hulksmashing everything

Last week I read an editorial or blog post – I’m not exactly sure which category it falls under and it doesn’t matter much for this post – from a big German newspaper about men and how it makes them feel when their wives or female partners earn more money than they do. Which in return had me nearly hulksmashing my computer. The article went on for 4 pages explaining the situation of two different men. Both their wives earned substantially more money than they did which was apparently a HUGE problem for them. BOO-fucking-HOO. What about us women folk? We’ve been underpayed throughout all of history and nobody cares, heck, most of us still earn less than men if they do the same job. And that’s a socially accepted standard nobody cares that much about.

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I don’t want to come across as rude to men because I do understand the underlying issue. My problem is with the way we treat it. It can be an unusual situation for men to suddenly not to be the provider of the family anymore, but I don’t see why we should treat their problem with so much more attention. Yes, the typical upbringing of boys suggests that men are the providers, whereas girls need to be good cooks and handy with a sewing kit because their role is to stay at home and raise the kids. The last part of that statement is hardly practical anymore. Yes, there are still stay at home moms but a lot of mothers have to work because they either raise their kids alone or their husbands don’t earn enough money. This reminds me of a scene from The Fall (which is excellent by the way) in which Gillian Anderson’s character explains why it bothers the male police chief so much that she casually sleeps with men. The entire idea of role reversal is apparently too much to handle for men, well, of course it is, since even equality is too much to ask for in general.

“…That’s what really bothers you, isn’t it? The one-night stand.
Man fucks woman. Subject man, object woman. That’s okay.
Woman fucks man. Subject woman, object man. That’s not so comfortable for you, is it?”

The thought that a male ego is worth so much more than that of a female is what bothers me most. Having to ask for money for every little expense in your household has been standard for centuries, even women were considered men’s property at some point but that’s just how it is. Our ancestors have fought long and hard to even be allowed to break free from those constraints. But now I’m supposed to feel bad for a man whose income is not as high as that of his wife which means he can’t spend the same money she can. HOW IS THIS CONSIDERED FAIR? I really don’t get it and I’m trying to explain the problem I have with this whole situation even though I’m afraid I’m not doing a very good job at it. I just don’t understand it.

On the same day, the very same newspaper featured another article about special engineering courses for women. Since I was already a rage ninja over the above mentioned issue, this one hardly improved my mood. The objective is basically that women do feel uncomfortable studying alongside men, in mechanical engineering for example, because what if they’re not as good as their fellow male students? And also, there are just so many men there, how does one deal with that? For the love of all that is holy, what a lot of bullshit!

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If I can’t deal with spending most of my days around men, then maybe engineering isn’t the way to go for me in the first place because even if you manage to escape them during your studies, they show up in the work force because DUH!  And there is nothing wrong with that! Could there be more female engineers? Of course, but by gender targeting, I don’t think we’re doing it right. Next we get back into the 50s were boys and girls attended different schools.  And when you’re afraid all the men are more intelligent than you are, getting away from them doesn’t fix the problem, it may only intensify it.

Similar to my first mentioned hulksmash moment, this is a fault of our society at large. When in this day and age, women still think they can’t possibly keep up with their fellow male students, than it’s a self esteem issue raised by stupid gender roles that were ingrained in our brains from the beginning. Trying to fix it at the end, when you’re going off to college will never be the solution, instead teach your kids to be who they are and that they can become whatever they want to be. There is nothing wrong with nurse Paul or engineer Tina. There is also nothing wrong with a stay at home dad instead of a stay at home mom. Just like there is nothing wrong with two men or two women getting married and raising a family together.

It just makes me mad when we start taking steps back instead of forward.

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  • Tim

    I’m all for equal pay for everyone, regardless of gender. I’d personally love it if my significant other made more money than me, though since she’s a college student, that’s not exactly possible at the moment.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Me too. It’s not like I’m in favour of women earning more money, it’s just interesting this is suddenly an issue and we have to talk about it because 5 men feel uncomfortable. (I am obviously exaggerating.)

  • wlreed

    So much love for everything you said. I know this problem is more prevalent in some areas than others, and where I am it’s pretty bad. It seems like for every person who is trying to make a positive change there are three more trying to drag them down. It’s very upsetting. I agree wholeheartedly with your rage.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It’s very infuriating. In one of our southern states, the adminsitration wants to include homosexulity in the school curriculums to teach acceptance only a bunch of people there are protesting because it’s an abomination and the usual terror. But since some of those counties also consider Harry Potter to be the work of the devil, this shouldn’t surprise me I guess. I just keep reading about the petitions and then I want to hulksmash again. Circle of rage.

  • Vanessa

    Excellent thoughts, and spot on. Equal pay for people, it shouldn’t matter what gender they are. Equal responsibility as well. And I agree that instilling kids with these notion of binaries, in terms of gender stereotypes and masculinity and femininity, is the root of these issues.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It would be kind of a relief if we could stop talking about gender, especially the binary standard but I guess we’re a long way away from that.