Writer Zawn Villines has a message for every overwhelmed mom who feels her husband isn’t pulling his weight — divorce him. In a now-viral Facebook post, Villines called upon women to stop tolerating partners who don’t do their fair share when it comes to childcare and housework.
Villines is fed up with what she sees as a cultural norm that puts high expectations on women to do the vast majority of the work to keep a household and family running, and she believes that men should “earn the right to stay married” by doing their part.
Her post from Sept. 3 now has more than 34,000 reactions, more than 24,000 shares and 45 comments:
Villines began her post by lamenting the common parenting advice she often sees lobbed at exhausted and overworked moms.
“The advice is always the same: Be gentle with yourself,” she wrote. “You can’t do it all. Parenthood is hard.”
Villines rejects these platitudes. And so, she presented an alternative plan.
“I don’t know which of you needs to hear this, but I’ll give you some better advice: Divorce his a**,” she wrote. “This cultural norm where a man buys his free time with his partner’s labor, suffering, and sometimes with the literal destruction of her body is misogyny on steroids.”
Villines also asserted that men who don’t put in time and effort equal to that of their wives are “replaceable.”
“If my spouse can pull his weight while litigating police and prison death cases and dealing with the unending horror of our current legal system, then your Johnny Do Nothing husband can manage to get up with the damn baby and stop blaming your postpartum depression on your woman hormones,” she wrote.
There’s no excuse for men who don’t do enough, she insisted, and she sees this imbalance in the division of labor as “a form of spousal abuse.”
After some outcry, she later amended her post, acknowledging that it was heteronormative.
“This is not something that happens by accident,” she wrote. “It’s a type of oppression perpetrated by men against women. It’s simple misogyny.”
Villines explained that this dynamic is perpetuated by cultural norms and insisted that women should not be “grateful” to have found a husband who shares in the work equally. In reality, that should be considered “the bare minimum in a society where women are viewed as full human beings.”
According to a study commissioned by Welch’s, the average mom works 98 hours per week between paid work outside the home and the work performed for their families.
What do you think of Villines’ advice?