Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

SallyNasty wrote:

I do most of the cooking on thanksgiving and do most of the household cleaning because my wife is basically inept with a broom and vacuum.

Spoiler:

I am pretty sure she has tricked me into believing that she is inept with a broom and a vacuum so that she doesn't have to use them. Clever girl.

I cook most meals in the house except for the fancy ones, and do all the cleaning except for her bathroom.

Spoiler:

Ditto, although I don't have to do any of the getting them dressed in the morning *or* doing their hair in the morning, so i think that it is an even trade.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

I do most of the cooking on thanksgiving and do most of the household cleaning because my wife is basically inept with a broom and vacuum.

Spoiler:

I am pretty sure she has tricked me into believing that she is inept with a broom and a vacuum so that she doesn't have to use them. Clever girl.

BRB need to see if my wife really can't fold a fitted sheet.

I don't think anyone is really capable of folding a fitted sheet. The best you can hope for is a not-complete-crappy approximation of folding.

I can, but a second pair of arms would help. I think she clever-girled me into doing it myself all these years.

A) It is more than possible to fold a fitted sheet. It's actually not that hard. And even if you don't have that guy's wingspan, all you have to do is just leave one end on the bed and bring the other over to it for the step where you stack all four corners inside each other.

B) My guess is you think you're being funny, but you guys actually saying something pretty awful about your significant others with the "clever girl" cracks. The implications that they stoop to that level of duplicity to get out of housework is pretty nasty. Believe it or not, some girls aren't good at this, and weren't taught to be Molly Maids from their first steps, and don't consider a floor you can eat off of or hospital corners you can bounce a quarter off to be the height of their ambition. Not to mention what you imply about yourselves if they have to go to that extreme to get some help around the house from you. Way to highlight the whole problem in even sharper relief.

edit: I wrote a big long uh.... answer to that, but before I posted it I realized that you probably don't mean it that way. I'm giving you all the benefit of the doubt. But think about it. And if you do mean it that way, go ahead and say it and I'll re-create that much longer post.

Who got male privilege kneeslappers all over my sexism thread?

I definitely wasn't being serious. I actually prefer folding the laundry, and we share the chores fairly equally. My apologies for sounding like a dick.

clover wrote:

Who got male privilege kneeslappers all over my sexism thread?

Your thread? Your first post here was on page four, complaining about this.

clover wrote:

I'm entertained that this particular thread is devolving into sarcastic dick-waving. ;)

I'm known for my argumentative consistency.

(For the record: I don't think you guys "meant" anything by the stuff you said. However--I don't think it would have taken much reflection to realize that it there's something [em]odd[/em] about saying it in this sort of thread. I hope that getting called out on that will make you be more aware of both what you're saying and the context in which you're saying it. It's a pretty good illustration of how we can say things lightly only to discover later that they have real weight.)

I'd just like to note that even in the case of just "innocent joking", this still illustrates the problem of unconscious sexism pretty well. Even when you don't mean it, these things reinforce stereotypes about gender roles. They can make people who don't fit those roles feel bad about themselves. They make people who don't think it's a problem continue to take things lightly and say things like that without realizing the harm that it can cause. It's hard, because... well... it's not unreasonable to make jokes. It's not unreasonable even to have stereotypical gender roles--that's a cultural thing, bound by fashion and tradition.

But it's important to be conscious of what you're doing, and thoughtful about it. When we reinforce these things thoughtlessly, we are in fact calling out a lot of people. We can in fact cause them to feel worse about themselves, making them think that they're not living up to the expectations of society. We can drive them into behaving in stereotypical ways even when they don't want to, simply because it is expected of them.

It wouldn't be as big a problem if things were more balanced overall. But... when so very many things reinforce the stereotypes without being balanced by just as much that breaks those stereotypes, it creates an overall atmosphere where it's hard to see that things ought to be different. To take a different role: how often do we see women matter-of-factly portrayed as working on a car? And how often do we see a woman working on a car and ending up with a man to help? Or working on a car and doing good work, and then the punch-line is that she comes out from under the hood and reveals that she's incredibly sexy? Or having a broken down car at the side of the road and looking sexy and men drive out of nowhere to help?

And on the other side, how often do you see a portrayal of a man matter-of-factly doing housework? How often is he portrayed as doing it because he's hen-pecked? How often is he portrayed at being hopelessly bad at it? How often because he's doing it for some "special attention" from the woman in his life? How often as a rare (like once a year) thing for a "special event"? How often in a way that portrays him as somehow less than a "real" man?

(Note the once a year thing: How often is it an anniversary or Mother's Day, which adds yet another layer of gender stereotype? Women deserve consideration from men they're in a committed relationship to (as opposed to other men, or women who are not in a relationship). Women deserve consideration if they're mothers (but not otherwise). etc. That "as opposed to" is always quieter and less obvious than the direct side of things, but it's still there.)

And for each of these, there are tons of similar examples for other stereotypical gender roles. That's the real problem. Individual acts of joking around... it feels silly to look at that and say "Hey, that's a problem". But because it's in the world with [em]all[/em] of this stuff, [em]all[/em] putting pressure in the same direction, it really [em]is[/em] part of the problem.

I think the most any of us can ask, really is: You're not going to stop joking, or making assumptions based on gender roles, or living in the society we live in. But when you do any of those things, [em]be thoughtful[/em]. Try to think before you speak--and at the very least, think after you speak. When something breaks your assumptions, take that seriously and figure out what you, [em]as an individual[/em] think is the right way to react. Try to notice when you act on your assumptions, and when you do, figure out what you [em]personally[/em] think about that assumption and how you want to act. Try to be conscious of what you're doing, instead of just letting your unconscious assumptions shape your behavior. Think about not just what you're saying directly, but what the indirect implications are.

The way to fix things? It's to be better people. To act more consciously and less unconsciously. To try to teach both ourselves and others to be better whenever we can. It's not an overnight thing, and it doesn't involve rejecting every traditional thing ever. But it does involve a lot of careful introspection, and a struggle to do better over the long haul.

Edit - Not worth it.

Oh for God's sake people - it was a joke. I think both mud and I have been consistent of our support in all threads. We both have little girls and are certainly cognizant of the struggles faced. That is kind of why we are here:)

Also, please remove your nerd card for the day - The clever girl comment was from Jurassic Park!

Please, hope off your pedestal and re-read my comment with the intent it was made - that of a joke. Note that it was self-deprecating towards myself, implying that my wife outsmarted me and tricked me into all the household work.

I am sorry that there is no place for humor in "your" thread - no insult may have been implied, but some has certainly been taken.

Please note that I am not going to run down the hall crying "misandry" now - I am just going to shake my head and walk away.

SallyNasty wrote:

Oh for God's sake people - it was a joke. I think both mud and I have been consistent of our support in all threads. We both have little girls and are certainly cognizant of the struggles faced. That is kind of why we are here:)

Well, considering the context it was an ill considered joke.

I think that everyone realises you and mud both meant no harm. You may have felt like you were dumped on, but I think everyone was just trying to point out the importance of being cognizant of what you are saying and its implications.

I was called out for something similar in another thread a while ago. Initially I got defensive, but I stopped for a minute, thought about it and realised where the women were coming from. It was actually a personal tipping point for me and I'm grateful to (iirc) Yellek and Brennil for dumping on me.

I hope you haven't walked away for real. I think it's the nature of the discussion that sometimes offence will be given, sometimes it will be taken, but ultimately we're all trying to build a solid understanding and framework of a complex and emotional topic.

SixteenBlue wrote:

I hope you don't need more proof than that.

Well err. Proof and anecdotes are different. Like MrDevil and I both said before, soft sciences don't really offer anything in terms of proof, but I'd be satisfied with strong correlation that ads like this cause a preponderance of girls to go into domestic/professional fields other than what they desire. Haven't seen it yet, so...

Amoebic wrote:

Mr.Devil909, you could say it before I could get to a decent computer and hammer it out. Thank you!

This isn't the first time we've been subjected to media that implies that it's our role as women to single-handedly coordinate domestic entertainment and for an entire group, we've been praised for taking on the huge responsibility of coordinating a massive and complex event, that we'll get exhausted and exasperated BUT PERSEVERE, then we'll find satisfaction in getting all that thankless work done. This is a culturally perpetuated message we've been bombarded with from the media, and more importantly, the people we live and work with who've also consumed said assumptions through media and the people around them who've consumed these ideas for decades. It is an old, oft used advertisement aimed specifically at women to imply we have the tools to help you do your job as the wife and mother.

What happens when you replace your words with mine? It's simply factually inaccurate to say that every female who ever did housework hated every minute of it. I get that a healthy portion of people abhor traditional gender roles (and apparently, a healthy portion of people who would prefer to go back to them), but that's not everyone. How difficult is it for people to realize that advertising can't caveat out every individual preference and rather are there to sell products to the bulk of their customers?

Targeting a group is not necessarily reinforcing social norms, nor is it necessarily subjecting women and girls to default expectations. People here have every right to think it does, of course, but the opposing opinion -- that this is ad is trying to show women in a positive light -- is equally valid. Even boys would watch this and potentially rather be the calm, confident mother than the drunken dad (note that a few groups have criticized the ad for being sexist toward men. I think they have a point, albeit small.)

That disappointing ad is perpetuating a dated gender norm that people continue to fulfil because we've been told that's what we should do. Its bad because, not only does it imply what the womens roles are (decorating, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, serving, cleaning, shopping, oh and also cleaning) it finishes by implying that despite all that hard, thankless work, you will find satisfaction in watching your husband play with your children! You will see everyone else bonding and sitting around connecting and find satisfaction in that because that's what christmas is about! Also, if after you've done all that work to make this happen, and you're NOT finding satisfaction in the results of others due to your persistent toil, you're probably doing something wrong, girl. You've probably failed at something, you're doin' it wrong.

Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it? Did you really just pull the "Just a Housewife" card?

Seth wrote:

Targeting a group is not necessarily reinforcing social norms, nor is it necessarily subjecting women and girls to default expectations. People here have every right to think it does, of course, but the opposing opinion -- that this is ad is trying to show women in a positive light -- is equally valid.

I think you're approaching this from such a different perspective that there's no way there will be agreement. If you believe what I've quoted then we may as well be speaking different languages.

Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it? Did you really just pull the "Just a Housewife" card?

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

-------------------------------------

Regarding taking offence at 'girl' and taking offence at taking offence at 'girl' I'd like to try a thought experiment.

Would you casually refer to an adult black male as 'boy' in conversation? Why not? It's a joke right? Never mind that there's centuries of history of slave owners calling slaves 'boy' and 'girl' to demean and devalue them, surely there's no reason to take offence at a little joke?

Would you say it in a bar full of black people? I'd guess not. Casual racism is not generally accepted any more.

Yet women have centuries of being talked down to and called 'girls' as well. Surely it's doing them a service to consider one's language and avoid belittling them in a similar way.

Full confession, I often refer to women as 'girls.' It's a deeply ingrained habit and partly because I still don't feel like an adult myself so associating with 'women' feels weird, but I try. And I think that's a big part of what matters. And I would never refer to women as 'girls' in a thread about sexism. It's spectacularly tone-deaf.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it? Did you really just pull the "Just a Housewife" card?

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

Me too! Hoping for some clarification on what I considered a pretty sexist point.

Well, in that case I'll put words in Amoebic's mouth. (with apologies)

That disappointing ad is perpetuating a dated gender norm that people continue to fulfil because we've been told that's what we should do. Its bad because, not only does it imply what the womens roles are (decorating, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, serving, cleaning, shopping, oh and also cleaning) it finishes by implying that despite all that hard, thankless work, you will find satisfaction in watching your husband play with your children! You will see everyone else bonding and sitting around connecting and find satisfaction in that because that's what christmas is about! Also, if after you've done all that work to make this happen, and you're NOT finding satisfaction in the results of others due to your persistent toil, you're probably doing something wrong, girl. You've probably failed at something, you're doin' it wrong.

Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it?

No. There's nothing in her statement that says that. Your question is unsupported by the text.

http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/blac...

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Regarding taking offence at 'girl' and taking offence at taking offence at 'girl' I'd like to try a thought experiment.

First, I'd like to throw in at least three pieces of evidence to consider:

IMAGE(http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i453/czpv/LWG.jpg)
I definitely went the middle-class "I am in a Women's Studies class in college" route. It was cool, but it didn't exactly speak to me on my terms. It was too academic, it was too, you know, '70's, or whatever. We were forced to use the word 'woman,' and if we ever used the word 'girl' or 'lady' or whatever, that was not okay, that was disrespectful.
http://www.furious.com/perfect/bratm...

IMAGE(http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i453/czpv/FRG.jpg)
http://feministryangosling.tumblr.com/

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Well, in that case I'll put words in Amoebic's mouth. (with apologies)

That disappointing ad is perpetuating a dated gender norm that people continue to fulfil because we've been told that's what we should do. Its bad because, not only does it imply what the womens roles are (decorating, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, serving, cleaning, shopping, oh and also cleaning) it finishes by implying that despite all that hard, thankless work, you will find satisfaction in watching your husband play with your children! You will see everyone else bonding and sitting around connecting and find satisfaction in that because that's what christmas is about! Also, if after you've done all that work to make this happen, and you're NOT finding satisfaction in the results of others due to your persistent toil, you're probably doing something wrong, girl. You've probably failed at something, you're doin' it wrong.

Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it?

No. There's nothing in her statement that says that. Your question is unsupported by the text.

http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/blac...

Despite the cute link, I went ahead and bolded some stuff where Seth's conclusion does in fact seem reasonable.

The implication is, in fact, from the whole statement - "This ad is continuing to tell women they need to fulfill these gender roles. And if you dislike it, that's your fault and not the fault of the work or people around you."

mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

This really smacks of the whole idea that it's only an activist judge when they don't agree with me.

Which made me laugh to myself, anyway.

CheezePavilion wrote:

What I think happens in almost every case is people draw the wrong implications from someone else's words.

There are some words that are so strongly tied into their history that, depending upon who you are, you can't really divorce them from that context. Isn't that the whole point of Godwin's law?

If you ever hear yourself say "It's just a joke!", that should be a warning sign that you might want to inspect what you are saying and how you are saying it.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

Here's the thing, because I've run into this criticism SO MANY TIMES in this forum: when you think a person is putting words in someone else's mouth, chances are, they think they're only pointing out the implications of the words that person used. I don't think anyone goes around intentionally putting words in any other poster's mouth and thinking that's okay. What I think happens in almost every case is people draw the wrong implications from someone else's words.

I think it's much more productive to start with just accusing someone of making an honest mistake as opposed to jumping straight to accusing them of intentional bad behavior.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

momgamer wrote:

My guess is you think you're being funny, but you guys actually saying something pretty awful about your significant others with the "clever girl" cracks.

clover wrote:

Who got male privilege kneeslappers all over my sexism thread?

You're right. I don't see how I got the impression that people were putting words in our mouths.

CheezePavilion wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

Here's the thing, because I've run into this criticism SO MANY TIMES in this forum: when you think a person is putting words in someone else's mouth, chances are, they think they're only pointing out the implications of the words that person used. I don't think anyone goes around intentionally putting words in any other poster's mouth and thinking that's okay. What I think happens in almost every case is people draw the wrong implications from someone else's words.

I think it's much more productive to start with just accusing someone of making an honest mistake as opposed to jumping straight to accusing them of intentional bad behavior.

Sure, that's often accurate, but to use the words 'are you saying that' is pretty overtly putting words in someone's mouth. A quick scan of the posts responding to bonus, mud and sally doesn't suggest this happened, but I am open to correction.

Bloo Driver wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Well, in that case I'll put words in Amoebic's mouth. (with apologies)

That disappointing ad is perpetuating a dated gender norm that people continue to fulfil because we've been told that's what we should do. Its bad because, not only does it imply what the womens roles are (decorating, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, serving, cleaning, shopping, oh and also cleaning) it finishes by implying that despite all that hard, thankless work, you will find satisfaction in watching your husband play with your children! You will see everyone else bonding and sitting around connecting and find satisfaction in that because that's what christmas is about! Also, if after you've done all that work to make this happen, and you're NOT finding satisfaction in the results of others due to your persistent toil, you're probably doing something wrong, girl. You've probably failed at something, you're doin' it wrong.

Wait, are you saying that the only women participating in domestic activities are doing it because they were told to and they secretly hate it?

No. There's nothing in her statement that says that. Your question is unsupported by the text.

http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/blac...

Despite the cute link, I went ahead and bolded some stuff where Seth's conclusion does in fact seem reasonable.

The implication is, in fact, from the whole statement - "This ad is continuing to tell women they need to fulfill these gender roles. And if you dislike it, that's your fault and not the fault of the work or people around you."

I don't see anything in those statements that suggests that women can not possibly enjoy housework and find it satisfying.

Bloo Driver wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

This really smacks of the whole idea that it's only an activist judge when they don't agree with me.

Which made me laugh to myself, anyway.

Heh, well that made me laugh too. But I honestly didn't see that and as I said I'm open to correction.

Valmorian wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

What I think happens in almost every case is people draw the wrong implications from someone else's words.

There are some words that are so strongly tied into their history that, depending upon who you are, you can't really divorce them from that context. Isn't that the whole point of Godwin's law?

If you ever hear yourself say "It's just a joke!", that should be a warning sign that you might want to inspect what you are saying and how you are saying it.

I think the warning sign is turning on people you joke with in other parts of the forum as if they're strangers.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

Here's the thing, because I've run into this criticism SO MANY TIMES in this forum: when you think a person is putting words in someone else's mouth, chances are, they think they're only pointing out the implications of the words that person used. I don't think anyone goes around intentionally putting words in any other poster's mouth and thinking that's okay. What I think happens in almost every case is people draw the wrong implications from someone else's words.

I think it's much more productive to start with just accusing someone of making an honest mistake as opposed to jumping straight to accusing them of intentional bad behavior.

Sure, that's often accurate, but to use the words 'are you saying that' is pretty overtly putting words in someone's mouth.

No, it isn't. I could not disagree more. If that's not what you're saying, you respond "no" to the other person and the nice part is you can do so much more productively because now you've got an idea of how the other person is hearing you.

mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
mudbunny wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

I think putting words in Amoebic's mouth is pretty poor form.

But putting words in the mouths of Sally, Bonus and myself s perfectly fine.

But I don't believe anyone did that. They did point out the implications of the words you used.

momgamer wrote:

My guess is you think you're being funny, but you guys actually saying something pretty awful about your significant others with the "clever girl" cracks.

clover wrote:

Who got male privilege kneeslappers all over my sexism thread?

You're right. I don't see how I got the impression that people were putting words in our mouths.

Fair point, I stand corrected. I don't think it's fair.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Sure, that's often accurate, but to use the words 'are you saying that' is pretty overtly putting words in someone's mouth.

No, it isn't. I could not disagree more. If that's not what you're saying, you respond "no" to the other person and the nice part is you can do so much more productively because now you've got an idea of how the other person is hearing you.

Right -- if there's no process of paraphrasing and clarifying, then there's no hope of actual communication.

People have made dark jokes in the Sandusky/Penn State thread and in threads about governments (primarily the US) assassinating citizens. And not a peep is made about the persons making the joke being child molesters or jack-booted thugs. Yet I make a joke that is as much on my myself as it is my wife, and I am all of a sudden looked at as if I was a misogynistic woman-hating neanderthal.

What makes this jarring, to me, is that the overwhelming majority of the time amongst the posters on this site, people don't jump to conclusions about a poster based on what is obviously a joke and in jest, (and is as much against the male as it is the female in the relationship). This is not a forum where people will post "get a sammich!!" or "go back into the kitchen" and be serious about it.

(And, to head off the comments that I see coming, I am not saying that because there are worse things going on than sexism, that people are not allowed to be concerned about sexism.)

CheezePavilion wrote:

I think the warning sign is turning on people you joke with in other parts of the forum as if they're strangers.

Step 1 of turning this discussion back around is this: To realize that nobody here has "turned on" anyone. At no point did anyone say "Poster X! You are a bad, bad person!" Rather, what we were trying to say was "Poster X, you are a perfectly fine person, but what you have said is hurtful in ways that you perhaps don't realize. Here, let me try to explain."

I would [em]hope[/em] that the degree to which people are feeling bad and defensive about being "attacked" when nobody actually intended to attack them might demonstrate how our intentions and the actual effects of what we say are distinct. How we can make people feel attacked even when we mean to simply let them know that they have inadvertently offended. How we can inadvertently offend even when we mean simply to make a joke.

So... let's all take a nice deep breath, and step back from the conversation for a moment in order to clear our minds. Remember: This is not about individuals, it is about society as a whole. It is not about people who intend to cause harm, it is about systems of thought that cause harm even though everybody involved is acting with the best intentions. It is not about casting blame, but about trying to help people understand the difference between what they're trying to do and how it actually makes other people feel.

Try not to take things as a personal attack: Instead of reacting by becoming defensive, ask yourself the following question: "I didn't mean to be offensive, so why did the people I'm talking to take offense?" Chances are pretty good that they had reasons, and that if you think about it instead of raising your hackles, you can figure out why.

So, I'm going to try to break the joke down here, to show why it was hurtful.

SallyNasty wrote:

Also, please remove your nerd card for the day - The clever girl comment was from Jurassic Park!

I'm pretty sure that absolutely everyone involved understood the reference. However, I think it's less clear that people should react well to being compared to a man-eating creature that has just demonstrated an unexpected level of reasoning ability.

SallyNasty wrote:

Please, hope off your pedestal and re-read my comment with the intent it was made - that of a joke. Note that it was self-deprecating towards myself, implying that my wife outsmarted me and tricked me into all the household work.

I am sorry that there is no place for humor in "your" thread - no insult may have been implied, but some has certainly been taken.

And... the whole point is that even when no insult is implied, the insult can still be taken. Does it matter what intent you had? Yes, absolutely. That's why we don't think you're a bad person. We know you didn't mean any harm, so we think you're a fine, fine person. However, while your intentions were plain, what you said [em]was[/em] in fact offensive. And it is still offensive, even when you break it down into "the point of the joke". So let's look at that:

"Note that it was self-deprecating towards myself, implying that my wife outsmarted me and tricked me into all the household work."

So, why is this offensive? Well, at the base level (and there is a deeper subtext which I'll get to in a moment), it's offensive because it implies that your wife is expected to do the household work and that it is somehow strange that you should be doing it. You may have intended that it be about "all of the household work" instead of "some of the household work", but it can be read both ways. And, either way, the mere fact that it's self-deprecating suggests that it is somehow demeaning that the man in the joke should be doing household work at all. (Again, whether or not it's about "all" of the work.)

The subtext level, which is in my opinion the more harmful part, is that there is a long-standing stereotype that women are manipulative, and manipulate men into doing things they would otherwise not be inclined to do, and shouldn't be expected to do. That stereotype, combined with the "clever girl" comment, paints a picture of a predatory woman who has displayed unexpected cleverness and unnaturally convinced her husband to act outside of his expected role.

Again, I know you didn't [em]mean[/em] to say any of this, but that doesn't mean that it's not what people heard when you said it. And that's the point we're all trying to emphasize: that these little joking things (what you said, the advertisement) don't happen in isolation. They're understood in the broader cultural context, and because of that they bring along with them all of that baggage. Because of that, the innocent joke not only raises all of these ghosts for people ("you are unnatural if you're a clever woman", "you are a harridan if you try to convince a man to do something unmanly", "you are less of a woman if you don't do all of the womanly things", and on the other side "you are less of a man if you let a woman convince you to do womanly things"), it also helps reinforce and carry forward all of those ideas.

And that is actively harmful. Not intentionally harmful, it's true... but it still hurts. And that's why that ad was offensive and hurtful (even though the people who made it surely did not intend to be offensive or to hurt anyone), and that's why that joke was offensive and hurtful (even though the people who made it surely did not intend to be offensive or to hurt anyone).

Ignorance and good intentions mean that you get credit for not intending to hurt anyone. But it doesn't mean that you shouldn't be told why your innocent joke was actually a problem. How else are we supposed to change these things, except by trying to inform people about the difference between what they intended and what their audience actually felt?