Are there gender roles in your house?

by Kristina on June 3, 2013 · 6 comments

Good morning Dinks. Something happened this week at my office and I was absolutely surprised by my co workers reaction to gender roles in 2013. I would like to share with you because I am not sure if it’s just my relationship that is completely out of the ordinary or if my co worker is just old fashioned.

My team and I were looking at photos to use of one of our upcoming presentations and we chose a photo of a man handing the woman a set of keys.  My co worker liked the idea of the photo but she said that we should find a photo where the woman is giving the man a set of keys. Even after she saw the shocked look on all of our faces around the table she continued to defend her point saying that a man would never give a woman keys because the man should always drive.

Is it just me or is she totally crazy and living in the 1940s? I know that some relationships still maintain gender roles such as housewives, the man being the sole breadwinner and women at home cooking and cleaning.  I am definitely not a feminist and I honestly do believe that women and men still maintain gender roles, not because we are of a certain sex, but because men just do some things better than we do.

In my relationship I take care of our laundry, not because I am female, but because I love doing laundry. I know it’s weird but I like the smell of fabric softener. My boyfriend Nick takes care of a lot of the repairs around our apartment, not because he is the man of the house, but because he is the only one that is tall enough to reach and change a light bulb. I am only 5 feet tall and he is 6,2”.

Do you and your spouse play into your gender roles?

Who is the personal banker in your house? Maybe the woman manages the money in your house, maybe the man does or maybe you each manage your money separately.  When it comes to money I find that it’s best not to put pressure on anyone and let the person who wants to take responsibility manage the money.  Sometimes the pressure of managing money, especially if you don’t want to, can be more than one person can handle.  Stress leads to disagreements and arguing leads to break ups so be open about money and talk about your couple’s finances with your spouse.

Who is the master chef in your household? When I was growing up it was always my father who cooked for our family.  To this day I am not quite sure that my mother has mastered her skills in the kitchen.  I believe that the days of a woman having dinner ready on the table at 6 pm when her husband gets home from work are over, but maybe I’m wrong.

Who is the tie breaker in your house? If you have one opinion and your spouse has another opinion, who makes the final decision? Maybe it’s the man, maybe it’s the woman or maybe the person who really wants the decision to be made.

Photo by dilsbona

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DC @ Young Adult Money June 3, 2013 at 9:42 am

“I believe that the days of a woman having dinner ready on the table at 6 pm when her husband gets home from work are over, but maybe I’m wrong.” That’s assuming the wife is home from HER job before the husband and that the wife is home early enough to make dinner! The world is changing and we should never keep up roles simply because of sex. Yes, my wife does laundry and yes I do some of the more “handy” things like fixing a leak or other small repairs. She likes to do laundry, though, and I really have enjoyed learning more about home improvement. Nothing to do with gender roles.

2 Steve June 3, 2013 at 10:22 am

We both work so we generally split the chores. I don’t do the dishes because I absolutely hate it (and being 6′ 2″ I have to hunch over the sink to do them), but in exchange I am responsible for cleaning the litter box. Everything else we split in some fashion.

3 Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) June 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I love conversations like this!! My hubby and I used to split a lot of the household duties, but since he started me school, I do all cleaning and laundry. Every now and then when he wants to take a break, he cooks, and I love it!

4 Bonnie June 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Though it’s not intentional, the power dynamic in our marriage probably slants slightly towards me for many complex reasons, not the least of which is me being more educated and earning more money. It’s not something that I ever would have intentionally looked for , but it’s just the way that it happened. I am not an opponent of traditional gender roles at all. I would have been open to more traditional gender rolls in marriage than those that we have, but it just didn’t work out that way and I’m okay with that too, because at the end of the day, I feel that we are a unit rather than two individuals. Any success that I experience is just as much my husbands and any success that he experiences is just as much mine.

Cleaning (Indoor): Probably about 80% me, 20 % husband
Laundry: 100% me (I like to do it my own way)
Finances: I do 100% of the actual paying of bills, opening accounts, etc. However, big decisions are discussed together. Fortunately, we often end up basically agreeing on that front. When we don’t agree, I’m usually the breaker because I tend to be the cooler-headed party on the side of caution while my husband tends to be the more passionate party making decisions more based on his emotions.
Cooking: Probably about 75% my husband, 25% me. He doesn’t mind my cooking, but prefers his own. He worked as a chef for several years and enjoys cooking. It’s kind of a stress-reliever for him
Cars: 100% my husband. He cleans the cars inside and out, changes the oil, takes them to the mechanic, etc.


5 Darren June 13, 2013 at 8:38 am

When it comes to driving, I think your coworker is not so crazy. I fly regularly and always see wives picking their husbands up from the airport and relinquishing the driving duty to their husbands.

The division of labour in our household begins with our preferences and it so happens that they do often align with traditional gender roles. There is no household banker. I tend to look to be more proactive with the financial situation but all household information is available to each of us. Decision making is shared and when there is a dispute it is resolved based on who can make the most persuasive case. The one area where we routinely butt heads is regarding home-decor. My wife seems to think that as a woman her tastes automatically trump mine when it comes to colour schemes and furntiture styles, etc. Too many indifferent men have set a bad precedent and I’d like to see that stereotype vanish.

6 Meg June 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

I am 29, professional, educated and independent. I never would have thought I’d embrace traditional gender roles consciously, but I have noticed over the past year with my boyfriend as we have gotten more serious that I have started to do so willingly and even eagerly. For instance I prefer to do the grocery shopping and plan our meals most evenings, and I also prefer for him to pay the bill when we go out by way of exchange. Though this could be justified by the fact that I truly enjoy cooking and also am more passionate about what we eat and where it comes from, it doesn’t explain why I find it almost impossible to refrain from plating our food and delivering it to the table and also picking up the dishes and rinsing them when we are finished. For his part he finds my impulse alternately amusing/concerning and always chips in when he can. I also didn’t realize that it made me uncomfortable to drive when we go somewhere by car as a couple, until I realized I hate his car but also would prefer him to drive when we go out. I think it’s more about the idea of being treated (on a date) or taken care of (on a road trip) than relinquishing control though.

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