You’re going to have to do some “hoe shit”

Samson
12 min readJun 16, 2024

Modern-day relationships are a far cry from the dynamics of yesteryears. There was a reason your granny never divorced your grandpa and love wasn’t it. Let’s take a hard look at the evolution of marriage and partnerships, particularly through the lens of economic power and societal expectations of the 4th and now 5th Industrial Revolution. The premise of this article is that before 1974, marriage for women was often less about love and companionship and more about survival and compliance, mainly because they were legally treated as second-class citizens.

Disclaimer — I mansplain like no other. Also, I would say thoughts where my own but I probably stole them from a woman.

Pre-1974: Women as Chattel

Before 1974, white women in the United States couldn’t open a bank account or own assets in their own names. This data gets a little murky when it comes to Black women. As Black women have always been the “lesser” part of the Women’s Right movement. Meaning, Black women fight the most fiercely for equal rights, voting rights and women’s rights in general. But benefit the least. Not due to lack of effort but due to the actions of white women who systematically undermine the ambitions of all women but specifically Black women.

I know. I know. Mansplaining. I get it. So instead an example. Hilary Clinton didn’t lose to Trump because Black women failed to get out and vote. Hilary Clinton lost to Trump because a huge chunk of white women (e.g. Christian evangelicals) voted for the self proclaimed pussy grabber. Don’t get me wrong. When I’ve permission I do love to grab a pussy or two. But thats the difference between me and women who voted and continue to vote for Trump. One of us believes in consent and other consistently votes against it. Ain’t that some hoe shit?

Now where were we…Ah yes. Pre-1974 this financial dependency on men rendered them effectively chattel, where marriage was a necessity rather than a choice. Their economic survival hinged entirely on their husbands, creating a power imbalance that kept many women in abusive or unfulfilling relationships.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 was a game-changer…on paper. This legislation granted women the right to:

  • Open bank accounts without a male cosigner.
  • Apply for credit cards independently.
  • Secure loans without needing a husband or male relative’s approval.
  • Get mortgages and own property in their own names.
  • Receive equal consideration for employment opportunities and wages.

These newfound rights catalyzed a significant shift in the power dynamics within marriages and relationships. However, to this very day, women especially Black women, continue to fight for even the most basic of rights; such as ownership of their bodies, healthcare and medical decisions.

The Divorce Rates in the 20th Century

Divorce rates in the 20th century provide a stark contrast to modern times. In the early 1900s, the divorce rate was relatively low, with about 1 in 1000 marriages ending in divorce. This rate began to climb slowly throughout the century. By the 1960s, the divorce rate had risen to about 2.2 per 1000 people. The most significant jump occurred in the 1970s, coinciding with the women’s liberation movement and the passing of laws like the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. By 1979, the divorce rate had moved up to 5.3 per 1000 people, reflecting the newfound economic independence of women and changing societal norms.

Fast forward to 2024 and the 21st Century and a few things jump out about marriage and relationships:

  • Teenage pregnancy is down (cellphones, social media and body shaming algorithms work better than fire and brimstone)
  • Marriage as a thing (institution / business / form of slavery) is down. Well, only the poor and less educated get married nowadays.
  • Divorce rates are up to roughly 50/50.
  • People married solely for health insurance / affordable rent is 90%ish (this is a completely made up number but feels right)
  • Homosexuality rates remain consistent with historical ones. Though people being open about their homosexuality has risen 1000% (again antidotal stat but feels right).

We should mention the rate of Child Marriage. While child marriage is down, the rate of grooming is up. Mainly due to men (white men) waiting until the girl is old enough to consent so as to avoid legal issues of child marriage. So instead of diving into the underbelly of child-brides in America (and the world) lets just look at average age of when people got / get married and take it from there. In the early 1900s the average age at first marriage was relatively low. For women, it was about 21 years, and for men, it was around 25 years. Fast forward to today and in the 2020s, the age at which people are getting married continues to be older, with the average age at first marriage for women now around 28 years and for men approximately 30 years. Antidotally it feels like when women get married later, as in not as teenagers, their is less child-marriage.

Side note — my grandmother got married to my grandfather when she was 16 and he was 19. They were married for 63 years until my Papa passed away, having had 8 kids and 90+ grandkids and great grandkids. Today (June 2024) my grandmother is living in California scandalously dating a 76 year old man. Its a scandal because she is 93 years old and definitely the boss of that relationship. So I am not saying that all child-marriages ended badly. However, I am acutely aware of why my grandfather was forced to marry my grandmother after the 2nd time they met. Not gone on a date. Not courted but met, as in “Whats your name again?” met. But thats a story for another time.

The Modern Breadwinner Woman

Fast forward to today, and we see an increasing number of women stepping into the role of the primary breadwinner. This shift brings with it both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, economic independence empowers women to make choices that are right for them without the fear of financial repercussions. On the other hand, as breadwinners, they are now captains of Capitalism! In which case their behavior and relationship expectations tend to become strikingly similar to men’s. In as much as they, after working 8–14 hours winning the bread, come home with the expectations of a hot meal, clean house and well behaved children?

Breadwinners Acting Like Men

One of the notable trends is women adopting behaviors traditionally associated with men. This includes assertiveness, ambition, and a focus on career over domestic responsibilities. While these traits are essential for success in the workplace, they can clash with societal expectations of women being nurturing and accommodating. (Wow, those two sentences sound so sexist. I’m almost ashamed I wrote them.)

Acting like men is a misnomer. Women who are breadwinners are acting like, well, breadwinners. The issues arise when two breadwinners are winning together. These equally matched relationships create a whole new level of gender-role questioning. As do gender-roles exist when two people are equally matched…as bread winners? You can bet whomever is taking out the trash today they do.

Equally Matched Relationships: A Double-Edged Sword

When both partners in a relationship are equally matched in terms of economic power, it often leads to a more fragile union. The dissolution of the relationship is easier because neither party is financially dependent on the other. This parity can undermine the traditional glue that held marriages together — economic necessity. Note — “economic necessity” is a polite way of saying, “Your grandmother put up with your grandpa’s shit (e.g. that whole other family he had or beating her) cause she couldn’t afford the “self-respect” modern breadwinning women can. In this instance, your grandmother’s acquiescence to these economic realities isn’t “hoe shit”; rather survival 101. Nowadays though, if you were to surrender your sense of self-worth, as a breadwinning wife, to your husband’s proclivities, that may be construed by some as “some hoe shit”. Though it would be up to debate as to who was the hoe and doing the shit.

Historically, when there was a vast economic disparity (read that as “a single income marriage), the partner with fewer resources (typically the woman) was compelled to maintain the relationship, no matter how toxic or unsatisfactory it might be. This was a significant factor in the low divorce rates pre-1974, despite rampant issues like domestic violence, infidelity, and concealed homosexuality. Note on homosexuality rates — they’ve always been consistent. The real variable in homosexuality has been the level of societal acceptance. Hence why when we look at marriages even today we should consider the following factors:

  • 50% of marriages in the 21st century end in divorce…because women can leave loser men. The leading cause of divorce is due to finances or the lack there of.
  • 20%-30% of stay in marriages because neither party can afford to be free of the other, mainly due to rent. Always makes dating fun when you show up and her ‘husband-roommate’ greets you with a smile and hardy “Howdy” as he gets into his boyfriends car to head out for the evening.
  • Less than 20% of marriages are “happy”. 20% is also being generous. Its probably closer to 5% to 8%.

These factors all boil down to a few things. Today, the relationship/marriage landscape is different. Women who are breadwinners are less likely to tolerate abusive, unfaithful partners, or partners who do the relationship equivalent of leaving the toilet seat up, leading to higher divorce rates. This shift reflects not only changing societal norms but also the empowerment that comes with financial independence. Too and most importantly, marriage as an institution (aka marriage is a business contract) really has a 80%+ failure rate. Maybe as high as 95%. Which puts it right on par with any entrepreneurial pursuit. Meaning, 95% of businesses fail within the first five years. Is it shocking then that the business of marriage has similar failure rate? Or that people are encouraged to engage in this business due to tradition?

Engaging in “Hoe Shit”

Another phenomenon is women engaging in what can be termed “hoe shit” to attract and keep partners. This is not about promiscuity but about adopting strategies that were once considered the domain of men to maintain a relationship. This includes:

  • Financial manipulation or leveraging their economic status to gain favor.
  • Emotional detachment or playing the field to keep options open.
  • Utilizing their sexuality as a tool to influence and control partners.

These strategies highlight a pragmatic approach to relationships where emotional connections take a back seat to practical and often economic considerations.

Meanwhile, the non-academicy translation of “hoe shit” are W1the things that women, who make less than their husbands, counterparts, partners, have to do to keep them. Note — I was tempted to say “male counterparts” but women are as likely to date or be attracted to other women and end up in relationships with them. Especially women who are seeking financial stability in a relationship (seeking to be in a relationship with any gendered that makes at least $263k a year) are as likely to end up with someone who is a man, was born a man and identifies as a human and/or whose income and savings identify as the top 3% of the world’s earners.

Ya’ll going to have to do some hoe shit.

Breadwinners, as an economic class, are less likely to HAVE to engage in hoe shit simply as a survival tactic. They may WANT or NEED to engage in hoe shit for the sake of self satisfaction, entertainment, fetish or simple because thats their jam. Wanting and needing is different than having. Wanting and needing, in the context of hoe shit activities is optional. Meanwhile having to engage in hoe shit activities is not optional, rather optimal for ensuring your status within your relationship. A simple example to help break this dichotomy down:

  • I want to suck on your toes.
  • I need to suck on your toes.
  • I have to suck on you toes?

As a breadwinner, if your significant other does not want to suck your toes, there are 8B+ people on the planet. Of that 8B, assuming you make $263k a year, there are ~200M of one gender alone (up to 400M if you’re gender fluid) and within an age range legally acceptable, who will happily suck on your toes…just for the financial benefits of being in a relationship with you as your toe sucker. Those benefits include but are not limited to: living indoors, having access to clean drinking water and food and access to health insurance.

If you’re like me, I’m more of a “I want to” suck on your toes than a “I have to?” kinda person and breadwinner. But I have other kinks that many women, especially breadwinning women, would simply not feel the necessity to indulge my income in. For instance, I love a clean kitchen. Though I have zero interest in cleaning it myself. I do love coming home after typing all day, making PowerPoints and babysitting executives to the smell of a hot, freshly cooked meal. And yes, I could have at anytime in my immensely busy work day gotten up from my laptop, stopped scrolling thru Instagram, walked the 30 feet to the kitchen and cooked us a meal…but after a long day of KPIs and meetings about meetings that should have been emails, I simply do not have the emotional energy, interest or time. That and I make twice as much…5x….10x….100x of what you do? Hence why my time and energy is exponentially more valuable than yours. Which is why my other kink invovles never washing the tub, scrubbing the shower, cleaning off the water stains from the bathroom mirrors, wiping down the cieling fans, putting out the garbage, vacumming. Now that I write this I’m even annoyed I know how a vacuum works.

I will play with the baby and watch the baby. And change his diaper and bathe him. As well as take him to the park. I’m 50/50 on cleaning his bottles though, that can be hit or miss. And waking up a night to feed him every 2–3 hours, change his diaper and sooth him…we’ll biologically I’m inept because I’m not equipped for that. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m not biologically equipped to change a diaper at 2AM. So I’ll leave those tasks to you, not because you’re a woman. But because I’m a breadwinner and need a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Also, on the domestic front, I’ll happily pay all the bills but I’ll never check them, balance a checkbook or grocery shop. Okay, I’ll grocery shop but I’m too busy bringing home the bacon to have to cook it too.

Hoe shit…is not my thing. Why? Because between my phone and my apps I can outsource everything domestic I don’t need/want done. And by everything I do mean everything, just slide into my DMs and see. So what exactly is my equally matched spouse/partner there for? If not to join me in doing the real hoe shit I want to do?

In summary “hoe shit” is the 90 to 120 hours a week of uncompensated domestic duties that have traditionally fallen to women. You may not call it “hoe shit” and to reference it as such does to a degree lessen the value of the $200k to $250k worth of uncompensated, unpaid, no health insurance, 401k, nor pension work that women have traditionally performed around the home. But after you’ve come home from your 40 to 60 hour a week job and HAVE to do the aforementioned tasks (because society says so) you may feel differently and think to yourself, “Thats some hoe shit.”

Conclusion: The New Dynamics

The dynamics of modern relationships are complex and continually evolving. Economic independence for women has redefined partnership roles and expectations. While this progress is overwhelmingly positive (when viewed through the prism of Capitalism but not necessarily Feminism), it also comes with challenges that require navigating new forms of power and control within relationships. The fact that you’re nodding your head at the existence of the need for “power” and “control” within a relationship lets me know where you’re at in the hoe-shit spectrum.

Ultimately, the notion that “you’re going to have to do some hoe shit” speaks to the adaptive strategies individuals employ to maintain relationships in an era where economic power is more evenly distributed. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for fostering healthy, equitable, and enduring partnerships in today’s world.

Too, it is unfortunate when a person’s value in a relationship is boiled down to how much they can financial contribute to the relationship. Or rather, how economically they can contribute to the stability of the relationship. In that light it should be noted that not all economics are cash/financial. Emotional capital is just as important in a relationship…However, when the breadwinner has both. Emotional capital and financial stability — someone is either about to do some real hoe shit to maintain their position within that relationship or find that they’ve been downsized due to not bringing anything substantive to the relationship. Thats the real hazard of being financial peers in a relationship — the only incentive to stay is emotional / psychological — and who has time for that kind of weakness in Capitalist society?

Finally, it would be nice to actually love a person solely for being who they are. Alas, we live in a capitalist society where loving a person simply for being who they are is a luxury few can afford and even less willing to risk losing half their shit over.

Samson

PS — Strive to do better than me and think/feel more optimistic about the human race than I do. Its not that I’ve given up on it completely. Rather, trying to figure out what to teach my 15 month old about how “to be a man” in an ever evolving world, where the economic rules change but the cultural one’s double down on tradition.

If you liked this article check out a few of my other articles: I need a Wife, You Don’t Own Yourself and Therapy Doesn’t Work.

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Samson

Cheerleader of all things startup and entrepreneur. Life's a hustle, invest in something worthy of you. @AxesAndEggs @UNHLaw #Blockchain #Cryptocurrencies