Minton's message left viewers angry initially but the ‘gentlemanly’ ending also gave the people a sigh of relief.
Gender equality and household chores have been at loggerheads for a long time. The gradual resolution to this debate can now be seen in the change of perspectives among men and women across the globe. While women have borne the burden of household chores for decades now, times seem to be changing for the better and people are arriving at the realization that managing a house is a collective responsibility of the adults occupying it. A recent viral TikTok video shared by a Texan UPS driver, J.R. Minton (@minton__jr), shows him changing the narrative around household chores.
He begins by describing what he doesn’t do at home and how he doesn’t "help" his wife. He says, “I don’t help my wife cook. I don’t help her clean, do the laundry, take care of the kids. None of that.” These words took many by annoyance but the dad to four soon took a U-turn in his monologue. He explained, “Because I do what I’m supposed to do as a father and a husband. I cook. I clean. I do the laundry. I take care of the kids. I can’t help my wife do those things because they are my jobs too.”
The dad to four shared his role as a parent and a husband, which was equivalent to that of his wife and he believes that managing their house and taking care of their kids is his responsibility, too. Minton then goes on to say that one needs to change the way they speak. He ended the video with a powerful message for all men out there, “Change the way you speak. Change the way you think and grow the f**k up and be a man.”
Minton shared his thoughts on the viral video with Bored Panda and said, “I think it resonates with so many people because it’s not a cultural or political or demographic-specific issue. It’s a family issue.” He further explained that one should accept the share of responsibilities and effort in any relationship and a marriage shouldn’t be any different. He also emphasized that a partner is not an employee but rather a teammate and it’s crucial for couples to realize that they are in this together. Talking about stay-at-home-parents (SAHPs), he elaborated that there is no comparison between SAHPs and employees at a job because both are laboring equally. He shared, “SAHPs (stay-at-home-parents) are also tired and overwhelmed when working parents get home. We view the dynamic as inequitable because raising your child is an invisible labor.”
The video reached a viewership of over 6.7 million on TikTok. Some also shared their similar experiences with partners at home. @myweirdhusband shared, “Had to tell my husband to stop saying, '…for your mother,' to the kids. Empty the dishwasher for me? No. Those are everybody’s dishes.” Minton's message might have left viewers angry initially but the ‘gentlemanly’ ending left people with a sigh of relief.