As more and more women take on high-paying jobs and break through the glass ceiling, the traditional gender roles in relationships are changing. Today, it’s not uncommon for women to be the primary breadwinners in their families. But even in the 21st century, some people still cling to outdated ideas about gender roles, including the belief that women who out-earn their male partners will ultimately lose respect for them. Take the following clip, for example, from the Just Pearly Things Podcast.
In the clip, Pearl claims that women out-earning men have a hard time respecting the men they’re with. This then leads to some back and forth on how the disparity in the division of labor inside the home factors into that theory. She then later challenges the notion that housework could ever be a legitimate reason for divorce. What Pearl fails to understand is that when it comes to conflict around the division of labor in the home, the issue really isn’t about the tasks at hand. The issue is what it means when there’s one partner putting in significantly less effort than the other.
In reality, women don’t have a hard time respecting men they out-earn, but they might find it challenging to respect men who aren’t carrying their weight inside the home when she’s financially contributing to the household expenses, as Destiny argues in the clip.
According to numerous reports, married women perform about twice as much more unpaid domestic work than their male partners. Some research suggests that even when wives are the primary earners and both partners work outside the home, married mothers are still doing the lion’s share of the housework and child care. These findings suggest that despite progress towards gender equality in other areas, there is still a significant imbalance in the division of household labor between men and women.
When a wife works just as many hours as her husband and contributes just as much of her income to the home as her husband, yet finds herself being the only one cooking and cleaning every night after her eight hour shifts, she will instantly get the idea that what she brings to the table isn’t being acknowledged or appreciated by her husband. She’ll begin to feel used and taken for granted, which breeds resentment and contempt. Business and media mogul Mel Robbins calls this phenomenon “breadwinner resentment rage.”
We’ve all heard men excuse themselves from housework with their paychecks for years, but for some reason, a woman’s paycheck doesn’t come with the same leniency. If his earnings absolve him from getting dinner on the table and keeping the dishes clean, then why is she still expected to cook and clean in between earning? Given that both partners are contributing financially to the household, it’s reasonable to expect that both would share responsibility for the domestic tasks that need to be carried out.
However, that seems to be an adjustment some men just aren’t willing to make. They’ll then accuse their partners of ‘disrespect’ just because she won’t accommodate him as if he’s the only one who works. At the end of the day, a breadwinner wife having standards for herself doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have respect for her husband. It just means that she values herself and her contributions just as much as she values him and his contributions, and no truly decent man would take issue with that.
Until next time,