I had naively thought that a pro-feminist partner, plus my own willpower, would prevent this from happening to me… I hadn’t bargained for how deeply the gender roles of nurturer and provider are ingrained in all of us… “. (p. 323 – 13). Her goal is not to escape this but simply to have her husband work fewer hours. When her husband suggested they hire a nanny, she shouted, “I don’t need a nanny, I need a husband! “(P. 325-24) On the contrary, in “My Problem with Her Anger”, Bartels expresses the hardships of being married to a woman that has irrational anger in the home.
In his essay, he says fathers may miss being with their children when they’re at work, but they won’t feel guilty because they are doing what they are programmed to do. He isn’t a dead-beat husband; he pulls his load in the house and he feels that there is not positive reinforcement and that he is taken for granted in a way. In the essay, he talks about doing the dishes while his wife, who was upstairs putting the kids to bed, comes down in a fit about him not doing more. He writes “My wife gets tired. She gets frustrated. She gets angry” (P.
329-9). Even if he makes a lot of efforts and does the best at home, her wife is never satisfied and proud of him. “Woman could try to accept that it is possible… for a man to be tired”. (P. 331-38). He tries to explain that is could be that for “women of recent generations, anger has replaced the quiet desperation of the past”. (P330-24). It is difficult for a man to stay at home while his wife is working. Times have changed, and now women are “equal” as men. Finally, I was raised in a feminist household and I am proud to call myself a feminist.
I believe in equality and an equal division of labour within a marriage. The essay “My problem with her Anger” seemed to create empathy for Bartels, but there were a few parts that turned me off from his argument. As a woman, I agree that it is in a woman’s nature to handle stress differently than men, but I disagree with the idea that it is something that needs fixed with evolution. Men and women being different emotionally is actually beneficial to a household. If a household was run by two disciplining individuals without a compassionate partner, the home would hold a lot of tension and anger.
I believe that to be true whether the wife is the compassionate one or the husband; there has to be a balance. Marriage is hard. I agree with Edelman when she explains that even though many females feel liberated and inspired to be independent from their husbands, often times these women still end up doing most of the domestic work. Edelman shows how embedded gendered work is in our society, even among feminists. She explains that in her situation, with time things changed, but does not suggest to all readers this is the solution for all problems over shared responsibilities.