The Clock Partially Stopped in the 50’s

By: Molly Congdon

The age of poodle skirts; malt shops and beehive hairstyles have come and gone. A lot has changed. Women no longer serve as breeders and housewives(unless by choice); instead, they are chasing their dreams, holding high-power positions and showing what they are capable of, equal to men in every way. Now it isn’t strange to see several stay-at-home dads while the wives bring home the bacon. It’s a whole new world, but sometimes traces of the past still seem to be penetrate present time.

bigstock-businesswoman-and-housewife-ti-30178565-400Even the best men seem to have their moments when they revert from loving how strong, independent and hard working we are to say, “Babe, you didn’t make dinner?” Or “The house really needs to be cleaned.” Unfortunately, it’s still a struggle even on the home-front at times. It begs the question: Why are men still living in the 50s?

It’s not rare among family gatherings to witness women cooking a feast and then when the plates are empty, and it is time to clean up the mess; the ladies are the ones at the sink while the men sit, chatting at the table without even offering to lend a hand. They aren’t intentionally trying to be rude. They just feel that this is the way things should be. It’s natural for them not to feel compelled to help; no guilt, it’s not manly enough for them to do—it’s a cultural message.

The Nation states: “Today’s women spend more time in paid employment but still come home to the second shift. On the typical day, nearly half of them will do housework, but just 20 percent of men will do the same. And women put more time into scrubbing the toilet or doing the laundry—three more hours each week than men. Men carve out three more hours of leisure time. Even mothers who work full-time will still put in a week and a half’s worth more time on household tasks than their male partners each year…but there’s no biological determinant for housework. No gender is physically predisposed to want to do the dishes or take out the trash. This drudgery is necessary—at least if you like eating off of dishes that don’t have old food on them or living in a house that doesn’t smell like the dump.”

According to the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, the amount of housework done by women has decreased since 1976, while the amount of housework done by men has doubled. In 1976, women did about 26 hours of housework a week; in 2005, they did about 16.5. Men did about six hours a week in 1976, and in 2005, they did about 12.5. Still not equal shares.

The Huffington Post reported statistics from data compiled by the U.S.Bureau of Labor: “It’s still true that women do the lion’s share of housework. On an average day in 2015, 85 percent of women spent time doing things like housework, cooking, lawn care or financial management, while only 67 percent of men did so. Women spent an average of 2.6 hours on housework on the days they did housework, while men spent 2.1 hours.”

A Slate article written by Amanda Marcotte states: “It is well-documented that working women do more housework and childcare than working men. This is what we call the ‘second shift’: Men and women both go off to work, but it’s women who come home to a whole other job.”

Oh yes, that’s fair.

So guys, take a giant leap out of the past and load the dishwasher without feeling it is beneath you. Don’t turn it into a gender war, you eat off of them too!