This is a comment by Danny on the post “These Chores Don’t Count? On Men’s Hidden ‘Second Shift'”.
The big problem is that “definitive” studies like ATUS and PSID emphasize tasks that are typically performed more by women as “household chores”, while either minimizing or excluding more typical men’s chores.
Much appreciation on bringing this up. I’ve gotten into discussions with plenty of women who actively dismiss things like yard work, maintenance on vehicles, and working on the home. Usually the argument is that such things are “enjoyable to men” or that they don’t do them very often or some other bull.
If that’s the case then how about an experiement where guys just stop doing that stuff. I mean since they just for fun they aren’t that necessary right? They aren’t vital tasks like laundry and cooking and cleaning inside the home? Let’s see how long the car lasts without hubby doing maintenance on it. How tall will the grass grow before it either becomes a neighborhood eyesore (and in some neighborhoods could be an actual ordinance violation) or becomes a home for wandering creatures (good luck seeing the snakes hiding in 3ft tall grass).
In other words those studies are starting off with a deck that is stacked to make it look like women do more housework from the get go?
I wonder if all those folks that go on about all that upaid labor that women do would be willing to extend the same courtesy the upaid work that men do as well?
It’s weird really.
When talking about labor there is certainly a history of women’s contributions being under-counted. But does it really stand to reason that the solution to making sure labor done by women is counted is to make sure the labor that men do is discounted in return? I’d like to think that if we really want to see how the labor division is going we have to see all the labor coming from both sides rather than starting from the conclusion that one side does more and then shaping the studies and research to fit that conclusion.
Photo credit: Flickr / osseous