They claim to be feminists and cook almost as often as you do. Sometimes even more than you do because you have the eating habits of a bird and can peck your way through the day. He has mastered one or two basic dishes, like instant noodles or rice and stew or egusi soup but after cooking forgets to clean the mess in the kitchen. It could be there for days, an eye sore and an affront to your OCD fueled need for order if you don’t do it.
Ask him to vacuum or sweep while you’re tidying up the house and he whines how he hates to sweep or vacuum. You ask – What’s that got to do with it? You think I derive joy from it? He says he rather pick up all the visible specks off the floor than bring out the vacuum. But you hate the feeling dust and sand under your feet so sooner or later you reluctantly bring out the vacuum.
He says he gets feminism and women’s rights but his work takes priority over yours in sly little ways like when he interrupts you to google the train schedule for him. He says – I can take care of myself but doesn’t lift a finger to help around the house when you’re around or makes snide passive aggressive remarks about the coffee mugs having coffee stains in them or the sheets needing changing. When he reads your writing his criticism whether right or wrong has a sting.
Compare him to the self-proclaimed alpha male chauvinist who doesn’t bitch when there’s no dinner on the table, or when the dishes are piling up in the sink, or when there is a ring around the tub, or the carpet is covered in white fluff. He just takes care of it. He looks at you slogging away at your laptop and orders pizza saying – Baby you look tired don’t bother cooking tonight. When you cook he’s generous with his praise and thanks.
He does dishes, cleans the bathroom, buys groceries, makes a mean pot roast, folds the laundry and even vacuums the floor. And you never hear a word about it. He is more OCD than you. If you never did a moment of house work the house would still be spotless and if you didn’t cook you would eat takeaway every day or his special rib eye steak.
He lets you travel to your heart’s content. He never tries to insert himself into your travel plans simply because he is feeling insecure. He doesn’t worry about who you’re having drinks or dinner with. He’s confident enough to know you’re coming home to him. He lets you pursue your work. He says it’s the best stuff he ever read. He stays out of your way while you’re struggling over that article and never says ‘Hey leave that a minute and get me some sex or beer or a snack from the kitchen’
Feminism, like love, is a verb.