It's the first Thursday of November, and you can celebrate this glorious fall day by buying half-priced Halloween candy or using Pinterest to find elaborate Thanksgiving recipes you'll end up being too tired to actually do anything with. Alternatively, you have the option of celebrating a somewhat sexist holiday: it's National Men Make Dinner Day, according to Twitter, which was started in 2001 by Sandy Sharkey. It's meant to be a tongue-in-cheek nod to the emotional labor men need to pick up in heterosexual relationships, but Twitter doesn't think #NationalMenMakeDinnerDay is even a little bit funny, and I'm inclined to agree. The holiday has rules like, "Man is 'allowed' to gloat no more than three times during the meal" and "his TV remote is returned to him" after cleanup is finished. I get the joke — I just don't think it's a good one.
In the 1950s, it may have landed well with its audience, when women were generally responsible for housekeeping. Today, it isn't particularly humorous that women bear the brunt of physical and emotional labor. Nearly 60 percent of women over the age of 16 have jobs, but we tend to do more household chores regardless of how much we're already doing at work. As Bustle's Caitlin Abber wrote, women are conditioned to take on more household chores because of the myth that we're somehow better at it. Abber shared how she and her husband divided cooking responsibilities to help lift the burden of emotional labor women are faced with, but the crucial difference is that their experiment wasn't founded in a bunch of sexist stereotypes. #NationalMakeMenDinner Day gave rise to a lot of folks on Twitter calling out the sexism inherent in this holiday, and shows how if you really want to make a difference in how gender roles play out, it's going to take more than a day.