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The Forum > Article Comments > Men make a meal of household equality > Comments

Men make a meal of household equality : Comments

By Nicholas Gruen, published 20/1/2006

Nicholas Gruen examines the division of labour in households between the sexes.

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The difference between men and women is that women do things which are there to be done, men do things which have to be done.

It's a matter of tolerance.

I'll iron a shirt every morning before work if I have to and iron the kis clothes as they need them. My wife prefers to iron everything at once so there is no "mess" in the laundry. I don't mind messy laundries.

I will also tolerate unmade beds, but not overcooked food - that's why I do most of the cooking.

t.u.s.
Posted by the usual suspect, Friday, 20 January 2006 8:42:34 AM
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What an accurate examination you have made, Nicholas. Thankyou! It is an obvious fact that women do much more work around the house than men. I am bracing myself now for the onslaught you will no doubt receive, by men claiming they do more 'outside' of the house. I'm sure they like to think they do.

The truth is, both inside AND outside of the house women do in fact do more. Why? Because they've had to. I have long believed that female laborers, politicians, athletes etc have had to work so much harder in order to make their way in a patriarchal society governed mostly by the laws and economy of old, balding men.

Yes it's true, women have traditionally been relegated to the passenger seat of the family car (even though women are more cautious, better drivers), the glamorous accessory at business meetings, the sideshow cheerleaders as the big buffoon male footy players take the stage with a high salary to go with it.

My sincere apologies go to the women who do not fit the roles I have described. My even more sincere apologies to the women who do.
Posted by tubley, Friday, 20 January 2006 9:43:25 AM
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I found that my husband and I did pretty much equal amounts of housework up until the children arrived. As I stayed home to care for the little ones it made sense that I managed the house and garden too. However once I found a part-time job I discovered that he quite liked the existing arrangement and guess what my share of the housework and childcare remained the same (ie. nearly all of it).

I have however found a partial solution. With the children at home for the holidays combined with lots of rainy days where we have stayed indoors the house is a tip. I have claimed it is a complete waste of time even trying to clean up and lo and behold my darling husband thinks we need a cleaner! So ladies if you want to make a difference just go on strike for a few weeks - it is worth putting up with the mess and some not at all pleasant smells. I just need a solution that persuades him that he could also leave work earlier to pick up the children from after schoolcare. I am not sure that forgetting to do that will work quite as well.
Posted by sajo, Friday, 20 January 2006 11:03:45 AM
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I don't know what other people do, but I've been a full time house husband for the past 5 years. My wife still works outside the home. I still think she was much better in the domestic role than I am.

She agrees with me!
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 20 January 2006 11:16:41 AM
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Tubley - when it comes to all paid and unpaid work - men and women do roughly the same. About 65 hours each a week. Just because in many houses this split may include the man working 45 hours paid work to pay the mortgage, doesn't mean he is not pulling his weight.

This debate about men and women doing the housework is pointless. Marriage is a partnership and in most stable ones you will find the whole running of the house would be split fairly evenly. If your man doesn't pull his weight, leave him and move in with a woman.

Although then who will you complain about?

As for your suggestions that women have had to work harder in business, sport etc. What utter nonsense. That is an insult to all people who have worked hard to get where they are. So many chips on your shoulder.

To save everyone time I will devise a list of the most evil groups people in the world, each group more evil than the last.

1:Men
2: White Men
3: White Heterosexual Men
4: White Heterosexual Men who eat Meat
5: White Heteorsexual Men who eat Meat which their wife has cooked for them.

Feel free to add to the list. alhtough I cannot think of anyone more evil than the last group.

t.u.s.
Posted by the usual suspect, Friday, 20 January 2006 11:24:43 AM
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Ummm tus while I realise you were probably being sarcasticÖ my husband is a white hetereosexual man who eats meat that his wife has cooked for himÖ but Iím pretty sure heís not evil. In fact he is not racist, he is queer friendly and he is nice to vegetarians (like me!) so Iíll have to stand up for him and say you are wrong. We earn the same amount of money and do the same amount of housework. We just do different things and luckily we prefer different things eg. he does the dishes, vaccuming, lawnmowing etc while I do the cooking, folding washing, cleaning the toilet etc. We know that loving eachother is more important than worrying about the housework anyway Ė housework will always be there and itís not that important! I'm not going to die thinking, "I wish I did more housework"...
Posted by Pedant, Friday, 20 January 2006 2:24:02 PM
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