Theresa May and hubby cosying up on the couch for the The One Show on the BBC (during the election campaign) divulged that at home they have ‘boy jobs and girl jobs’. “I take out the rubbish” said Phillip “although I do get to choose when I take it out” (huge concession there then), “boy jobs and girl jobs” clarified the PM. It kind of left me wondering which jobs I should or shouldn’t be expected to do simply because I’m not manly enough…
However – I really really hate to admit it but it’s pretty much the same in our house, as I’m sure is typical in a lot of households up and down the country – my husband empties the kitchen bin and the recycling, wheels the bins in and out of the house and is quite territorial about the dishwasher (there is a technique, don’t you know?). He will also vacuum and get positively possessive when it comes to loading the car to go on holiday.
I don’t know why we have fallen into this cycle, but I don’t believe it has anything to do with gender, it is more about general division of labour and individual preferences because I can’t think of a job that women can’t do, or men, in the home:
Taking out the rubbish
Anyone can take out a wheelie bin right? brute strength isn’t really required as these modern wheelie bins just glide along the path to the front gate. Tends to be boy job (BJ) in our house and on the odd occasion it’s been forgotten I’d much rather it was mr family blog charging down the road in his pjs with dusty bin bouncing along behind him than me (he’s faster, I get stitch by the end of our road)
Cleaning the loo
Nothing overly strenuous involved here, however to do the job properly this involves a bit more then a casual squirt around the rim with domestos, men may claim that is all that is required … BJ or GJ
Moving heavy furniture about, DIY and flatpack assembly
Ok, I’ve got a bit of muscle lying around the place so I’m going to use him, but he often needs guidance and I’m sure he appreciates me standing there telling him what to do and how to do it, this is where the sexes work so harmoniously…
Packing the car when going away
Tends to be male territory “everything has its place”. They claim that an engineering degree gives them the upper hand here, I’m not convinced but I make appreciative noises and am full of praise because it’s just one less thing for me to do. BJ or GJ
‘Seeing to the drinks’ at a dinner party
A friend of mine was telling me the other day about when she was at a dinner party recently the host impatiently snapped at her husband that their guests were about to “die of thirst” if he didn’t top them up. Why the female host couldn’t have lifted up the bottle of wine and filled a couple of glasses was baffling. Should this be a BJ? This is more about outdated etiquette then any physical restrictions on women. BJ or GJ.
Investigating strange noises during the night
Involves a degree of bravery, tends to be a BJ in our house but maybe that’s because I can’t be arsed to get up so I let him think that.
All of these tasks are of course performed by women and men the world over, I guess a lot of the division of labour on the domestic front comes from women refusing to do it all and allocating the guy some tasks. But then I guess I will be accused of being really sexist and out of date for saying so, I’m just being honest, or at least telling how it is in our house. It kind of works but at least I don’t have the top job in the country and if I did I shouldn’t be reinforcing such sexist stereotypes…
What do you think? Who does what in your home? Are you a lone parent and do it all anyway? – stuff like this just irritates you, some people don’t know they are born … you have a point.
Comment/share/feel inspired to research more on gender roles in the home in our modern world … whatever floats your boat, and finally… what did you think of Theresa coming out with this claptrap in the first place?
I would absolutely love to hear from you …