Jessica Valenti wrote a column in the Guardian about how Christmas is fraught with “gendered expectations”:
We all know that women do the majority of domestic work like child care, housework and cooking. But the holidays bring on a whole new set of gendered expectations that make the season less about simply enjoying fun and family and more about enduring consumerism, chores and resentment so that everyone else can enjoy rockin’ around the Christmas tree. (I bet even Mrs Claus gets upset that Santa works one night a year but she’s dealing with hungry elves 24/7. That would be almost enough to make you want to over-indulge in eggnog and hurl yourself in front of a reindeer-pulled sleigh.)
The rest of the column continues in the same vein, with an occasional reference to how her husband doesn’t create his share of Christmas joy.
The latter is interesting, as Valenti and her husband, Andrew Golis, loudly proclaim that he is a feminist. It’s a free country, so they can so proclaim all the want, but saying it doesn’t make it so. My boyfriend, sometimes nicknamed “Mr. Moderate” because he’s politically dead centre, has arranged for about half of my Christmas presents for my family to be shipped to my doorstep. He has Amazon Prime; I don’t. I pick out presents on Amazon, add them to my Wish List; he ships them; I pay him back. He also shipped me an ignition coil for my car so that I could install it the very next day.
We don’t do that because we’re trying to have a big fat feminist Christmas; we do that for the same reason that I’ve used some of my vacation time to clean his condo. We care about each other and want to try to use whatever assets we have available (e.g. free time, a tool set, Amazon Prime) to make the other person happier.
Jessica, your problem isn’t “gendered expectations;” it’s a husband who will let you become a stressed-out mess before acting like a freakin ADULT and pitching in.