Pinterest has posited many noble roles for men in the domestic sphere. These include, and are pretty much limited to:
- Elaborate proposal planners who have booked a secret photographer and a flash mob
- Unwilling whip-weilding actors in 50 Shades of Grey fantasies
- Mason jar craft installers and admirers
Note that none of these roles include domestic work–cooking, cleaning, childrearing. That’s for the wimmins! According to the oft-pinned Proverbs 31, men should be off doing a whole lotta nothing, “sitteth-ing among the elders of the land.” The modern version? Grand Theft Auto, obviously.
Men as equal partners in childcare–hilarious, amirite?
This pin, like Febreeze and laundry and cat litter commercials, normalizes unequal division of household labour.
Men, obviously, just aren’t capable of this child rearing stuff. This pin may seem harmless because it makes it seem like housework is beyond men, but really, it come from an ideology that says domesticity is beneath them.
And you know what? It kind of puts pressure on women, too. What woman makes a turkey every night? What woman wouldn’t tie her daughter’s hair with a zip tie in a pinch?
Some men, obviously, do think that way, and skimp on domesticity; all those depressing studies about division of labour evince this. The stereotypes, I think, just encourage their lackluster domestic performance, and alienate dads who do “pitch in.”
If you find these pins as dispiriting as I do, you can take comfort in the the ones that promote active, involved fatherhood. Let’s face it: it’s kinda hot.
Repin, repin, repin!