The term ‘strategic incompetence’ or ‘weaponized incompetence’ first appeared in 2007, and it represents the phenomenon of avoiding responsibilities by pretending not to be able to do them – even though they might be just some basic tasks.
The term is now trending on TikTok, and the hashtag was re-ignited in 2021. Namely, people share and react to videos where one partner (usually a man) pretends to be incapable of doing basic household chores and parenting tasks, and all the load is put on the shoulders of the other partner.
Cambrian College professor Neil Shyminsky filmed a TikTok video in which he explained the infuriating practice, and he admitted to having employed the tactic as a child himself.
The video sparked many TikTokers to film videos in which they shared their own take on the topic. Namely, motivational speaker Cindy Noir shared that the thing that bothers her the most about this issue is that it’s not necessarily how it impacts the partner or spouse, but how does it affect the children and the overall family dynamic.