There are some issues we encounter so frequently as women, that we forget they’re issues in the first place.
The tradesmen at the end of my street who have cat-called me on my way to the station at 6:30 every morning this week? Barely noticed them this morning.
The guy at the pub who endorses a stand-up act saying, ‘she’s actually so funny, and I don’t usually like women comedians’? Barely registers.
For many women problems in their own homes can easily pass under the radar for years, until something so outrageous rears its head they can’t ignore it.
A woman has taken one such incident to parenting forum Mumsnet where it opened a can of worms that has brought a pressing issue to the surface.
‘Asking permission’ is shirking responsibility
The woman in question had the lightbulb moment after her husband asked if he could take a three-week cycling trip across France, leaving her at home with their pre-school aged child during the school holidays.
“Is anyone else fed up with their DH ‘asking permission’ to do stuff they haven't thought through, that clearly impacts on family life?” she posted online.
To go ahead and pour some vinegar on that wound, the man’s holiday would comprise of three-quarters of his annual leave, leaving little time for parenting the couple’s child during school breaks.
This wasn’t the real issue however, as the woman pointed out.
She made the very valid point that it was the fact he asked her permission, rather than looked at the issue as one half of the household team, that really rubbed her the wrong way.
Dads, she argued, too often offload all parental and organisational responsibility onto the woman just by asking ‘can I’, instead of ‘should we’.
“Mine just asked ‘can I go cycling across France for 3 weeks next May?’ and I was like, I don't know, can you? Can ‘we’ manage it?’ she wrote.
“It just feels like I'm always expected to have The Family Plan and if I don't immediately say ‘yes dear, that's fine I'll work everything else around you’ then I'm treated like fun police.”
The all-too familiar scenario attracted hundreds of responses from women who shared their own experiences.
An epidemic of dad-dodging
“ExH (ex-husband) used to do this about going to the footie (sic),” one woman shared.
”It made me the bad cop if I said no but his conscience was clear because he'd been given permission if I said yes so he could absolve all responsibility.”
“My DH will come up with an idea (let’s visit friends in the US!), so sure that it can happen just like that,” another woman shared.
“When I suggest discussing these exciting plans, he loses the plot saying I’m anti-him-having-fun...”
“In my experience, they ask because they know they are being unreasonable/ridiculous, but want someone else to blame for telling them that,” a seasoned traveller shared.
“Also, means that they can tell their buddies that it was your fault!”
The stories come on the back of last years statistics that showed 86 per cent of Australian women believe they do most of the work around the house.
This is despite the fact that 46.9 per cent of all employed persons in Australia are women, almost half of all working people.
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