Have Blurred Gender Roles Pushed Men Away From Commitment?

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About four years ago, I took a gender psychology course in undergrad. My term paper was based on how gender roles of women have changed between the 1950′s and present day. During this period of time women have made amazing strides. They’ve grabbed the bull by the horns and fought for equal opportunity. This fight is an ongoing one.

Today women are as independent as ever.

Virtually most of today’s women spend as much time  working as a man does. This has been accompanied by a growing number of women who  don’t fulfill traditional duties. Now I’m not overgeneralizing. I know many women still operate traditionally in the household. However, it’s more common seeing women who aren’t versed in housekeeping nowadays.

There’s a population of men who are very adamant in traditional household structure.

There’s men who can’t warm to the idea of taking care of the home themselves. To some, cleaning, cooking, and laundry are stocked attributes that a woman should possess. I  certainly believe a woman should be able to wash her own clothes. That’s pretty basic. But how about women who can’t cook? What about women who don’t know how to clean the house? Should women be tasked with handling these tasks?

I always believe in sticking to your strengths.

If I date a woman and I’m a better cook, then I have no qualms in handling cooking. If my lady is great at ironing then I’d leave her to it. But I digress because I know I’m just a bit different. Many men can’t date a woman without rudimentary skills. These are skills that they deem basic. They can be so adamant about these said things that it could negate other great qualities. I was curious to know from my SBM fam how this plays out in your lives. How many of you ladies aren’t the domestic type? How many of the fellas require a woman to have domestic skills? Do domestic skills correlate to quality of parenting? I’m curious to know. What say you?

These are my words and I make no apologies.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS  – Damn He Got A Point” (My Column) on Viral Status

 

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From Our Partners

  • Blgray317

    I'm a great cook. I love trying new foods and I'm finding it to be an easy way to start a conversation with potential dates. It's definitely not a deal breaker if my future spouse doesn't cook.

    I like balanced women. I've dated both ends of the spectrum and I've found myself more compatible with the traditional woman. But I'm definitely open to dating the new age independent woman. I just think someone who embodies multiple qualities of both sides would fit for me.

  • Smilez_920

    Domestic skills can be learned and fine tuned. Contrary to popular belief a lot of your grandmothers didn’t start off master chefs and have the cleaning skills of a White House maid. The first year or two of marriage, some of your grandfathers ate an over cooked stake or some under seasoned greens or had a few wrinkles in their shirt collar.

    I think a lot of men grew up in households were their father wasn’t present to help their mother take care of the home, so they think their future wife is suppose to take care of everything like their mother did. I don’t need another grown person in my house to take care of like a child; you can split chores and responsibilities just like me.

    For the men who grew up with both parents in the household and watched their mother do everything, another news flash… she was probably tired and over stressed and wished your father would have been more helpful.

    Unless you provide me with a life where I don’t have to work and can be a housewife, domestic chores can be split down the middle by who does what the best.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

      Your last point says it all, you can have a traditional woman if you do what the traditional man did, marry and solely provide.
      My recent post Today’s Word is… CHARM

    • GIrlSIxx

      "Unless you provide me with a life where I don’t have to work and can be a housewife, domestic chores can be split down the middle by who does what the best"

      Pretty Much!!!!! When I was a full time college student I didn't work so i was a housewife my husband didn't have to lift a finger if he didn't want to, but once I started working full time we divided up the chores, I would do the laundry and he would cook and we both cleaned the apartment. Later down the road after we had our daughter we hired a housekeeper so that our weekends and evenings could be focused on Family Time; he still did most of the cooking simply because he liked to cook plus he was great at it, and I handled the laundry. .

  • J.Crawford

    Look, as a Man who has lived On My Own since I was 19, "house chores" was Mandatory- i lived Alone. I don't believe that Only Women do "house chores" and have no idea where that came from. I don't "need" anything from a Woman that i can't do myself, justas Women NOW don't "need" Men like they used to.

    That Said, the so-called Traditional Values don't seem to interest me nor do they apply to me; i Won't Conform to what a "Gentleman' or "Real Man" does. This is 2014 and the 21st Century; Women aren't required to be Traditional and Neither should Men. Cherry-picking only the Good from Traditional Values and act as if the Negatives don't come with it is absolute Garbage and we all just need to be Honest about it. Treat Others as you Want to be Treated, but EARN it as well- No More Entitlements, Folks

    • RealTalk

      All the way around on BOTH sides!

  • BkZion

    Here is a conundrum for you. I am married to a traditional girl who can hook a steak up and more. Make macaroni, anything, even create a fierce BBQ sauce from scratch and all! But our schedules don’t work that way and I do most of the house chores most of the year. But it’s ok for me because we love each other. I think the “traditional roles ” is a myth. I’ve worked with many men of a variety of ethnic backgrounds and many of them can hold it down in the kitchen. Even my dad who was the original caveman 1970s, chest hair and all- when my mom started college showed us he could hook up a mean pilaf.

    What I think though is a woman who lacks that skill set has decreased her marketability. You can only do so much with someone who can’t cook and isn’t interested. Now a days if u can’t handle ur domestic activities – ur just lazy!! With swiffers and rice in a box and dry cleaners on every corner- give me a break ! This isn’t my grand momma washing on a rock in Trinidad!

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

      It is pure laziness, oh and swiffers are trash
      My recent post Today’s Word is… CHARM

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    Whether you're a traditionalist or modernist, domestic skills are life skills and I personally don't find anything attractive about a grown a** woman who can't take care of herself. I frown on a woman who can't cook just as a woman would frown on a man who doesn't know how to wash clothes. Talking about what a man/woman should do is a copout, cherry picking traditions because woman a don't want to work and man b can't clean his bathroom properly. Nah.
    My recent post Today’s Word is… CHARM

  • Don_Dekela

    Gender roles have no effect on men moving away from commitment. It is more a sign of MEN and WOMEN wanting and expecting different things from themselves and potential mate. Market skillset, travel requirements of jobs, etc… changed the dating dynamic and structural requirements of relationships from previous generations.

    Men still want and need a viable partner.

  • ThoughtCriminal

    Everybody needs to be able to cook and clean. A lot of people can do neither. I know a guy who still takes his laundry home for his mom to do. My girlfriend can't even boil water. She can clean though. I can cook. So it shouldn't be a problem.
    As far as being a good parent, you need to know before you can teach someone else. But knowing how to cook and clean does not make you a good parent. It makes you a good homemaker. Parenting is another thing altogether.

  • sierra smilez

    I thought only men didn’t want to work, until talking to my male coworker. Boy was I fooled. To find a man that works and can cook and clean is slim to none.

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg @thepbg

    This was an interest post. So much so, that I decided to respond on my blog. I appreciate the thought you put into this and agree with a couple of your points but overall I gotta say "Nah."

  • Purp

    I can clean, but have a housekeeper.
    I can do laundry, but take my clothing to the wash-and-fold service.
    I can cook better than most people who have ever let me sample their food, but I often dine out.
    Why?
    I'm busy. I'm busy out here working hard, educating myself, taking care of my child, and trying to make the world a better place.
    I was a second-shift woman when I was married. I worked full-time, was in grad school the first time, was pregnant, and still cooked and cleaned at home. My ex-husband also worked, cooked, and cleaned.
    Those were our roles. Call it whatever you want, but that's what we did. We worked together. "Tradition" kept women in homes and out of the workforce, but since traditional racism is keeping many brothers away from employment opportunities that allow most to be sole financial providers, women have no choice but to work.
    If men want to avoid commitment because women aren't skilled in cooking and cleaning, then women should avoid commitment because men aren't earning enough to take care of an entire family on their own.
    "Tradition"…right?

    Oh. and… shout out to the gay, lesbian, and trans people for whom this post totally ignores lol

    • DamnPops

      It did absolutely ignore them,that's my bad. I'm not totally conditioned yet to thik in all those terms. It'll be a process for me to truly become inclusive in regards to my writing. Good observation though.

    • Dr. J

      Not exactly. This post and many others on this site do not "ignore" LGBT. They're not the subject or subject matter of the post. A better comment would be to ask for content that was applicable to the LGBT community or to suggest that the author also talk about them. Ignoring would mean that he made a conscious decision to not talk about the LGBT community. He didn't do that. He merely spoke from a different place. I think Katt Williams put it best, "This isn't your part of the show."

      I take comments like this very seriously because we put in a lot of work here to make sure that our content is inclusive and does not marginalize people. We take suggestions, but do not wrongly accuse us of doing something we're not doing at SBM.

    • J.Crawford

      Wait, are you equating Insitutional Racism with the Choice to Not Wanting to Cook or Clean?????? That's Disengenuous to the 100th Power, smh -_-

    • http://twitter.com/IAmRichJones @IAmRichJones

      I don't think every article needs to be all-inclusive. If we started trying to work every possible scenario or preference into articles, it'd look like a bowl of spaghetti around here.

      I do agree that women can avoid commitment just as men can too. For whatever reason they want. Freedom of choice is a great thing.
      My recent post 016: Spinning Poles & “Spanish Girls”

    • sincereluv4life

      I never thought of this blog as not inclusive, it just happens to come from the perspective of the “single black male” which is very different from blogs that are written from the perspective of people in the lgbt community. The lgbt community certainly is not all inclusive when it comes to topics on straight lifestyles, but that’s why there are different blogs on the web. Rather than focusing on how one blog doesn’t include whatever group you think they should, maybe focus on the fact that there’s a blog out there for everybody.

  • http://thesexysinglemommy.net Ty Knighten

    I don't know very many women who "don't know" how to clean. I think that's pretty basic. Now she may not "like it" and may have a maid to do so and I don't see a problem with that, as lond as it get's done.
    My recent post No Example…

  • http://flyandfierce.com/lifestyleblog Sable B.

    Traditional gender roles are definitely a hot topic of discussion. I do think for couples, its important to discuss who is good at what versus assuming certain things. Some women are not good cooks, though they will do it. Some men can't fix a thing no matter how many tools are instructions are in front of them. I think couples should play to each other's strengths versus trying to force a skill on them that won't come naturally.
    My recent post Making Fashion Work For You with Easy Style Tips

  • RealTalk

    Women, if you cannot cook and clean, you have NO BUSINESS demanding a man who'll perform the traditional gender roles of marrying you and providing for you financially. But, if you have men who cook and clean, you better be providing for them financially.

    Men, if you cannot provide for your women financially, you have NO BUSINESS demanding a woman who'll perform the traditional gender roles of cooking and cleaning. But, if you have women who provide for you financially, you better be cooking and cleaning.

  • sincereluv4life

    Gender roles are so blurred at this point, couples just have to do what works for them.

  • h.h.h.

    i prefer 'traditional' women.

    i don't have any issues with 'modern' women.

    but.

    like attracts like, and water seeks its own level.

    #pleasantries

  • GirlSixx

    How many of you ladies aren’t the domestic type?

    I will honestly say over the years after having daughter i became less domesticated because I had someone to do the major things (cleaning, cooking) so I got spoiled, if I wanted to cook I cooked if I didn't IT WAS NEVER A PROBLEM. Now, today I have tapped back into my domestic skills somewhat but it's still not something I do on a daily basis.

    • RealTalk

      I bet you more women than not are NOT domestic.

      In 10 years, women won't even know what household chores are. Watch.

  • Dr. J

    My only concern is placing domestic duties in the traditional household structure ideology. To me, I think that traditional household structures are just the man as the head of household. All throughout traditional households people share domestic duties. For example, women might clean the interior but a man is responsible for the exterior. Or, women might cook stove/oven meals but men would be in charge of doing the grilling or carving the large meats.

    I tell people all the time, i'm very traditional in the sense that I believe a man should come up with a plan that includes his woman and her desires and he should place that plan in front of her to see if she agrees with it or not. And that, no woman should go anywhere with a man who does not have a plan. That's because I feel at the end of the day the success or failure of my marriage will fall on me on judgment day. I am also aware that not everybody agrees with this sentiment and that's fine.

    That's why for me, I don't think gender roles make me shy away from commitment. It makes me shy away from relationships with people who don't share the same ideology towards dating as me. In 2014, it's damn hard. It's damn hard to meet a woman and tell her how I feel and her not feel that I want her to be some consummate mother-whore who is locked up in the kitchen because I don't want anything like that.

  • TarahJ

    When me and my ex lived together (no kids, both worked full time), he was the main cook and I was the main housekeeper. He spent some time in culinary school and that was his niche. I did not like the way he cleaned, it was half-a**. I liked to cook on the wekends.
    He worked graveyard and I worked day shift. I would come home during the week to dinner already made. We would eat dinner, relax, and I would clean the house spotless, do his laundry/iron his uniform for him for work. He would return to a clean house and made bed in the morning, with breakfast on the stove I made before I left for work and he would get started on dinner in the afternoon, as usual.
    There was a balance. There has to be a balance.

    • Jenae

      Like some people already said, everyone should stick to their strengths. If two people can't/don't clean and can't/don't cook, that is not going to work out. No one should expect something from someone when they can't make up for it in another area. Don't be a man who keeps a nasty house, a sink full of dishes, has mom do your laundry, but expect to have a chef in a woman. Don't be a housewife whose husband has to come home to a dirty house and microwave his own hot pockets. Just don't.
      Now, I don't have children yet, but my guess would be that part of parenting would be cooking healthy meals for them and cleaning up after them. So in that case, both parties should master all domestic skills. You never know if you may have to do it all on your own.

  • http://twitter.com/IAmRichJones @IAmRichJones

    This is one of those things I don't give much conscious thought to. I've always assumed that whoever I date will be able to cook and clean, but it won't be their main responsibility…unless they're not working. Even now, we share responsibilities. She cleans better than I do, so she'll do a good amount of that. She hates doing the dishes, so I take care of that and taking out the trash. She may cook dinner some nights and I may cook breakfast on the weekend. Seems straight forward and expected to me, but there are clearly people with differing views.
    My recent post 016: Spinning Poles & “Spanish Girls”

    • http://twitter.com/IAmRichJones @IAmRichJones

      She ain't got nothing on my 2-3 pasta-based dishes though.lol
      My recent post 016: Spinning Poles & “Spanish Girls”

      • DamnPops

        we gotta have a couple pasta joints in the arsenal!! lol

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

        A man at bare minimum gotta have pastas and a steak in their arsenal
        My recent post Today’s Word is… CHARM

  • SunnyDisposition

    I think Smilez_920 hit the nail on the head with this one. I'm a working woman and expect my significant other to help with cooking and cleaning. If I were to be a housewife, then I would have no problem handling that as my full-time job. I clean and cook but also love a man that can do the same. I grew up watching my mother do it all, cooking, cleaning, child care, while working and going to school as my father didn't lift a finger other than to hand her his paycheck so she could get all the bills paid too. She was depressed, disillusioned and eventually left my father in my teenage years. So good luck keeping a marriage intact to all the "traditional" men that think in this day and age a woman will work 40 hours a week just like you and come home and do it all.

  • HustlynDiva

    I'm traditional with a twist, the twist for me is that I work full time and I go to school as of right now. The man that I would like is the one where we can be balanced. By balanced I mean we have to work together on this, its all about team work…I come from a 2 parent household so I grew up watching my mother take care of home, even while sometimes having part time jobs here and there and my father worked.
    In my personal opinion a womans job is never done, multi-tasking for a woman is something that should come by nature. Since I was younger I learned how to have something on the stove while dusting a table off, its not that hard

    • HustlynDiva

      Let a man come into my world that is blessed enough to provide for me financially & to have us living comfortably…I'll be a cooking, cleaning fool….name your dinner you want, may not know how to make it but I'll figure that ish out…

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

        You got YouTube and 8 hours…there's no excuse lol
        My recent post Today’s Word is… CHARM

      • RealTalk

        I like your style, HustlynDiva! Where you at? LOL…but for real though…

        • HustlynDiva

          Thanks Doll, Southern Cali if you watch college football I stay not to far from the famous rose bowl :)

    • rena215`

      I'm confused about the portion of the statement about a woman's work never being done. Not sure what that means in this context.

      • HustlynDiva

        Im just saying that a woman's job is never done. Single or not single a woman can do so much in a day and when she comes home her job doesn't stop. I don't come home and look at a dirty house and say it's going to clean itself I have to do that job. So for me if I do get into a relationship where I live with someone what Ive been doing for myself is naturally going to switch over and be done for my family…If I make the choice to work, when I come home I still have a job to do which is take care of the fam :)

        • rena215

          Ok. That's what I thought, but didn't want to assume.

          I just think that, in cases where both partners are working full-time, they both need to be taking care of the family so, in effect, a man and woman's work is never done.

  • http://twitter.com/KenanRnB @KenanRnB

    First off, let me say this. I think any man can find a woman who fits in to whatever his ideal woman is. With that said. I don't have a problem with traditional roles, I just don't chose to follow them. Ironically enough, a lot of men still follow traditional roles because they get married with the reason being "It's what your suppose to do".

    I don't plan on getting married so it would be hypocritical for me to have any traditional views for anyone. Just live your life.
    My recent post Life is meant to suck…sometimes

  • Terry

    I hear a lot of so called independent women say: “I have my own house, my own car, my own career and my own financial stability. I don’t need to have kids or get married.I love my freedom, my lifestyle, I don’t need a man and I’m happy to casually date”.
    And then the man (who’s just in it for sex) with a DEVILISH grin would say ” lady, I totally agree with you!”

  • RealTalk

    @Ali

    Too.Much.Truth.

    Notice the lack of female responses to any of his posts…

    • rena215`

      That's because no one's had time to read all of that (yet).

      It's supposed to be a comment, not a novel.

      • sincereluv4life

        lol – true

    • Anon

      this is because he has copied and pasted from another blog. This is blatant plagiarism. Do no encourage this fool.

  • Katie

    You’ve made some really interesting points Ali and as a woman, it’s made me check myself. Haha

  • Skio89

    I'd imagine that the abundance of promiscuous women, and the abundance of promotion of a more promiscuous lifestyle for both genders, has more to do with men curving commitment than domestic skills does.

  • Ray

    Had to take breaks to finish that. You got random, but you dropped knowledge.

  • Anon

    FYI: the majority of this post has been copy and pasted from another blog called return of kings. Don't even try to claim this as your own original words.

  • http://singleblackmale.org SlowlyPimpin

    Men are about where they always been on the whole commitment thing and women are too but people don’t get married in down economic times and maybe they should but they don’t. When we see a shift in the economic situation in this country, we will see more marriages.

  • JGuilford

    I am a pretty good cook. But cleaning and laundry is woman's work to be honest. I may be a bit sexist but there's no way I'm committing to a woman who won't do my laundry.

    • rena215

      If that's what you want, then that's what you want.

      You should just be prepared to do your part in other areas. If you expect your woman to do more of the housework, you need to make sure you're contributing more financially – i.e., your partner/wife stays home or works part-time).

  • ImJustSaying

    Interesting, but you can't generalize, not all women do this or fit in these scenarios. I have never asked any of these questions to any man that I have dated, but it is ironic and kind of humorous, that I have been asked these things by men, How Do I Look, Where Is The Going, I'll Only Do This If We Are Married, yada, yada, yada. What you write is not gender specific. It may be that women you know do this more than men, but women I know don't do this.

    Also, all folks like, women, men, children, elderly, religious, spiritual, athiest, white, black, purple, blue, brown…you and me.

    • ImJustSaying

      Excuse typo, last paragraph should read:

      Also, all folks LIE, women, men, children, elderly, religious, spiritual, athiest, white, black, purple, blue, brown…you and me.

  • langwichartz

    I'm all for change and progress. That said, we have issues regarding traditional vs. modern attributes in potential mates. I hear a lot of hypocrisy in my daily comings and goings on both sides. Since I am male, I will expound on what I hear a lot of ladies say. Many ladies who wear their progressive power on their sleeve and chest and with unmitigated gall require a potential man to have "traditional" qualities. Now I understand that men do this also (not myself) but there are other social factors to consider which i won't go into for fear of writing a dissertation. Bottom line we have to stop with the preconceived expectations and cling to what works with what we already come with. Be flexible and open to something other than what society, church, etc. tells you is right for you!

  • Es Sully

    I grew up in a Caribbean household and the thought of an undomesticated woman, was unheard of. I was cooking cleaning and doing laundry since I was 4 and I watched my mom do the same things, plus go to work everyday and raise children. My dad did the same things. They balanced it out. I believe that both people should have some skills to bring to the table. I mean, how did you survive alone? Take-out chinese food, Microwaveables, dirty laundry…that’s a college life. If you don’t know how to cook, but you know how to read…grab a cookbook…or else learn from your mate. And cleaning? Man, if you don’t know how to clean…that’s just a problem…and a damn shame.