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Who Wears the Pants in Your Relationship

Modern day relationships are in a transitioning phase that does not insist on either member of the relationship wearing the pants. To "wear the pants" in a relationship is generally considered to be the head of the house, to have greater responsibility and therefore have a stronger say in the decision making. For centuries, the patriarchal societies have the men "wearing the pants" in their relationships, but as inequality awareness becomes more and more apparent and the inequal gain clout and acceptance we see interpersonal relationships evolving as well.

The previous ideal has the man wearing pants. This is due to gender stereotypes and specific roles that the particular environment that raises them. Within the last 50 years, the acceptance of homosexual relationships, transgender individuals, etc. have affected changes in traditional gender roles. There have been many psychological and scientific studies that conclude that children do not necessarily, naturally have the predominant societal gender roles ingrained in them. They learn from their environment. And when their environment changes, their options for self-exploration with acceptance expand.

However... this is still all in the works. There are still gentleman who feel emasculated if their partner makes more money or makes more decisions in their relationship. There are women uncomfortable with these changes as well. Women who would rather do what have been the feminine stereotype for years, such as child-rearing and more nurturing roles. The stigma of the Katharine Hepburn pants wearing lady has been consistent and still is in the air. I'm referring to the idea that a woman who "wears the pants" in any relationship is butch or obnoxiously feminist. Either way, they had been looked down upon as not falling into the traditional role and mucking up what everyone else was comfortable with. The point I'm trying to make is not discounting those who see themselves in roles that have previously been traditional. I am not turning my nose up to the traditional. I'm applauding the fact that we are making room for the untraditional.

The new wave of pants wearing is something like "The Partnerhood of the Traveling Pants". As a means of supporting each other, one person takes the responsibilty by the horns and supports the other or lends a shoulder. There ideally is an ebb and flow between the sharing of responsibilities, emotional and physical support. Sometimes, both members will not want to wear pants. So, skip the dishes, sign up for online automatic payments for bills, or just choose to not wear pants for a few days; this way neither of you has to worry about who is doing more, but after your lack of pants, a chat must be had and you both must step up. We cannot let go of responsibilities altogether.

In this philosophy there is no emasculation, no judgment of the feminine or the ballsy women and men, and more room to breathe for everyone. What makes or breaks these stereotypes or lack thereof are our perceptions of them. Inside a relationship, communicate and be who you are. If you're a lady who wants to wear an apron, heels and lipstick while making dinner, or if you're a gentleman who stays home to care for your children, own it. Love yourself. Support yourself and your partner and do what works for you. The Key to the success of that which is already happening is to accept it and respect your neighbors' relationship dynamics as well.


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