It occurred to me this morning that men have no concept of how much work it takes to be a woman. We have to worry about cleaning up after men and children. We spend countless hours planning, shopping for and cooking meals…after which we must clean up all over again. It’s something called double labor where, just like the wage gap, women have a leisure gap as well. Men come home and are allowed to rest, play with the kids, watch the news while women come home from their job and begin the job of cooking, cleaning and nurturing.
And on top of all that, we need to look pretty. Shave our legs, color our hair, put on make-up and maintain an attractive form. All this is done with little realization or acknowledgment by the men in our lives. Author Janet A. Flammang put it this way in her book The Taste for Civilization:
Thus even when husbands and children pitch in…Women are expected to keep the big picture in mind: juggling work and school schedules, taking the preferences of children and husband into account, discovering through trial and error what people will eat…
My point isn’t actually about food, though it is completely accurate. I say this after spending a good deal of my time this week preparing for a brief moment or two in the gaze of a particular boy. All the prep and planning (similar to that of creating the perfect meal) was not wasted. I ended up well rewarded in other ways, most notably the awareness of self in a form I easily forget.
It is far too easy to get bogged down by the tasks and responsibilities of womanhood – the care taking, the homemaking, the peacemaking. How overwhelming all these things can be! How defeated we sometimes feel! And how easily we forget the power we hold.
Men are so easy to overpower – some cleavage, a little leg, a nice black dress with sex kitten heels – that’s all it takes to feel empowered. I have to admit that I’m feeling a little power hungry myself at the moment and am eager to conquer left and right if for nothing more than the joy of it. Because, for all that we do on a daily basis that is un-acknowledge, I think taking the upper hand every once in a while is justified.
We are the management of the daily life, we are the CEOs of families despite the fact that we are also the laborers. Men may think they are the boss and, in truth, we all too often fall into that thinking as well. But the reality is, we are the true leaders of life. And as with the emperors and royalty of history’s past, sometimes we need to dress up and put on a good show to remind the people just whose in charge. Years ago it was gold and jewels and ceremonies of state…Today it’s a slinky dress, a little perfume and sexy heels.
Hey, whatever gets them to bow at our feet.