People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

They Say A Woman's Work Is Never Done

There is no such thing as unisex. Men and women are completely and utterly genetically different. Completely.

A conversation I had with a woman from work the other day really set me off on this. She was telling me how when her husband gets their daughter ready for school for her he leaves the child's other clothes laying around instead of putting them away or in the hamper. My issue was that she used the phrase "for me" as in, "he got our daughter ready for school for me." Why for her? Isn't that his daughter, too? Isn't he just as responsible for her welfare and schooling as her mother?

I really wonder at these old fashioned ideals that we continue to carry around with us, stereo-typing each role we perform in our day-to-day lives. For example, ask a man to empty the dishwasher and, I've found, he will do exactly that. Empty it. No where in his genetic make up does "empty the dishwasher" necessarily also mean that he should put away the clean dishes and and then deal with that pile of dirty dishes in the sink by putting them into the now empty machine.

Women tend to know, without being told, that a dishwasher full of clean dishes should be emptied, the clean dishes put away, and then the washer re-loaded with all the dirty dishes waiting to be made clean. This is not a task that is somehow exclusively feminine in any way that I can see. Men use dishes, too. Yet, they just don't seem to grasp the full concept of tasks that are traditionally considered woman's work.

And I'll be honest, I'd be a very happy homemaker. I'd June Cleaver my days through cooking, cleaning (maybe not too much cleaning), laundry, sewing, whatever housewifely chores need doing. I doubt I'd do it in a twinset and pearls, but still, I'd be happy. I have no need to hold down a job outside of the home. (Just think of all the time I'd have to read and write!!) But, unfortunately, our household budget requires that I work a full-time job that brings in a certain amount of cash every week. So, since we both work full-time jobs (well, we did until my husband was laid off last June), why is it that the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry and the dishes are still somehow woman's work?

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