What are men taught?
What are women taught?
Shouldn't they be the same?
He says, "Watch out, I'm a Cave Guy," and I laugh, thinking it's a joke.
He isn't joking.
I don't even realize until he says something about his boat. I joke, "Take me away on your boat."
"Why do women always say that?" he says, annoyed.
"You don't know?" I say. Really?
"No. What do you mean?"
"You activate the romance trope. All the stupid romances where the man carries the woman off on his horse or boat. He's a Cave Guy. They are overwhelmingly attracted to each other and of course it is True Love, so it's ok when they have uncontrollable lustful sex."
He is looking at me like I am another species.
I say, "Haven't you ever read a Harlequin Romance?"
"I don't read fiction." he says, scornful. He reads Julius Caesar, tries to in the original Latin. My Latin is better, though, I had two years.
"Maybe if you did, you'd understand why women joke, take me away on your boat."
Nope. He doesn't read fiction, he doesn't read poetry, he is interested in cars, women, power, Caesar, conservative politics, certain types of boats and the upcoming collapse.
I am interesting in everything. And women have to learn "male" culture to be employed. Look at Laura Ingalls in the 1860s: women could be school teachers, but not once they'd married. Then they were wives. Jobs slowly expanded. Teachers were the start of social security in the US, to keep them from starving. Women could be nurses, but it was shocking and wrong at first. Stewardesses. Birth control becomes reliable, or mostly reliable. Women become secretaries, become business owners, become doctors and lawyers.
Isn't there a spectrum of what men learn? My ex had read as much or more feminist literature than I had, and he could dance too. He also taught golf and tennis and sometimes cross dressed. We joked that a house husband is the ultimate accessory for a professional woman, but the reality was that the American Women in Medicine Journal said that salaries couldn't be compared for male and female doctors. I sat down and read the statistics in medical school in the early 1990s. Over 95% of male doctors had a non-working spouse, a wife. And male doctors were married, the vast majority. Half of women doctors never married, and of the half that did marry, half were married to male doctors. The women did not have a non-working spouse. I did. It broke down eventually, but it worked for 14 years.
So what is YOUR upbringing? Are there whole areas that belong to men or belong to women, and that you know nearly nothing about? What do you think about that? A division of labor: but really, both people need to know how to do everything. To back each other up. To have respect for the work inside and outside the home.
I can knit. I can change the oil in my car. I can deliver a baby and assist in a Caesarean section. I sang the Mozart Requiem the last two days in concert. I really suck at electricity and want to take a course to get better. I refinished the wood floor in my kitchen and it needs it again.