Recently, Wendy Williams invited Anthony Mackie on her show to discuss his role in the movie ‘Black and White’. One of the discussions between the two of them surrounded the gender roles of women and men in relationships. Both Anthony and Wendy agreed that each sex should play out different roles in their relationship. Most of the audience agreed with them until Anthony stated that women should “make daddy a sandwich” as part of their role.
(Watch interview here).
Wendy balked, not because she disagreed with him, but because she just doesn’t like the term “daddy” when used to refer to a man you’re sleeping with. The audience on the other hand, just didn’t think they should have to make any man a damn sandwich.
I laughed, because I understood exactly what Anthony Mackie meant. He didn’t have to explain himself, even though he did, because I too believe that if ‘daddy’ wants a sandwich – he should get a sandwich.
What women don’t understand about roles in a relationship, is that it doesn’t mean you have to be subservient to your man. It doesn’t mean that when he says jump, you ask ‘how high?’. It just means that each of you act out certain roles in your relationship, which may or may not be based on gender.
The gender roles may be traditional, such as where the woman stays at home while the man goes out and works, but most often it’s not. The woman in the relationship may wash the dishes while the man mows the lawn. Or maybe the woman works in the yard, because her husband has a bad back and she enjoys doing it. No matter what these roles are, they look different in each relationship. Think about homosexual relationships where each partner takes on certain roles. They’re not trying to mirror heterosexual relationships, they are just doing what has been agreed upon and works for both of them.
Today, these roles are often blurred, not just because of women’s liberation, but because a lot of people don’t know what a traditional relationship looks like. If you didn’t grow up in a household headed by married parents, your view on what those roles look like are skewed. Is it wrong? No, it’s just different. People are just hesitant to do what they are not familiar with.
So, before you go crazy and go after Anthony Mackie with a pitch fork, listen to what he actually said. He doesn’t believe his woman should wait on him hand and foot, but if he takes care of her, she should take care of him. There’s nothing wrong in playing out certain roles in a relationship, especially if they have been agreed upon and accepted by each person.
In my relationship, I expect my man to do the ‘manly’ things around the house. He knows he is expected to take out trash, kill a big scary bug or get up out the bed when there’s a ‘bump in the night’. In return, he expects dinner to be on the table (home made or take out) and the house is clean. This has worked for us so far. And though I may talk smack when my man asks me to make him a sandwich, you better believe I’m making him a sandwich.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/melystu/12228063756/”>mystuart</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>