"A woman's place is in the kitchen," they say. Well, tell that to the women running Fortune 500 businesses and building billion dollar empires.
Millennial women of color have become increasingly visible in the corporate world and have relentlessly persisted toward securing a position on the economic playing field, but this fact has caused a significant shift in gender roles.
We are now confronting the ideological confines that society has set in the name of sexism and gender identity, and seek to create new paradigms about what it means to be a woman. Our femininity no longer rests on our ability to keep house.
Despite our race to equality and fight to eliminate these stereotypes, some women still feel that it is a woman's place to cook, clean, and make sure a man's drawers are washed to perfection. It's this type of thinking that earned Love and Hip Hop: Miami star, Amara La Negra, a whirlwind of backlash from her online audience.
Amara La Negra's Instagram
Recently, the entertainer posted a photo on Instagram that showed her in a bodycon dress cleaning the shower with the caption:
"A man's house is a reflection of the woman he's with. Food for thought. Being pretty is just a bonus with me."
The post even prompted a hilarious challenge that led women and men to upload ridiculous photos of themselves cleaning their showers with unlikely household items with the previously mentioned caption and the hashtag #CleanYourMansHouseChallenge.
It's 2018 and many women still believe that it is a woman's "duty" to take care of the home. But that doesn't mean that line of thinking is right.
The first time I moved in with a partner was rough to say the least, but what was even harder, was living up to his grandmother's expectations. She was an older German woman, and the first real example I had ever seen of a homemaker. There was never any dust in her home, coffee was always made in the morning, lunches were made immediately after, and despite how many people she took care of, there were never any dishes in the sink. When i would offer to help, she would gleefully decline, letting me know that she likes to do it.
I was baffled, I had never seen anything like it. My mother had earned three degrees by the time I was born, and got pregnant with me while pursuing her fourth. Even after going into labor, as soon as she was able, she was back to work. My father took care of most of the housework, and I had grown up to see these chores as more of a shared responsibility rather than a dynamic that was indicative of any gender roles.
When I got older and moved in with my own partner, we reflected the same dynamic. This was to the dismay of his grandmother of course, who frowned when she found dust at the top of my laundry room door and didn't feel like my kitchen floor had been mopped to capacity. She would mention tips and tricks that would help me keep a cleaner house, constantly reiterating that it was my responsibility to maintain the home we shared.
Over time, I became pressed to impress her. I spent days cleaning our apartment before she came to visit, only for her to criticize what I hadn't done. It made me feel inadequate as a partner and a lover. Even though we both had jobs, and I was also finishing up my degree, somehow in her eyes, it was solely my responsibility to keep house.
And let me tell you something ladies and gentleman, that's bullsh-t.
We no longer live in a time where a woman should be expected to cook, clean, and have sex like a pornstar to be considered a worthy partner. I'm sorry Amara, but a man's house is not a reflection of me. It may be a reflection of our dynamic and ability to delegate chores, but the cleanliness of my man's home is not a reflection of me as a lover or a life partner, because I'm not his maid.
Women have jobs, dreams, and aspirations, just like men do. So if I need you to wash the dishes tonight homeboy, you're going to have to make that happen. A relationship is about shared responsibility, and can be stifled by age-old theories about gender if you allow it to.
Every woman should be equipped with homemaking qualities and abilities, there's no doubt about that, but so should men. I want a man that can cook and clean too, damnit. After all, he's not the only one bringing home the bacon.
What do you think? Are you with Amara, do you think the dynamic should be shared between partners, or both? Let us know in the comments down below.