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House Husband X File

By Graham Green

Apparently there are over 60,000 house husbands in South Africa. Real men who have given up their careers to stay at home. Some may see this as being emasculated, others as a new age, lefty liberal attempt at breaking the gender stereotypes.

I look upon it with jealousy.

Gender roles within gay relationships are commonly portrayed by stereotypes on film and television. The aggressive butch female with plaid shirts and buzz cut hair, the passive twink male with tight jeans and no body hair.

Okay, I admit I do wear my jeans a little tight and when I was on certain “dating” sites I would select passive in the drop down list, but that’s where the stereotype ends. I know (at the time of writing this) the names of all the players of the rugby team I support. I like Carling Black Label, and a proper bar with carpet and dim lighting.

I enjoy cleaning the flat, making dinner, baking, washing and other general homemaker things. When, if, I get married I’d consider working part-time in order to keep on top of things at home even putting on hold or giving up a career to look after the kids/dog/cat/elderly parent/s.

I feel that by openly admitting that you enjoy housework makes people automatically judge you as being the “Martha” in a relationship and that even in today's enlightened and politically correct age, this has negative connotations. One only has to look at Ancient Greece where the passive role was acceptable only for those considered to be inferior to understand where these connotations have come from.

But surely we’ve moved beyond this. Is our society forever going to be stuck in its thoughts of what is or isn’t acceptable for a man to do?

I, for one, would happily be a house husband. Any takers out there?


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