How Your Hetero Relationship Is Perpetuating The Patriarchy + Podcast!

Are you in a hetero relationship? Is it patriarchal? Statistically, it probably is. And if you don’t believe us, we’ll break down all the insidious ways even modern heterosexual relationships perpetuate the patriarchy.

Why am I being such a downer? Well, remember, acceptance is the first step! We’ll never change the nightmare of heteronormativity until we acknowledge the many ways it manifests. Below is a list of common ways straight people often prop up patriarchal worldviews without even realizing it!


Asking Permission To Propose To Your Partner

Your girlfriend is an adult, so why do you need anyone’s permission to ask her a question? The tradition of dudes asking permission to propose is mired in patriarchal ideology. Basically, it comes down to a conception of women as property. Historically, when a woman got married, she transitioned from being her dad’s chattle to her husband’s. It’s because men literally owned their daughters that suitors required a father’s permission to propose. So why are we perpetuating this gross tradition?

I get it, you’re not being patriarchal by asking permission to marry your partner! You’re just trying to give your partner’s parents a heads up! They’ll be your family soon, after all! The impulse is sweet, but that doesn’t justify the continuation of this appalling custom. After all, did your girlfriend call your mom to ask permission to accept your proposal? Odds are the answer is no…


Letting Women Do The Domestic Labor

It’s 2020 and research shows women still do a disproportionate amount of the domestic labour. And COVID is only exacerbating the situation. If you’re in a hetero relationship where the woman does the laundry, cooks dinner, and cleans the bathroom, you’re living a patriarchal life. That’s just a fact when domestic drudgery defaults to the ladies. As a consequence of this extra housework, women have less leisure time, fewer hours to devote to work, and dry hands from doing all the damn dishes.

So, how can we fix the situation? If you’re a dude, perhaps throw a load of laundry in the washer this weekend (and every weekend thereafter, for the rest of  your relationship). Also consider making dinner tonight. Ensure you continue that habit three-four times a week, until you expire. Also, be a good feminist and do the dusting!


Letting The Woman Do The Emotional Labor

Are you a dude? Do you let your female partner take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing? That’s great! But do you do the same for her? Do you help her navigate career obstacles, shop for her mom’s birthday present, and stroke your girlfriend’s ego when she’s had a bad day? If not, you’re a bit of a leech. And research suggests the emotional labour imbalance is a major societal problem. Next time you see her, please ask your significant other how her day went…

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian

Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as Elle Canada, Flare, Bitch Media, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-host of You Do You: A Dating Podcast. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about politics and live-tweets The Bachelor