Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

I can just hear the teeth grinding from de vimmins now.  Heh.  So let me ask you, why am I as a man still expected to fulfill the traditional role of a provider, but it’s perfectly ok for women to cede the traditional role of a nurturer? (and making me good sammiches?)

So if I not only have to slave all day to rake in the coins, but also come home to cook, clean, maintain the house, etc., what exactly will you be contributing while I’m busy here effectively working 2 full time jobs (one at work and one at home)?

I understand that there are men who are willing to stay home while the women work.  I personally think these men are girlie boys who should be ridiculed, scorned and flogged mercilessly with a rusty barbed cane, but hey, if the relationship works, more power to them.

I’m not a nurturer though.  My drive is to protect and provide, because I like protecting things, and I like providing for others.  It’s a man thing, and I’m not going to apologize for it.  I also know, as much as so many feminist/career minded women today will deny it, that deep down most of them ENJOY being a homebody, cooking, nurturing and otherwise taking care of their homes.  It’s  a lot of work, but if I take immense satisfaction in being a protector, I can only imagine that they derive an equal amount of satisfaction in cooking a gourmet meal worthy of a 5 star New York City restaurant for their honey snoogum winkles (or family and friends.)

Darth Vader points way to kitchen

I’m not an unreasonable man though.  If we were BOTH working full time, then it’s completely reasonable to expect and work out a way to split our chores equally, including cooking as well.  The irony is that I LIKE to cook, but I’m very inexperienced at it, and I could use the guidance of one who has mastered the craft.  One of the things I fantasize about is enjoying a cooking weekend with my honey twinkles, where she teaches me how to crack an egg with one hand and spin pizza dough with the other.  Mad ninja cooking skills, yo.  A feminine mentor who shows me how to handle my… curry, if you know what I mean.

Cooking together, doing chores together, working together as a functioning and stable unit, why that almost sounds like how a healthy relationship should work!

But if there ever comes time where marriage comes in and children after that,  I simply will not accept any arrangement that would have me staying home full time to raise the kids, because it’s not who I am.  Whoever I wind up with will understand that as well,  and would cheerfully give up her job/career to care for the children and the house.  Even then it’s not necessarily permanent, as she could work part-time or re-enter her choice of profession full time again once the kids are grown.  Together we can provide our family with the dual pillars of both financial and domestic stability.

That’s why honesty is the best policy for me.  Letting women know up front what I expect of them, and what they should expect of me.  If you decide cooking is beneath you, your career is more important than not leaving kids with a weird nanny, and/or men are glorified ATM machines to be abused and insulted on a regular basis, well then, there’s the door, hope you find what you’re looking for, nice knowing ya.

It’s ironic.  Women have these lists of demands about what they want in a man beginning with him not being unemployed and living on mommy’s couch, and for the most part I totally understand and agree with it.  But when a guy’s criteria starts with a woman having some good basic cooking skills, they go CRAY CRAY.

Yeesh.  Modern women today tend to believe the traditional roles such as is described in Proverbs 31 are beneath them, leading to the logical conclusion that leave men with no other choice but to take on multiple roles to support a family, while women take on, well… no roles.  Except moving up the career ladder so they can be just like Marissa Mayer.

Is it any wonder so many men have decided, “You know… this is kind of a bum deal, I’m out!”

The sad thing is so many of them think they’ve finally one upped the EVIL man by being stroooong and independent and like, stuff.  But while those of us who remain single enjoy flush incomes, peace of mind and a drama-free life, women can only soldier on via the taxpayer’s dime, or relying on the goodwill of companies offering work at home jobs (for those of you who actually have some self-respect and refuse to take handouts.)  You know, companies like Yahoo!  (Oh wait…)

In some weird twist of poetic justice, we’re living in a world where women, having refused to take on one role, are now being forced to take on TWO in order to survive.  Brave new world, my friends.

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77 Responses to Single ladies, I’m ready to provide, are you ready to cook?

  1. Shelley (@momma_oz) April 10, 2013 at 7:02 PM #

    As a women, I love this post. I’d gladly nurture a man capable and willing to protect. Provide for each other and capitalize on our strengths. Seems downright simple to me but oh so hard to find.

    • Frank Swift April 10, 2013 at 8:02 PM #

      Thanks Shelley! I think part of the reason it’s hard is that there are a lot of men who WANT to be that protector… that is until they get ripped to shreds by a feminist culture that considers that mentality sexist. (Because women are strong and independent and don’t need men to protect them!!!11eleventy!!) So they just kind of stay quiet and fade into the background so as not to ruffle feathers.

      Me, I’m pretty loud mouthed about it, as you might have guessed. ;-)

  2. Sarea Clark April 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM #

    I MOSTLY agree with this post, although in some areas I can’t decided if you are going for the shock factor or perhaps the ‘no tact award’. ;-) This might quite possibly be another reason why a single dude and single mother might not make things work…The longer I am without a significant other, the more I do for myself out of necessity and the less I need someone else to do those things for me. (and yes, pride is part of the issue). However, for 14 years I was the stay at home/homeschool mom who cooked. cleaned, and all of those things…and I LOVED IT! There was no doubt in my mind that it was my calling…it’s just getting more difficult to hear is all.
    P.S. Consider this post ‘complete’ now! Hee hee

    • Frank Swift April 11, 2013 at 9:52 PM #

      Tact slows me down. Full speed ahead! :-D

      Although more seriously, I’ve actually had a conversation with my friend about just that today. A lot of people are afraid to speak their mind or tell the truth about many things today, and while I have no aversion to speaking the truth, I do have problems speaking the truth, IN LOVE.

      One of my ongoing self improvement projects is to squeeze the anger and bitterness I harbor out of my system so whatever message I want to convey isn’t tainted by that.

    • Sarea Clark April 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM #

      WHEN you accomplish that my friend (we’re close enough for me to call you that, right?), you will be VERY powerful indeed!

    • Rory April 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

      Speaking the truth in love….. Yeppir…..

      But how is that defined?
      To most in churchianity it is cowering or being so much of a milquetoast that the truth is clouded over….

      I am in the same boat.

  3. Sarah Winders April 11, 2013 at 9:59 PM #

    My question for you is this…. So, what if you find this perfect ideal woman in her 30s that has never been married, no children & is a perfect nurturing, cleaning perfectionist? Sounds to me like she is somewhere being busy finishing her medical degree and too focused to marry or have kids yet. Now, you want her to stop being a doctor to raise the family? She will never be able to keep her license up by taking an 18 year hiatus. Would you be willing to compromise and be a two parent home where both work? Your perfect mate would be capable of being a working mom and still manage to raise a beautiful family….

    • Frank Swift April 11, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

      And the answer is………..

      It depends!

      I know a few doctors that have home practices, so they’re able to convert their professions into work at home solutions. The key thing, is she needs to know what my limitations are, and vice versa. There are certain things I either cannot, or will not do (like say, breast feeding.) I would simply feel out of my element regarding many aspects of domestic life, and there are other things we’d need to go over that would impact the success of our relationship too. For example, I’d prefer to home school our kids, now more than ever, and I will not accept a full time nanny raising our kids either while both of us worked.

      So, there are a lot of things to consider, but I would imagine we’d talk about all this early on in any relationship in order to establish how compatible we really are.

  4. Frank Swift April 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM #

    Sarea, I think it’s safe enough to call me friend, just don’t let the police know. ;-)

  5. Frank Swift April 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM #

    Rory,

    Indeed, I think really it’s just a matter of not letting your intent be clouded by bitterness and anger, which is really hard in my case at times. It’s actually a topic I plan to blog on next.

  6. Perk April 13, 2013 at 9:18 PM #

    BMW? Prada? More like a Ford and a $10 purse from Target!

    Ha ha, try again, cowboy! You’re single, I take it? Until you get married, have kids, purchase a modest home, you have no idea what it costs to raise a family in today’s America.

    Although, it’s not like you’re going to have a chance to find out, is it?

  7. Frank Swift April 13, 2013 at 9:29 PM #

    Oh Lord, my first troll. Now I truly have a blog.

    Perk, you’re asking me if I’m single? What part of “ready to provide” for single ladies did you not understand? That presumes I am single, and able to provide, which is pretty much what “ready to provide” means.

    BTW, my insurance covers spouses and children up to 25 via COBRA, mostly due to the acknowledgment of my awesomeness.

    So really, unless whoever I meet enjoys cocktail parties and 5 star establishments, I think I can offer her a comfortable life on the upper lower slightly lower than a higher middle middle class spectrum.

    • Sarea Clark April 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM #

      Congrats on your first troll…(I need to get one). Don’t say dirty words like cocktail parties and 5 stars…Another reason why I feel being single is where it is at for me is because I think I will be hard pressed to find a guy that is willing to live with less rather than more.

    • Frank Swift April 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM #

      My tastes are minimal, provided I have the latest Apple toys, a cabin home in Colorado, Yellowstone and perhaps Montana, and a castle in Scuuutland. I shall have my castle.

  8. Sarea Clark April 19, 2013 at 3:45 PM #

    We have Colorado AND Scotland in common…Geez, where were you 18 years ago? LOL

    • Frank Swift April 19, 2013 at 3:48 PM #

      I saw pictures of castles in the backdrop of gorgeous mountains one day and was thinking, hmmm where are these castles located? *googles, learns locations are in Scotland*

      … MUST GO THERE.

    • Sarea Clark April 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM #

      I have several picture books, history books and calendars with amazing pictures of castles! I will go one day…it’s on my bucket list!

    • Jocelyn May 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM #

      Have just been browsing your site. Feel compelled to mention less than a week ago I saw a Scottish castle for sale on eBay for the low low price of 2.3 million!

    • Frank Swift May 30, 2013 at 2:13 PM #

      Jocelyn: For that price they better have a Starbucks inside too. And a brick oven pizzeria.

    • Frank Swift April 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM #

      Trolling BBSes at the blazing dial up speeds of 28.8kbps on AOL and Prodigy! (Why yes I am a geek, why do you ask?)

    • Sarea Clark April 19, 2013 at 4:15 PM #

      Why am I not surprised? LOL

  9. Modern Feminine Mystique May 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM #

    Problem is many men (MRA’s) complain that they want true equality with women. Without realizing that by promoting equality women will not be in the kitchen. So if you want an independent type of gal, do not except sandwiches. Only expect sandwiches from women who are willing to be housewives; the whole package a doormat, baby making machine and a sex slave for her husband. Other than that if you expect a woman to work outside of the home and still make you a sandwich, this makes you a fool.

    • Frank Swift May 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM #

      I don’t see it as an an issue of equality since this is really about what part a woman is willing to play in keeping a marriage/family together. It’s much easier when no kids are involved, then both could work and split the duties accordingly. Regardless, as a Christian she would naturally be willing to submit to her husband’s authority and leadership. To suggest that doing so means she MUST become a sex slave and doormat is a false dichotomy.

  10. an observer May 4, 2013 at 11:08 PM #

    “problem is many men complain that they want true equality with men”

    I wonder what breed of cat she owns.

    • Frank Swift May 4, 2013 at 11:53 PM #

      Probably more than one breed…

  11. LC May 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM #

    I think a lot of both gender’s problems today has to do with lack of a generous spirit. I’m a girl, and I work as an engineer and was in the Army. But I’m a good cook, and I like to cook for those I love. I feel good helping those that I love. Why women don’t want to cook for their man is beyond me. If he’s a good man, you do everything you can to keep him happy, just like he’s doing for you.

    • Frank Swift May 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM #

      LC, that pretty much sums it up for me.

  12. jaycee May 16, 2013 at 12:46 AM #

    Id love to find a man who could lead, protect and provide and in return I would be more than happy to take on the traditional female role. dare i say, i would submit to my husband as it is understood in The Bible. and if you don’t understand submit in the Biblical sense then please don’t bother to comment on my comment.

    • Frank Swift May 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM #

      LOL, I think we can agree that the biblical definition is the correct one.

  13. WVix May 23, 2013 at 8:46 PM #

    “15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

    16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”

    Proverbs 31 woman- aside from making breakfast, she basically runs her own business and tells her household staff how to keep house. Not quite the same thing as a SAHM. I think you might be thinking of Titus 2 (v. 5)?

    • Frank Swift May 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM #

      I think there are too many preconceived notions about what it means to stay at home. Technically a farmer is a stay at home worker too. The better description is a WFHM (Work FROM home mother/wife) The focus is still the same: her work revolves keeping and maintaining the house as a caretaker/nurturer.

  14. Ceryle Alcyon May 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM #

    So you want a female partner/wife who likes to cook and is willing to assume most of the responsibility in your household for doing so. Fine. That’s how it is in our house, and in a lot of households. And you don’t want to be a stay-at-home husband. Also fine. It’s good to discuss these things with a prospective spouse before you get married and/or have children. It even sounds as though you’re perfectly fine with a reasonably egalitarian marriage, where you share chores or trade off on occasion.

    I think, however, that if the most important thing you’re looking for in a woman is her ability to cook and keep house, as your post seems to suggest, you’d be better off hiring a housekeeper. The days of the happy homemaker, for the most part, are long gone. I suspect that most women who, like me, enjoy being domestic goddesses in their spare time (which, by the way, is absolutely not true of “most” women) do not want to be house slaves, no matter how well their husbands treat them. I think a lot of men are surprised and shocked to find that women aren’t content to exist merely as appendages, that they are independent people who want some degree of personal agency and would like their hopes and dreams to be respected and supported in the same way they support those of their male partners.

    That can be harder than it looks. I know of men who consider themselves feminists who still get upset when their wives don’t have dinner on the table when they come home, even women who generally like to cook and sew and do domestic things. I know of one marriage from more than thirty years ago that was on the verge of a domestic abuse incident because, deep down, the well-educated, “enlightened” husband really expected his wife to do all the things his own mother did and just was not able to see her as a separate individual with a different history–and she would definitely have been as much a domestic goddess then as she is now.

    Perhaps it’s in the way you phrase your criteria. Instead of telling a prospective date/girlfriend that you expect her to have basic cooking skills, maybe, when things start to get serious, you should say that it’s important to you that your life partner share equally in household/childcare responsibilities and be willing to take on more when your workload becomes more stressful.

    And maybe you should think about being a little more flexible in the way you see yourself and your future partner. People do change and grow, after all. Women who begin married life enjoying being taken care of find, in later years, that they still yearn for some independence and outside recognition. (Ever read the Henrik Ibsen play “A Doll’s House”? Perhaps you should. It’s just as relevant now as it was when it premiered almost 140 years ago.)

    But conversely–and I know it’s unthinkable–there may come a day when you either become tired of assuming the provider role or are no longer able to fulfill it for one reason or another. If that’s the only way you are ever able to see yourself, you might be in for a tough time down the road for reasons completely outside your control–and your partner’s.

    I am forty-three; my husband is forty-four. We’ll be celebrating our 22nd anniversary around Christmas this year. Right now, he’s the primary breadwinner, and I’ve taken on a lot of the household responsibilities as a result. But we both know that if our circumstances changed for any reason, including an opportunity presenting itself that would cause my career to overshadow his, the most important thing for both of us wouldn’t be preserving the traditional gender roles into which we’ve inadvertently fallen–it would be ensuring each other’s happiness.

    • Frank Swift May 24, 2013 at 3:21 PM #

      I think, however, that if the most important thing you’re looking for in a woman is her ability to cook and keep house, as your post seems to suggest, you’d be better off hiring a housekeeper. The days of the happy homemaker, for the most part, are long gone. I suspect that most women who, like me, enjoy being domestic goddesses in their spare time (which, by the way, is absolutely not true of “most” women) do not want to be house slaves, no matter how well their husbands treat them.

      The reason I want a woman with basic cooking skills is that I am hard pressed to find any single woman my age or younger with basic cooking skills. They are actively shunning the art of learning how to cook because… FEMALE EMPOWERMENT! Or something. You’re of a different generation so you may not be aware of how lacking this trait is in so many women today (at least where I live).

      You say you don’t want to be a house slave, well you know, I don’t want to be a slave to my job either. You think most men are any happier with their jobs than their wives are taking care of the house? Don’t think so. Reality is often boring and a chore. That’s life.

      As a man, I gravitate more towards being a leader and a provider due to my nature. As a woman, I would expect her to gravitate towards being a nurturer and a caretaker due to her nature, and we would both work out our natural roles accordingly. Not really so hard, is it?

      Unfortunately we live in an age where too many women put their “careers” ahead of being a wife and a mother, or worse, expect their husbands to be content with playing a more submissive role, staying home and breastfeeding their children.

      For me it’s a matter of priority. Being a wife/mother should be a woman’s highest calling, and whatever she pursues on top of that would be icing on the cake. But for many women, being a wife is secondary to a career, or worse, they view it like it’s some kind of prison sentence. I couldn’t be married to someone who views marriage as akin to being my slave rather than being my helpmate.

    • Ceryle Alcyon May 27, 2013 at 6:40 PM #

      I would certainly agree that for married folks and parents, their relationships with their spouses and children should be the most important thing in their lives. But you seem to be advocating a relationship in which the man is the central figure and his wife is a mere satellite. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but mainstream American society has largely moved beyond that kind of familial configuration. If men don’t want to be “helpmeets,” why should women be expected to do so?

      It would appear that either you need to move to an area where women are less independent-minded (maybe you could try Utah, or the deep South, perhaps?), join a conservative religious movement, or adjust your ideas about what “should” be a woman’s highest calling. Can you explain to me how you know that being a wife and mother is a woman’s highest calling? Without relying on religious texts or entirely subjective works of opinion, that is (and there is an extraordinary amount of overlap between these two categories). I don’t believe there is any credible scientific or sociological evidence to that effect.

      By the way, my nieces do indeed love to cook, and one is a compulsive housekeeper and has been since the age of eight. They also are planning careers in medicine and astronomy. However, they are likely too young for you, and in any case I dearly hope they never fall for someone like you, whose rigid expectations would be very likely to derail their lives at some point.

    • Frank Swift May 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM #

      Cerlye, I don’t agree with the planet/moon allegory, but the closest apt analogy I would agree with is a captain and his first officer, the wife being the first officer. Men are not built to be helpmeets, women are. Women are not built to be leaders, men are. While I draw on the Bible for the ideal frame of marriage, I believe there are growing studies out there that would reinforce this particular order and demonstrate that women find their highest contentment in such a marriage.

      I do believe it’s the highest calling too. As a man myself, my highest calling isn’t even a good career or landing the job of my dreams, but being an excellent husband. With a strong marriage as a foundation, it can inspire me to go above and beyond what I normally think I’m capable of achieving.

    • Just some woman June 3, 2013 at 1:17 AM #

      “They are actively shunning the art of learning how to cook because… FEMALE EMPOWERMENT!”

      Or maybe they just don’t like to cook? I’m a woman, and I favor my career to domestic duties because I hate domestic duties. Not to make some kind of political statement. Who would notice or care? My mother (who is a baby boomer) is the same way, as are many women (of this generation and previous ones) I know. Of course, I still complete these duties because I have to, but I surely don’t find them enjoyable and fulling.

      I don’t know why it’s so hard to wrap your head around the fact that I would rather be creating programing and solving problems at my administrative job than scrubbing toilets. Seems like a lot of the population, regardless of chromosomal makeup, would share this preference?

  15. A May 27, 2013 at 9:37 AM #

    People rarely fit into such convenient, simplistic roles as homemaker/provider. I’m a feminist. I also work from home so that I can be with my kids all day, home school and take care of other necessities. My husband (of 12 years) has his own job. Because I work, we share many household responsibilities (not cooking, though — I have no desire to live off pizza rolls or bologna sandwiches, so I take the reins when it comes to cooking).

    Being married means learning to compromise. My husband might have enjoyed having a stay-at-home wife who would manage all the cleaning and housework. But we need my income, which means that many household tasks must be shared. I might have enjoyed the freedom of sending my kids off to a babysitter (or now, school), but I happen to like having them with me during the day. My marriage doesn’t have to work for you or anyone else: It only has to work for my husband and me.

    In the end, rather than trying to create cartoonish caricatures of what you believe marriage should be, perhaps you should try instead to understand that each couple brings something unique to the table and should concentrate on weaving their individual strengths and weaknesses together as they build a strong, sustainable union.

    • Frank Swift May 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM #

      [fixed your spelling error, BTW]

      Nobody says compromise isn’t involved. I’m addressing the trend where women repress their innate desire to stay home and guide the house because it’s not politically correct. By doing so, they don’t learn the skills needed to take care of a home, resulting in a generation of women unskilled in domestic work (and untrained and uneducated on just about everything else except their degree in women’s studies), because it’s like, sexist, and stuff.

      Compromise is a fact of life, but we compromise according to our natural roles. I’m not going to ask my wife to mow the lawn and fix the roof, for example.

    • A May 28, 2013 at 7:58 AM #

      I think what you may be overlooking is that not all women *want* to stay home and do the domestic goddess thing. That’s fine. They do what works for them and fulfills them. And it’s fine for you to prefer a woman who wants nothing more than to be a domestic goddess. Knowing what will and won’t work for us gets us halfway to that happy relationship, right?

      What’s not fine (to me) is the idea that women in general *must* be domestic goddesses in order to fulfill their “highest calling,” as you call it. Just like men are multifaceted individuals,with unique goals so are women.

      And thanks for fixing that — it would’ve driven me crazy having to look at that.

  16. everybodylovesbacon May 29, 2013 at 1:30 AM #

    It’s late here, and I am starting to get very sleepy. Work comes really early, and my days are long. I just feel compelled to comment on your post.

    I’m 32 and have been married for 8.5 years. It’s a continuous work in progress for us. I have been the one in the marriage who has had steady, continuous employment as a teacher. My husband can certainly make more but has had erratic work periods. I hope his current job sticks. One of the things that he has trouble dealing with are women supervisors. This also spills into our marriage.

    My dream is to count on my husband to provide steadily for us; to quit my job; have, raise, and home school kids; and go super old-school style. I like to keep up the house, cook for my husband, clean up, and would love the time to entertain. We simply can’t do all of this because of the instability of my husband’s work history. He, like you, also likes the newest gadgets and whatnot, so we both have to work to maintain the life he wants. I have much simpler wants and am happy to do without in order to make the scenario described above become reality.

    My husband and I talk about how skewed gender roles have become since “women’s liberation.” I think women’s liberation has just screwed up all of us 30 somethings and younger. I know I’m going to get blasted for that comment.

    I want a man, a strong man in the classic sense. I want to be taken care of so that I can take care of my man. He wants a woman in the classic sense, and I want to be that for him. I just think sometimes we say these things, but maybe we don’t want them enough? Maybe if we did, they would happen. Maybe I need to move to Utah or something.

    Now my tiredness makes me ramble. I will try to end this. I am a woman who has a BA, MA, and a professional credential. I’m in the 11th year of my career. I would give it up right now if I could be a woman in the classic sense; hell, I even love to wear dresses! I would love to be the nurturing support that makes sure my husband’s belly is full, clothes are crisp, and all of his ducks are in a row. I would love to be the strong woman behind my successful man. I have no need to compete or be a “strong, independent woman.” I know I’m strong. I’m tough as nails. I have interacted with teenagers every day, all day for 11 years. I can be independent and the breadwinner. I’m educated and experienced. That just doesn’t fulfill my heart. Why be independent when I can be part of a team? Why be the breadwinner when I could be the bread baker?

    My friends don’t understand me. This topic comes up more often than you might think. I’m the only one of my group of friends that doesn’t have kids. I refuse to have children so someone else can raise them. I’ve taught in public school for over a decade; I will definitely home school them. My friends are shocked when they see me put my apron on and get to work in the kitchen. They can’t understand why I spend hours after work cooking homemade meals, cleaning, doing laundry, and getting my husband’s “stuff” ready to go for the morning (as well as my own).

    One of the weirdest things is that my husband wants a lot of what I do, but then he complains that all women are like what you’re saying. He sometimes pushes those characteristics of “women these days” on me when they’re not even true. I think this confusion of gender roles has made both men and women angry, treat each other unfairly, and compete in areas where we don’t need competition.

    All I can go on is what my head, heart, and gut feel and what I think would make both my husband and I happier people. A simplified life is something we constantly strive for, while struggling to realistically live in today’s world. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade. I do think it’s really important to have these kinds of open, honest discussions. Change won’t come from silence and acceptance. Men and women are unhappy these days; I wonder if it’s because so many of us are being forced to conform to unnatural roles and scenarios. Not all traditions are bad; some just make sense.

    • everybodylovesbacon May 29, 2013 at 1:32 AM #

      I have to add – I consider myself to be an extremely liberal and “free spirited” person. I’m not religious. I’m not an activist. I think men and women are equally valuable; I think our value comes from different sources.

    • Frank Swift May 29, 2013 at 1:46 AM #

      Yours is one of the best comments here so far, and reflects my sentiments exactly (including the bacon, mmmmmmm)

      I think it’s more accurate that we refer to these roles not as traditional, but as natural roles. What do men and women innately desire to do? That’s really the key. I think too many women are suppressing innate desires for the sake of female “empowerment” and feminism, and as a result they live unhappy lives. Meanwhile men are suppressing their internal desires to lead and be providers so as not to offend the modern cultures of today, and they’re equally as unhappy.

      Precisely as you said, no one gender is better than the other. But we are indeed built differently, and as a result our value comes from different sources.

    • Just some woman June 3, 2013 at 1:32 AM #

      I can honestly 100% tell you that I have no innate desire to cook, scrub toilets, wash dishes, vacuum, etc. I just don’t. I have never had an interest in those things, and I never will.

      I am sure some women do. I’m sure men do, too. But I don’t. Honestly, what would I be gaining from lying about this and “denying my natural role”?

      I do want children, and I figure I will probably stay home with them for a number of years, and I will love raising them, but I will never love doing housework and cooking.

    • Anja July 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM #

      A kindred spirit! :)

      You voiced it all so perfectly. I’m a teacher, too, but I am lucky enough to be able to stay at home, at least for now. I completely understand your desires and your loneliness, however, as nobody understood/stands my desire to stay at home. I’ve been told I’m wasting my potential when I declared teaching was the only career I was interested in, because everyone expected me to go into academia. They eventually accepted that, but then I left my job and it was disbelief and lack of understanding all over again.

      I agree that society has a lot to answer for. This is exactly how I feel, too:

      “I think this confusion of gender roles has made both men and women angry, treat each other unfairly, and compete in areas where we don’t need competition.”

      I’ve even come across it on this blog: male commenters are so convinced I’m somehow out to get them that they react violently to any disagreement I express, and I won’t even mention the female commenters that attack Frank when he speaks his mind. I can’t help but think there was much less anger between the sexes before all this forced equality nonsense.

    • Terrie April 20, 2014 at 5:00 AM #

      Everybodylovesbacon – Thank you. I view marriage the same way. I’m single, I have a successful career but I will drop everything to take of my husband & my kids – if I find the right man who views marriage the same way. ;) I agree, we each have a role to play.

  17. EM June 2, 2013 at 12:16 AM #

    Find it adorable that you drone on and on about being a manly man and yet you have a Pinterest account. Fail.

    • Frank Swift June 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

      In my defense, I only use it to shamelessly plug my blog posts. Mostly.

      And real men would not use words like “adorable.” Eliminate that from your vocabulary at once.

  18. an observer June 2, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

    Frank,

    Reversing the nouns keeps it real.

    I think, however, that if the most important thing you’re looking for in a man is his ability to earn lots of money and make you tingle, as your behaviour seems to suggest, you’d be better off buying a vibrator, and hiring a gigolo. The days of the middle class are, for the most part, long gone. I suspect that most men who, like me, enjoy being middle class (which, by the way, is absolutely not true of “most” women) do not want to be wage slaves, no matter how well their wives treat them.

  19. an observer June 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM #

    Why are women so resistant to cooking? Perhaps it is seen as subservient. Something to outsource, requiring her second income to subsidise.

    Women are not taught this basic skill, and most of the young women i dated could burn water.

    Perhaps we need another column.
    “I’m ready to lead; are you willing to follow?”

    • Just some woman June 3, 2013 at 1:40 AM #

      Wow. You are awful. I have no idea what kind of women you interact with daily (probably not many is my guess) but I know plenty of women (and men) who like to cook. I also know plenty who don’t.
      That “women are resistant to cooking” is YOUR anecdotal experience. Maybe you’ve gleaned this from sitcoms? I have no idea.

    • Anja July 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM #

      I don’t know why women are resistant to cooking, but I think it might be because they are not very good at it. Cooking is no longer a skill that young girls are regularly taught, and since most are raised to be perfectionists (look at school performance, for example, or high beauty standards) they dislike doing things they do not excel at. So they prefer not to cook, because they know this is not something they are proud of.

      This is pure speculation, of course, but that’s all I’ve got here.

  20. an observer June 6, 2013 at 9:05 PM #

    So failing anything meaningful to say, the typically deep feminist defaults to shaming and accusation. Yawn.

  21. an observer June 6, 2013 at 9:19 PM #

    I have no idea what kind of women you interact with daily 

    Strong, independent ones, of course!

    probably not many is my guess

    Yes, like Frank, i’m obviously a video playing basement dweller.

    Maybe you’ve gleaned this from sitcoms?

    If only.

     I have no idea.

    Agree, absolutely.

  22. Courtney June 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM #

    Right on Mr. Swift. Not all of us chicas are feminists. Take solace in the popularity of the website Pinterest.com, where the action is cooking great meals, crafty home decor, and staying fit. No seriously, go check it out.

    To the argument some commenter of yours made that women delay marriage and family for careers: sometimes it’s backwards. Women take on careers because they don’t have marriage and babies. What PERSON man or woman, says this: “Yeah, I’m totally in head over heels love with them, but I’d rather work this intense job instead. Love can wait.” If they do, it’s likely not true love. Oh sure, men and women can love their careers, but loving another person isn’t the same (or shouldn’t be).

    Plenty of women want to have a home and put babies in it. Lots. We’re scattered, but we’re out there, and we’re all seeking real men with jobs who are ambitious and want to provide.

    • Frank Swift June 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

      Pinterest.com, where the action is cooking great meals, crafty home decor, and staying fit. No seriously, go check it out.

      I can’t, every time I go there I end up drooling over the recipes and resisting the urge to run out to a nearby Italian pastry. The Nutella creations are the WORST too. O_O

  23. christianpundit July 22, 2013 at 4:34 AM #

    @ Frank, “The vast majority of women who feel a natural dispensation to being nurturers and caretakers are not you.”

    You’d be surprised. Spend time at a “Child Free” forum, and read articles about the child free, and you will discover there are a lot of women who don’t feel a natural pull to be mommies or to nurture a baby.

    Also check out sites like “True Confessions of Mothers” or whatever it’s called (and there are similar sites online), where women who are mothers now admit online (under anonymous names) they wish they never had children. They felt pressured by family, church, and/or society to have children and regret it.

  24. tbc July 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM #

    Wow…. so much hamster, you could open a pet store! I’m not sure what it is supposed to prove to suggest that “all women are not drawn towards being mothers and nurturers.” Well, that’s fine. Such women should not marry, anymore than a man should not marry if he isn’t interested in being fathers and nurturers. Just because you don’t like doing something or are not good at doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be done. Cooking, sewing, household management, etc., are SKILLS, not some special gifting.

  25. Anja July 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM #

    Carol,

    while I appreciate not all women are called to be nurturers, your lack of hand-eye coordination and dislike of cooking does not automatically “disqualify” you from a nurturing role. As you said you love people, especially children, and would like to be a mother. That’s a start. Not every wife/mother is an accomplished seamstress or chef, there are many other qualities which are very important, too.

    In addition, these are skills to be learnt; in the past, girls learnt to sew and cook as a matter of course and you do not dislike something which is a habit. Young women today often can’t cook because they were never taught, and when you can’t do something, you often dislike doing it. One can learn to love to cook, however, even if one starts learning late. I’ve seen it happen many times over.

    As for housework failing to make you happy – I don’t think household chores make very many women happy :D The results of the chores make me happy, for example, the chores themselves mostly don’t (except ironing, I love ironing – it’s soothing for me). When you do something for a person you love (a husband or your child, for example), that will probably make you happy, too, even though the chore itself probably wouldn’t.

    So I guess my point is, don’t despair. You know best, of course, but you are speaking from your present point of view, and that might change. I used to think the same way when I was younger but now I’m happiest when I can take care of my husband and our home.

  26. Anja July 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM #

    I’m not going to tackle the comment, because I can’t add anything Frank hasn’t already said better than I could have. I am, however, interested in this:

    “A lot of recent articles have pointed out that women have surpassed men in career and education;”

    I’ve come across the information before and as an ex-teacher I have to agree that girls tend to get higher grades in school than their male schoolmates. I wouldn’t actually call it surpassing or outperforming however – in my experience (which is limited, I admit), the education system is simply geared towards girls nowadays, which is why they get better grades.

    Teachers are mostly female, and can understand female reasoning better than male, so they tend to grade girls higher (not their fault, of course). In addition, the education system awards orderliness, hard-work, neatness, quietness, calmness, obedience – all predominately female traits. We teach children to repeat, not to invent and in my experience boys tend to be more inventive, find it easier to think outside the box, and take more risks; very important skills, and yet our school system rarely rewards them.

    So it seems to me girls outperform boys in school because the education system is not a friendly environment for male thought. Girls thus become more educated than boys and eventually get better jobs.

    Does anybody have any thoughts on the matter?

    • Frank Swift July 22, 2013 at 6:10 PM #

      Very good Anja, it’s a sort of affirmative action for women. I saw a similar bias as a disabled person myself. Before I left special education and took honor classes in my youth, rather than educate me better to study harder and get better grades, special ed used to simply pad my scores so it only looked like I did better. I doubt anything has changed today.

    • Anja July 22, 2013 at 6:19 PM #

      “it’s a sort of affirmative action for women”

      I don’t know that it’s deliberate, though. As I said, most teachers are women so they can’t really help it if they understand their female students better than the male ones. IMO girls don’t only *appear* better educated, they really tend to be better educated (averages, of course), but not because they are smarter, simply because the learning environment is in their favor – quite accidentally. Or maybe I’m just naive :)

      How could we solve the problem? Maybe by employing more male teachers? Teaching in not usually a career men are interested in, however. Separate schools? Women teaching girls, men teaching boys? I really don’t know.

    • Frank Swift July 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM #

      Yeah, that’s probably a topic for another day. So much of our public schooling isn’t even schooling anymore but “re-education.” I am a big fan of home schooling though, which I think is a major step in the right direction. The intelligence assessment scoring of those homeschooled are amazingly higher than those schooled by public education.

    • Frank Swift July 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM #

      BTW, homeschooling would present yet another strong case for why mothers should stay home. ;-)

  27. Lisa September 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM #

    I’m a woman. I’m also a feminist. But like you, I have issues with women who ‘abuse the system’ so to speak. Or women who abuse their giving partner. (Hell, or men who do the same.) I would LOVE the luxury of staying at home all day doing nothing but surfing the internet or playing with my puppy, but someone has to pay the bills. Preferably both people. I get that it can be cheaper to stay home with kids than pay for daycare but I’ve seen a hell of a lot of women devote their entire life to their kids and then their Empty Nest stage is ugly with a capital u. They grow apart from their husbands because they dote on their kids so much. There’s this really gross Martyr Mommy complex that exists today. Women who are Goddesses of the Home and are the High Priestesses of Life because they birthed a child. I’m over it. Sure I want to have kids at some point but I don’t want to have to give up my identity to be a mom. I’m a writer first, everything else comes second. I would cringe if I had to give up writing for longer than a few months at a time, so for me, being a mom is probably going to come with a part-time sitter so mommy can write. :)

    • Frank Swift September 7, 2013 at 5:21 PM #

      Lisa, you sound too nice to be a feminist. ;-)

      Knowing who you are and what your limitations are is a healthy way to look at life, so I applaud you for that. Although comsider if you have more than one kid and give yourself a few years in between child bearing, you can always have the older babysit the younger instead of hiring a nanny. WINNING!

    • Lisa September 8, 2013 at 1:55 AM #

      Well, Frank, I did get in a fight with a few feminist writers (ahem, well known writers) last year and since then I’ve been reconsidering what the limits of feminism are. There are quite a few and to be honest, there are a lot of very angry feminists who would crucify me if they read this. But c’est la vie.

      As for more than one kid, yeah…I haven’t really had time to plan out how many I’d like to have. I grew up with two other siblings and three seemed perfect but two would work, also.

      At this point in my career, the funny thing that’s happening to me is that men are seeking me out and asking me to be their ‘sugar mamma’ and offering to stay at home and cook/clean for me. It’s funny…and sad. That’s the furthest thing from what I want–like you I want a normal, healthy balance.

    • Frank Swift September 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM #

      Lisa,

      Of course… they could be telling you what they THINK you want to hear so they can get a crack at shmoom-shmooming your boom boom.

      God help the dude who think he’s being enlightened and attracting more women by trying to prove what an emotionally sensitive, nurturing kind of guy he is. Been there done that, personally I find crying less and spitting more has worked wonders for me in upping my attractive factor.

      I really need to work on the prancing though. Still too much of that going on…

  28. deb June 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM #

    What if your the one working full time and still being expected to come hone and cook and clean. And the husband only works part time and does nothing around the house but play video games and watch movies. Also when you suggest going back to school you get the response that you still will need to fulfill your womanly duties!!!!

    • Frank Swift June 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM #

      Then the husband is not fulfilling his obligations. If you’re the primary breadwinner and the husband is either underemployed or out of work, he should shoulder the domestic responsibilities to ease the burden off your shoulders.

      Remember I’m speaking of the ideal, but sometimes life doesn’t work out that way and we have to do what we must to survive.

  29. DarthW July 1, 2014 at 11:13 PM #

    Frank, during the busy-ness of the coming year with your new job be sure to write some more “controversial” relationship/gender issue oriented blogs like these. I like the banter and enjoy learning from them, and often agree with your points. I also love that you get so many responses!

    I found your blog shortly after reeling from the end of another relationship (with yet another single mom), and discovered that other men were thinking and dealing with similar issues and concerns as I read your blogs on “dating” subject matter. Your perspective, and the responding commentary as well, helped me get through a very difficult, confusing part of my life.

    Keep blogging!

    The food pics and mountain pics are great too!

    • Frank Swift July 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM #

      I’ll probably move away from the relationship topics for a while, since there’s only so many times you can rehash a topic before you start to say eff this crap, and move on with your life. Rumsfeld (the former defense secretary) had a saying that bears paraphrasing, where he said you go with the army you got, not the army you wish you had. So in this sense, I have to deal with the world as it is, and not as I wish it could be.

  30. DarthW July 4, 2014 at 12:46 AM #

    True. But the sarcasm is so true and funny. At least make your other blogs as entertaining and relative to life.

    • Frank Swift July 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM #

      No worries there, sarcasm is what I DO. :-D

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