So You Taking Out the Trash Harms Your Husband?

So You Taking Out the Trash Harms Your Husband? May 8, 2019
Come sit down at my table and ponder if men folks cannot quilt or ladies use a hammer…

In my promised Loritorium of the writings of one Lori Alexander may I introduce you to a new person we’ve not quoted before. I don’t know her name, but her blog is titled ‘Blessed Homemaking’ She’s also believing that life is very strictly gendered, and if you do anything considered part of a traditional man’s purview you are sinning.

Women also take on masculine roles when they try to take over leadership in the home instead of trustingly looking to their husbands for guidance and a strong arm to lean on.  The leadership position was given to husbands by God Himself.  This doesn’t mean that we have no opinions or wisdom, especially in our own sphere of the home, but often women neglect looking to their own husbands for guidance.  Even taking over the masculine chores around the house takes over something a husband can and should be doing, unless there is a real emergency where he is unable.

Some women think they are “helping” their husbands by doing these things.  But really, they are hindering their husbands, because the wives are taking on the husbands’ role instead of focusing on their own duties.  When we take on masculine roles instead of letting our husbands do them, it harms the family.

To me this is really a laugh riot. Recently I painted all the bedrooms in our house and painted our entire guesthouse. Under the rules of this lady that is a sin, and I’m somehow taking away from my husband and harming. I doubt he would see it that way because he dislikes painting. Recently when doing touch up of the paint on the outside of the house he fell off a step ladder and broke his shoulder in two places. No more painting for him.
It has nothing to do with gender roles, or assumptions of masculinity or femininity.
But see here’s the thing. My  husband isn’t good at painting. He does not like it. He cannot do cut ins by hand without taping. I can. My father taught me years ago the right way to swing a paint brush and do flawless cut ins. He taught me how to swing a hammer, use a skillsaw and a chainsaw. Dad made sure I knew how to do simple plumbing repairs, like replace the wax gasket under the toilet and replace the innards of the toilet.
None of that is sin. It’s simply a case of doing those things I am better at than my husband that he does not enjoy doing. No disrespect, he’d be the first to tell you I am a superior painter with a steady hand, and he hates breathing the paint fumes.
Here’s the big problem with these super strict gender roles, they seriously limit the potential of the spouses, and they harm the partnership. Many business partnerships operate on the assumption that each partner has different strengths and talents. Businesses, and families, thrive when partners are released to do those things that are their specialty. It means freedom for all involved.
When people do those things they are good at and like everyone is happier. More things get done quickly. No grumbling or resentments to fester and spill over at odd times.
I hate to tell that blogger but I don’t hold my paintbrush gripped tightly in my vagina. Just like my husband does not wash dishes with his genitalia.
These gender ideas are merely a social construct. Even the Bible does not say men must do this, and women only this, no matter how this woman tries to spin it. The trash needs to go out and it does not matter in the long run if you or your significant other gather it up and drags the can out to the road for collection.
You work together, things get done. That’s what mature adults do. Anything else is just learned helplessness.

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Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • wannabe

    Surely your husband must do something manly, no?

  • When I lived in the South of Spain more than twenty years ago, every day on my way to language school I passed a small workshop where bullfighter’s costumes were made. All the embroiderers were proud, serious middle-aged and elderly men. So what, Lori?

  • Joanna Chen

    I wonder if quiverfull family really teach their girls only certain “feminine” skills and their boys only “masculine” ones? If so, those kids would grow up being incapable of taking care of themselves independently, that’s sad and scary to me.

  • Allison the Great

    My dad has eye problems. He is almost blind in his left eye. While he can read, and is the bookish, analytical type (he’s an attorney) his hand-eye coordination is not great. My mother on the other hand is like the love child of Martha Stewart and Bob Villa. She knows how to fix everything, cook everything. She’s the type of woman who has craft supplies in one hand and a power tool in the other. My parents compliment each other quite nicely.

    You’re right, Suzanne, when you say that this idiotic obsession with gender roles hurts people. Gender roles are made up by unintelligent people who have a very simplistic and juvenile understanding of male and female. As irrelevant as the bible is, not even it has much to say on the subject of gender roles.

    I am a tom boy, I always have been. I like building model cars, I like video games and books. I have never been feminine, and am miserable when I try to be. It just doesn’t make sense. My dad once joked with me that when I try to act girly it is unnatural, like I am a very bad actress or something. People should just be themselves and stop pressuring others to be something they’re not.

  • Nea

    Isn’t it convenient that God ordained that men and women strictly split specific chores along a gendered line that only applies to a certain class in the Western World in the 21st century? He must have been looking at His watch for millennia asking Himself when human technology would reach the current point so we could hurry up and finally, FINALLY slot ourselves into the proper gendered slots he’d wanted all along… and to hell (literally) with anyone who came before the right time or isn’t the right class.

  • Jennny

    Yes, put ‘Real Men Knit’ into Youtube, there’s some wonderful handsome hunky guys knitting, some on the NY subway, making garments for their partners. My 9yo g/daughter saw me using my sewing machine and asked me to teach her, she was a natural and designed and made some soft toys with ease. Her 7yo brother showed some interest, but he’s more of a Minecraft and Lego kind of guy. But I shall persevere with him, we’d love to have an Armani, Lauren or Dior in the family to keep us in luxury in our old age!

  • Taneli Huuskonen

    My wife taught me to decorate fitness competition bikinis, which she makes for a living. I’m proud of managing to join her business, and I’m not an iota less of a man for that. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7591c08529ac025baf9298942723bb3c3191d35db8cf0172fd8e86da2268c181.jpg

  • SAO

    My husband hates mowing. I kind of like it. I’ve become tired of cooking. My husband, now that he’s semi-retired enjoys it. If we bought into the idea that we need to uphold traditional gender roles, we’d both be less happy. Instead of me coming in from a pleasant chore to a delicious meal he’s proud to have made, he’d come in from a tedious chore to an uninspired meal I took no pride in making.

    It’s just stupidity. But illustrates how gendered roles limit people. Not just in household chores, but in life, too. My husband is tired of working long hours. I’ve been a SAHM for years and am excited to start working again. It’s just done wonders for my self-esteem, my mood, everything. My husband is happy to relax. He’s talks about getting the boat out, exploring.

    It’s a new stage of life for both of us. But gendered roles would have us slogging along at stuff we’re tired of doing for no better reason than the traditional gender roles worked 2000 years ago. We no longer get around on horses or in carriages, altough that was the transportation mode for millenia. I don’t hear a big fuss about that. Maybe because it was the men’s job to shovel the manure.

  • Saraquill

    By this logic, my spouse and I are gender fluid.

  • kilda

    but what if your husband wants you to take out the trash? You have to obey him. Pose question, watch fundagelical lady blogger’s head explode.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Wow! That is so gorgeous! How wonderful for the two of you.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    My husband does lots of manly things, just like I do lots of feminine things. He’s just no good with home repair and he’s fine with that. He rides his motorcycle, goes to work out, and mows the grass. I’m now too old to be picking up toilets and the like, but it does not stop me from standing over the Costa Rican plumbers and making sure they change out the wax ring correctly.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Women also take on masculine roles when they try to take over leadership in the home instead of trustingly looking to their husbands for guidance and a strong arm to lean on.

    As a guy, my response: no thanks.

    Jeez, the whole concept of “trustingly looking to their husband’s guidance” makes me throw up in my mouth a little. What crap.

    My wife and I have had a needlepoint hanging on our bedroom wall ever since we got married almost 27 years ago. It was a gift from my niece (although she was only 4, so her mom made it), and it says: ‘The key to marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” My wife and I recognize that the most important aspect of our marriage is our ability to think together – I value her opinion and (I hope) she values mine. And in difficult circumstances, we work together to find a solution. Neither “trustingly” looks to each other for “guidance and strong arm.” We do it all together.

    The thought that one should look to the other for guidance and a strong arm to lean on doesn’t work for me at all.

  • Tawreos

    You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but it always creeps me out that so many prefer an almost master/slave relationship instead of a loving partnership when it comes to marriage.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Oooh! I am so jealous! I would have loved to have seen that!

  • Friend

    A certain man in my life thinks his Instant Pot is a power tool. I am too submissive to tell him he is wrong. Besides, I’d starve.

  • Friend

    Who’s supposed to take out the trash when the husband is deployed to Iraq, or working on an oil rig?

  • kilda

    why can’t both spouses look to each other for a strong arm to lean on? everyone needs one sometimes.

  • Friend

    Upvoted for Best Use of a Cutting Board. 🙂

  • Friend

    You mean they didn’t have weekly trash pickup and single-stream recycling in Judea? I thought there was a parable about that, starring husbands.

  • Friend

    Here’s an article about making a “suit of lights” in the Daily Mail of all places… shows a male tailor and women doing embroidery. Design mixes in the use of church embroidery… what a wild combo!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2555245/Inside-toreador-tailors-Intricate-designs-delicate-stitching-elaborate-costumes-worn-worlds-best-bullfighters.html

  • Allison the Great

    Maybe we just don’t need to gender label activities. It would make life easier, no? If a dude wants to bake a cake, he damn sure can without worrying about being labeled as “unmanly”.

  • wannabe

    If that were Ms. Titkemeyer’s objection, she should have made it. Instead, “He rides his motorcycle, goes to work out, and mows the grass.”

    I agree with you, by-the-way.

  • Allison the Great

    Glad you agree, but your original comment plus the one you just made are more than a little bit argumentative. That’s not necessary.

  • Mimc

    I think n that might be a feature. Can’t leave the family cult with only half the skills required for independent living.

  • AFo

    What would this woman make of my family when we split wood? My dad is usually the only man present, with me, my mom, and my sister all pitching in equally. If we left him to do it all on his own, as this woman says we should, he’d get a fraction of the work done and potentially hurt himself, since working the log-splitter is not really a solo job.

  • French Pandora

    Yes, how the following “heatens” dare exist : Dahomey’s Amazon’s, Mongol girls/women (horse race, leading armies in war), Peru knitting is for men, Taiwan building traditional boats is for women, most of the world growing crops is for women or both gender. And this thing called beer ? For most of history it was a women task.

  • SAO

    Most of those skills can be learned fairly quickly. My husband figured out how to sew buttons back on when he was a minimum wage college student. I got a “plumbing for dummies” book when I needed it. It might take a fair amount of work to get to the skill level where you can sew an outfit or do more complicated plumbing chores, but fixing a leaky toilet or sewing a button back on goes a long way.

  • Delilah Hart

    People like this woman and Lori Alexander may be able to speak for themselves and their families, but they can’t speak for everyone. They need to learn that.

  • Delilah Hart

    Gender roles have always gone through changes. This was true even in ancient times. For example, pottery was originally considered a woman’s craft, but after the pottery wheel was developed and pottery became mass-produced, it became a men’s craft.

  • Delilah Hart

    There are also the Wodaabe in Nigeria, whose men don elaborate makeup and do mating dances to attract the women.

  • French Pandora

    Remind me something. Is this the ceremony where women can choose a lover or a potential husband?

  • French Pandora

    The man who your husband has given tempory custody of you. /s

  • Delilah Hart

    Yep.

  • lady_black

    My husband is not allowed to use tools without supervision, because if it’s not already broken, he’ll find a way to break it. When we replaced the mailbox, the mounting plank was too wide. I was heading to get a saw, when he decided the obvious answer was to hammer the mailbox onto the plank, warping it in the process. I was FURIOUS! I said “Stop! Look what you’re doing!” As a result we now have a mailbox with the back panel pushed up. I was so mad, I left it that way as a reminder.
    It just happens that I’m better at things like this than he is. It’s certainly no sin, and admitting that usurps no “leadership roles.” Also, though he does carry the trash out to the trash toter sometimes, if I waited on someone else to decide the trashcan was full, remove the bag, and put in a new bag, I might have trash piled up to the ceiling of my pantry/coat closet.

  • lady_black

    I still think of pottery as a woman’s thing (generally speaking).

  • lady_black

    Well, it IS a power tool. I bought my daughter one, and she loves it.

  • lady_black

    My husband and I guide and support each other. That’s the way it should be.

  • frostysnowman

    The Duggar girls learned how to do all kinds of “manly” things, like cut and lay floor tile.

  • lady_black

    Everyone. At least that’s how I would answer. But it’s everyone’s job when he’s NOT deployed to Iraq or working an oil rig, too. IMHO, the person who sees the trash can is full should be the one to carry it out, regardless of age (within reason) or gender.

  • lady_black

    If you do what you like to do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That applies to things in the domestic sphere, too.

  • Talos2264

    I always feel like less of a man when my wife takes the trash out. I’m kidding, but seriously why would anyone ask Lori for any kind of marriage advice?

  • persephone

    I knit, so I’m kind of always on the lookout for interesting stories. The British navy had their sailors knitting to pass the time, ending the rum ration. Idle hands, etc. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51414e921e2a077322f9af2ff1e1d20e70b3c73f1cddee6d387cecebb4a7e401.jpg

  • persephone

    Yes, definitely. The girls are mini-moms in QF households, because there’s no way a perpetually pregnant and/or nursing woman can manage a basketball team number of kids. The boys are kept to manly chores. The extremists train their sons to hunt, with an eye to building an army for God.

  • Martin Penwald

    Does this man have to fulfill your husband’s conjugual duties ? Asking for a friend.

  • persephone

    They also dressed in ways that most QF families would consider unacceptable. I mean, you could see their shoulders and knees.

  • Ruthitchka

    Congratulations on learning how to “bling”! (I am not sure if “bling” is a verb as well as a noun, ha-ha.)

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    He is way girlier about some things than I am, and I’m okay with that.

  • Quinsha

    I was called a tomboy back when it was considered an insult. I hate ‘girly’. Heck, I haven’t worn a dress or skirt in years, and the one time I tried several years ago, I found that I had forgotten how to walk properly in one. I found that I did not want to relearn that skill.

  • Quinsha

    LOL, that is how Mr Q and I do housework. When we first married, he wanted to know what his list of chores were. I told him, that whoever it annoys is the one that does it. I known that in certain families that would turn one person into the drudge, but it works for us. Mr Q does not try to push chores off on me and I don’t try to push them off on him. We make a list for ourselves as what to do each day and do it. It works out.

  • lady_black

    LOL. That’s my daughter. I gave up on dresses when she was in kindergarten because it just didn’t work for her. She walked like a farmer. Since then, I’ve seen her in a skirt one time. She wore a skirt on her wedding day. After, all she wanted was to get out of the shoes she had to wear to go with the skirt.
    She still isn’t terribly “girly” but she doesn’t steal it. Neither was I. One of the happiest days of my childhood was the day we no longer had to wear skirts to school. I’ll put one on for a funeral or something. Maybe. And it has to be long, and loose.

  • Ally

    If women are called to be keepers of the home, as Lori so helpfully reminds us, why is taking out the trash or doing repairs a violation? It’s clearly part of keeping up the home.

  • lady_black

    YES, as a matter of fact, they DO. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. And yes, it is scary. I’m glad I learned how to cook, sew, AND use tools.
    I remember one day in nursing school, I got a flat right after pulling out. I pulled into the driveway of a farmhouse, and set about changing the tire. Then, I couldn’t get the jack to go down. The old lady in the house saw I was having a problem and came out and asked if I needed help. I said, jokingly “Only if you have a sledgehammer I could borrow!” She replied “Oh, I have one of those!” she got it and brought it to me, I took aim, and one whack, the car was on the ground. I tightened up the lugs, picked up the jack, and returned her sledgehammer. I thanked her and was on my way.
    Apparently, the older generation had no such “gender roles” to worry about, because that old lady knew her tools. She knew what I was asking for, and brought me exactly what I needed. I think defining things so narrowly is definitely harmful both to women, and to men. I would have been waiting a long time for some man to come help me, given there were no cell phones in those days.

  • lady_black

    What were the boys doing while their sisters were laying tile? Not that there’s anything wrong with laying tile, but I was under the impression that the girls were sort of their mother’s unpaid maids and babysitters.

  • lady_black

    Of course it is.

  • Nea

    Which is why I always wonder why the fundie girls spend so much time “learning” to cook & clean.

  • persephone

    *eyeroll* More like take care of the house because perpetually pregnant mom can’t.

    If they actually had to learn the skills women needed before the last few decades in the U.S., they’d have no time to play housewife.

  • Joanna Chen

    Gender roles are still kind of an issue in East Asia, particularly for the older generation. I know many guys who were shooed out of the kitchen by their grandmas because kitchen chores and cooking are considered feminine work, and men shouldn’t be doing them. Interestingly, there aren’t many restrictions for girls though, girls were taught everything if they wanted to learn. If a guy likes the kitchen too much, people would look at him funny.

  • Zeldacat

    I haven’t worn a skirt in years, but back when I was in the single digits, I went through several years where I simply Would Not Wear Pants. My mother, remembering the days of battles with schools to let them wear such garments, plus other feminist fights of the day (she was born in the early 50s), was absolutely horrified. Now we both think it was hilarious, but I can see it from her perspective at the time as well – her own daughter doing a 180 on something she fought for.

    Anybody who thinks feminism hasn’t made huge strides should talk to her about how different things are now vs then. We’re not at full equality yet, and she’d be the first to agree, but some of the stuff she saw in her life just leaves me completely “WTF???”

  • Zeldacat

    My stepdad is the cook in the family currently. He can turn out such good food!

    All those commercials you see around various holidays extolling Mom’s or Grandma’s cooking? Yeah. Not so much. As much as I miss my grandmas, cooking was not high on the list of things they were excellent at. The advent of the microwave was a lifesaver for (now counting) three generations in my family.

  • Allison the Great

    The last time I wore a skirt, I was in high school. I’m clumsy AF and needless to say, I tripped over something, probably my own foot, and face planted the pavement. I was the new kid in a new school, and I got teased as “the girl who wears boxers” until i graduated. I decided, no, I’m never doing that again. I like my legs to be individually wrapped, with no chance of any mishaps or wardrobe malfunctions, thank you very much.

  • Taneli Huuskonen

    Thanks! If you want to verb a noun, be my guest.

  • SAO

    On the other hand, no one likes to take the trash out or scrub the toilet.

  • gimpi1

    I’m also a 50’s baby. One of the worst things I remember is that in the late 60’s – early 70’s in the school district I attended, girls could only take “advanced” math and science classes in high school if no boy wanted the space. The rationale was that a boy was much more likely to go on to a career that would use those skills and that we simply didn’t have the resources to ‘waste’ that education on any girl that might want it.

    Things are so much better today.

  • Nea

    It was also used in WWI to keep injured soldiers quiet and provide physical therapy to damaged hands.

  • Saraquill

    Incidentally, my biggest wardrobe malfunction in school was tearing the seat of my pants. My mom got a kick out of telling me how fat I’d grown, even though chronic illness meant I was underweight.

  • SAO

    Because that hides the fact that they are basically domestic servants, rather than school-aged kids not in school.

  • lady_black

    And yet, when I think of a Japanese chef, it’s always a male. Have you ever been to one of those Japanese restaurants where you sit around an open grill and watch them cook the meal? That’s like dinner and a show!

  • Astreja

    Get a video link between me and the blogger for this weekend — I would love to see her reaction as I pick up a sheet of 4×8 drywall and carry it up a flight of stairs all by myself. 😀

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That used to irk me about the original Japanese
    “Iron Chef”. No females.

  • lady_black

    There’s no reason women couldn’t do that. But I’m sure those guys spent a lot of time hanging around the kitchen, because they are AWESOME!

  • Joanna Chen

    I have, watching Japanese chefs work is performance art in itself. It’s odd but women aren’t traditionally accepted as apprentices in the professional Japanese kitchen. That’s why you’ve never seen female sushi chefs.

  • Zeldacat

    I am single in my mid 40s. Granted I rent an apartment so I can call for help with maintenance issues but should I not take my own trash out because of ladybits?

  • Lisa Cybergirl

    In contrast, my ex and I played filth chicken. The one who couldn’t stand it anymore and did the dishes (or whatever) lost.

  • therealcie

    I always hated the term “tomboy.” I told them my name isn’t Tom and I’m not a boy. I’m an active girl.
    I wish I could have back a quarter of the physical abilities and stamina I had when I was “tomboy.” having a crap endocrine system and dealing with the repercussions of lower back injuries and a small stroke are not my idea of a good time.

  • therealcie

    Oddly enough, I’d rather scrub the toilet than clean countertops. I have absolutely no logical explanation for my aversion to cleaning countertops.

  • Erik1986

    wasn’t it Roosevelt Greier who was really into doing needlepoint?

  • Cynthia

    I didn’t know we were married to the same guy!

  • Cynthia

    You mean that municipal trash collection WASN’T a thing in the Sinai desert? Who knew?

  • Cynthia

    Both my dad and my FIL are the cooks.

  • Cynthia

    Sounds just like my husband, who lost sight in his left eye several years ago. Even before that, his visual-spatial skills sucked.

    Luckily, he has other talents, like figuring out how to save lives or get people walking. So, we don’t focus on the stuff that he’s not great at, and we let him do what he does best, and everyone wins.

    Our marriage improved once we realized that there is no shame in each of us doing what we do best, because we have complementary strengths.

  • lady_black

    LOL!