Friday, October 10, 2014
dennis: DOMESTIC SKILLS IN A FEMALE LED RELATIONSHP—LEARNING TO IRON (Part 2)
Picking an Iron: Just like a golfer takes pride in the tools of Her hobby – Her clubs (including irons!) – so, too, do i take pride in the tool of my hobby – my iron! Pick an iron carefully; there are many good models available, so shop around. Look at them in the store, pick them up and see what is comfortable. Go through the ironing motions and see how it feels.
As far as ironing ease goes, i feel that an iron with a stainless-steel base performs better than one with a cheaper aluminum base. You can spend a little or a lot, but you definitely get what you pay for in an iron. Expect to pay at least $100 for a good model; mine cost $130. What you spend in dollars you’ll get back in terms of ironing ease and features.
And do speak with other progressive gentleman about ironing; ask them about their choice of irons, consider sharing and borrowing as a test run before you buy. i say before you buy, since most of the progressive gentlemen i know are permitted by their wives to buy their own iron. It’s interesting to buy an iron in a store, especially if you are accompanied by a Woman. Even though the progressive gentleman might ask questions about an iron, the clerk invariably looks to the Woman with the answer and sales pitch. Nancy had to repeatedly tell the clerk that “he” (meaning “me!”) does the ironing, so answer him.” Eventually the saleswoman caught on and liked the idea of a man using an iron. Old patriarchal behaviors do die hard, but people need to learn that, in the new order of things, men do – and will – iron.
(Note: See also Nancy & dennis: “My New Iron,” Sept. 21, 2012)
Additional Thoughts on Ironing as a Gentlemanly Skill:
In the first of this two-part posting, i provided a checklist of things to consider, but there is a great deal more to be learned if a gentlemen is to become truly accomplished at the ironing board. Some of this can come from numerous o-line sources, some from knowledgeable Women – as was my case – and some from experience.
By coincidence, i recently received an email from Jane, a Woman in charge of “domestic education” at the Women’s Center where i volunteer. She’s thinking about doing a multiple-session ironing course for men that would include hands-on instruction as well as extensive practicum. Ironing is already taught in the Center’s Housekeeping 101 course, but a specialized course makes sense since ironing is definitely one thing that most Women would like to see their husbands do better.
i’m all in favor of the idea and am working with Jane to come up with a curriculum. A practicum will be easy – we’ll simply have Women bring in their ironing for students to work on - under strict supervision, of course, to ensure that none of the loaned items are damaged.
Some progressive gentlemen in our number are increasingly open about their FLR lifestyle. These are the gentlemen who, like me, routinely volunteer at the Women’s Center, attend our Women’s-Centered congregation, or those who have a fulfilled relationship with a strong-willed Woman. Unfortunately these gentlemen sometimes endure whispered words intended to degrade such involvements as “sissy,” “pantywaist,” “wimp,” “pussywhipped,” and so on.
It’s unfortunate that the narrow-minded perpetrators of such insults don’t see that the future is feminine and that when gentlemen embrace such new roles, they are pointing the direction of society. But perhaps we at whom such comments are directed should not consider them derogatory, but complimentary! i never thought of my domestic service as making me a “sissy,” but if one looks at the standard definition of sissy as a “man who violates or does not meet the standard male gender role,” then, yes, i am a sissy and damn proud of it! And if surrendering my ill-granted and undeserved male authority to Women makes me a “pantywaist,” then i embrace that term, too. i passionately embrace the role of progressive gentlemen, but never that of the patriarchal male. In fact, i’ll do my damnedest to undermine the patriarchal male!
The Center is always looking to do things that benefit Women while affording men an opportunity to serve and – dare i say – atone for patriarchy. To this end, the Center now has an opportunity to acquire a now closed laundromat and is considering running a drop-off laundry service for Women. male volunteers would staff the service under the supervision of one or more of the Center’s staff. The Center would charge Women a nominal fee for the service, which would be used to cover costs and provide another source of revenue for programs. Carol, my Boss Lady at work, is very supportive of the idea and announced that working at the laundromat would count toward the service hours that male employees are encouraged to earn as our company’s support of the Center.
Good idea, don’t you think?
Ironing is an essential male function in an FLR. Of the FLR couples we know, men do all the ironing all the time. A man at the ironing board makes a powerful statement about a couple’s relationship. It totally divorces Her from a task that, done by a Woman, says patriarchy. He, on the other hand, has clearly taken on a task that establishes both his new role and points to Her authority.
Women generally hate to iron, but men, if introduced to the task, can learn to love it! Women see ironing as a patriarchy-imposed task while men see it as an important part of their new – and exciting role – as housekeepers.
guys! Here’s a business opportunity! If you’ve got some free time you might consider taking in ironing! With all the services on line there appears to be some demand. Women don’t like to iron and you do! Sooooo!
Women, whether in progressive relationships or not, feel men should have at least partial responsibility for ironing.
Women in progressive relationships feel that every man should own an iron and that it should be one of his own choosing.
While a Woman rightly wants to limit Her man’s spending, we advise that a top-of-the-line iron is a good investment in Her man’s ironing skills and efficiency. Limit his spending in other ways or consider having him purchase a new iron using his own money.
Where does a man do the ironing? Wherever She wants him to! You can restrict him to the solitude of the laundry room as does Linda, my friend tom’s Wife. Linda has a preference for tom’s household work being done out of sight, so much of tom’s housekeeping takes place when Linda is out or, in the case of ironing, behind the closed door of the laundry room. Nancy and Sue, on the other hand, often have me set up my ironing at one side of the living room in plain view of them and any guests. To have a man ironing while the Women watch TV or socialize is a powerful statement.
With the holidays fast approaching, consider that an iron makes a perfect gift for the progressive gentleman, and one that is right for any occasion! Things that allow him to do a job better or faster should be on the top of Your list for him.
Couples contemplating a housewarming, bachelor party or the like might consider giving an iron as a practical gift for the man of the relationship – and it also makes a powerful statement about the couple’s relative roles in the relationship. Incidentally, progressive gentlemen have bachelor parties that are more like Bridal showers of the past. The ones i’ve attended have been dignified, Woman-chaperoned affairs featuring fine china and crystal stemware.
Consider registering your man in the gift registry of a local department store. Register his china patterns, needed household items, small appliances (an iron!) to assist gift givers.
What’s on my list for Santa? A steam fabric press, like the ones used by dry cleaners.