Saturday, March 03, 2007

More From The Battlefront

A study in the UK shows that single women do less housework than partnered women. Well,duh! Two are messier than one. It took a college professor with an MA and an Honorary Doctorate to figure this shit out, I guess. Here's the link.

Among the findings:
*Single women in Britain spend 10 hours on average a week
*Single men in Britain spend 7 hours on average a week
*Women living in a couple spend 15 hours on chores
*Men living in a couple spend 5 hours on chores
The study involved households where both partners worked outside the home.

...And fails to bring up another well known fact: men generally work more overtime, at more physically demanding jobs, than their women.
(this study ignores another study, also taken in the UK, for obvious agendized reasons, begging the question: does feminism really care about women's health?)

What this study doesn't mention, and likely didn't bother to look into, is what percentage of other household work was done by the men. There is more to maintaining a household than housework.
Likely, the man now has to repair and maintain two vehicles, instead of one, and take out four times as much garbage as before. What percentage of outdoor chores did the man acquire in exchange for the new lifestyle?
Twice as much wear and tear on the home equals twice as many plumbing repairs,clogged toilets, and broken fixtures. Who is taking care of these things?
Who is shoveling the snow from the drive in winter?
And who is expected to wake in the middle of the night to confront any bumps in the dark?(in other words, who is expected to die, if necessary, while the other flees?)

Creating a home together is an enterprise that requires sacrifice and teamwork from both partners. And like any other economic enterprise, and yes, householding is an economic enterprise, a division of labors is the successful pattern, as opposed to equal sharing of all labors. Besides, just how many women would rather be shoveling their 'fair share' of snow,anyway?
But we aren't likely to hear this other side from the feminist study takers.

Of course, the answer from at least one feminist is:
"As much as we might like to legislate against men for not doing housework, it is not an option," laughs Ms Ruth Lister, adding that cultural expectations die hard.(Yeah, lady. I'm laughing too, but for a different reason.)

Again, blaming the culture (patriarchy?), instead of just recognizing that the very thought of such legislation is just plain stupid.
Almost as stupid as a gratuitous swipe at her fashion sense.But, no post about a woman would be complete witout some judgement of her appearance,would it? /sarcasm

Ruth Lister, social policy professor, Loughborough University
(No, it is not post-transgender-surgery Rod Stewart)

Note To Reader: I have alluded to Ms. Lister's academic and professional accomplishments, commented on her appearance, and made passing remarks to her level of intelligence and dedication to agenda. I think I've covered all the bases on this one.


vanesa said...

Single men spend seven hours a week doing housework? What is the definition of doing housework? Boiling ramen, scrambling to clean the bed before your girlfriend arrives, doing a beer run, taking out the garbage when it's smelly, and flushing the toilet? I'm sorry, but most single men that I've seen live in filth! Marriage is an improvement for them in terms of work.

Most single women I've seen live in cleanliness. It might be social conditioning, it might be wiring, but women tend to be more "anal retentive" and ritualistic in getting things done, guys are mostly just interested in getting in done and being as efficient as possible. Also, I'd like to see a dad breast feeding his kids.

When you're a working couple (who is likely to have kids) you do have way more work, and you are right about the manual labor for men. I wouldn't want to do the outdoor stuff my husband does, but if he's bored or unwell, he'll do mine. I know a lot of men like that.

Besides, I think that kind of study would be hard, as finding a control group would be next to impossible.

ajtooley said...

Professor Lister is posing for The Big Book of British Smiles.

Gino said...

as a couple, it should be 'our' work, and as long as the partnership succeeds, who does what part of 'our' shouldnt matter. most men try to help out, but i know some who's wives dont like the way they do it(like folding the towels) and wont let him touch anything.

tooley:nothing like a british smile,eh?

kr said...

I think I've covered all the bases on this one.

Kris said...

But, the only reason why men do outside work is because they've oppressed women since Adam and Eve and have not allowed them to do work oustide the home. Men oppress women to be barefoot and pregnant.

It's all men's fault.

Anonymous said...

Whose money went to study such a thing? What a waste..

I agree Gino, and I'll add that any team will never work well together if they tend to be selifish and looking out for #1. Amazing things get done when there's a nice balance of generosity and common sense.

Anonymous said...

What a caveman you are!!

Forgot to sign my name in the post above....


Anonymous said...

Hey Trish,

It's good to see you.

The Law Fairy said...

lol, gino -- you aren't writing your posts for little old me, now are you?

I'm sure this will surprise you (as many people seem to stuff cotton in the ears the second they hear the word "feminist") but I agree that women who only do indoor housework and expect hubby to do everything else are living a charmed life. This is why I'm all for women working long hours outside the home and sharing in outdoor chores just as much as men. As a single woman, I take care of EVERYTHING that needs to get taken care of, myself. I don't expect any of this to change if/when I ever get married. It's pathetic and immature to expect a man to take care of your whole life for you.

For what it's worth as data points, my sister and I are the slobs in our family. Brother is an obsessive neat freak. He's grossed out whenever he visits my humble sty. I really don't give a crap as long as I can walk around and there's no mold. I wash the dishes and take out the trash regularly and scrub the toilet/bath when they look dirty, and that's about it. If people are coming over, I vacuum and scrub the counters. I don't think I've washed the linoleum since moving in.

And I don't shovel snow, although I would kill to have a driveway to shovel and to actually get snow at Christmas. And you bet I'd expect to do my fair share (as I always did growing up -- even as a child I shoveled snow). REAL feminists like me are all about equality.

Gino said...

i'm just trying to please. a guys got standards to maintain, ya know?

as for division of chores,though, i think its best each couple figure it out themselves without some outside forces trying to dictate the norm.

traditional roles evolved over time. it worked then, and still works for some.
as for me, i enjoyed changing the oil in two cars, and wifey dont like getting her hands dirty that way. but, i'm not big on laundry either, and she's anal about the way stuff is folded.

whatever works, works, and its nobody else's business.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Gino: It's true.

Law: When I was a teenager, my mom was working 80+ hours a week so we could move into a nice house, maintain our lifestyle, have a decent car and a good education, after she got sick of law) I worked a lot. I never went to prom, didn't get to do any sports or be a cheerleader like I wanted to, I sometimes did after school activities, but invariably, I had to drop out.

I used to do an insane amount of housework and caring for my brother, because my mom was at home a total of eight hours a day (mostly to sleep, feed us breakfast before heading to work, and maybe see us for dinner.) I only worked outside of the home two hours a day and on weekends, plus homework from my AP classes with whatever after school activities to pad my college resume.

It was a very hard and miserable period. There was no dad or family to help us out, so the burden was on me, since my brother was struggling at school and he needed to concentrate on his studies. My jobs were cutting roses for a pesticide-laden factory farm, and janitorial/sub work at a daycare.

I ran away from home to attend college because I figured I could test out of my last semester of high school and most of my basic college classes (which I did,) and maybe have an easier time at college (which I did.) So I enjoyed this hedonistic bliss, until I did my duty as a good LDS girl and got married to my ex.

My ex-husband gave a lot of lip-service to feminism and equality, but he pretty much expected me to keep up with my college, take care of the house and hold a job. He "did" do the dishes and the occasional house-cleaning , but I was the one stuck doing shit work like plumbing or taking out the garbage.

When my first marriage went down the tubes, I had nobody to rely on. I had to quit drugs and alcohol on my own, I had to do all the shit jobs on my own, and because I was the only gainfully and legally employed (nude model) person at the artists' commune group I lived in, I was the one feeding all of my hippie friends and doing much of the maintenance. I had to dumpster dive for my art supplies, because no one else would.

When I finally had the money to dig myself out of the pit I buried myself in, I used to always hire a maid or a handyman, to do my cleaning and menial business tasks because frankly I was too busy working. They appreciated the pay and I appreciate the clean. I "could" have done all the icky work, but why do everything when it isn't necessary. I vowed to myself, from the moment I had enough money on, that I would NEVER be totally reliant on myself to do EVERYTHING, because frankly no one should have to live like that. If someone needed help I was happy to lend a hand, but I could count on those who cared about me to return the favor.

Now enter second husband, he is the stereotypical sexist gypsy who dislikes being bested by a woman. From the start, he made it clear that unless I was working outside of the home, I was to do woman things and he was to do man things. So, I worked outside of the home and had my maid do my womanly tasks unless we had guests. It worked out smashingly, until I had a life-threatening illness, my ability to hold a job collapsed and I finally accepted the fact that I wasn't bisexual at all.

It was a scary time because we were contemplating divorce, and I could no longer take care of myself. However, after much discussion, we realized that sex was not what our marriage was about. We decided to stay together because we realized that we needed each other. During my illness, my husband learned to do "girly" things. He even developed his current hobby of baking artisan breads. Each one of us was a completely separate unit capable of independence, but together we are an awesome team.

After the financial devastation my health issues left behind, and the expense of starting a retail business ate up any "fun" money, Loki and I are now re-learning the whole art of separation of labor. It's quite an adventure, to be sure.