Feature

Requiring men to be just like women

Poor women

Kathleen Parker National Review Online

Poor women—still stuck with the bulk of housework, while their cloddish husbands drink beer and loll on the couch, watching the ballgame. That’s the conclusion the media is drawing from a new study by the University of Michigan, said Kathleen Parker, since researchers found that women still do more cleaning and cooking than men. What sexist pigs! But a close look at the findings shows that the news isn’t quite so “gloomy’’ at all. In 2005, women averaged 17 hours of housework per week while men averaged 13. This is a vast improvement from 1976, when the ratio was 26 to six. But progress aside, why don’t men and women spend exactly equal amounts of time vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing? As a mom who shares her house with four males, I can personally attest that most men simply “don’t value the results of housework as much as women do.’’ Women define “clean’’ differently, and have a preference for order and organization that eludes the majority of men. So why should our standards define how much time and energy men devote to housework? “Some things will never be exactly equal until men and women are exactly the same.’’ We might as well get over it.  

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