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Merry Christmas from Jessica Valenti: “No, I will NOT wrap all the presents”

December 23, 2014

Because in feminist-land Yuletide is brutal:

‘Tis the season to complain

We all know that women do the majority of domestic work like child care, housework and cooking. But the holidays bring on a whole new set of gendered expectations that make the season less about simply enjoying fun and family and more about enduring consumerism, chores and resentment so that everyone else can enjoy rockin’ around the Christmas tree. (I bet even Mrs Claus gets upset that Santa works one night a year but she’s dealing with hungry elves 24/7. That would be almost enough to make you want to over-indulge in eggnog and hurl yourself in front of a reindeer-pulled sleigh.)

Being the holiday point-person can be drudgery. Making lists, wrapping presents, finding sales to indulge a particularly demanding relative’s requests to Santa … baby, let’s just say the brisk winter weather starts to feel bitter cold outside.

***

After decades of feminist progress, women are still considered primarily responsible for an entire family’s holiday joy.

And it’s not enough that women actually manage to finish all of these chores – we’re also expected to plaster Christmas grins on our faces the whole time, lest the masses think we’re not thrilled with all the wrapping-paper-inflicted paper cuts.

Life for First World Women is so hard.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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3 Comments
  1. Heidi permalink

    I notice with amusement that the commenters even at the lefty Guardian site are unsympathetic to this woman’s “plight.” (Oh no! You have friends! You have family! You have money to spend on presents! My heart bleeds for you.) Of course, if she didn’t treat her husband like an incompetent boob, she’d have help, anyway!

  2. Clue, Jessica: if it were up to a lot of men, we could just cancel the whole damn thing. As a holiday given to enforced family togetherness, emotional mandates, and pointless ritual (trees, decorations, Christmas cards, etc.) it’s a quintessentially female experience.

  3. Some people just aren’t happy until they have something to whine about.

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