We may have entered 2022, but unfortunately sexism is still pretty rampant (you'd think it would have stopped by now, at least my 13-year-old self did!). So we definitely need more people vocalizing their experiences, so as to call patriarchy and sexism out. Which is why this Twitter thread by UCL professor Dr. Raina Brands, who is a Ph. D. in Management, calling out gender roles is such a great read.
In it, Dr. Raina Brands described a personal situation involving her child's day care center. Where the staff repetitively insisted on reaching out to her despite being told to call her husband. It seems that the people over at the day care center seem to think that women are automatically more responsible for their children than their male counterparts.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't parenting supposed to be team-work? And doesn't it depend entirely on the two people how they carry out their child related responsibilities?
Our son has been in daycare since the beginning of the year. If he is sick and needs to come home early, they call me. If they want to give him paracetamol, they call me. If he has injured himself they call me. So what? 🧵1/4— Dr Raina Brands (@RainaBrands) March 2, 2022
Well, Dr. Raina Brands took to the internet and gave everyone a solid low-down on gender roles and how deeply they are ingrained in our minds.
I have repeatedly asked them to call my partner first. I have asked them to put a note on my file about that. I have asked the manager. Today they called and I asked them to always call my partner first and 2 hours later THEY CALLED ME AGAIN. What makes this more absurd is.. 2/4— Dr Raina Brands (@RainaBrands) March 2, 2022
When I say gender inequality is a self-reinforcing system, this is what I'm talking about. (4/4)— Dr Raina Brands (@RainaBrands) March 2, 2022
Here's how people responded to the thread. In fact, many people admitted to having similar experiences.
My husband is the school P&C president, knows all the office ladies by name, volunteers as an ethics teacher and they STILL call me first.— Denise Duffield-Thomas (@DeniseDT) March 4, 2022
Today our landscapers started. The repeatedly asked me to confirm the pergola size with my partner. Kept asking if I was sure. Yes, I’m sure. I designed it. I bought the brackets. I booked the landscapers. I did all the communication. But I don’t have a penis.— Kelsey Combe (@kelseycombe) March 3, 2022
"Ma'am, we need to to come get your daughter." "We've called several times and don't want to have to interrupt your husband." "If you don't respond to this message, we're going to have to let your husband know you were unavailable to care for your kid." I. was. livid.— Thee Kathryn Francis, MA in Political Science (@francesthoughts) March 3, 2022
Part of my job is to call families back with their kids’ lab results. My subtle feminist move is to always call the dad’s phone first 🤷🏼♀️😜— AmberH (she/her) (@AmberH39) March 3, 2022
I sincerely hope these are my son's first words. 😁— Dr Raina Brands (@RainaBrands) March 2, 2022
This is my life. My partner is the primary contact for everything. “Hey, I’m in the operating room, please call their dad.”— Alyssa Burgart, MD, MA (She/Her/Anesthesia) (@BurgartBioethix) March 2, 2022
I have the same issue in Australia. My husband is home with the kids more than me and primary contact, but still they need to call mum first. If I am scrubbed and in surgery there is no chance that phone is going to be answered. We have come a long way, but still so far to go.— Katrin Swindells 💉💉💉 (@kswindells1) March 3, 2022
We list my number as the primary contact for our daughter.— Alex Hartman, MD (@alexjhrtmn) March 3, 2022
The school calls, or daycare calls, or her pediatrics office calls. I answer, and they say “Oh, sorry. I thought this was her mother’s number.”
And I Work At That Pediatrics Office.
Parenting. is. Not. Only. A. Woman's. Responsibility.