Monday, May 06, 2019

Why wives do domestic work

A feminist psychologist writes a NY Times op-ed:
Sociologists attribute the discrepancy between mothers’ expectations and reality to “a largely successful male resistance.” This resistance is not being led by socially conservative men, whose like-minded wives often explicitly agree to take the lead in the home. It is happening, instead, with relatively progressive couples, and it takes many women — who thought their partners had made a prenatal commitment to equal parenting — by surprise. Why are their partners failing to pitch in more? ...

The couples offered three explanations for this labor imbalance. The first was that women take over activities like bedtime, homework and laundry because men perform these tasks inadequately. ... The second explanation involved forgetting or obliviousness. ... Finally, some men blamed their wives’ personalities. ...

Division of labor in the home is one of the most important gender-equity issues of our time. Yet at the current rate of change, MenCare, a group that promotes equal involvement in caregiving, estimates that it will be about 75 more years before men worldwide assume half of the unpaid work that domesticity requires.

If anything is going to change, men have to stop resisting.
The article gives examples of men who offer to help with housework, but the wives insist on doing it themselves so that they can do it their way.

What the wives really want, according to the article is for the men to do the parenting and housework, and to do it exactly as the wives want it to be done.

I think that will take more than 75 years.

The article does not directly attack white people, but another NY Times article does:
Since the 2016 presidential election, scholars have hotly debated the best way to counter the “weaponization” of the Middle Ages by a rising tide of far-right extremists, whether it’s white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville, Va., displaying medieval symbols or the white terrorist who murdered 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, using weapons inscribed with references to the Crusades.

And hanging over it all is an even more fraught question: Does medieval studies have a white supremacy problem of its own?

To some scholars, the answer is yes, and not just because the field is overwhelmingly white. Scholarship on the Middle Ages, they argue, helped create the idea of white European superiority, and still bolsters it today.
It is almost impossible to study European history without discussing what made the culture so great.

Update: The NY Times published several letters on housework inequities, in response to the above op-ed. None of them really say that is appropriate for women to do most of the housework.

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