OUR culture teaches us to take care of our men because they, no matter how long we have been together, are a reflection of us. This pretty much means that women are expected to take charge, if not altogether, of a lot of their men's domestic affairs such as cooking, washing, ironing and cleaning for them. And while with more women working outside the home women are now inching towards shared chores, the tradition still remains and is widely practised even among working-class women.
Do you take care of all your man's domestic needs? All Woman asked readers to share when in a relationship they become domesticated for a man. Their responses are below.
Nordia, 29, teacher:
Well, I would have been domesticated at the age of nine as that's the time I would cook and clean for my dad, uncles and male cousin although at that time I did not wash for them. I am still yet to wash for a man, but for the person I've been in a relationship with, I cook and clean. I hardly iron though.
Ren, 24, make-up artist:
I would say after being in a relationship for a few months. I will cook and stuff, but I believe in splitting the chores — there has to be some mutual understanding. For one, I don't iron, and secondly, I don't hand wash.
Patrice, 33, business owner:
I don't think I became domesticated for a man, per se. I was taught how to do these from childhood so I was less dependent on my parents. I, however, will do them for my man not because I think I'm expected to, and I most certainly wouldn't do them if he demanded that I do them, it's really just the caretaker in me.
Tamar, 30, production supervisor:
I became domesticated at the point where I became his girlfriend. We share a bond with trust and understanding with each other. So yes, I wash, cook, iron and clean for my boyfriend. Well, if you are serious and live together, I don't see anything wrong, you can do things 50/50 this week, I do this next week and you do that, depending on availability.
Krissy, 24, university student:
It's best to start to be domesticated for a man whenever you feel like he is the one, or when you start to cohabitate.
Jody-Ann, 36, marketer:
I will become domesticated for a man when he decides to make me his wife. I am not going to shack up with a man so I won't have to worry about his domestic affairs. If he comes to visit me he can get likkle food, though, and if we're going out and the shirt doesn't look right, I will take it and rub it out, but before marriage I will not promise the man that I am courting that I am going to take his whites and soap up his whites with no Bomber, or coordinate his work attire and iron them — those are husband privileges.
Jodean, 35, connoisseur:
I started doing certain domestic duties after six months of being together. I wash and cook, but I don't iron. Thank God, my partner loves to iron.
Belinda, 37, masseuse:
I will do all the house chores when he puts a ring on it. Some of these men love to use people's girl children too much when they know they have no intention of marrying them. I don't want a soul telling anybody that I was a good woman because I used to do this or that — mi nuh frighten fi good name.
FROM A MAN'S PERSPECTIVE
We expect help, but no pressure...
DO men expect women to become domestic goddesses at some point in their relationships, and fully take over the 1960s traditional roles? If so, at what point in the dating process? And are there any demands that she must meet?
“I don't expect it, but if it's done I appreciate it,” says Chronic, who describes himself as the ultimate modern man.
“There's no pressure on her at all.”
He said, though, that this is reserved for someone he is in a long-term relationship with, as he doesn't expect any pouring out of adulation from just about any woman.
“So if someone I've been dating for two weeks starts cooking and washing for me, as opposed to someone I've been with for years, I'd view this as desperate,” he said. “She must a try tie me!”
For Shemar, three months is the marker for a woman to start taking on these duties.
“And if she wants to do it before then, I don't have a problem,” he said.
Regarding demands, he had none, except for not overdoing it with the acrylic nails.
For his part, Wayne expects domestication after a month, “because mi nah take up no lazy girl”.
“And that's why I love country girls because they know how to take care of a man and cater to him,” he said.
He also demands that his woman not wear fake nails when preparing his food, although weaves are fine, if they make the woman more attractive.