While it seems like a dream come true for your significant other to want to move in with you, for some, it's not as glamorous as it sounds. In fact, some people are completely opposed to it — especially when it comes to relationships based on those pesky gender norms and expectations. One TikTok influencer recently shared how an older woman told her that women living with men should expect to clean up after the man like a mom, and this TikTok user responded with a firm "no." Ceci Bendita, AKA la niña, shared a TikTok video that takes down romanticized ideas of cohabiting with a man who won't clean.
Woman Shuts Down Problematic Ideas About Gender Roles Once Couples Move In Together
Ceci Bendita talks about dating in Los Angeles.
Often focused on creating content that explores dating and relationships, Ceci Bendita creates TikTok videos that delve into topics that range from dating apps to feminism, and more. Exploring dating from the perspective of a woman has engaged many of her 23,000
followers and gained over 656,000 likes.
She got over a million views for a video rejecting gender norms.
Bendita didn't take well to something an older woman tried to convince her of, so she took to TikTok to tell the story and see what others think. When expressing that she hated having to clean up for the boyfriend's she's lived with in the past, the older woman told Bendita that women cleaning up for men is "Just the way that it is to be with a man." Bendita strongly disagreed with this troubling gendered assumption.
She believes both partners should carry their weight when cohabiting.
In her TikTok video, Bendita explained that the older woman was telling her what a "beautiful thing" it is to "live in companionship with a man," unaware that Bendita already had some not-so-beautiful experiences living with boyfriends before. Bendita expressed that having one partner do all the "adulting" in a living arrangement creates problems in other sectors of the relationship, like "the love, the sex, the intimacy." Instead, she thinks the two adults in the household should both take care of the adulting, regardless of gender or sex.
Some people criticized Bendita for cleaning up after past boyfriends.
While most replies to Bendita's video were positive, some women called her out for cleaning up after her lazy boyfriends. However, she clapped back with another video explaining that if she hadn't cleaned, the household would have been absolutely revolting to live in — and Bendita included gross pictures. From the dirty floors to the random beer can in the bathroom (who does that?!), it was horrifying. We're glad that Bendita seems to have cleaned all of the dependent boyfriends out of her life.
Her video shed a light on generational sexism.
Comment after comment flooded in from other women that have been in Bendita's position. Some decided to walk away from relationships with men that expected them to be "moms" and others wished that they had. An overwhelming truth that most women came back to was the history of women being pressured to stay with men despite misogynistic behavior. From bearing generational burdens to carrying the weight of the family; mothers, sisters, daughters and women of all walks of life have been expected to be the anchors for the men in their lives.
Fortunately, others said they have hard-working men in their lives
Other women commented that they've had the opposite experiences with the men in their lives. Giving hope to those who have lost their belief in smooth cohabitation, these happy campers explain that they have partners that do their fair share and help with the household work. The gender norms aren't running the show and there aren't nasty messes left everywhere to be cleaned up by the women. Plus, they mentioned that their men cook, which sounds pretty amazing.
Some of these men may have never learned responsibility.
It's weird to think about how some adults never learned how to clean, do laundry or make sure there aren't beer cans in the bathroom. Yet, it happens all the time. The idea of needing someone to be both parent and partner is cringey, but seem to be a common thread when it comes to a lot of heterosexual relationships. We think it's probably a good idea to reject that cycle, and also for everyone to learn to adult no matter who they're dating.
Bendita isn't the only one who's had enough.
It looks like Bendita was preaching to the choir when she explained that she's done with being the only adult in her relationships with men. It just so happens that her message is exactly what some TikTok users needed to hear. Sometimes knowing that we're not alone in a situation can be pretty cool, or in one woman's case---so can leaving your husband for what's hopefully a more sanitary life.
Leaving a messy situation is often the right path.
In some ways, cleaning can be a metaphor for healthy relationships. Messy ones usually breed toxicity while regularly cleaned ones may not be perfect, but their maintained by a collaborative cleaning team. Bendita's videos may be short, but they created a wealth of conversation and bonding.
Let us know what you think of Bendita's assessment of living with partners in the comments and if you've had similar experiences.