A FB friend posted a thing that is popular in feminist circles. Well, a certain kind of feminist circle anyway. “Emma Clit”‘s comic “You Should’ve Asked” raises some good points. Have a look: https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/.
Thing is, I think it missed some points too. It’s not that it’s incorrect per se, but rather that it takes a strictly cisheteronormative woman’s point of view to the exclusion of all else, which is not inherently a bad thing except that here we have a whole comic essay where the what is hard to argue with but the why has been glossed over with a handwavy “They don’t care, because they were raised to not care.”
Is that true? To some extent, surely, but that seems heavily simplistic to me.
Do the partners have compatible values for the necessity and timing of housework? I don’t know if any couple ever discusses that before their home life turns into an episode of ‘Home Improvement’. Do the partners have an equal emotional investment in and ownership over the home space? I practically guarantee you that in the above scenarios, they do not.
Think about this for a moment: How often do you hear about situations where in a cishet couple the woman decides on the decor? Certainly not universally, but I’d say as often as the above is true every room in the house looks like what she wants, and is maintained to her standards of what looks good for guests, etc. This is, I believe, a big piece of why this concept of a ‘man cave’ started being mainstream, and before then there was the toolshed. The men wind up building one small space that’s all them, because to them the rest of the home ‘belongs to’ and is defined and controlled by the woman.
If that is the unexamined emotional background, then of course he’s not going to feel much of an emotional need to maintain a space that isn’t his and may not even feel welcoming.
All of this… is the result of bog standard cisheteronormative culture, and a lack of communication between partners. Men should be more fully integrated into and part of their household, both in terms of being responsible for its daily operation and in terms of the decisions about what the space is and who it’s for.