As a man caught in a traditionally female role (caring for children, cooking, cleaning looking damned sexy), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “women’s work.” I assumed that women’s traditional roles had been chosen based on the fact that women were weaker, lazier, and dumber than men. Then, one day, I started thinking about the different jobs and writing them down.
Here’s what I wrote:
Here’s what I wrote:
|"Ugg has new berries. Ad on tv said new berries make Ugg's household clean."|
Women – Gathering
Hunch over on hands and knees while picking berries off thorn-covered bushes. Scratch roots and vegetables out of dirt with fingernails.
Men – HuntingChase after animals with large weapon. Drag animal home.
It seemed unfair, but then I realized it was silly to base any system of judgment or behavior on something from the Bronze Age, so I scratched that out and started over.
|"Janie got me this new pan. The ad on tv said it would keep me from having a nervous breakdown."|
Modern roles (Bronze Era – present)
Women – Maintain Household
Cook, sweep, mop, vacuum, wipe, put away, iron, wash, fold.
Men – WorkGo out to clean office and try to make enough money to pay for everything while trying to seduce secretaries.
Not to diminish the stress of a 40-hour work week, but it’s pretty pathetic division of labor. The disparity gets worse when you look at traditional roles with raising kids.
|"I have a baby. The ad on tv said it would keep my husband from straying."|
Child rearingWomen – Incubation, delivery, nurturing
Nine months of general misery, one to two days of painful labor. Provide milk, feed child, change diapers, educate, protect.
Men – FertilizationProvide semen.
So it seems that women got all the dull, painful, crappy jobs while men took all the fun ones with the excuse that they “required physical exertion.” I was a bit surprised that women had put up with all of that for so long. Then I realized that I was only looking at half of the child care task. There was another, more important side.
|"I got this new Viagra. The tv said... Honey? You still awake?"|
Child makingMen – Fertilization
Convince woman of sexual desirability, buy gifts, arouse sexually for 4-8 hours, perform sexually long enough for possible repeat performance (half hour-45 minutes).
Women – Incubation, delivery, nurturingLie still.
Okay. Now it all seems fair.