Natalia - I think we had the same horrible sixth grade math teacher. Mine proceeded to seat us girls together and ignore us for most of the class. Luckily, the mother of one of my classmates was a high school math teacher so she led study groups for those of us who were frustrated with the real math teacher brushing us off. The saddest part of this for me was that this was the advanced math class. But sixth grade wasn't a great year, teacher-wise.

In terms of gendered housework - to be honest this is the area in which I have the least amount of stress in terms of being a feminist preparing to be married. Perhaps it is partially due to the fact that I grew up in a house where my father did the cooking (he loves to cook) and my mother did most of the yardwork (she enjoys weeding, supposedly it is relaxing). So while I have problems with expectations about name changes (or lack thereof, in my profession), my domestic life for now seems OK. However, we will see if that changes once fiancee and I really live together as opposed to our current long distance situation (meaning lots of time apart but the time together is really really intense).

And Happy, have I mentioned how much I love your blog?? :-D

The Happy Feminist

Aw, thank you so much! :) :) :)

David Duff

Well, 'Annamal', I wish I'd had Brucie's way with women considering the long list of beauties he snared. As you can tell from the above, my success rate is vanishingly small - can't think why!

Anyway, can't stop, I'm off to - yes, you guessed it - a wedding.

And all of you - do cheer up!


All I have to say is, man, Happy, you have some weird trolls.

Barbara P

Oops. I took too long to get back here, I think. Anyway, in response to Dave, patriarchy is the actions and beliefs of men and women. Not necessarily a malicious thing, but simply a value system that grants power and priviledge to men.

As a matter of fact, I do care more about what women think about my unshaved legs than what men think. I worry they will conclude (perhaps without even really thinking about it) that I'm weird and then feel disinclined to approach me. I already have enough things in my personality that set me apart from others, including feeling uncomfortable in "small-talk" situations. In general, I don't like to set myself apart appearance-wise. Also, not shaving my legs might make me seem like I'm far-left politically, when I'm more slight-left. I hate to imagine people drawing the wrong conclusion about me. Of course, keeping my name might cause the same misjudgment, but for me that rides on a much more serious principle than leg-shaving.

UU Soul

I must say that David Duff's irritatingly incessant "concern" that the women here are upset shows such a classically sexist attitude that it is ridiculous. I'm pleased to see there are a few men attempting an honest discourse - and that can handle women critiquing cultural norms. (BTW, just realized that my other post was over the 250 limit - Oops!) As a newbie to the blog world, it's been exciting to find a source of great feminist discussion and analysis so readily available. I thought I was going to have to go back to school for a degree in Women Studies to get that. Pamela ;) P.S. Can I have the delete button? Have I ever been wanting to use it!


I think a lot of the chore division and other gendered things with a couple (especially when they live together), and the scripts to be rejected or not, have to do with the fact that what makes us happy has to do with the way other people see things. Not completely of course, but it has an effect. If we lived in a societal vacuum, two people's chore preferences would have nothing to do with gender, but we don't. Someone might find that doing something makes them happy because it goes against a script, or with it. I'm not particularly arguing a point here (or if so I'm not aware of it, in a hurry right now); I just suddenly had the idea that appeasing or rejecting the parts of our brains that have been trained into accepted gender roles is part of the whole experience. I like to cook for my boyfriend because he loves it (he was raised on restaurant food and when I cook he looks at me like he's never seen such a thing before), but it wouldn't be as satisfying if he was raised to think that it's something women do for guys all the time. Now that I'm teaching him some of it I love it when he makes me something, and part of it is because he is enjoying something I was exposed to as a woman-centered thing. Similarly I have friends who get their kicks from doing something stereotypical and scripted, maybe because it's romanticized so much. I do the same thing sometimes with clothes. If you're aware of it and don't let it get in the way of more important choices, and it's not limiting, I don't think there's anything wrong with knowing that scripts affect what make you happy sometimes. Again, as long as you're not obligated. (sorry for the length!)


ah happy, you have embodied some things i think about a lot. with the wedding i did most of the stuff and i was a bit peeved, but then we had a move to plan just after the wedding and he did most of that. so he was doing a lot of work and we would consult each other on the big stuff, but it was still hard for me to know that we were fulfilling the stereotype. planning a wedding is a real way to stare cultural norms and assumptions right in the face.

i also appreciate dana's comment about doing things because it's what we like, and they all end up going one way or the other with the script. so we work towards smudging and or erasing the script so we can just do what we like/want without worrying about it. as opposed to doing those things and worrying.

one thing about our household that smudges is that all the laundry gets done at once (usually by me) and most of the cooking and dishes get done at different times (usually by him).


So I just got married in May to a wonderful, enlightened man--after spending most of my 20s telling everyone how I would never, ever be married, I fell in love and celebrating our committment to each other with friends and family just seemed like the right thing to do. However, I was a complete grouch almost the entire time and felt like I had to justify this decision to lots of my female friends. In hindsight, maybe I was just trying to justify it to myself?

But the really interesting part is that my husband is Chinese, and the cultural hoopla we had to jump through was very interesting.....in China, a wedding is all about the groom and the groom's family--never mind the bride! It was an interesting turnabout and made me be much more active in our wedding planning (hey--this is my wedding too!) Our UU minister said the most enlightening thing to us during our pre-marital talks--that everyone has their own idea of what a wedding should be--and no matter what we do, someone is not going to agree with us--that idea really helped me relax and realize that I/we could do whatever it is we wanted to celebrate us.

The comments to this entry are closed.