Growing up, gender stereotypes were alive and well in my household, as well as the households of all of my friends. We were the latch-key generation children of married women who worked, but still had all the responsibilities of the household. So our mothers not only worked a full-time job, they were at PTA meetings, fixing full-course meals, cleaning all the dishes, dropping us off at soccer matches, and making sure our homework was done. It didn’t matter if they were married, partnered, or single — from a traditional viewpoint, they were bringing in the money like the man, with all the responsibilities of the woman.
So looking at my friends’ marriages now, we realize, shoot, times have changed. Woman have been steadily in the workforce for two generations and in the Black household much longer than that. And guess what, we aren’t doing everything anymore. Marriage is a 50-50 split where the spouses inherit talents are celebrated, not pushed aside because the woman should cook even though she only knows how to make SpaghettiOs from the can — and she still burns them.
So it was nice to see this sentiment echoed in the “Gender Roles” episode of the BlackLove.com series, Couch Conversations. I enjoyed a lot about the honest and frank conversations of Khadeen and Devale Ellis as they welcomed two couples to the conversation: Melissa and Kevin, who have been together for 18 years; and Issa and Casie, who, married for two years, were holding it down for the newlyweds.