Household chores not divided equally

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The statistics tell the story: In a poll of men and women, 74 percent of men said they believed household chores were shared equally.

In the same poll, 51 percent of women said they felt the same way. Twenty-six percent of men said one person did all the housework; 49 percent of women said household responsibilities fell to just one person.

Quite a difference, isn’t there?

This could mean one of two things: Either women are housecleaning martyrs who feel they have to do it all themselves or men just aren’t doing their share.

So, which is it?

To help shed some light on the subject, let me offer you a glimpse into a typical American household.

The subjects were a man and a wife, both with full-time jobs and joint responsibilities for a 2-year-old bundle of energy. They have one dog, one fish and a cat that shows up every now and then. There’s laundry to do, dishes to get washed, food to purchase and dinner to cook—typical household things.

The conversation takes place during the rush to get ready for Sunday morning church services.

Man opens drawer and says “I don’t have any (socks, underwear, shirts…fill in the blank.) Do you know where they are?”

Wife replies, “No, I don’t since I don’t wear your (socks, underwear, shirts). They must be in the laundry room to be washed.”

Husband leaves, acting slightly huffy that said items aren’t clean and folded neatly in his drawer.

He returns.

“The (socks, underwear, shirts) were all waiting to be washed,” he said. “I will have to wear some old ones.”

The wife replies, “Sounds good to me. And, while you’re at it, you could go do some laundry and then you would have some clean (socks, underwear, shirts.”

Wife smiles sweetly. Husband leaves to go wash his own (socks, underwear, shirts), or at least walk in that direction to make the wife think he’s going to do so.

In the end, the wife went into the laundry room, found the (socks, underwear, shirts) still dirty in the hamper. She mutters to herself and then does a load of laundry.

And, just to get her point across, she washes everything in hot water and hopes the (socks, underwear, shirts) all shrink.