dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The housework wars.

As I've noted beforehand, most of the dramatic tension of the strip has been based on trying to decide conclusively which member of the family is responsible for doing the housework. This was fairly important to both John and Elly because it would determine whose political and social opinions would prevail. John, as the antagonist, was depicted as a selfish throwback who didn’t want Elly to join the wider world; instead, she was ‘supposed’ to race around cooking, cleaning and tending children like his mother did. If Elly, on the other hand, were to win, the family would help their mother clean up so that she could contribute more to society than a tidy house and swell kids. As annoying as the polarization was, it doesn’t hold a candle to the thing that makes the battle over who does the dishes irritating: the assumption that doing the cleaning is the Worst Thing in the World. One of the few themes that faithfully made the transition from the original strip to the new-runs is the idea that housework is a soul-crushing burden that’s too terrible to face. It’s difficult to feel sorry for a woman who sees a messy kitchen as an existential terror; the fact that a lot of people still identify and sympathize with Elly tells me that they share her lack of proportion and perspective.

Tags: elly: lynn's fantasy self, one big oblivious family, the reload

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