Dividing up chores between two cohabitating partners is always a tricky situation — which is why the term “weaponized incompetence” has gained so much steam over the past few years. The term has become so popular on TikTok that the topic currently has over 148 million views.
The newish term for an age-old issue refers to one partner in a relationship pretending that they aren’t capable of doing a mind-numbingly dull, repetitive but important everyday task — like laundry, cooking or grocery shopping — in order to avoid it. This typically causes the other partner to get frustrated and resentfully take on that responsibility.
And although being lazy or uninterested in managing a household is not limited to people of a single gender, men tend to escape the brunt of the domestic burdens in heterosexual relationships, at the expense of women.
This isn’t just a stereotype; it’s backed up by data. A 2020 Gallup study conducted in the U.S. found that even among egalitarian-minded millennial couples, women are still more likely to clean the house, shop for groceries, cook meals and make decisions about furnishing and decorating the home.
The study found that while men do take on a few domestic responsibilities, they take their cues from older generations and pick up tasks that can be done on their own schedules, like car maintenance and yard work.
“I think it has a lot to do with our deeply held stereotypes and assumptions about traditional gender roles at home ― they are quite difficult to challenge or break once set into motion,” said Rebecca Horne, then a third-year Ph.D. student in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto who spoke to HuffPost in 2020.
Horne also led a different study in 2019 that found that women of all ages still tend to do more household chores than their male partners, no matter how much they work or earn in a job outside the home.
So when a Twitter user published a post in early June about how another user on the platform was stunned that the term “weaponized incompetence” was a “real thing,” she couldn’t help but ask others on Twitter to share their experiences.
So, if you could relate to this unfair labor dilemma, put down your mop and let your lasagna burn in order to read about other people’s rage-inducing experiences below.