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Old 08-30-2007, 10:56 AM   #16
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I can't remember, but I think it was Gloria Steinem who said that the problem is that while we've started to raise our daughters the way we raise our sons, we haven't started raising our sons the way we raise our daughters.

Take my mother, for example. She's an extraordinary woman in every respect. She earns about 2.5-3 times what my father earns, has multiple grad degrees, teaches at the #2 ranked university in the country, has written books and speaks 4 languages on a good day. She's by no means a Stepford wife or believes in stereotypes. However, I've now been at my parents' house for a little over a week, bumming around until I go back to school. I've observed my younger brother (25, btw), who is also at home (he's in grad school during the year) do absolutely nothing. He has no idea how to do the laundry here, he has never vacuumed, he doesn't walk the dog, doesn't wash the dishes, doesn't clean the floors, doesn't even load up the dishwasher. My Mom will go and pick his clothes up off the floor and put them in the laundry. When I pointed this out she said "I know some poor woman will marry him someday and curse me." Well then, make him get up off his ass and do something!! I've done my own laundry, I've packed, I've cleaned all the hardwood floors, I'm giving the dog a bath this afternoon. It's still as if that's just what I'm supposed to do while he's free to stare at his PS3 indefinitely.

So you get these men to marry women or other men and is it any wonder they're either doing nothing or so incompetent that you'd rather they do nothing?

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Old 08-30-2007, 01:03 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Irvine511
the lines of "who does what" are generally determined on the basis of individual talent and interest.
Translation: whoever has the most discipline and was expected to do the most by their parents growing up generally winds up doing the dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing, polishing and other stuff that in truth no one is really "interested" in or "talented" at. When we stayed with our friends Ted and Michael (the ones I wrote about in my journal) a few months back, at one point Ted airily waved his hand around their tidy, spanking clean surroundings and said "Oh Michael usually does all the homey stuff, he's into that but I'm just a disaster at it" and Michael snorted and rolled his eyes like, "Can you believe this lazybutt's excuses." Not that I should talk, probably; I almost never do actual cleaning--I do do most of the cooking or at least 'direct' it, and about half the lawn and garden stuff, though I am the only one who works outside the home (at least that's my excuse!). And when I'm home, we definitely split the childcare...that much is a 16+ hours per day job, so there really is no excuse there. Laundry's a funny one--some people are used to doing multiple people's laundry at once, while others freak out at the idea of anyone but them doing their own. I don't think a literal 50/50 time split is necessarily a non-negotiable ideal, but it is important that neither person feel like they're doing way more things they loathe than the other, or like 'the whole damn household would go to pieces if it weren't for me'.

anitram's definitely right though about the importance of seeing to it that both sons and daughters learn to cook, clean, mow the lawn, wash the dog, do basic household repairs etc. There are some things, like cooking and gardening and certain children's activities, which definitely can have a bit of an "art" to them, and in those cases there *may* be a place for the "talent" argument; and if one person works outside the home considerably more hours than the other, that may factor in too. But most of it just comes down to discipline and responsibility.

I do think *some* people--usually women--at times shoot themselves in the foot by getting unreasonably territorial about the "right" way to do certain things, to the point where they're going "Oh you're so incompetent, I'll just do it myself" over what really boils down to silly idiosyncrasies, then wind up resenting their partner because of something they themselves insisted on. At least, I feel I've seen this happen with some couples we know.

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Old 08-30-2007, 07:18 PM   #18
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I used to get so ticked off growing up when my brothers didn't ever have to help with the laundry or dishes or vacuuming and I did.

I remember how my father was so mystified that my mother was never ready on time on Sunday mornings to go to church. Uh, maybe because she had to do all the work making breakfast and getting us all ready while he sat on his butt and read the Sunday paper?
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:44 PM   #19
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I think I was very lucky because both of my parents did housework. The house was definitely my mom's "domain" in that she was the one who dictated how clean it should be and the standards of how we'd clean it. But my dad would shoulder a mop and do the dishes. He cooked too. Basically, chores were a family affair in our house. Whoever cooked did not have to clean (be it mom or dad) and we two kids were taught equally how to do the housework.

Now with my bf, he is a neat freak while I can stand more of a mess. He's also a genius with an iron and can press clothes as neatly as a dry cleaner. He's not a good cook and I like to cook, so nine times out of ten, I make the meals. Overall, I think we manage to split the chores pretty evenly. If anything, he may do more work then me.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:51 PM   #20
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It's just slightly amazing to me that people still view marriage that way and fall easily into those patterns. No way could I be married to someone who didn't do his fair share of housework.
I do all the housework, but I'm still the "man" in the relationship. I work full time, I pay the rent and all the bills, hubby is a dependent on my health and life insurance policies. I do all of the finances and budgeting. I keep track of the animals (he helps with feeding, cleaning, etc, but I make sure they all get to the vet's and get them in when I think something isn't right). I did all of the decorating and furnishing of our house.

It's not really about housework, I'm in control of everything in general b/c I'm better at organizing, multi-tasking, keeping track of everything, and making sure it all gets done and done thoroughly. I don't EVERY hold this against Phil b/c it's just who I am. I has nothing to do with our marriage. When I lived with my friends, I took care of our leases, my name was on all of the utility accounts, I made the "house rules" and decided which new roommates we would accept.

My parents were hands-off growing up. We never had assigned chores, but none of us kids wanted to live in our own filth (well, my little sis might be the exception). My mom would ask us to do a chore here and there and we just did it, but it wasn't like there were assigned jobs and you had to be nagged to do it. We knew what was expected of us without having to be told or bribed with "allowances" or being grounded. All three of us moved out at 17 or 18 years old and even though I am the cleanest and most organized, we all do just fine and get along on our own.

Personally, I think that having to divide up all the chores is too traditional for my tastes. We just do whatever we do and it works for us. I ask Phil to do things here and there, but I do at least 80% of the housework and I'm fine with that b/c I like the way that I do it. Our motto is "equity, not equality."
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:36 PM   #21
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I do the dishes, my wife does the laundry. We agreed on that and we're both happy. She cooks dinner because she enjoys it . . . and she knows we'd be eating Pop Tarts for dinner otherwise. The rest of the work we split. She works from home, so it's easier for her to get other stuff done when she's not working. Otherwise, we split. I don't mind it. I wipe our sons' butts just as often as she does.
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:31 PM   #22
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I walk the dogs, cut the grass, do the dishwasher, fold the laundry, do my laundry, vacuum, and do whatever my parents ask me to do. It's tough getting my sister to do anything.
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:37 PM   #23
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"A letter from a supportive husband...."

It is important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman. My name is Jim. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Shirley. When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Shirley to get a full-time job along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home-cooked grub when I hit that door. She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed. Another symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong points. When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the lawn. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for awhile. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too. I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Shirley. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help each other.

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Old 09-25-2007, 08:07 PM   #24
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Where in the world did you get that!
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:03 AM   #25
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It sounds like something from The Onion. I hope it's something like that, because I'd hate to think it's a real letter.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:10 AM   #26
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The worst is the mess. The clutter, glasses left everywhere, tissues, socks, clothes, papers and more papers, ticket stubs, wrappers etc etc
He's like a tornado of shit and he honestly doesn't look at a messy house and go 'lets clean up!' he looks at me like when i get all huffy about it looking like a pigsty.
The most classic comment is 'i can see the floor, and there is no mould whats wrong?'

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Old 09-26-2007, 05:15 AM   #27
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My wife and I have found a system that works well for us.

I do dishes and laundry (the things I really care about). Oh and I make the bed every morning.

She does the floors and bathrooms (the things she really cares about).

As far as cooking, since we got married we've taken turns by week. I cook one week, she cooks the next. I think it's turned out well for both of us and we eat better (meaning more interesting, creative meals) than most of the people we know because neither one of us ever gets "burned out" on cooking every single day of every single week of every year for the rest of our lives.

We are the only couple we know that has an arrangement like this.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:01 AM   #28
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Originally posted by Bono's shades
It sounds like something from The Onion. I hope it's something like that, because I'd hate to think it's a real letter.
I'd hate to think so too, but I have certainly encountered similar attitudes. So even if it is fake, well....

NY Times

Economic Scene
He’s Happier, She’s Less So

Last year, a team of researchers added a novel twist to something known as a time-use survey. Instead of simply asking people what they had done over the course of their day, as pollsters have been doing since the 1960s, the researchers also asked how people felt during each activity. Were they happy? Interested? Tired? Stressed?

Not surprisingly, men and women often gave similar answers about what they liked to do (hanging out with friends) and didn’t like (paying bills). But there were also a number of activities that produced very different reactions from the two sexes — and one of them really stands out: Men apparently enjoy being with their parents, while women find time with their mom and dad to be slightly less pleasant than doing laundry.

Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist working with four psychologists on the time-use research team, figures that there is a simple explanation for the difference. For a woman, time with her parents often resembles work, whether it’s helping them pay bills or plan a family gathering. “For men, it tends to be sitting on the sofa and watching football with their dad,” said Mr. Krueger, who, when not crunching data, enjoys watching the New York Giants with his father.

This intriguing — if unsettling — finding is part of a larger story: there appears to be a growing happiness gap between men and women.

Two new research papers, using very different methods, have both come to this conclusion. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, economists at the University of Pennsylvania (and a couple), have looked at the traditional happiness data, in which people are simply asked how satisfied they are with their overall lives. In the early 1970s, women reported being slightly happier than men. Today, the two have switched places.

Mr. Krueger, analyzing time-use studies over the last four decades, has found an even starker pattern. Since the 1960s, men have gradually cut back on activities they find unpleasant. They now work less and relax more.

Over the same span, women have replaced housework with paid work — and, as a result, are spending almost as much time doing things they don’t enjoy as in the past. Forty years ago, a typical woman spent about 23 hours a week in an activity considered unpleasant, or 40 more minutes than a typical man. Today, with men working less, the gap is 90 minutes.

These trends are reminiscent of the idea of “the second shift,” the name of a 1989 book by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild, arguing that modern women effectively had to hold down two jobs. The first shift was at the office, and the second at home.

But researchers who have looked at time-use data say the second-shift theory misses an important detail. Women are not actually working more than they were 30 or 40 years ago. They are instead doing different kinds of work. They’re spending more time on paid work and less on cleaning and cooking.

What has changed — and what seems to be the most likely explanation for the happiness trends — is that women now have a much longer to-do list than they once did (including helping their aging parents). They can’t possibly get it all done, and many end up feeling as if they are somehow falling short.

Mr. Krueger’s data, for instance, shows that the average time devoted to dusting has fallen significantly in recent decades. There haven’t been any dust-related technological breakthroughs, so houses are probably just dirtier than they used to be. I imagine that the new American dustiness affects women’s happiness more than men’s.

Ms. Stevenson was recently having drinks with a business school graduate who came up with a nice way of summarizing the problem. Her mother’s goals in life, the student said, were to have a beautiful garden, a well-kept house and well-adjusted children who did well in school. “I sort of want all those things, too,” the student said, as Ms. Stevenson recalled, “but I also want to have a great career and have an impact on the broader world.”

It’s telling that there is also a happiness gap between boys and girls in high school. As life has generally gotten better over the last generation — less crime, longer-living grandparents and much cooler gadgets — male high school seniors have gotten happier. About 25 percent say they are very satisfied with their lives, up from 16 percent in 1976. Roughly 22 percent of senior girls now give that answer, unchanged from the 1970s.

When Ms. Stevenson and I were talking last week about possible explanations, she mentioned her “hottie theory.” It’s based on an April article in this newspaper by Sara Rimer, about a group of incredibly impressive teenage girls in Newton, Mass. The girls were getting better grades than the boys, playing varsity sports, helping to run the student government and doing community service. Yet one girl who had gotten a perfect 2,400 on her college entrance exams noted that she and her friends still felt pressure to be “effortlessly hot.”

As Ms. Stevenson, who’s 36, said: “When I was in high school, it was clear being a hottie was the most important thing, and it’s not that it’s any less important today. It’s that other things have become more important. And, frankly, people spent a lot of time trying to be a hottie when I was in high school. So I don’t know where they find the time today.”

The two new papers — Mr. Krueger’s will be published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and the Stevenson-Wolfers one is still in draft form — are part of a burst of happiness research in recent years. There is no question that the research has its limitations. Happiness, of course, is highly subjective.

A big reason that women reported being happier three decades ago — despite far more discrimination — is probably that they had narrower ambitions, Ms. Stevenson says. Many compared themselves only to other women, rather than to men as well. This doesn’t mean they were better off back then.

But it does show just how incomplete the gender revolution has been. Although women have flooded into the work force, American society hasn’t fully come to grips with the change. The United States still doesn’t have universal preschool, and, in contrast to other industrialized countries, there is no guaranteed paid leave for new parents.

Government policy isn’t the only problem, either. Inside of families, men still haven’t figured out how to shoulder their fair share of the household burden. Instead, we’re spending more time on the phone and in front of the television.

This weekend, I think I may volunteer to do a little dusting.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:05 PM   #29
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I live by myself, so of course, I do all of the housework. But, when I'm with my girlfriend at her place, I'm always helping her out. When I was growing up, we had no genders attached to work assignments in our house, although I did mow the lawn. I also did the cleaning, vacuuming, the dishes and my own laundry. The older I, my older brother and two older sisters got, (I was the youngest) the more responsibilities we took on. When I help out my girlfriend, the quicker we get it done and do something fun. So MrPryck isn't always a prick, lol!
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:20 PM   #30
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Study Ties Wage Disparities To Outlook on Gender Roles

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post, September 22

Men with egalitarian attitudes about the role of women in society earn significantly less on average than men who hold more traditional views about women's place in the world, according to a study being reported today. It is the first time social scientists have produced evidence that large numbers of men might be victims of gender-related income disparities. The study raises the provocative possibility that a substantial part of the widely discussed gap in income between men and women who do the same work is really a gap between men with a traditional outlook and everyone else.

The differences found in the study were substantial. Men with traditional attitudes about gender roles earned $11,930 more a year than men with egalitarian views and $14,404 more than women with traditional attitudes. The comparisons were based on men and women working in the same kinds of jobs with the same levels of education and putting in the same number of hours per week.

Although men with a traditional outlook earned the most, women with a traditional outlook earned the least. The wage gap between working men and women with a traditional attitude was more than 10 times as large as the gap between men and women with egalitarian views. If you divide workers into four groups--men with traditional attitudes, men with egalitarian attitudes, women with traditional attitudes and women with egalitarian attitudes--men with traditional attitudes earn far more for the same work than those in any of the other groups. There are small disparities among the three disadvantaged groups, but the bulk of the income inequality is between the first group and the rest.

"When we think of the gender wage gap, most of our focus goes to the women side of things," said Beth A. Livingston, co-author of the study. "This article says a lot of the difference may be in men's salaries." Livingston said she was taken aback by the results. "We actually thought maybe men with traditional attitudes work in more complex jobs that pay more or select higher-paying occupations," she said. "Regardless of the jobs people chose, or how long they worked at them, there was still a significant effect of gender role attitudes on income."

The study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, is based on information collected by a federal government survey over a quarter-century. The Labor Department's National Longitudinal Survey of Youth began tracking 12,000 people in 1979 when they were 14 to 22 years old. The survey participants are now 43 to 51 years old. Because many participants in the survey were children when it started, incomes for men and women changed dramatically over the 25 years that Livingston and co-author Timothy Judge studied. Averaged over the quarter-century, salaries ranged from $34,725 for working men with traditional attitudes to $20,321 for working women with traditional attitudes. Working men with egalitarian attitudes made $22, 795 on average, while working women with egalitarian attitudes made $21,373.

Livingston and Judge, who are organizational psychologists at the University of Florida, compared people's incomes over time to their evolving views on whether a woman's place is in the home and whether it is better for men to be the only breadwinners. People who endorsed distinct roles in society for men and women were considered to have traditional views, while those who advocated equal roles for men and women at home and in the workplace were classified as having egalitarian views.

The study offers an unusual window into the gender disparities in income that have been observed for decades. Critics of the gender-gap theory regularly suggest that the disparity is an artifact of the career choices that men and women make or the different hours that men and women work. The critics argue that more men choose higher-paying professions such as law and business and more women choose lower-paying professions such as education and social work, and that men tend to work longer hours. Researchers said all the conclusions in the new study were based on comparisons between people in similar jobs, working similar hours, with similar qualifications. "Some would say, 'Of course traditional men earn more than traditional women--they are both fulfilling their desires to play different roles in the home and workplace,' " said Judge, emphasizing that the researchers compared working men with working women, not working men with women who stay home. "Our results do not support that view. If you were a traditional-minded woman, would you say, 'I am fine working the same hours as a traditional-minded man in the same industry with the same education but earning substantially less'? I don't think traditional-minded women would say that."

The empirical evidence in the study showed a connection between people's attitudes about gender roles and their salaries. It was not designed to explain why those disparities come about or how people's attitudes--supposedly a private matter--affect how much money they make.

Livingston and Judge said there are two possible explanations: Traditional-minded men might negotiate much harder for better salaries, especially when compared with traditional-minded women. Alternatively, it could also be that employers discriminate against women and men who do not subscribe to traditional gender roles. "It could be that traditional men are hypercompetitive salary negotiators--the Donald Trump prototype, perhaps," Judge said. "It could be on the employer side that, subconsciously, the men who are egalitarian are seen as effete."

^ ...or perhaps, less subconsciously, that men who take paternity leave, talk a lot about their kids, and usually give family-related reasons when requesting days off are perceived as "not as serious" about job performance and "not as committed" to the company as men who don't.

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