Yes men do have to put in the effort to do the half and make it happen. But also when men do their half women also need to mute their negative feedback when their expectations are not met. If something doesn’t meet it, provide solutions and feedback in a positive manner and sit back and let their “guys” try and do and fail.
I was raised really traditionalist and I made the observation when visiting back home that I fell back into with my mother. When I noticed I did the same thing and offered to do the dishes and asked her preference of dishwasher or hand washed she refused to answer and verbally pushed me out of the way. After three attempts I gave up.
At home once I stopped traveling, I actively do the laundry and dishes. She does the cooking. I have attempted to try (I really suck at cooking … think rubber eggs or shit that can’t be described even with effort) but we end up throwing away the food. Personally I really struggle with the multi-tasking required in the cooking area and just don’t have a very good sense of taste or smell. So she cooks and I know it irritates her. So I do that.
I have really bad allergies (to the point I actually get immunotherapy shots that goes for around $5K a month). She loves her cats (6) and we have a horse farm …. too bad every blade of grass and tree and ragweed (think hundreds of acres). So I do attempt to clean, but honestly the feedback I get even when I try my best is disheartening. Never clean enough etc etc. I suck etc. so it hurts.
Now the other aspect is I have been working hard on this for three years and the relationship is 23 years going.
Why the share? Some guys will actively try, but if I use my example and I have seen this with multiple people I have crashed with over the years (I used to travel weekly between the Midwest and the West Coast (Seattle, San Jose/Bay Area, etc.) I have noticed/observed the same thing. Women’s standards and expectations for home oriented things are vastly different then men. Not all men nor all women are the same, but the patterns I have seen fall into similar patterns (whether via tradition or what not).
So my advice is define what the household needs to be in the relationship and the division of labor and set it up. If one person has a high desire for perfection, and the person wants to want to clean for their partner. Provide feedback, or else do it yourself.
What is funny in a way is our running joke is she does more of the man stuff (cut the grass, weed eat, and other things). Why? She has her father’s gift of magical mechanical ability. Also, if I do it I have a high chance to watch my heart rate go from low 60’s to mid 90’s and be laid up in bed.
My partner is not a feminist (she thinks it is stupid), very traditional, but very very independent. She is a redhead that meets every stereotypical criteria, has an IQ that actually exceeds mine but isn’t schooled, very athletic (she actively trains horses and does 25–40K steps a day, and even though her feedback methods suck. I still want to try and be better, and luckily because I became a feminist and follow authors like you and many others. I have become a better man by listening to you all