Kimberly and I will often go out and run errands without the other, but with all four kids in tow. Living in the Bible belt means that, more often than not, we are greeted with smiles instead of scowls (it’s always such a shock to head down to West Palm Beach). Still, we do get the occasional glare, and this is how it works. By the way, we’re assuming well behaved kids here. The glaring is more on principal.
1. If we are both together, no one glares.
2. The men at the market don’t care that you rolled in with four kids in tow and no help. They’re thinking about their shopping list and wondering how many frozen pizzas to buy. They are happy, in their own fashion.
3. The women all seem to have an opinion about the parent with four kids. They express their opinion through word and gesture.
And this is where a double standard kicks in to high gear. And I love it. It puts on display the lies people have bought into concerning women.
4. If Kimberly has shown up at the market with no spouse and four kids, she gets glared at. How could she allow herself to be dominated to this extent? Obviously some man has his way with her whenever he wants. Where’s her pride? Her sense of self-respect? She’s a disgrace to women everywhere. She should have had two kids and gone back to work like every other woman in the suburb.
5. If I show up at the market with no spouse and four kids, women smile at me. And not just the women who like kids and think we look cute. Clearly, if I have four kids I wanted to have four kids. My wife’s a lucky woman. And look how hard I work for her; I mean, I’m doing the shopping! There’s a bit of a flirt to the smiles too, apparently because while female fertility is offensive and a threat to female independence, male potency is still something to be admired by women everywhere. Look at all the kids that big guy can make; I’d like to have a guy like that. Then I could stay at home and bear all his children and…wait a second…
So there I am, big and strong and potent. In the same position, Kimberly is not nurturing, devoted, and caring; she’s just some woman who’s been taken advantage of. I guess it’s nice to be a man.