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This Conservative Blogger's Tweet About "How It Ought To Be, Despite What Your Gender Studies Professor Says" Backfired Into A Huge Meme

It's basically the second coming of the "future that liberals want" meme.

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On Monday, conservative blogger Matt Walsh tweeted this photo of a man, woman, and child during Hurricane Harvey, saying it shows "how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says."

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/gOKFxWEG70

People were pretty angry to see the catastrophic natural disaster used to reinforce misogyny and traditional gender roles.

I'm glad we're using a national tragedy as a tool to promote misogynistic agendas and put down women. https://t.co/3pbuO3qPB0

@MattWalshBlog Oh so let's say a man is hurt, should I not protect him and carry him to safety because that's not how it "ought" to be?

@MattWalshBlog Politicize my human tragedy daddy

So — of course — people turned it into a huge meme.

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/T60nlFAJUB

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/iwYGKOJlYj

This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says.

"This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says."

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/YPje8zB5DG

Sonic carries and protects child. Mario protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies… https://t.co/LaexbNVe5d

Truck cradles and protects car. Car is also a person somehow. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender… https://t.co/FlATJleR44

@thelindsayellis This is how it ought to be despite what your gender studies professor says

@BNick @MattWalshBlog Hodor cradles and protects child. Coldhands carries and protects both. This is how it ought t… https://t.co/kjxuyQQXUs

It's basically the second coming of the "future that liberals want" meme.

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/5Zh8v2vJwB

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/Th9gDBTh78

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/vMLglNEt0Z

Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gend… https://t.co/bLzdwknn3S

It even got a little meta.

Meme carries meme. Metameme contains and syngergises both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender stu… https://t.co/RQ6kULIlpa

And that's when an actual gender studies professor stepped in.

I was going to stick w sarcasm but as an actual gender studies prof, there's just so much to unpack here, I can't h… https://t.co/3Gy3ZeAdQv

In a series of tweets, University of Notre Dame Professor Christina Wolbrecht explained how care work being considered just "women's work" hurts everyone.

Care work (for children, infirm, elderly) is necessary for human flourishing & has been traditionally performed by women for free, which 2/

contributes to women's lesser financial & politics power. As care work has moved into the market, it remains poorly paid & overwhelmingly 3/

female, which again makes women more vulnerable. We ❤️to laud a woman "cradling her child" but don't provide paid maternity leave or 5/

support quality childcare & good pay/benefits for childcare workers (women, immigrants). But wait! There's more! 6/

And how the undervaluing of care work has made it a poorly paid industry, which leads to roles shifting to workers who are often not properly trained.

As budgets for care work (mental health, health care) have been cut, a lot of that work has shifted to agencies like police & fire, who 7/

often lack training & capacity, and result in troubling outcomes. At same time, economists note that a central challenge to male workers 8/

is skills mismatch - men reluctant to take jobs in expanding care sector, partly bc jobs are "female", partly bc they are low paying, low 9/

prestige (bc their "women's jobs"). IN SUM your rigid and illogical sexual division of labor, & related hierarchy of value, hurts both 10/

"The value of work — holding the baby or carrying the mother — should be recognized and rewarded, no matter who performs it," Wolbrecht wrote.

women & men, the US economy, & the flourishing of society as a whole. The value of work - holding the baby or carrying the mother - 11/

"Given how much care is needed, all hands on deck."

should be recognized & rewarded, no matter who performs it. Given how much care is needed, all hands on deck. /end for now

Wolbrecht told BuzzFeed News she was "completely stunned" by the massive reaction to her thread, and she hopes people take the time to learn more about the topic.

"This is a complex and fraught topic and I only scratched the surface in these few tweets," she said. "What I would say is it is worth thoughtfully examining who does what work, why, and with what consequences."

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Walsh.

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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