absolute minimum chores after my girlfriend parents implied I wasn’t a man and she agreed with them?”
The OP first shared how when it comes to maintaining his home, he’s quite skilled in one area, less so in others.
“I work from home and my job is relaxed and doesn’t require me to be glued to the screen.”
“My girlfriend works in a stressful customer service job and most of her days are terrible.”
“In the 2 years we’ve been living together, I do practically all the chores around the house and I try to treat her to like a queen when she comes back home.”
“However, the one thing I can’t do is be a handyman no matter how easy the task is.”
“A few months ago, the bathroom door hinges needed replacing so I called a friend to help.”
At a recent lunch with his girlfriend’s parents, the OP’s lack of maintenance skills came up as a rather unwanted topic of conversation.
“Last week during lunch with her parents, I asked her dad about the project he was working on, he does woodworking as a hobby.”
“He showed me the progress on his phone and suggested I should help him with the last touches.”
“My girlfriend told him that I can’t even replace door hinges let alone help with that.”
“Her mom said that every man should know how to fix things around the house and her husband agreed with her.”
“The remainder of lunch was very awkward, it was like they were my real parents and were disappointed of me for being a huge failure.”
The OP thought he might get some solace from his girlfriend when they headed home, but was greeted with quite the opposite.
“After we left, I told my girlfriend that I didn’t expect their reaction.”
“Instead of taking my side, she said that they were right because it was embarrassing that I need to call a friend to help with something trivial.”
“I reminded her that I get nervous and anxious every time I touch a tool.”
“I admitted it was stupid but it’s just the way I am and has been very honest with her since the start.”
“Still she didn’t change her mind.”
Seeing how little sympathy he was given from his girlfriend, the OP decided a change was necessary at home.
“I told her that since their idea of being a man is twisted I must share the same view and start working on being their version of a man.”
“I told her that I will stop cooking for her.”
“And I’ll stop doing the dishes, laundry and cleaning.”
“The only thing that I would keep doing is taking the trash out and grocery shopping.”
“So I could focus my time and effort on becoming a man.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not at all the a**hole for his decision to stop doing chores out of protest.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s girlfriend and her parents treated him appallingly, with many urging the OP to question whether or not his relationship was healthy.
“Why would you stay with someone who speaks of you like that to their family?”- rickybobbybobby
“I will be direct, if she thinks really that, you should leave her, because in the future she will have you suffer.”
“I talk by my experience, I stayed 4 years with someone that always told me I wasn’t a man and to this day, 5 years later.”
“I feel like shit and that I’m not enough.”- FedeRreal
“My wife did her undergrad in electrical engineering.”
“I did mine in geography.”
“She’s way more qualified to handle those stereotypical ‘manly projects’ than me.”
“I’m mostly there to be her muscle and lift when she asks me too.”
“I’ve never been accused of being less of a man, because I served in the Marines.”
“Still, when contractors come to our home, and they start talking to me, I laugh and tell them to explain it to my wife, she understands better than me.”
“I’m like you.”
“For the first few years of our relationship I did all the cooking and cleaning.”
“Now we split the cooking, but I still am the only one who seems to know how to clean.”
“And I’m not much of a handyman.”
“I can put together Ikea furniture and stuff, but when we converted our shed into and office, she definitely took lead there, with me standing by just lifting what she couldn’t.”
“It’s shItty your gf would belittle you like that.”
“Gendered roles are dumb and outdated.”
“My mom is a master technician, who loved to fix anything.”
“My stepdad was a master chef, sup handles all the cooking and domestic work.”
“That’s how I grew up, and they’re boomers.”
“He brags about all the things she can fix, and she brags about how amazing his meals are, and when we get together as a family, my mom enlists my wife help to fix things, and I help out with chores around the house.”
“I don’t feel like less of a man for it, and I don’t think he does either.”
“It’s a natural family dynamic for us now.”- urbanworldbuilder
“NTA, and I’m about to pull up with some petty sh*t as a woman, but you should hit her with the ‘since I do all the housework, I’ve decided you make a sh*t woman and you need to step up to the man or woman plate’.”
“‘Your choice of which, but right now you’re neither’.”
“‘That gendered thinking is a deal breaker.”
“Do you identify as a man?”
“Then you are man enough.”- PICKLESnBILLITH
“Everyone has strengths and weakness.”
“If she can’t accept that and you are in for a painful relationship.”- Heavy-Sky-1253
“Lmao love it!”
“Tell her it’s the 21st Century and she should be able to fix her own damn doors.”
“You are being taken advantaged of here.”
“She should be doing her own share of the chores, you both have jobs do all gets shared equally.”
“If this continues you might have to show her the door, literally, because it seems like there is little respect here.”- Nessie51
“Why can’t she do anything?”
“Fixing things is not just a man’s job!”
“If my husband is at work or busy I can easily bust out the tools and fix things!”
“Stick to your guns!”-Majestic-Leopard-563
“But why are you with someone who tattles on you to her parents and makes you feel like trash?”
“You sound awesome and should be with someone who values you and treats you well.”
“Hopefully she’ll be your ex-GF soon.”- ollieastic
“I think you should leave her.”
“But I’m like you.”
“I can’t do shit but I just accept it.”
“Just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you should know how to fix everything.”
“But a lot of women are traditional and have those expectations.”
“Probably why I’m single now, lol.”
“well, one of the many, many reasons.”- geraldy002
“Three of them sound awful.”
“I’d do no house work at all besides clean up after myself while i secretly get my ducks in a row to get out of there and ghost them all.”-adisturbed1
“Don’t stay with a woman who doesn’t respect you and appreciate everything you do for her.”-Scary_Inevitable379
“If she wants you to be a gender stereotype then she should act her part of being a gender stereotype too.”-calvinshuhfc
“My dad taught me young how to fix things, let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages, Google now.”
“I never doubted he was a real man just that he had better things to do w his time like our soccer games.”-Hour_Baby_7336.
It is rather curious what is keeping either the OP or his girlfriend in their relationship, when she treats him so poorly, and he’s apparently not “man enough” for her.
If they want to stay in this relationship, they will need to have a very serious discussion.
But that is a very big “if”.