Yet most men that I’ve encountered do not behave the way women do when they are less than thrilled with a gift. They do not complain that the gift is sexist nor do they demand to know “just exactly what are we trying to insinuate” by giving him such a gift. On the other hand, when a woman receives a practical gift, she typically reads into it too much and then launches into some diatribe about how all the man thinks she’s good for is cooking and cleaning. Imagine what would happen if a man carried on this way because we gave him a practical gift. Imagine how we would feel if he carried on like a child, and said something to the effect of, “AN ELECTRIC RAZOR?! What are you trying to say? Are you saying I’m some kind of animal?!”
My two cents
Great point. It would be interesting to do a survey of women, by asking them how they’d react if their husbands bought them a new vacuum cleaner. A few might appreciate it for practical reasons, but one can guess what the most common reaction would be.
To trump that, it would be interesting to do a survey of men, by asking them how they’d react if their wives bought them a new lawnmower. One can guess what the most common reaction would be—and it would be different to women’s reaction to vacuum cleaners.
The same parallel could apply to stoves vs. barbecues. Or if a woman was married to a car enthusiast, and she bought him a vacuum cleaner/cleaning kit for car interiors.
I think it boils down to whether one plays the victim—or victor. This is a choice. Even for some women who don’t call themselves feminists, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve absorbed the feminist victim mentality unwittingly, which would manifest itself through receiving a gift.
For the record, I might not buy practical things as gifts, but rather as something that just needs buying to replace whatever broke down the other day. For gifts, I might go for something else, maybe some kind of religious item.
The author of the quote is named Jennifer, and I always liked her liked her level-headed biblical perspective on a range of subjects—it’s a refreshing change from the emotionalism and hustling of feminist bloggers. I also like her reference to SHEology trumping SHEOLogy.
Jennifer. (2011). Getting a Vacuum Cleaner for Christmas. Available: http://www.reformedsheology.com/2011/12/getting-vacuum-cleaner-for-christmas.html. Last accessed 8th Dec 2013.