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The Dishwasher Dilemma February 17, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, gender roles, news you can use, pop culture, sorry!, thats random.
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i found this on you tube (obviously).  i was actually looking for an episode of “teen mom” where the happy couple was fighting in the car about “having the same conversation over and over.”  about cleaning the house.  i couldnt find what i was looking for, but its not like its difficult to find examples of that particular argument, which is, in fact, my entire point.  you know the one: it goes “you never help me clean the house” then “i do too help you clean the house, i do this, this and this all the time” and then “no you dont, i always do everything and you never do anything unless i nag you about it” and so on and so forth.  its as common as…PIV in het relationships, and fights about PIV in het relationships.  now, why might that be?

i would really like to write an english-to-radfem translation program for these things, but im not a programmer so…small obstacle there.  but i can write about it, so i will.

you see, the very repetitive “housework” fight is about patriarchy!  just like everything else.  its about women getting constantly shit on by individual men and by men collectively and by mens patriarchal institutions.  and if there are no words to express this, its not a coincidence.  its very deliberate, this language problem, so that women are literally unable to even frame the issue in a coherent way, and in this case (as in many others) are rendered completely unable to express their dissatisfaction in reasonable terms that “make sense” (to men and other male-identified persons) mute so that womens reality is never acknowledged, so they never get what they need.

or perhaps more to the point, this language problem functions to ensure that womens reality is never actually actively and obviously discarded, with extreme and obvious prejudice, with an obvious culpable agent making those decisions, where even the men who allegedly love us tell us we can go to hell, to our faces.  no, its never hardly ever that obvious.  theres a reason for that.  it ensures that we never quite get whats happening here, or gives men plausible deniability when its pretty obvious they are fucking us over, deliberately.  so we never give men what they really and actually deserve, which is less than nothing.  and so we never see them for what they really are: the enemy.  of women.

SO.  let me put words to this one, if i may.

the very repetitive “housework fight” is about mental labor, and project management.  this has parallels to the work that men do, and that men get paid very well to do, and when men do it, its an actual, real thing, and is a skill that is very difficult to teach, requires intuition and good judgement, and constant vigilance and around-the-clock mental and physical labor (or whatever passes for that in mens world, 9-5 i guess?  8 to 8?  that one time some dood couldnt sleep?  cry me a river asshats.)  project management is one of the highest paid and most prestigious positions men reserve for themselves, because its the hardest and most important, and not everyone can do it, or is willing to do it.  so, lets go with that.  running a household is project management.

and project management, no matter what the actual project is, refers to both mental and physical labor, and includes that awareness thats always going on in the back of the project managers mind, where she knows the entire layout of the entire project at all times, is attuned to the slightest change and reads the tea leaves constantly to assess whats needed, to avoid potential exacerbations and escalations that will require even more work (and possible catastrophic failures, and snowballing catostrophic failures) down the road, and has many, many schedules running in her head simultaneously.  and it necessarily involves delegation of certain duties, especially very menial tasks that even the most unskilled laborer could do.  because the project manager’s time is worth more.

dont shoot the messenger, i didnt make this shit up.  im just using mens words and mens concepts here, since nobody seems to get it when women use their own words.  in fact, it might even be true: certain projects might actually need project managers.  its possible i guess?  that one seems right to me, having actually worked on projects before, in life.  how men deal with this reality and create their hierarchies around it is on them, im just saying.

so anyway.  an example of this kind of mental labor is as follows: i watered the plants that need to be watered every month 2 weeks ago; i watered the plants that need to be watered every 2 weeks 2 weeks ago, so…i need to water those plants, but definitely not the other ones, or all the plants will die.  and then i will reset the schedule in my mind.  that kind of thing.

so the actual watering of the plants is only part of it.  its a large part of it, because if all the mental labor happens but the plants dont get watered, we will have a very obvious failure on our hands.  but as incredibly important as that is, theres even more to than that, running below the surface that causes those plants to stay alive.  so if i ask you to water a plant, and you do it, how much is that really worth?  im just asking.  you arent the reason that plant stayed alive, now are you?  you wouldnt even have known which one needed water, or known which one wouldve died if you watered it just then, without me telling you.

and if i have to fight with you for more than 10 seconds about watering the fucking plant, its a complete waste of my time and i couldve just done it myself.  but even if theres no fighting involved and its done immediately, and graciously, its still not like very much of *my* labor was rendered obsolete.  you have made my life easier, but only a very little bit.  note that the value of the physical labor, and how much of it there really is to do, varies, based on the size of the project.

so.  if we borrowed the hierarchies that men use when they are talking about their own projects, and applied them to the example of the household, the men would be the unskilled labor, who only make a dollar an hour (or whatever) because thats all their labor is really worth.  you know, according to themselves.  and yet, rather inexplicably, they act like they deserve their own personal superbowl-victoryesque parade dedicated to all the awesome that is THEM, for watering a plant, and performing other very unskilled labor, when, in applying their own hierarchies, the work they just performed is only worth a dollar.  and when you give them the dollar, they act like the dollar is a penny.

this is really about mens dishonesty, and using and framing womens labor in a way that they would never use and frame mens labor, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do, and they never stop.  and they take away womens ability to express their reality, through disingenuous issue-framing and controlling language, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do and they never stop.  and women dont like this reality.  and men do.  thats what this fight is really about.

men are so impossible!

YES, yes they are, if by “men” you mean “the het partnership in a patriarchy, from women’s perspective.”  its based on lies, and in the case of the housework dilemma, its literally impossible to reconcile this one.  it is literally impossible to explain or confront this in a way which is consistent with maintaining the relationship, or maintaining the heterosexual partnership in general, at all.  and *thats* where advice-columnists go off the rails.  even “dear momma” pulls her punches on this one big time: she tailors her advice so that its consistent with maintaining the relationship.  its advice with an agenda.  in reality, this one cannot be reconciled.

i hope this is helpful to someone.

PS.  heres “dear momma” on PIV.  its pretty good.  no fun for whom indeed.


1. FCM - February 17, 2012

there is, in fact, a RIGHT WAY to load a dishwasher. the trick is to understand the GOAL or purpose of using a dishwasher, which in my estimation is 3-fold: to hide dirty dishes from sight, to get the dishes clean, and to save you extra work. in the case of the dishwasher, this involves 2 parts: proper spacing of the dishes so they get clean, while arranging them efficiently so that the most dishes possible fit into it, so you dont have any left over to have to wash yourself, and which cause clutter.

theres more than one way to do this, but lots of ways to do it wrong. this is a demonstrable fact.

if YOU want to manage this project for as long as it would take for you to figure this out for yourself, then go ahead and do it. i will stay in a bed and breakfast, where there are always clean dishes, until you figure it out. or, you could just do it my way.**

**THATS the only way i can see this conversation having a favorable outcome. and who can afford to stay in a bed and breakfast for 15 years? not me.

2. smash - February 17, 2012

FCM, I think you’ve been reading my mail. This post is spot on.

One thing I’d also like to point out is that not only is men’s helping out framed as such an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence as to warrant a super special thank you, but asking for help is often seen as being bossy, or nagging.

So when the project manager asks for help, she is derided, or told she’s just so bossy and controlling (particularly if she has to ask multiple times- each time she asks is another instance of “bossiness” and “controlling behavior”– which means he can says she’s always trying to control him when really if he would just do X chore right once gdamnit, she wouldn’t have to waste her energy!)

Sometimes it just isn’t worth it to delegate for the reasons above, so she does X chore herself. Then she’s not only the delegator and project manager, she’s also the delagatee.

MEN don’t see this dynamic at all! Thank you for spelling it out.

3. thebewilderness - February 17, 2012

I just quoted the project manager description for a woman on the abuse site I frequent. She wrote a sentence that started “All I do is…” which immediately set my hair on fire. Has any man ever started a sentence with “All I do is” when speaking of the work he does? I don’t think so. Their sentences usually start out “All you do is…”

I have mentioned before that my mum was a passive aggressive abuser. When I stopped caring enough to reload or argue about loading the dishwasher she simply blamed the dishwasher for not getting the dishes clean. There is no cooperating with asshats. They can’t even be negotiated with successfully.

4. mechantechatonne - February 17, 2012

I feel like any man I can’t tell what to do will be, within short order, a huge fucking problem. If I can’t make a reasonable request and expect it to be done then we’re going to have some controversy. At best I’ll break it into short, sharp commands and they’ll figure out how to get along with me the same way my dog has. At worst, I will have to explain to them exactly how useless and frustrating they are, they’ll call me a controlling bitch and we’ll break up because I take anyone addressing me as a bitch as a request that I either bite them, drag them, claw them, or piss on them. I can’t imagine what else they’re hoping for.

The fact that guys always expect cookies when they act somewhat like reasonably respectful adult humans is hilarious to me. You failed to get testerical when I politely addressed a grievance with you? Cookies! You have yet to rape or physically assault me, valiantly ignoring the fact that you so could if you wanted to? Cookies! (As far as you will admit and I can verify) you have never done either of these things to any other woman or child? Cookies! I asked you nicely to do something simple and you didn’t refuse it just to make the obvious point that I can’t make you do something unless I use a series of ropes, tasers, ballgags and pulleys? Cookies! You have yet to leave even a single woman (that you will admit and I can verify) deserted with one of your misbegotten bastards? Cookies! You interrupt your porn watching and video game playing to work a job to buy porn and video games with as opposed to just lazing endlessly in your mom’s basement? Cookies!

Guys whinge and moan and grouse and pout when you ask them to do something. And then they “forget” to actually do them, over an d over and over. And then they do them wrong. So they’ve already wasted your time by not thinking of things and doing them themselves. Then they’ve wasted your time by making you find a slot in your day to give them tasks. Then they’ve wasted both your time and your energy with whining and debating about it. Then of course they’ve wasted your energy by not doing them, so you have to remind them. Then they’ve wasted more of your energy by you knowing you have to check their work. Then when you check it, you have wasted yet more time because you must then either ask them to fix or redo it, which takes you to square one, ask surly whiner to do something, or do it yourself. Women nag? They ought to feel fortunate we don’t punch them in the face. Which, of course is how they typically handle it when women are half as difficult as they are.

If I ever date a man again, it will be a man that gladly does what I tell him to. Full stop. Not thinks about it, can be bribed and convinced to, but just does it. I say toilet seat down, never again do I have to turn the light on, look down, catch myself lest I fall in the toilet, make sure there isn’t piss all over the bathroom, oh no. I can just sit on my toilet and pee. I say “can you wash the dishes?” and I don’t have to inspect the dishes, or rewash them because they molded or something as a result of being put away wet, or soak and/or scrub an hour on something that dried on because washing it after use was just too hard, or rinse all the dishes because they are full of soap. Oh no! I can just grab a plate and EAT OFF OF IT. If men expect women to produce doctor’s notes, bloody towels and signed affidavits to get out of PIV they should expect it to be on like Donkey Kong if they can’t wash a plate or put flowers in fresh water. I just wonder who the hell guys think they are, believing for some reason that just because they are all matters of their lives should be taken care of without their involvement and if they bother to put a token effort toward bringing the effort that is running the houses they live in or caring for the bodies that they use as life support systems for their penises they should get some sort of reward.

5. FemmeForever - February 17, 2012

I don’t know how you ladies deal. I don’t have this shit at home and even in the workplace a single incidence of this petty passive aggressive bullshit or project managing these lazy incompetent idiots makes me want to pull out an oozie. I have absolutely no tolerance at all.

6. GallusMag - February 17, 2012

“its so we never give men what they really and actually deserve, which is less than nothing.”

Yes, yes and yes.

7. FCM - February 18, 2012

ETA (in itals):

this is really about mens dishonesty, and using and framing womens labor in a way that they would never use and frame mens labor, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do, and they never stop. and they take away womens ability to express their reality, through disingenuous issue-framing and controlling language, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do and they never stop. and women dont like this reality. and men do. thats what this fight is really about.

DUH. *thats* the source of the disagreement, right there. sorry if that wasnt clear. 🙂

FCM - February 18, 2012

this need not devolve into a competition for “worstest delegatee” but last summer, my nigel cleaned the entire bathroom with insecticide. because apparently, i neglected to tell him to *not* use the bottle clearly labeled “insecticide” to clean the bathroom, and it was in a bottle that looked similar to the bottle with the cleaning solution in it, which was clearly labeled “dish soap and vinegar.” (i mix my own solutions). i came home from work, and the entire bathroom was clean, and reeked of cedar. i was like WTF? when we figured out what happened, i think my biggest surprise was that the insecticide actually WORKED, to clean the bathroom. it didnt leave streaks or anything. sadly, the biggest surprise was NOT that he had actually used insecticide to clean the bathroom, and didnt even notice, even with the smell. FFS.

8. FemmeForever - February 18, 2012

That’s hilarious! You know given maleness I’m just amazed how mothers ever get used to turning their children over to men, for anything. To ride in the car, for caretaking, for anything.

This story is not hilarious. I heard a story at the doctor’s office once that a mother – a nurse – left her 2 year old twins in the care of their father while she went to work. She got an emergency call in the middle of the day that one of her twins had drowned in the bath while in the care of the father. Unspeakably tragic. Women certainly should be able to trust the other parent to actually be competent adults but I don’t know how they do.

FCM - February 18, 2012

That is unspeakably tragic, but completely unsurprising at the same time. It’s giving project management responsibilities to the guy who usually just waters the plants you tell him to water. Things are going to die. They cannot be trusted to do it right. And that’s completely separate from the issue of whether individual guys are assholes. Sometimes they are both, but not always. Doesn’t make whatever they end up killing any less dead.

Interestingly, when women leave their kids alone with men, and the men kill the kids, either accidentally or on purpose, the women are often charged criminally in the death. Even if she only did it bc she had to go to work, and needed a babysitter. Bc its completely foreseeable that the kid would end up dead. That’s the theory of the woman’s culpability, and its the only way it would stick: foreseeability. And yet we are never allowed to discuss how horribly dangerous men are to children, one way or another. This cannot be discussed.

Google “failure to protect” for more.

9. Sargasso Sea - February 18, 2012

Excellent post Fact, thank you.

@FemmeForever – “trust the other parent to actually be competent adults”

This is of course assuming that the other parent is a man!

10. T. Laurel Sulfate, Snarkurchin - February 18, 2012

The “mental labor” thing somehow never occurred to me, but it explains a LOT. I knew my ex-hub did the passive aggressive not-really-folding thing the one time I got him to do the laundry because he didn’t want to do the laundry. But only now do I understand why he made a mess of the bank account so I had to take the checkbook from him and manage all the money myself. He complained, but I’m sure it was a load off his mind.

You see, he COOKED, and this obviously meant he did not have to do anything else, ever, except do the grocery shopping and go to work. Cleaning? Keeping his own resume up to date? Don’t be funny. But he had that pro-choice T-shirt that made young girls talk to him, so he was the World’s Best Male Feminist!

I had no idea how much energy I was devoting to fooling myself and coddling a male ego until I stopped doing it.

11. cherryblossomlife - February 18, 2012

I had to laugh at the plant analogy. Your plant is the equivalent of our Fish That Will Not Die but Needs To Be Kept Alive. It falls to me, obviously.
Greer makes a good point in the Whole Woman that if men ran households the work would be invested with prestige.

12. phonaesthetica - February 18, 2012

The plant thing ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME when I was married to a man. I went away for a week on a trip he didn’t want me to take, came back, and found them all dead. Also, the dish thing — after fighting for months about the fucking dishes, I decided to see how long it would take for him to wash a few if I didn’t do it. After the dishes started piling up ON THE FLOOR, I gave in.

FCM - February 18, 2012

One week phona? Sounds like murder to me. He likely poisoned them with something. This is where you’re supposed to be grateful that’s ALL he did.

phonaesthetica - February 18, 2012

Ooh. I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but…yeah. Foul play is much more likely. :shudders:

FCM - February 18, 2012

deliberate drowning is also a possibility? i wouldnt even know how to kill a plant in a weeks time. he mustve tried really hard. sorry. 😦

13. DavinaSquirrel - February 19, 2012

Great thread, mechantechatonne’s comment describes every Nigel that ever walked the earth. Cookies indeed. They think they deserve them for non-jerkdom.

As for the babies/young children dying in the (biological) father’s care, yes, it is happening a lot. I am not sure that we hear of all cases, but within the space of just a month, in the UK two babies were dead – both were only left with the bio fathers for LESS THAN HALF AN HOUR. No shit. They cannot even keep children alive for less than an hour. Deliberate? Possibly, we will never know. And yes, the women who ‘dared’ leave their children with these bio-dads were at the very least chastised in the press for it (you know, how dare they go to the supermarket to buy food, how reckless!).

Killing houseplants in a week? I suspect foul play.

14. cherryblossomlife - February 19, 2012

On the subject of “failure to protect”, woman posted on a popular website I used to visit a while ago asking for advice from the women there, and bringing with her the most godawful story about how her husband had been lighting the barbeque and a few feet away there was some paraffin or oil or some other explosive… and about how her small daughter was now in hospital with skin grafts and burns and breathing problems and she would be disabled for the rest of her life and would require constant *constant* care, forever because that fucking bastard had not been careful.

The advice she was asking was.. whether or not she should trust her husband again, or whether she should trust her instincts and divorce him. SHe then mentioned–in brief, in passing–that he *was* a bit of a bastard overall, and it sounded like she had wanted to mention the fire hazard to him on the day of the “accident” , but reading between the lines, it seemed as though he had made her feel like she was a NAG, so she decided in the end not to mention it in order to keep the peace.
AND THE WOMEN WERE ADVISING HER TO FORGIVE HIM. Apparently the “poor man” had also suffered (he had burns on his hands), and it had “only been an accident”.

I simply didn’t know what to do. A sense of cold dread seeped into my bones. No exaggeration. I felt sick. If it was men who brought children into the world do you think they’d be a BIT less careless????

FCM - February 19, 2012

That’s such a cruel choice too. Divorce sounds best obviously, and its her instinct to do that, and cast him out forever, and to keep him away from her kids, but unfortunately its not up to her. Dood would still have RIGHTS. Because men’s RIGHTS are always more important than women’s and children’s SAFETY. And men’s rights to harass and injure women and children always surpass women’s rights to be left alone, and to only have people in her life that SHE wants to be there. That right for women is essentially nonexistent. And big surprise, women are completely controlled, and the transformation is complete, when women have children. Even unwanted or ambivalent children, that only even exist due to mandatory piv. After that, a woman no longer has any say in the matter of what kind of human garbage is hanging around her, and her house, and yeah, she can’t even properly protect her kids, whether they were originally wanted or not. It IS chilling, and sickening. And this kind of shit makes me more clear than ever that I will never have children, and why.

FCM - February 19, 2012

And that’s not even considering that her and her kids might end up on welfare after the divorce, or homeless, or without any health insurance to care for her now disabled child. She is tied to him for life now, bc men have made it impossible for women to care for disabled children alone. So, if a man wants to control his wife more than he already is, yeah, the perfect, PERFECT strategy would in fact be to permanently disable one of their kids.

And I know women are aware on some level how all this shit operates. And if this incident with the barbecue was a legitimate accident, and if her husband deserved to be forgiven, she would probably know that too. And yet, what she instinctively feels is dread, and wants to run. She already knows what to do, its men’s overlapping systems of oppression that are working to keep her there now. She’s feeling those chains now.

15. DavinaSquirrel - February 19, 2012

And yet, what she instinctively feels is dread, and wants to run. She already knows what to do, its men’s overlapping systems of oppression that are working to keep her there now. She’s feeling those chains now.

Yes, I would agree with that, from Cherry’s description of that thread. I guess she also wanted reassurance for that decision to to leave, that her gut instinct is right (women are taught not to trust their instincts). The truth of the matter is she is ‘damned’ no matter whether she stays or leaves. One way or the other, the deck is stacked against her.

16. FemmeForever - February 19, 2012

And if this incident with the barbecue was a legitimate accident, and if her husband deserved to be forgiven, she would probably know that too.

Maybe it’s just me but if I had incubated a child for the better part of a year with all of the associated physical drawbacks and loved her and birthed her and nurtured and fed and taught her and sat up nights with fevers and nightmares and all of the rest of it and some apathetic I-D-I-O-T killed/maimed MY child, it wouldn’t matter one shit to me whether or not it was an accident. I would NEVER be able to look him in the face again, let alone have empathy for him. It would be finito for me even if I had to go to a homeless shelter. I doubt I would even be able to spend that very night under the same roof with him. And that’s from a person who’s hasn’t ever given birth.

17. FemmeForever - February 19, 2012

I’m not judging this mother. I’m just saying I can’t wrap my brain around any other reaction.

FCM - February 19, 2012

Yeah, I’m open to the possibility that it might be forgivable under some bizarre set of circumstances I can’t even articulate right now. Like if he WAS a co-project manager, and it was just one of those things…but the truth of the matter is that they never really are. They are negligent, they refuse to look ahead and fail to foresee and actively avoid negative outcomes constantly due to criminal levels of not giving a shit. I cannot imagine that most nigels would deserve forgiveness. Mine wouldn’t. I’ve played this scenario through in my mind to see for sure, and I always end up with “this is his fault, he should’ve known better, and he is dangerous to himself and others, and I’ve always known that.” Can’t really recover from that, bc there’s nothing to build on. Surely, you realize its a fucking miracle it didn’t happen sooner, and blame yourself for staying as long as you did. I mean really. It’s not like you didn’t see it coming, and its not like you hadn’t been supressing that knowledge and everything relating to it for a long time. These men are criminally negligent, they really are. Women know that, and they repress it constantly. And then the day comes where you are too tired to nag that one more time, or you can’t get a sitter and….hubboy.

FCM - February 20, 2012

i think it all boils down to women knowing that we are just rape-objects, and so are our children, so that if the snowballing catastrophes actually happen and take you all the way down, you are going to be homeless (with your kids) and have to experience everything there is down there at the very bottom, for women. which always, always includes constant rapes, and fear of rape, and trying to avoid being raped. and…prostitution.

for men, when and if they are taken all the way down, whats there is a FUN ADVENTURE–YAY!!!!!11!! its like a really really long camping trip, and camping is FUN! thats what homelessness is for men. it might suck (like camping sucks sometimes, like when all your shit gets wet, or stolen, or whatever) but its never like they are going to be rape-objects for men, or prostitutes. and THATS why they dont care about anything. if the worst possible thing that could happen to ME was an extended camping trip, i might not care that much about anything either.

18. Michiru - February 20, 2012

Hi Ive been lurking a while and can’t remember if I’ve posted here or not.

Anyway I can’t figure out how he fucked up that bad, I don’t mean to be flippant but a fucking barbque exploded…how did he manage that? Asssuming it was an accident, I mean it’s just unbelievablely…unbelievable. Due to his incompetence, she and her child will have to pay for this for the rest of their lives.

FCM - February 20, 2012

i was french-frying some onions one time, and i had the oil boiling on the stove with a batch of onions cooking in it, and a plate of cooked ones on the counter, draining on some paper towels. i spilled some flour on the floor and crouched down in front of the stove to sponge it up, and here comes nigel, reaching over my head with his stupid baggy sleeves past the boiling oil to grab himself some cooked onion off the plate. so i was trapped in a crouched position between his body and the stove, and his sleeve of course caught the handle of the frying pan and i thought for sure a whole pan of boiling oil was going to come crashing down on my face and head. im not fucking kidding, i had nightmares about it for a week. i lost sleep over it, and i still want to cry when i think about it. so he could snack on a fucking piece of onion. i swear to god. the rage.

19. cherryblossomlife - February 20, 2012

Femmeforever, it boils down to major cognitive dissonance and denial. I would say any woman who is not a radical feminist only manages to get through the day with massive doses of denial. And then you become a radfem and somehow manage to get through each day without committing suicide. Not sure which is better, really.

20. cherryblossomlife - February 20, 2012

I’M laughing hysterically now FCM at your last post. “Hysteria” being the operative word.

21. mechantechatonne - February 20, 2012

I have been wondering how it is that men manage to be so lackadaisical, and the answer is really obvious: women take care of all of the things that need to be worried about. If they halfass their healthcare, why there will be a woman to wipe their asses after they stroke out, so who cares about going to a doctor? If they halfass taking care of children, why there will be some woman or another to take the heat for that, so who cares? If they destroy the environment and carcinogens run rampant mutating all the children and animals, well again, they don’t have to worry about taking care of these children, so who cares? If they gamble away all of the money and you wind up homeless, well they’re not rape-objects so it’s not feasible that they might wind up having to parade around on a pole or get raped all day to take care of the family, so by default it’s the wife that would have to take on that shame and degradation. So again, why should they care? If they don’t wash the dishes or do the laundry then eventually some woman will get frustrated enough with living in filth with vermin and do it. So why should they worry about it when they know you will?

You know that stereotype of women pretending to be helpless so that men will take care of them? I think it’s safe to say that’s a reversal. Generally it’s MEN, not women that pretend helplessness in order to get people to take care of them. And passive aggressive constant failing at tasks is really the best way to get someone else to do something because it’s a two in one deal. On one hand, you express your displeasure at being asked to lower yourself to such a menial task by aggressively fucking it up. You also discourage them from asking you to do it simply by virtue of the fact that asking you to do it doesn’t get it done. Additionally, you discourage them from even trying to teach you to do it because you’ve created a fear that you will fuck things up so badly it will cause them hours of work and a significant amount of money to repair the damage, so you’ve gotten the possibility that they’ll just explain it more clearly and ask you to do it again off the table.

As far as leaving men with children goes, I’ll add a little story about someone I went to high school with. After getting into a very good university she got pregnant by the magical sort of way that people do when you mix shitty and inconsistent birth control with the only sex act that produces children and repeat ad nauseum. She then dropped out and had the baby. By the time the baby was born, baby father was already out of the picture, so she started dating someone else. She left the child with this man for an hour or so, to go to the mall. When she came back, the baby had to be rushed to the hospital. Why? Because the crying had annoyed him, so he punched it in the face. Who went to jail? Why she did! How dare she go shopping and leave the child with a man who ISN’T EVEN THE FATHER?! Negligent slut!

22. cherryblossomlife - February 20, 2012

It’s also important to mention that any women choose to stay with abusive spouses not only because of stockholm syndrome and the fact the abuse continues and increases when they try to leave, but ALSO because abusive men’s rights always trump women’s right to be safe.
So what happens is that men who are sexual abusers or criminally negligent get to see the children at weekends ALONE. Women know this is the inevitable outcome of divorce, and I’m sure that many women sense that their children would actually be safer with them around at all times. So they stay with him.

FCM - February 20, 2012

yes, chatonne, i believe thats the case. men never factor in womens caretaking work into mens cost-benefit analyses, bc its just assumed we will do it, and do it for FREE, and we almost always do. because if we dont, who will?

that includes wiping the asses of adult men when (for example) they are totes badass gangmembers and go and get themselves shot in the head….not so badass now are you? with mom wiping your ass when you are 20 years old and until SHE DIES bc dood will still probably outlive her, even though he will never wipe his own ass ever again bc he now has the mental and physical abilities of an infant. same with soldiers in war. same with drinking and driving, bar fights, sky diving, all the exxxxxtreme shit men do bc they are so doodly. and guess who is *really* taking all the risk? not the men. if they die, their pain is over (and the mothers grieve). if they LIVE, but with catastrophic injuries, mom takes care of them for the rest of HER LIFE. MOM is the one taking all the risk here, yet her risk is never made part of the equation, and women have no say in any of this. none of it.

FCM - February 20, 2012

moms and WIVES. it should raise countless rad flags that mothers and wives perform the same function here. this is not a coincidence, its literally cradle to grave insurance for men that women never have.

23. cherryblossomlife - February 20, 2012

and daughters

FCM - February 20, 2012


24. thebewilderness - February 20, 2012

I don’t think most people realize that when women say they stayed for the sake of the children it is for the sake of the children’s safety. As a buffer between the abuser and the children, but also because paying attention is a learned skill that abusers certainly, and men in general, never bother developing.
It works in situations where good child care is available and the man rarely, if ever, interacts with the children.

25. Linda Radfem - February 20, 2012

“So what happens is that men who are sexual abusers or criminally negligent get to see the children at weekends ALONE.”

…or “supervised” in a “safe” contact centre which is equally traumatic for her and the kids and where there are staff taking notes about her level of compliance which can then be demanded by the family court as proof that she is not nurturing a good relationship between her children and their abuser, along with psych reports saying she is “unstable”.

Women also stay to keep them and their kids ALIVE. Because he’d often rather see them all dead, himself included, than see them free of him and his tyranny.

26. Sasa - February 20, 2012

This is so spot on! I might have to show this to my mother…

27. maggie - February 21, 2012

I knew a woman, an anaethetist, who worked part-time. She left her very young children in the care of their father, her husband, but with dread. When she returned home she knew they hadn’t been fed and their nappies not changed. I was shocked and wondered why she stayed with him.

I also knew someone who got a nanny in to look after the children even though her husband was unemployed. I was shocked at this too.

Both intelligent, skilled and professionals.

I don’t really know that many people so this is the norm with Nigels. it really is. regardless of their supposed intellect.

28. FemmeForever - February 21, 2012

Because he’d often rather see them all dead, himself included, than see them free of him and his tyranny.

This is why I could never condemn Nadya Suleman for her choice to have a family on her own. Because I would do exactly the same (one IVF) if I could afford to.

29. FemmeForever - February 21, 2012

Make that one IVF with gender selection.

30. cherryblossomlife - February 21, 2012

But the funny thing is that middle aged women DO divorce their husbands. We don’t hear about it because this age group is invisible in films and dramas. So everybody believes women between the age of 45-65 are trying to catch or keep their man. But honestly, lots aren’t.
I had to laugh because a few years ago Japan introduced a new law which entitled wives to claim a portion of their husband’s pension even after divorce. What happened was that middle aged women all across the land WAITED patiently until the very day that the law was eventually passed before beginning divorce proceedings LOL. There was a mad rush to the divorce courts in the months following. All women.

31. cherryblossomlife - February 21, 2012

Here. INteresting that the BBC article is entitled “Divorce fears for baby boomers”. I’ve said this before, but WHO’S fears??? Not women’s, that’s for sure.

Japan expects a significant rise in the number of divorces from April, particularly among older people, because of a change in the pension rules coming into effect.
The new system will for the first time allow women to claim up to half of their husband’s pension if they end their marriage.

Experts say the fact that millions of baby boomers are due to give up work this year, forcing husbands and wives to spend a lot more time together than they ever have before, is likely to put extra strain on marriage too.

In a Tokyo dance studio, a group of Japanese women are practising the Flamenco.

For some of them this is a hobby. For others it is an escape.

Hobbies can sometimes be an escape
The new system will for the first time allow women to claim up to half of their husband’s pension if they end their marriage.

Experts say the fact that millions of baby boomers are due to give up work this year, forcing husbands and wives to spend a lot more time together than they ever have before, is likely to put extra strain on marriage too.

FCM - February 21, 2012

Cherry, that’s hilarious. You bet the MEN are scared shitless of what their wives are going to do. WHOSE fears indeed. Ha.

32. Michiru - February 21, 2012

Elsewhere I was arguing (read wasting time) with an mra complaining that it’s not fair that women get automatic custody in japan, (if you don’t mind me asking what’s the family court in japan like Cherry blossom?) Germany etc. It was a liberal blog so I couldn’t say, yeah so? He linkbombed the comment section then when I told him to calm down (5 post monologues-screw that) he said I was putting him down personally-weasal.

Anyway it’s supposed to wrong to say but if there is a custody dispute and they can’t settle it out of court I know that almost always the father being a douche, it’s kind of an open secret but nobody is allowed to say it. Even some men I know will admit this.

33. cherryblossomlife - February 21, 2012

THe custody laws in Japan are different and have got their pluses and minuses.

As far as I understand it there is no child support. At first glance this seems like a bad thing for mothers, but when you look at how fathers use child support (“maintenance” as it’s called in the UK) to control mothers, it can work out really well for women.
In the UK, a type of “deal” is struck whereby the higher earner pays the person who takes care of the kids full-time. (These days women who are higher earners are having to pay the fathers of their children even though THEY gave birth! Don’t get me started on that one.) But lots of fathers don’t even pay the child support and the mothers have no recourse, but he STILL has the RIGHT to see them at weekends etc. And what they even do pay is negligible anyway.

So Japan doesn’t have that, which makes it simpler. Here the courts decide whether the kids will either go to the mother *or* the father and then the other parent basically disappears from the childrens’ lives. This is GREAT if the woman is able to support herself because it means she never has to see her ex ever again.

Usually they do prioritize the mother, but obviously not always. If the woman had an affair, for example, and that was the reason the marriage ended, the kids would probably go to the father. If the mother had no means of supporting the children financially (often women actually *can* because they move back home with their parents ), again, they’d go to the father. There could be other reasons that the children would go to the father, for example if the he was a member of a powerful family, or had a childless sister etc.

I do personally know women who knew they would lose their children and decided to leave the marriage anyway. A public example of this is the wife of the ex prime minister Koizumi. He was a member of an extremely powerful, political family. When she was pregnant with her third child she filed for divorce. She lost her 4 yr old and 2yr old son to her husband’s family, but the court allowed her to keep the child she was carrying (!). SHe then moved back to her mother’s and raised her third child there (he is now in his twenties. Her older two sons refuse to talk to her as they see it as abandonment i.e the worst crime a mother can commit).

34. cherryblossomlife - February 21, 2012

and yeah, if either the father or the mother is a foreigner, the Japanese spouse automatically gets the kids.

FCM - February 21, 2012

Mich, commenting on the radfem blogs, or starting your own, is probably the better use of your time. I’m just saying.

FCM - February 21, 2012

also, yes it is so obvious what men use child support for, and what the entire purpose of fatherhood as an institution actually is. its to control women. if the woman wanted the father of her children in her life, she could allow him access, even without a court telling her to do so. and if he was a good person and loved his kids, he would help support them anyway, even without a court order. the only reason these things are necessary are because men own women like chattel TO THIS DAY and they need to be able to put fences around “their” women like cows, because thats all we are. a very effective social safety net for women and children would be better for women and children, but then men would actually get what they deserve in many cases, which is to be left behind, while the woman takes her children and moves on. and that, they cannot have. mens world would FALL APART, if mens started getting what they deserve.

and in the US, women often have to have proof that they sued the father for child support before they can get welfare benefits. what might constitute “valid good cause” and how long it would take to get out of that requirement absolutely chills me to the bone.


35. The Temporary Truth - February 21, 2012

The unpaid labor aspect of housework is a common topic, but I’ve not seen it addressed this way before, from the “project manager angle” I like it. Well said. I never realized how lucky I’ve been to have found people who have no qualms about doing housework that needs to be done. I had assumed that the entitled male attitude of “look how little I did, but it’s something, right? Isn’t that great?” was something that only a small niche of people had to deal with. I am wrong.

I guess it also works out that I actually enjoy cleaning, because I like a clean house. But that’s neither here nor there since no matter how much I enjoy it, it doesn’t give my partners the right to be lazy.

36. Linda Radfem - February 21, 2012

Fathers “rights” groups only started up in Australia AFTER no fault divorce laws, parenting payments and the Child Support Agency/ wage garnishing was introduced – after women gained a few means to leave them, and they had to pay. Until then men didn’t care less about “shared parenting” or getting full custody. They would move on to a new partner and have more kids or help raise her existing kids. Even now men are statistically more likely to seek full custody only if they are re-established with a new partner – so she can do all the hard work.

FCM - February 21, 2012

yeah that sounds about right. fathers rights indeed. they are about as disingenuous as mens rights groups who dont give a flying fuck about minority men, gay men, disabled men or anyone else. what they really mean when they say fathers rights or mens rights is fathers rights to shit on mothers, and mens right to shit on women. woman-hatred is the common denominator here. AS IF most men really, truly want custody of their kids, and AS IF they are even capable of caring for them without putting the kids at serious getting injured or killed, either accidentally or on purpose. they arent.

37. cherryblossomlife - February 21, 2012

The way I see it there’s a clash of two realities going on here. I’ve been fascinated by the concept of “women’s reality” since reading Mary Daly, because until she spelled it out, it didn’t cross my mind that the courts, media, laws, customs etc all represent male reality alone.

So it goes like this:

Female reality:
raising children is bloody hard work. It would be nice if I could get some help from time to time. Some weekends alone would be nice, so I could do some shopping/catch up on some sleep/ see my friends. How nice would it be someone could take them off my hands then.
Except I can’t trust my ex with my children’s safety, and he is emotionally and physically abusive.
But despite this I’m forced to hand the children over to him.

Male reality:

All women (especially ex-wives) are evil whores until proven otherwize.

Unfortunately custody laws and the divorce courts see male reality as THE reality. And so evil women must be kept in line. It doesn’t cross their mind that women are basically reasonable people.

THe same goes for the big hoo haa at the moment in the UK regarding late term abortions. To hear the conservatives talk you would think there’s NOTHING women like better than aborting babies after 24 weeks gestation, when they can feel the baby moving. To hear the media talk, evil women must be PREVENTED from doing this with LAWS11!!!! Their reality is so warped.

FCM - February 22, 2012

well, i do think that if there werent very strict controls in place, that women would revolt in all kinds of ways, starting with the presumption of heterosexuality, marriage and PIV. perhaps men know this and they take it too far, also assuming that if they didnt tell us we couldnt, we would have abortions up until the day the kids were born just to spite them. its projection: they cant imagine being as shit upon as women are and not being just nasty and spiteful about it, up to and including harming ourselves and our children just to spite men, bc thats what men do to spite women, and the men also know they fucking deserve it.

the fact that we would also have our own reasons not to have late term abortions generally, probably doesnt cross their minds. like…that its still gonna hurt, for example. and, why bother? youve carried it this long, whats another few weeks? that kind of thing. but no, they cannot fathom that our reasoning would be both reasonable, and NOT revolve around them, and spiting them. even though they deserve all of that and worse.

38. cherryblossomlife - February 22, 2012

Female reality:
I’m me

Male reality:

You’re a fuckhole, therefore you are. I’m not a fuckhole but I can be if I want to so ner ner ner ner ner. Then I can be you.

Female reality:
But *I’m* me.

39. witchwind - February 22, 2012

Well, as from what a medic told me, up to a certain point there’s no point aborting, because you’re going to have to take the baby out anyway so it’s either by cesaerian or through the vagina, which will simply be the same as birth. According to the circumstances, it’s actually less risky to take it out “naturally” because at least the cervix is properly dilated. You could always get rid of the baby afterwoods though, at any time. Anyway, this is what the friend medic has been told by the male medical school, they tell many lies, so I can’t tell if it’s true or not. (lies like cesaerian is better, or giving birth lying on our backs is better – do we poo or pee lying on our back FFS?? Why not give birth doing a head stand while we’re at it??)

But there shouldn’t be a legal limit as to when abort or not, it should simply be on an individual basis to see what’s safest and best according to the women’s needs and what she wants.

I tend to say we live in a dick-land. This world goes like a gonzo porn film where the central “me”, the first-person subject is the erect dick penetrating the female fuckhole, and everything is seen from this dick’s point of view, the eyes/camera lense is litterally on the dick. The entire world is built according to this paradigm.

40. Michiru - February 22, 2012

I agree on the projection. Like in speculative fiction with a matriarchy, if it’s not a sexxay glad to see the last men on earth and welcome them like gods, often it’s secretly dystopic. Even in male fantasy women are secretly evil, they fantasize we are evil it’s like the dominatrix crap dialed to eleven. I’m not particularly fond of men doesn’t men I want to brutalize them.  

Or it’s an evil man-slaving one, yeah um no. Why do men think we want them as slaves I mean like this post says we can’t even get them to pack the diswasher. It’s pretty obvious they not only know what they do to the female class but are scared of what we’d do if we were truly in charge. I know racism is your go to example but hear me out, when the slaves were freed former slaves owners and white people especially white men they were paranoid that they’d get bloody retribution, hence backlash bigotry.

This male mindset assumes everyone is on the same wave as length as them and will kill without conscience for spite or just for the lulz. Yet they want these evil creatures in their homes, in their kitchen handling their food, to have ‘their’ children and in their beds. That being said we are still incompetent, weak, childlike and need to be told what to do, the cognitive dissonance is staggering.  

Thanks Cherry Blossom it’s nice to have some insight, I know many Asian culture place a lot of importance on familial loyalty and duty. Family
(biological or not) should act as a support system and I know that many families have ‘aunt and cousins’ that look out for eachother especially when they there is no father in the picture.

That said I wish seperated couples could just figure it out with out the courts and for fathers in general to be responsible and be fair (not man fair but actually fair) the fact I’m wishing for that is rather telling though. 

 I’m testing the waters on many blogs but as for my own blog I’d run out of ideas and couldn’t keep the commitment. IRL I plant the seeds to those around me, it’s not much i know.

41. thebewilderness - February 22, 2012

Criminy witchwind! Only a d00d could think there was no difference between delivering a seven pound object and passing menstrual blood with a zygote through the vagina.

42. witchwind - February 23, 2012

Lol, now I reread it it does sound really stupid, sorry about that. The point I was trying to make tho is that limits to abortion onle make sense when it takes into account women’s health & physical capabilities, up to some point there’s a physical limit to abortion, but this has nothing to do with imposing rigid and arbitrary limits as men do. It may seem ridiculously obvious to you but actually it wasn’t obvious to me before – I used to think you could abort any time of pregnancy, and you could push the dead baby out somehow even when close to giving birth, it should be a women’s right to do that since the baby feeds off her body. So then a medic explained to me that it made no sense to kill the baby in-utero once it could get out by itself because it’s actually “safer” and less complicated that way. But if you kill the baby once it’s out, it’s no longer abortion is it?

Anyway, I might as well blame men for my ignorance on this. It’s not even explained in pro-women abortion centres!

43. cherryblossomlife - February 23, 2012

If I understand correctly, wHat that medic is saying is it’s safer to birth a live baby than a dead baby. That’s not true because the whole point of the medical fraternity’s OBSESSION with controlling labouring women is because they want get a perfect product at the end of it. So you get women attached to drips and fetal monitors and all sorts of shit so that if baby looks like it’s in even a tiny bit of distress, teh menz can “SAVE THE DAY” by whipping it out of the womb via C-section, forgetting that the baby was probably only in distress because the mother was flat on her back which means she was leaning on the large artery begind the womb next to the spine and the blood couldn’t flow to the baby properly.

A friend of mine lost her baby in utero at 32 weeks. Very sad. She just realised one morning that her baby hadn’t moved for a few hours. They induced her labour and she gave birth. IT hurts just as much as a live birth but they leave you in peace to birth in your own time, at the pace your body wants to, because the baby is already dead, and LEAVING THE WOMAN IN PEACE is the always the safest way for the baby to come out

Having said that, there are sentimental (as well as practical reasons as FCM outlined above) that naturally prevent women from choosing late-term abortions.

ETA: thank you FCM for publishing my random poetry above. It didn’t look as genius as I first thought when I re-read it in the morning.

FCM - February 23, 2012


FCM - February 23, 2012

I read it to mean that waiting for natural labor was easier than aborting through an artificially dilated cervix? Not sure. Leave it to a fucking mansplaining male medic to confuse everyone. 🙂

44. Linda Radfem - February 23, 2012

“That’s not true because the whole point of the medical fraternity’s OBSESSION with controlling labouring women is because they want get a perfect product at the end of it.”

…and they want it to fit in with their time table.

45. witchwind - February 23, 2012

Yep, that’s one of the arguments that was given to me to explain why there should be limits to late-term abortion, even if it’s not a fixed number of days. now I think of it, these arguments only hold if you only focus on the viability of the baby instead of the choice of the mother = male point of view. Not surprising. Thanks for the clarification Cherryblossom! Sorry for all this confusion.

46. cherryblossomlife - February 24, 2012

That’s right LInda Radfem, most labours start at night, in the early hours of the morning. Both of mine did. It’s as though your body needs to just chill a bit before it starts the hard work.

As Daly pointed out, men are obsessed with processions and orderly-order, and time-keeping. THe unpredictability of birth is the antithesis of the male reality. So medics induce women with powerful drugs day because it’s convenient to their schedule, but the drugs they use to induce cause the labour contractions to come too quick and fast, meaning the woman begs for an epidural, which leads to her being flat on her back, which in turn stalls the labour, and often ends up in an unecessary C-section.

47. witchwind - February 24, 2012

I’ll feministsplain what you said about the artery behind the uterus and lying flat on back to every medic I’ll come accross next time. Lol.

As to the C-section, most often they don’t even wait until they have to do it. They just decide they want to do it, for the sake of it. Because it gives more money to the hospitals. Here hospitals are funded by the state according to the number of operations they do. C-sections mobilise more surgeons, more staff, so they get more money and fulfill their quotas. Birthing in a natural way doesn’t give them a penny, so it’s not worth it.
We might as well not go to hospitals any more.

48. thebewilderness - February 25, 2012

The main reasons for the spike in c sections is convenience of scheduling for doctors and hospitals and liability. Doctors are at higher risk to make mistakes in vaginal deliveries than they are in surgical deliveries. None of these things are to the benefit of the patient.

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