Mom calls out ‘weaponized incompetence’ by flipping the script on parental expectations
While marriages are by far much more egalitarian than they have been in decades past, many women will tell you that when it comes to emotional and domestic labor, they still take on the lion’s share of responsibility.
Many women are using TikTok to call out this imbalance, even going so far as to share how it led to them filing for divorce. As for Clare Brown, she’s opting to illuminate the issue in a more satirical way.
Brown has amassed over 400,000 followers on her TikTok account, where a major part of her schtick includes what she calls “flipping the script” on social issues. And as of late, it’s her focus on parenting expectations that has people—particularly fed up moms—nodding in agreement.
In a series titled “flipping the script on weaponized incompetence,” Brown pokes fun at fathers who remain willfully ignorant by asking their partners for help on even the most basic tasks, thus escaping the responsibility of pulling their weight.
“Honey, I can’t find the pull-ups. Can you come look?” she whines in one video. Seconds later, she asks “Where do you keep the kids’ clothes? What time does school start?” delivered in perfect deadpan.
The real kicker is when Brown is handed a fake baby, and with disgust, she tells her imaginary husband, “You want me to babysit while you take a shower? She’s just going to cry for you. Why don’t you just take her with you?”
Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!
Sounds absolutely ridiculous coming from a woman, right? Yeah, others caught on to that, too.
“Hearing a woman say those things sounds so ludicrous. Why do some men get away with this?! The first sign of this while dating and I’m out,” one person commented.
And since weaponized incompetence doesn’t take holidays off, Brown had a Mother’s Day Edition, (or Father’s Day, in this imaginary scenario). As Brown enters the room, she manages to wish her husband “Happy Father’s Day” and asks for help—several times—in the same breath.
“That kitchen is a disaster. Don’t worry about it today. It’s Father’s Day! You can just clean it up tomorrow,” she quips.
I gave him a break!
Brown also expected her husband to still have the agenda for the day mapped out, basically planning how he would be celebrated. Clearly, this was a common occurrence, given the sheer number of comments on Brown’s video. Many chose to give their own tongue-in-cheek nods to that particular experience.
“He’s so lucky you’re giving him the choice of what to do on his special day. I’m sure he has so many plans!” one person wrote to which Brown replied, “He just needs to tell me what to do, and I’ll do it!” Ah, the crux of the issue in a single sentence.
Weaponized incompetence can even be summoned at your local grocery store, apparently. In another video, Brown is seen calling her husband to ask him important questions like what aisle the juice is on or if a fuji apple is red or green, all with an exasperated voice that clearly conveys she doesn’t think she should need to do the task.
By request: We obviously need to unwind after a long day of helping.
Again, as bonkers as this skit seemed, women could relate. The very top comment read: “I put ‘fruit—whatever’s on sale’ and my husband bought every type of fruit because ‘they were selling all of it.’”
Weaponized incompetence is certainly not a tactic solely employed by husbands to get out of household chores. It’s a term used to describe any time a person tries to skirt shared responsibilities by pretending they aren’t up to the task. As marriages rely on teamwork and trust in order to be successful, it’s easy to see why Brown and her viewers are attempting to shine a light on a serious issue, even if it is done in a lighthearted way.
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