Be a Man

I’ve never heard him say it, but I’m told that my father-in-law has a saying: You’re a useless piece of crap if you can’t get your woman to her job.

(Well, he says “to work,” which flows better, but in text-format it’s too ambiguous.)

And I love it. It ties into a lot of the concepts of what it means to be a man while still allowing for a great deal of flexibility for specific situations. And, more to the point… in my experience, it’s pretty true. The guy who’s snorting his girlfriend’s paycheck, or beating her, or even being a generalized asshole, tends to also not be doing a damn thing to keep her car on the road. Or adjusting his schedule to carpool.

Basically, her ability to get to work—a net good for all parties, in general—is a good stand-in for whether he considers himself to have responsibilities to her, to the household, or basically to anyone except the himself he happens to be at any given moment.

To say the least, my husband takes this charge very seriously. When my car recently gave up the ghost, he managed to get a replacement up, registered and on the road in the space of a day. He felt ridiculously bad that I had to work from home that day. While he is a fantastic husband in many, many respects, on this particular issue he is fanatical.

And it makes me wonder what the corresponding female metric might be.

Now, comparing men and women is generally a crapshoot; they’re different. Duh. The duties and obligations on each is different.

But there’s gotta be something. And if what it means to be a man is to pull through and make things work for your household… what’s it mean to be a woman?

I have no frickin’ idea. As a woman, I find this somewhat distressing.

…but I’ll tell you what. I think I know where I can start: I’m going to be grateful to that man for keeping that car on the road, or for setting aside his schedule to make sure I can get to work*. And I’m gonna make sure he knows it.

It’s not very much. (And on a household level, I suspect that actually going to work every day is more useful.) But… if he’s gonna go and be a man for me, I figure I can at least let him know I noticed.

* One of these days, I’m going to have to break down the top times he’s rescued me when I got stranded. There’s some good ones. And yeah… most were my own damn fault.

For a drawing today, we have… something I haven’t been guilty of yet, but is always a worry in this toddler era. Shoulda done the last panel differently, but pen isn’t a great medium for realizing this isn’t the right path.

2017-07-19 12.11.39

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