We were having a "fishbowl" exercise where a group of women became part of an inner circle for discussion. As part of that group, we sat on the floor in the center of the room while other students sat around us listening and taking notes. The goal of the women's discussion was to offer "tips" to the men in the class about communication, attitude, and behaviors that might improve their relationships with important women in their lives.
We also had a "fishbowl" where the men got to talk and the women listened and took notes. The men's fishbowl went first. To be fair, the men displayed much better manners as listeners in the fishbowl exercises. They not only listened respectfully, they asked amazing and thought-provoking questions.
In the women's fishbowl one gal talked about how everything is better when men really help at home. She inferred, and we might have an "Amen, Sister!" from any women reading this blog, that men don't really do their fair share at home. Women work at outside jobs, just like their husbands, but they are then expected to do the majority of kid care and household care. All the women in the group agreed that men helping more with the household chores and children would make women in general a much happier group of people.
After the fishbowl was over, and the men could ask questions, one well-respected and older male student asked if he might participate in the conversation. This was someone who dearly loves his wife and had been sharing all of his class information on improving gender communication with her. Everyone in the room really liked him.
Quite simply, and sincerely, John asked,"I've always wondered about the double standard of the "honey-do" list. Could you ladies help me with my confusion?" He went on to explain that he always helped his wife around the house. He felt that was part of being a good husband. Yet he also had his own list of things to accomplish. While his list might not be written down, he had one.
What puzzled him, he said respectfully, was why women always seemed to feel that they could give a guy another list of their priorities to do, the ever famous "Honey-Do List!" and expected men to re-prioritize and get the new list done ASAP. What, he asked, would happen if men started to give women those kinds of lists?
He went on to ask how many of us gave our husbands a "Honey-Do List!" We all raised our hands. He then asked how many of our husbands gave us regular "Honey-Do Lists"? No hands went up. "Is that a double standard?", he asked.
Our mouths dropped open.
We were speechless.
It had never occurred to me that the famous "Honey-Do list" was one-sided and a double standard. The "Honey-Do List" was a cultural phenomenon, passed from generation of women to the next generation of women. It was a cry for help from busy women, desperate to have their spouses help them out at home. But was it a double standard? Would I be shocked to have Bert write a "Honey-Do List" for me? Food for thought!
Yup, I love teaching!
I love learning new things!
What do YOU think about the famous "Honey Do Lists"??? Is it a double standard?