"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Men and Housework

According to a story from the feminist daily news wire, women do about 16 hours of housework (things like cleaning and meal preparation) a week, while men do about 10 hours of it. And apparently this is the way things have been for about 20 years now:
Since 1985, however, progress toward gender equality in domestic work has stalled, according to the time use studies, which show a 20-year plateau that continues with the recent ATUS findings.

Any ideas on how it might change?

I live alone, now, and have had women as roommates, but haven't been living with a significant other in a long while. For the times that I did, I'm quite sure I would have reflected this statistic very well, which I'm not proud of. Recognizing this is, of course, half of the problem--but even recognizing it is complex. For instance, in the cases where a man 'just is' not as concerned about cleanliness, does this simply reflect a preference, or is it part of his socialization (i.e. mom cleaned up after him to whatever degree) that he ought to unlearn because of the sexism involved in it?

No blanket answers here, of course, and there will always be men and women who are exceptions that prove the rule--but given the 16hr/10hr statistic, what can men to encourage themselves to change around this issue?

Also, I'd be interested to hear from people who live somehow outside the glaringly heterosexist nature of these comparisons--people who are part of variously gendered couples/triples/etc. and how they do or don't see these statistics reflected in their relationships...
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