Man Blasted for Expecting Daughter-in-Law To Be Son's '1950s Housewife'

A man who expects his son's girlfriend to "serve" her partner like a "housewife" from the 1950s has received a storm of criticism on Mumsnet, the U.K.-based online forum.

In a post shared on Mumsnet's Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, Daisypowers said the 69-year-old thinks she's "lazy and a bad girlfriend" because she doesn't "wait around on [her] DP [dear partner] hand and foot like a 1950s housewife."

For example, this weekend her partner wanted to clean his walking boots in the garden, and his father gestured towards her and allegedly said "oh maybe Daisypowers can do that for you."

Another time, her partner said he was going to make himself a sandwich after playing a game of tennis and his father allegedly said: "Daisypowers can do that for you, have a rest."

Woman sporting 1950s housewife-themed look.
A woman with an apron, sporting a 1950s-themed look, while cooking in a kitchen. A post about a man expecting his son's girlfriend to "serve" his son like a "1950s housewife" has gone viral on Mumsnet. iStock/Getty Images Plus

According to the website of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, "the image of American women in the 1950s was heavily shaped by popular culture" and "the ideal suburban housewife who cared for the home and children" was frequently captured in women's magazines as well as in films and on television. Eisenhower was president from 1953 to 1961.

Most women who entered the workforce during World War II returned home to their families at the end of the conflict. However, "during the 1950s the trend began to turn" and women began returning to work, with more becoming involved in state, local and federal government service.

A July 2019 study based on polls conducted among over 30,000 adults in the U.S., published in American Psychologist, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychological Association, said: "As the roles of women and men have changed since the mid-20th century, so have consensual beliefs about their attributes."

The polls demonstrated "clear increases in the ascription of communion [i.e. affectionate, emotional] to women relative to men but a lack of change in agency [i.e. ambitious, courageous]."

The study said: "Although women also gained in competence relative to men, belief in competence equality has increased over time as well."

A U.K. study published in 2018 by The National Centre for Social Research found that 72 percent of the British public "disagree with the view that a man's job is to earn money" and "a woman's job is to look after the home and family," which is up from 58 percent reported in 2008.

The study said: "Older people, people with no formal qualifications and people with lower incomes are more likely than other groups to hold traditional gender role views."

The user in the latest Mumsnet post said she and her partner, who are both 35 years old and work full-time, "do an equal share of everything domestically at home."

She said her partner is "perfectly capable of making a sandwich for himself," while his parents are both "quite old fashioned."

His mother "does absolutely everything" for his father, including "all the cooking, cleaning, puts out clothes for him to wear every morning, packs his suitcase for him when he goes on holiday etc."

The user asked: "Should I say something? Really annoys me."

The 69-year-old man in the latest Mumsnet post received a wave of backlash from many users, who said the original poster should confront him about his "sexist" and "misogynist" comments.

User VintageVest said: "I would have to say something. Maybe just turn it back on him and say 'If he can't make his own sandwiches maybe you could do it for him...'. Or just a blunt 'I'm not here to clean his boots, thanks.'"

User entropynow said their husband "is in his late 70s and wouldn't dream of wanting a personal servant like this. It's a misogynist entitled f***er thing."

Meraas suggested: "Just say 'DP is perfectly capable of cleaning his own boots/making his own sandwich...Maybe you should take a leaf from his book.'"

Several questioned why the user's partner had not responded to his father's comments.

Anothernamechangeplease said: "I would be extremely disappointed in this situation if my partner did not take it upon himself to challenge this kind of sexist comment. Failing that, though, I would challenge it myself...just ask why he thinks I should do things for his adult son, when he is perfectly capable of doing those things for himself."

User Blinkingheckythump agreed, asking: "Why on earth hasn't your partner pulled him up on it?"

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.

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