DEAR HARRIETTE: I think that my dad has misogynistic views. He's always been old-fashioned in his values and beliefs, but now that I'm older, I'm starting to realize how problematic his mindset is. He says things to me such as, “As a woman, you need to learn how to cook and clean not only for yourself, but for your future husband.” I don't understand why that's my duty as a woman. I already know how to cook and clean for myself. He also says things like, “Men prefer a clean house when they come home.” I want to call him out on it. Is this misogynistic, or am I overreacting? -- Change Your Views
DEAR CHANGE YOUR VIEWS: Your father is telling you what he learned growing up. Is it old-fashioned? Yes. Is it misogynistic? I'm not sure. If he also says that men shouldn’t have to cook or clean, that this is solely a woman’s job, that enters into the land of limited, sexist views.
Roles for men and women in society were once clearly delineated. That has changed for many people. In some households, men do all the cooking. In others, men are excellent at keeping house. For some couples and families, shared responsibilities make it possible for all of the chores to get done.
While it is wise for you to master all of the tasks that keep a home in order, you should not feel that you have to be the woman extraordinaire who does everything so her husband doesn’t have to do anything. Instead, as a couple, you can work out who does what. That also means you should choose a partner who wants to share the weight.
There’s no need to argue with your father. You can tell him that your intention is to marry a man who wants to be your partner, and that includes being an active participant in taking care of your home.