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Stop using the phrase “wife me up”

Phrases like “wife me up” reinforce dated stereotypes.
Illustration: April Kinney • The Sentry

there’s more to a relationship than fettucine alfredo

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get married and live a happy life with a partner. However, the “pick me!” energy that the phrase “wife me up” gives off is tired and decrepit. It’s a basic mating call that continues to manifest itself on social media platforms. The “wife me up” hashtag currently has 91.4k posts on Instagram; some of the posts include quotes such as, “Happy wife=happy life, but a happy husband=happy home.” The tag also has various images of home cooked meals. When did being able to cook well suddenly become a factor in being “wifed?” Users across the world are putting their efforts on display in hopes to impress a potential suitor. It’s strange, almost medieval in nature.  

The tag itself also includes men who use the term for their various food dishes. There must be an unspoken social agreement stating that all good food has to be backed with the phrase. 

People are equating being a wife with cooking. Find something else to say! Some better phrases would be #LivingLikeGordanRamsey or #SponsorMeBobbyFlay. With some of these delicious looking meals in the tags, it should be no issue getting noticed by noteworthy chefs. Let’s strive for more this year. 

People should be celebrating their good qualities and be proud of them for more than just being another person’s wife, or husband. Living a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally should not always be about how much someone else would appreciate it. It’s time to start learning how to be comfortable with accomplishing these feats alone. Furthermore, being able to cook and clean is something everyone should know how to do.  

 The entire population has collectively forgotten about home economics class, the place where basic life skills are taught. Cooking is a basic life skill, not a basic wife skill. Is 2020 seriously the year where not starving and being clean is the holy grail of a human being?  This universal correlation between wives and cooking that has been agreed upon for years is affecting the way that simple life skills should be viewed. This mentality is rooted in the “classic housewife” expectation that appeared in media decades ago.  

For example, the popular sitcom Leave It To Beaver describes June, the mother and wife of the show, as “Mom June cleans the house wearing a dress and pearls.” Surely cleaning in a dress and heals is not the goal, right? Bleach on the red bottoms is never a good look. Moreover, this description is bland and offers no depth as to who June is—cooking and cleaning were her personality traits.   

Should marriage be the choice someone decided to make, shouldn’t there be a little more as far as standards go for a wife? What about a good credit score? Does that become completely obsolete if the bride to be is a great cook and cleanly? Similarly, is it shallow to not marry someone if cooking skills are out of the question? Then what? All in all, the phrase sucks, it’s perpetuating an ancient stereotype about what it means to be a wife. It’s also bland and boring and there ought to be more creative phrases for celebrating a tasty meal, or a large accomplishment.  

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