Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Are lazy men a myth?

New research suggests that women are exaggerating their partner’s faults at home in order to feel more in control. A study involving 15,000 female breadwinners concluded that they feel guilty about working, and so criticise the home-making abilities of the men in their lives in order to feel more in control of the traditionally female household roles.

“Working women who provide the majority of the household's income continue to articulate themselves as the ones who 'see' household messes and needs as a way to retain claims to an element of a traditional feminine identity,” says Dr Rebecca Meisenbach, an American academic. “By highlighting stories of how men have to be told or asked to do specific chores in the home, these female breadwinners are making sure they still fit gender boundaries of a wife as someone who manages the home and children.”

It’s hard to comment on this story without getting into the debate about whether women can ever ‘have it all’, but what really stood out for me is that the whole situation is just a bit sad. It’s almost 2010, and our attitudes don’t seem to have moved on much from the Fifties. More and more women are becoming the breadwinners in their relationships, but they are unwilling to give up the ‘domestic’ role that society expects from them. At the same time, they are refusing to appreciate that their partners can handle things at home.

Is it about time we all just played to our strengths and made them work for us and our relationships? Should women stop expecting their men to be perfect, and stop taking everything on themselves? After all, it’s not good for anyone. It seems to me that by moving away from out-dated ideas about feminine and masculine household roles, everyone could be a hell of a lot happier!

What do you think?


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