It’s a complete myth that women are good at tracking household chores | Allison Daminger

WRecently, while browsing the greeting card aisles of a local drugstore, I discovered a genre of uncompromising Father’s Day cards. “Happy Father’s Day for a husband who has everything but doesn’t know where it is,” one rang the trumpet. Read another article, “To the Boss of Our Family.” “Oops, I’m sorry. Mother’s Day was last month. Anyway, Happy Father’s Day.”

The Bumbling Daddy referenced by these cards is the backside of the iconic Super Mom. Bumbling Dad tends to be a single-tasking type guy while Supermum is juggling a briefcase, four dinner plates, and a crying kid. She even tells him where and when he is and what to wear while he is there. He excels at the “Honey Do” list, but leaving it to his device, suppers tend to be microwaved, and children stop by day care in inappropriate clothing seasonally.

I admit that I read these cards and laughed. Women were tickled by the hint that they were more capable in the country than men. But if our society is serious about gender equality, it’s time to retire from this caricature. It may be interesting, but its permanence in cultural narratives and individual family folklore only anchors the long-standing family inequality that has been brought to painful relief over the past year.

As a scholar, I interviewed couples of more than 70 genders and learned how to divide the “mental work” involved in household management and parenting. This includes tasks such as planning meals, coordinating family schedules, and remembering plans for extracurricular activities for children.

I found The responsibility for this spiritual work rests more heavily on women’s shoulders, even among couples who share the “physical work” of cooking, cleaning and shopping.Women especially anticipate family needs and may notice potential problems before they become aware of them Actually problem.This may be as mediocre as a family member notices a lack of toilet paper before the last roll runs out, and as much as recognizing that the time to look for day care is months. May be important Before You really need it. Women also tend to follow up later: Did my spouse pick up toilet paper on the way home, as he promised? Did the day care center officially confirm the location of our child?

When I ask a couple why they share their mental responsibilities in this way, I rarely hear that this is a “women’s job.”Instead, I Ask about Personality, nature, temperament. They tell me she’s type A and he’s laid back. Or she is organized and he prefers to fly by the seat of his pants. They say it would be catastrophic if he was in charge of the schedule, and they don’t even start to me about what would happen if he were in charge of extracurricular lessons for the child.

For individual couples, these explanations often make a lot of sense. Economics 101 teaches that specialization is efficient and common sense requires us to demonstrate our strengths. So if the mother is a naturally talented planner, why fight it?

There are at least two issues with this logic. The “personality traits” quoted by my interviewees are often skills acquired rather than innate qualities. For example, someone with experience in party planning and calendar management is generally better than someone with little practice. Over time, those who do this work will see themselves as detail-oriented, creative problem-solvers, and those who avoid it will understand themselves as chaotic and forgetful. For a variety of reasons, gender shapes the way we invest time, energy and attention, and thus the people we understand to be ourselves.

Then there is the obvious problem that personality traits, often described as lacking fathers, tend to be a core element of their paid work. Take the interviewee who told me that his wife was the project manager for their family, as his wife was better at ideas than the essential details. His daily work? Project Manager. Or consider a couple who categorically agrees that they need to explicitly warn about household issues because they are unlikely to notice themselves. His daily work? surgeon.

Therefore, it turns out that the personality traits presented as innate are context-dependent, especially for men. Women are expected to be “on” alike at work and at home, but executive function skills that help project managers and surgeons excel in their careers somehow become inactive when they leave the office. Become.As a woman told me about her husband, the idea that he was “just unwired” to plan ahead is certainly more appealing than the idea that he was simply unwired. I want Even if the latter seems likely.

For the sake of fairness, there are many exceptions to this dominant pattern. We interviewed a man who manages a calendar and a woman who dislikes logistics. Even among the majority of couples of different genders, I sincerely suspect that men are consciously turning off their brains when they exceed national thresholds.

Instead, the patterns I observe reflect the imperfections of the ongoing “gender revolution.” male More and more people are expected to change diapers and wash dishes, many of which, as a society, we still have women ultimately responsible for the growth, development and well-being of their children. I’m expecting that. To move forward towards true gender equality, both men and women will need to examine their assumptions about who they are.

For women, the question is who they are Maybe … If they trust, the mental workload will be shared fairly.For men, the question is who they will be become If they knew that responsibility for family consequences fell equally on their shoulders.

Bumbling Daddy did a good job, but it’s time for him to leave. Give the men of your life a gift of your confidence to them on this Father’s Day. With time and practice, they may reveal potential juggling skills comparable to Super Mom.

It’s a complete myth that women are good at tracking household chores | Allison Daminger

Source link It’s a complete myth that women are good at tracking household chores | Allison Daminger

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