August 2012



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Article found thanks to Feministing, but the thoughts and concerns are all mine

CBS has a nice peice of light hearted journalling here...not

I found this piece so offensive in so many ways. I am not at all opposed to studies which show that live-in boyfriends do more house work than husbands. I think that the reasons for this are more complex than "the institute of marriage pressures people into gender roles". I think some of that might also have to do with people emulating the marriage mommy and daddy had (though it will be interesting to look at kids from this divorce generation and see what their marriages are like). I also think some of it is that both men and women feel more secure in a marriage so they let some of the romance and niceties they were keeping up in domestic life and in the bed room stop...because now they are really committed as opposed to when they could just move out and move on.

I also had no problem with the correlation that women are more likely to have sex with someone who holds up their end of the house work. Yes I think there are many complex reasons why a woman would be more or less sexually active and I do think that boiling it down to house work is lame and chauvenistic. However, I really do think that house work can be a big problem and having something that works for both people in the house would solve a lot of tension and probably lead to better relationships in general (sex included).

My problem is the light hearted attitude that the reporter shows. He jokes about men doing chores being an aphrodisiac. And this sort of dismissal does disgust me. He doesn't mention how tiring doing all the chores yourself can be. He doesn't mention how emotionally and mentally draining doing repetive boring tasks can be, especially if the other person in a relationship IS NOT PULLING their weight. Not he goes for the easy cheap shot joke.

Another problem is the implication that women on any level are allowing access to their bodies because someone did something for them. First off if you are living in a house and do some of the house chores, you are doing them FOR YOURSELF and FOR the QUALITY of YOUR LIVING ENVIORNMENT, not for the little Misus. Secondly cleaning a house, cooking, doing laundry, grocery shopping are all tiring time consuming jobs. Add to that daily living pressures of a job possibly kids and all of that is enough to make anyone tire and not in the "mood". On top of all that is the constant knowledge that your parnter doesn't or won't help with the work load. They don't think enough of you or your relationship to even make a tolken attempt, and suddenly there is a whole world of problem. Doing chores isn't for sex, its for the respect of yourself, your home and your partner. When you aren't doing them it shows a complete lack of thought of all three and really besides a woman's stresses, add to it an inconsiderate partner demanding one more "service" as the article seems to imply sex is just that, and you've got a pissed off lady.

My last problem with the article is how it advocates that men only do a token amount of the work "less than 50%" because she will be greatful enough to "give it up" even at these little feats. I don't like how men make it seem like they've got to trick and pry sex out of women. I don't like that an article isn't explaining and advocating chores for the right reasons. Instead its some sort of easier prostitiution method. "Dude don't spend money on her and get her flowers, just take the dishes out of the dish washer, she'll treat you real good then" sort of deal.

Another thing I'd be curious to see is the correlation of homosexual couples "live ins" and how they deal with chores and sex. I think it would help take things out of the scope of gender roles "women clean and men do whatever", but it would also help drive home the underscoring messages people send when they refuse to take responsiblity for the cleanilness of the home.