The “Easy” Gene

July 31, 2007 | Filed Under Parenting, Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 15 Comments

What is it with men*? Why do so many of them think that because we are women, we have some built-in, innate, genetic wiring that makes it easy for us to work full time, keep the place clean, feed the rugrats and then load the mess of them in the car along with diapers, toys, change of clothes, drop the daughter off at dance practice and get to that little league game on time?  Oh, and pick up coffee along the way while we are at it.

Yep, if you are a woman, this sort of activity is a breeze. Effortless.  Sweatless.  Stressless. Not worthy of mention. But for a guy, WELL. You get him to pick up the slack and it’s a major ordeal. It needs to be recognized for the herculean effort it is.  It’s deserving of a medal or at the very least sympathy and appreciation for all he’s just done.  Once.  Never mind that you do that shit almost every single day.

It’s like when they expect praise and thank-you’s for washing the dishes, never mind that you bought the groceries (on your way home from work), after picking up the kids from daycare, picking up the drycleaning, dropping off the recycling at the depot, and made dinner. That was easy for you. You’re female. Doing dishes is HARD WORK. If you are a man, apparently.

I remember the summer I decided to ride my bike to work and actually get some exercise.  For a whole 12 or so weeks, my husband had to get the kids off to daycare in the morning, complete with diapers and bottles, clothes, and lunches (I still rode back in time to pick them up after work – so he only had the morning routine).  Basically, he had to do the same thing I had been doing for the last 3 years EVERY WEEKDAY.  After just one week, I got an exasperated, “Do you know how STRESSFUL this is for me?!”  As if, somehow, I had NO idea how much effort was involved.  As if it was easy because, you know, I have breasts and a vagina and that magically makes those kinds of parental activities a breeze.

I recall the first time he said, “The kids don’t have clean pants for daycare.”  I replied, “You know where the washing machine is. If they need clean clothes for tomorrow, then make sure they get washed.”  The same went for food for lunches. Make a list and give it to me before I go to pick them up so I can get things at the grocery store, or get your ass out there and buy them yourself after work. 

Unfortunately, mine was not an isolated experience. I hear similar stories from female friends and family all too often.

I find it ironic, (Ok, ok, I find it fucking FRUSTRATING) that guys whine and moan about women treating them like children, and yet, when it comes to playing an equal role in parenting – and I mean truly equal – all of a sudden it’s just too much work and too stressful.   Guys, how about if YOU figure out how to make 5 nutritious (non-boring) lunches in a row, that they will actually eat. Oh, and make sure you actually go out and buy the food too, since you are taking on that responsibility. (It’s like when Dave Cooks A Turkey – cooking the turkey means actually BUYING it too.)  How about if YOU volunteer at the school for headlice check?   How about if YOU check their backpacks every day after school for rotting hidden sandwiches (oops. Didn’t like THAT one), or juiceboxes that are about to explode, or homework that the child “doesn’t have” but has somehow been scrunched into an unrecognizable ball in the bottom?

How about if you notice the floor crunching under your feet before she hands you a broom, and actually sweep under the table before the baby consumes last week’s Kraft Dinner and stale dog food, has the runs for the next 24 hours?  Why is always her job to notice these things and do something about it?

I remember cooking for a large family gathering. My brother walked by as I was juggling two items on the stove, pointed at the floor and said, “You spilled some food”.   Ah yes, the one bearing the vagina should clean up the spills. Even if the one with the penis is doing nothing more than holding his magnificent dick in his hand and watching TV.

It took every ounce of personal restraint not to immediately CLOBBER him with the sauce spoon. 

While I spared his head from the receiving end of a hot and heavy spoon, I did however, verbally REAM him out and told him that it was obvious to me why he wasn’t getting laid by his wife.

If you see a mess, FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Don’t point it out to the woman.

I also can’t fathom how men can be so oblivious as to think they have just discovered something amazing about the kids, or are the only ones who find things stressful, when you’ve been hauling and feeding and cleaning and clothing the rugrats, er, I mean “little darlings”, day in, day out, for years.  Hell, I remember with my first son, I had to go to an appointment when my son was 4 weeks old. I left him with my husband for an hour while I went to the doctor’s. This was his first time actually having to change the baby’s diaper.  When I got back he said, “Do you know how much that kid shits!? Oh my god! I saved it for you so you could see!”  As if I hadn’t been changing, oh, TWELVE of those a day since the kid was born. 

And don’t even get me STARTED on the whole “single father” as a martyr thing.  Nobody rushes to the aid of a single mother, but the moment a guy is the custodial parent, well! People are bringing over casseroles, offering to babysit, offering to “help out”.  The double-standard is sickening.

I don’t think men are from another planet. I just think many men don’t INHABIT this one most of the time. I think it’s time they put their feet on terra firma, preferably in their spouse’s figurative shoes, and stopped thinking that women have some “easy” gene that makes domestic chores and childcare effortless.  They need to notice when shit needs to get done and step up to the plate without having to be asked, or heaven forefend, nagged.  They need to quit whining and stop looking for a medal every time they hold up their end of the stick and do something we have been doing, unappreciated, every damn day.

 

* Ok, don’t get your Calvin Klein’s in a knot – I know I’m being hyperbolic. I know there are SOME men out there who actually respect and realize that it’s just as much work for women as it is for them.  And there are some men who truly do share in the childcare and household chores.  I just think they are still very much in the minority.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

Creepy Crawlies

July 30, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

Did you ever meet or know someone who makes your skin crawl?   I know it sounds cliche, but I know someone like that and I almost bumped into him again recently.  I’m not the only one he has that effect on. Other people have told me that he “creeps them out”, and not in some kind of overt, clichéd horror movie kind of way. On the surface he can be charming, helpful, and even appear romantic and loving, but there is a *wrongness* about him that some people can sense right away.

If you end up spending any time around him, you may find him staring at you intently. If you ask him what he’s doing, he’ll say, “I’m seeing you.” If you ask what he means, he’ll try to tell you that he’s just trying to see the real you. What he’s really doing is a)  enacting a manipulative tactic whereby he violates boundaries and tries to unnerve you, and b) looking for weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that he can gain an advantage either now or later.  It’s icky and creepy, but he’ll try to insist it’s just because he genuinely wants to get to know you better.

Despite the fact that being around him makes me feel like I have worms wriggling on my skin, I’m not afraid of him – quite the contrary, I’m fairly certain he is afraid of me.  He once confessed that he was (afraid of me) because I am a Truth Teller. (At least he could see that much).  Whereas he tries to imply that he has some sixth-sense-like ability to “read” or “see” people (which I think is utter crap), I quite simply DO see things that others miss – and in his case, I see the dishonesty, maliciousness and manipulative tactics he works so hard to hide under a veneer of charm and “helpfulness”.  I don’t believe it’s any supernatural ability of mine – it’s simply years of paying attention to subtle cues and behavior patterns.  If you’ve ever read “Blink“, you’ll understand when I say that I can’t always tell you how I know something about a person’s real intent, or how I detect dishonesty or disingenuous actions. Call it a gut feeling. In this case, one that makes it churn. And this guy is afraid of Truth Tellers because we out jerks like him. Our bullshit detectors are finely tuned, and when the alarms go off, we let other people know.

So while I’m not afraid of him, I have no desire to have any interactions with him – He’s one of the few people I have known that make me want to scrub my skin raw with lots of soap and hot water if I’ve been anywhere near him.    I think it’s because guys like him are so manipulative, that every interaction with them is sickly warped and twisted, no matter how hard you try to stay detached.  They are predators who set up no-win situations, projections and slick distortions that can pull the rug out from even the most self-assured and resolute individual. Avoidance is the best tactic.

I haven’t always been able to identify the “Creepy” types right away. Some of the worst manipulators are the best actors, and I’ve been sucked in a couple of times.  However, I’ve always managed to pull myself out and I have learned over the years to trust my instincts. The cues are there if we are willing to pay attention to them. If I sense “wrongness” (no matter how subtle), if my skin feels like something slimey has slithered across it,  I steer clear.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

Right to Choose

July 24, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 6 Comments

Today I received an email from a reader, Kevin, stating:

Why do we care so much about life
When we do so little for the living.

I thought of this when I saw a lame “Right to Life” ad posted on the San Francisco BART stations.
That kind of religious didacticism doesn’t belong on PUBLIC transportation.
I felt no qualms about defacing the sign… some babble about if we care so much about life, then why do we send soldiers to Iraq to die, I wish I wrote the above lines instead (it keeps the issue to the issue in question and doesn’t bring the baggage of another).

It’s been on my mind far too long without actually sharing it.

Thanks

Kevin

A very good point and one I concur with (though I’ve not been moved to deface posters, I share the sentiment). 

I wonder, how many of those antiabortionists (I refuse to use the term “right to life” – if anything it should be called “right to impose my twisted religious beliefs on others”) have adopted a crack-baby? How many have raised a child with cerebral palsy? How many helped the welfare mom get enough food to feed her family? 99% of them are fucking hypocrites.  If they care so much about “life”, you’d think they’d focus their time, money and energy on helping the drug-addicted, sick and disadvantaged children who actually did get born and are now living in hellish conditions. If the life of a child born to a mother addicted to heroin is so damn precious, why aren’t THEY the ones raising that child and seeing that it has a reasonable future? It’s just so much easier to go out and carry a sign once or twice a year, or put your money into a campaign that puts posters up on subway walls, or harass people going in and out of abortion clinics for a few hours each month. Practically effortless by comparison. It’s a fuck of a lot harder to actually raise a child who was born to a mother whose circumstances (or religious zealots) forced her to have a child she didn’t want, can’t afford and quite possibly can’t adequately care for. 

And don’t even get me started on the people who know they carry the genes for a debilitating and horrible disorder that will cause a child to suffer and die an early death, and yet go on to have multiple children. I’m not talking about the kinds of hereditary things we all have to some degree and may strike as we get older – things that are livable, manageable and even possibly avoidable with good diet and exercise. I’m talking about those things that cause a child to suffer from the day that he or she is born.  I remember being incensed by a program that highlighted a woman who had not one, but TWO children with some rare disease that puts them in chronic pain and they basically die before the even get to school age.  After having one child suffer through that, she went and had a second. Deliberately. How selfish is that?  How HEARTLESS is that?  To bring a child into the world knowing that most of its short life is going to be one of suffering?  I would never take the chance.  

Our society in North America is obsessed with quantity of life at the expense of quality.  More is not always “better”.  Where does the quality of the child’s life come into consideration in the antiabortionists mind if a woman is forced to carry to term? How about the quality of the mother’s life?  Does her life count at all?  And how many AIDS patients and others with debilitating illnesses are not only dying but suffering unbearably because they can’t afford the drugs or treatments necessary to treat their diseases?  We deny dying patients the medication that would keep the pain-free because of our fear of “drugs” (heaven forefend that a terminally ill person should get “addicted”!), keeping people alive, and SUFFERING long past the point at which they themselves would like to have peacefully died. 

That won’t be the case for me. When the times comes, I am wandering out into the snow to die peacefully in my sleep, long before I get so decrepit that I’m in “Depends” and drooling into a cup in an old folks home.  (The original plan was to step in front of a bus, but people pointed out it would be unnecessarily traumatic for the driver and his passengers. There might even be little kids on the bus. I’m heartless, but I’m not THAT heartless.)  And if it comes down to pulling the plug or signing that “Do Not Resuscitate” order because I’m permanently incapacitated, everyone knows my wishes, and my oldest has already said, “No problem. I’m there for ya mom.” 

Thank goodness the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

Hah! I KNEW it!

July 17, 2007 | Filed Under Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 3 Comments

“Women aren’t chattier than men after all, say psychologists who recorded 400 students of both genders over a seven-year period.”, so states the article, “Verbal Battle of the Sexes all hot air, study finds“, published on Friday, July 6th 2007 in the Ottawa Citizen.  I turns out that researchers form Texas A&M and Arizona State conducted the study and recently published their findings in the Journal Science. 

They set out to challenge what they now call a common “cultural myth” – that women supposedly speak about 20,000 words a day while mean speak, on average, only 7,000 words a day.  In fact, their study showed that there was slightly less than 600 words a day difference between the genders (statistically insignificant), with women at 16,215 and men at 15,669 per day.  The variation was within the individuals within each gender and by way of example they stated that one man in the study spoke as little as 500 words a day while the most talkative spoke as much as 47,000 words per day.

(The bf noted at this point, “I think I could get it under 100 on some days.” I responded with, “Are you counting grunts as ‘words’?”)

As an interesting side note, the Citizen reporter talked to Linda Duxbury, a Carleton University professor at the Sprott School of Business regarding her specialty, communication and gender:

“Women talking to women talk a lot more, ” Ms Duxbury said. But in a mixed setting,”women self-censor while men interrupt a lot.”

She says men see conversation as a competition. It’s an interesting observation, because in my experience I have found that when a woman interrupts, men get really bugged by it – more so than when another man interrupts.  It’s similar to the reaction we face when a woman is being assertive or even aggressive – there is still a strong cultural bias against women asserting their position or challenging men.

Never the less, the study was heartening, because, the bf aside, I have found men to be as chatty and conversational as women.  Just ask any woman who has gone on a date with the guy who won’t shut up about himself.  And gossip?!  There was one shop I knew of where the men who came in to “shoot the shit” were worse than any women I had known – completely invested in who was sleeping with whom, and who was having an affair, etc.  I don’t know where anyone got the idea that gossip is the sole domain of women.

Nope – guys talk just as much, or as little as women. Once again, the differences are not in the gender, but in the individual.

The bottom line from the study, “the widespread and highly publicized stereotype about female talkativeness and male reticence is unfounded.”

Unless, of course, they are looking at the bf.   

“unnmph.” 

“I have no idea what you want. Use your words.”

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post

Musical Interlude

July 14, 2007 | Filed Under Music, The Heartless Bitch Way | No Comments

I haven’t been writing much lately as I’ve been out at the Bluesfest for the last 8 days straight.  Despite the appearance of Bob Dylan (“Is he speaking English?”  “No, he’s speaking mumble.”), and Van Morrison, it’s not been as good a fest for me as in previous years. Yes, I’ve seen some interesting smaller back-stage acts, like The Love Machine (“We’ll be in the autograph tent signing autographs for our parents after the show…”), Ukrainia, and Mihirangi, to name but a few, but the mainstage acts just haven’t thrilled me as much this year.  Yes, there was the perennial favorite, Blue Rodeo with Jim Cuddly, er, Cuddy, and it was cool to stand there and hear 25,000 people singing in unison to their favorite songs, but other than that and a brilliant performance by The White Stripes, there hasn’t been anyone else I *really* wanted to see.  I saw Steve Miller back when they were popular.  Manu Chao was just annoying.  Randy Newman was good, and I enjoyed both his poking fun at has-been bands (Getting the audience to sing “You’re DEAD” as part of the chorus), and the quote from his wife: “We have two boys and a girl. My wife said that if we’d had the girl first, we would have thought the boys were retarded.”

George Thorogood and the Destroyers put on a great show and were seasoned entertainers, as was Gary US Bonds, but if they weren’t already at the Bluesfest, I wouldn’t have bought tickets just to see them.    Hedley was hilarious but I’m sure they weren’t going for outrageously funny.  The lead singer out Jaggered Mick. He PRANCED around the stage, preening and pirouetting, and leaping like some puckish sprite while singing and sweating madly. I found it amusing that all these 14-year-olds were screaming and lusting after someone who was so blatantly flaming.  And then, of course, he bared his ass for the last number, and those cherubic cheeks had “Hedley” tattooed across them. All I can say is that the way he pranced around with his butt hanging out, and the front of the shorts BARELY above  his member, it was clear that boy must shave his pubes – ’cause nary a tuft or errant hair was to be seen sprouting from those shorts.  Music? What music? Oh, yeah, it was a MUSIC festival…

On the other hand, Virgin Fest in Toronto next month will have Smashing Pumpkins, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Metric, and a bunch of other great bands that I’d actually really like to see perform live, so we are definitely taking in that festival.

Bluesfest is more of a social thing. We all get festival passes, and so we go each night, regardless of the lineup, to socialize, listen to some old favorite or discover something new.  Tonight, Metric was playing on the River stage (one of the smaller venues), while INXS was on the main stage. I was bummed that they were on at the same time, but given that I saw Metric last year (AWESOME show!) and I’ll be seeing them next month, I opted to see INXS because I never saw them back in the day when Hutchence was alive, so I wanted to take the opportunity to see them this time.

Someone should tell JD to shut up and just sing. He has a great voice, and certainly can pull off the numbers, but he shouldn’t try to do anything more than that. He appeared to be quite loaded (pulling from a bottle of champagne on the stage, and smoking, *something*) and tried to get philisophical and deep during some of the performance. From what I can tell, he has all the depth of a puddle after a rainstorm, and the fact that he forgot what he was going to say at one point didn’t improve my regard.  The other band members were talking amongst themselves from time to time and it looked from our vantage like they really weren’t impressed with JD. There certainly didn’t seem to be much chemistry between him and the other band members.   Of course, the quips and comments from our crowd were fast and furious.

JD: “Have Fun everyone!”

“Oh, you’ve had more than enough for all of us.”

“They can just write off the hotel room damage deposit.”

“What is with the hair thing?? Someone needs to tell him his hair is just FINE. He should stop constantly fussing with it.”

“What is with the weird-ass stuff he is doing with his hands? It’s creeping me out.” (he kept moving his hands in some kind of afflicted way)

It wasn’t a bad show – they played most of the good old stuff and he did a credible job of it, and he did a brilliant Johnny Cash tune, but on the whole, I wouldn’t pay to see them a second time.

I think we will take a break tomorrow and go to the cottage. I’m festivaled-out. I think I need to sit on a dock and fish for a while with nothing but the sound of the wind in the trees and the loons on the lake.

Email This Post Email This Post Email this Post


Your Ad Here


Allposters.com

Buy fun Heartless BitchStuff and help keep HBI running!

We now Accept

Acceptance Mark