TikToker goes viral after talking about the concept of kinkeeping

Are YOU suffering from ‘kinkeeping’ stress? Theory about toll of ‘invisible’ emotional burden placed on women in families – while men ‘put their feet up’ – takes the internet by storm

  • A TikToker, 19, learned about the topic in her women and gender classes 
  • She says it’s been on her mind as it’s the ‘root of stress in most women’s lives’ 
  • So far @thought_dumpy’s video has been viewed more than 4.4 million times 
  • Thousands of viewers have thanked her for speaking out about the phenomenon

A college student has gone viral after discussing the concept of kinkeeping, which she says is the art of ‘women doing everything but going unseen.’ 

The 19-year-old creator, known as @thought_dumpy, reveals in a post that she learned about the topic in her women and gender studies classes, and it’s been on her mind ’24/7′ as it’s the ‘root of stress in most women’s lives.’

To explain the concept, she likens it to a theater production where all of the actors and actresses are the ‘men’ who get all of the praise, while the backstage crew or the ‘women’ are the ones who get no thanks for their hard work behind the scenes. 

Addressing the topic further, she continues: ‘The women are the people who go unseen during the holidays. 

‘There’s a lot of cooking and cleaning and planning and organizing but a lot of it goes unnoticed because the whole role of this job is to be invisible and to perform and to perform convenience for everyone… to put on a show.’

The TikTok creator known as @thought_dumpy, aged 19, reveals in a post that she learned about the topic of kinkeeping in her women and gender studies classes

My mom’s life changed when I taught her about this. #feminist #feminism #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #genderrole #genderexpression #education #kinkeeping

Meanwhile, she says the men can be seen ‘sitting at the table, talking and laughing and telling stories… relaxing with their feet up not knowing what time anything starts.’ 


Dawn O. Braithwaite, Ph.D. explains in Psychology Today that kinkeepers are ‘family members who help enable and assist family communication.’

These people ‘plan family gatherings or help the family keep in touch with one another by providing updates on issues such as graduations, birth of a baby, or publicizing support needs if a family member becomes unemployed or is having surgery.’ 

Braithwaite says that to this day, kinkeepers are still mostly women. The first study on kinkeepers in 1996 revealed that 85 per cent were women – mostly mothers, aunts, and grandmothers – who ranged from 40 to 69 years old. This role was then passed down to younger family members. 

While she says there are benefits to being a kinkeeper, the role also comes with downsides including ‘time or financial commitments and emotional demands.’

So far the creator’s video has been viewed more than 4.4 million times, with thousands of viewers thanking her for speaking out about the phenomenon. 

‘Wow! This is soooo [sic] true. Creating that magic is always the mom’s job. Thank you for educating us!’ one person said.

‘Spoken beautifully! This screamed at my soul. This is soooo (sic) accurate, and sad simultaneously,’ another added.

Some women revealed that it isn’t so one-sided in their households, but they appreciated the creator’s insights. 

‘This was so interesting. I feel so lucky that my husband shares the load with me. And I shouldn’t feel lucky. It should be the norm,’ a third TikTok user mused.

But some accused the teenager of not knowing what she was talking about. 

‘I think you’re making sweeping statements. Not all men are like this, I don’t see this as a typical behavior showing off their efforts. Not all women keep themselves hidden. Maybe the men in my life are all just better people? What you are describing is far from my normal life,’ someone else said.

In response, the TikToker said: ‘I’ve also never had a boyfriend, but I notice it so much in my friend’s boyfriends or the adult men in my life. It’s actually one of the main reasons I haven’t dated.’ 

She added: ‘It’s not my life either. I’m literally 19 and don’t have kids. It’s what I learned in my women and gender studies class [and] it’s backed up by others.’ 

In a follow-up video, the TikToker acknowledges that sometimes men do the ‘kinkeeping,’ but ‘they don’t typically do it as invisibly as women are taught to.’

Replying to @_leah26 part 2, sorry it took so long to get to #feminist #feminism #genderstudies #genderexpression #genderroles #kinkeeping #women #motherhood #parenting

The TikToker says: ‘I’ve also never had a boyfriend, but I notice [kinkeeping] so much in my friend’s boyfriends or the adult men in my life’

Offering an example, she says: ‘[When] my uncle puts the buns on the table he normally says, “I made these buns this morning.” 

‘[Men] love to show off and women just wouldn’t do that because they’re so fixated on the fact that it has to be hidden.’

Asked if there is something that can be done to help female family members out, the creator, concludes: ‘My solution is start talking about it. Show your husband this video.

‘And not only is it important to educate our daughters about this but our sons [too]… tell them dates and times, help them memorize birthdays… and as women don’t be afraid to receive where credit is due.’

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