Recently, my wife posted on Facebook that she wasn’t feeling very well. She received a lot of support, wishing her a speedy recovery.
To lighten the mood, I posted that I was feeling great!
I then received a reply from one of her friends, “I expect a spotless kitchen, nothing in or around the sink, vacuumed, floor moped, tomorrow morning first thing school run, walk the dogs, work.. you know the drill”. This was a light-hearted response to my sarcastic comment.
I replied, that I did all this anyway and the lady responded, “Great, you won’t have to be trained then”.
My wife, a mother of twin ten year olds, full time professional in a senior management position, has worked pretty much every day of her life since leaving university with a degree in business studies. During her pregnancy, she went to work every day, stopped on the Friday and gave birth on the Monday. And she looks after the house, we both do!
So what did the response from her friend mean to me? To me it showed that my wife is better known as a stereotypical house wife, cleans the house whilst her lazy husband sits and eats a sandwich on the settee.
How is it possible that even in 2017, a professional lady, is better known for cooking and cleaning than for anything else?
Do we look at the CIO of a multinational organisation, who happens to be female and just see a mother, a cleaner? Have we not moved on?
I am not a stranger to the iron, cooking, cleaning or any other daily household activity. I never have been. I lived on my own from the age of 17 and I was in the military, where I guess I was ‘trained’ to look after myself and to be clean and tidy too. I do not support gender based roles, (blue jobs and pink jobs). In our house, we are a team and we do what needs to be done.
Will I be known as the husband who went to work and didn’t look after the kids, dogs and house and for my wife, will she only be known as the lady who did everything around the house, oh and went to work.
I hope that one day we can move on from stereotyping gender activities, if we continue to think like this at home, then what hope do we have for females to be taken seriously in a business environment?
Until next time