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Mom calls out 'weaponized incompetence' by flipping the script on parental expectations

Hearing a woman say these things is ridiculous, and that's the whole point.

weaponized incompetence, parenting, marriage
@clarabellecwb/TikTok

Too real. Tooooo Real.

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?"

@clarabellecwb

Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!

♬ A Day in My Life - Soft boy

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.

@clarabellecwb

I gave him a break!

♬ Jazz Bossa Nova - TOKYO Lonesome Blue

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.

@clarabellecwb

By request: We obviously need to unwind after a long day of helping.

♬ Elevator Music - Bohoman

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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Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

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Watching David's face during the scene change is sheer delight, as her confused look proves that she has no clue what is about to happen.

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The things human beings have figured out how to do boggles the mind sometimes, especially in the realm of medicine.

It wasn't terribly long ago that people with a severe injury had to liquor up, bite a stick, have a body part sewn up or sawed off and hope for the best. (Sorry for the visual, but it's true.) The discoveries of antibiotics and anesthesia alone have completely revolutionized human existence, but we've gone well beyond that with what our best surgeons can accomplish.

Surgeries can range from fairly simple to incredibly complex, but few surgeries are more complicated than separating conjoined twins with combined major organs. That's why the recent surgical separation of conjoined twin boys with fused brains in Brazil is so incredible.

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