DAMSELING – The moan about housework, again

Here we go again, another moan, this time from Annalyn Kurtz, about how men don’t do their share of household chores, all of course without any consideration of who gets to decide what chores need to be done in the first place, in other words, how many chores there actually are. But that’s another fight. This one is just over sloppy reasoning, reasoning so sloppy that only firmly entrenched assumptions can explain it. The core lazy assumption is that women have it worse, period, and facts are just road bumps to establishing this obvious truth. She starts off with a brazen declaration of dogma:

Despite gains for working women over the last few decades, two basic facts remain true: Men still work longer hours in a paid profession, and women do more of the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing at home.

Working in the home is not usually paid. But if both paid and unpaid work are combined, it’s the women who put in the longest hours.

Working at home most definitely IS paid work, at least in community property states where the couple functions as a corporation and owns everything in common, including income whatever the source. Are we to believe that a SAHM pays for room and board out of some other income and buys her clothes out of that income? Then where is all that money and that value coming from?

Of course, it simply has to be women who work the longest hours, sniff, sniff. That’s just axiomatic, if you care not to be called a misogynist wretch. Watch how she woozles this into shape:

In the United States, men and women work a nearly equal number of hours, but the women shoulder significantly more of the household burden.

Yeah, only if you surgically excise enough of the household maintenance men do. Any yardwork is somehow not part of the household burden. Car maintenance is often ignored too or explained away as some kind of fun for the man, so it doesn’t count, amirite?

American men work an average of 50.6 hours a week (33 hours at a job and 17.6 hours on household tasks). Women, who are more likely to be employed part time, worked 50.9 hours a week (23.8 hours at a job and 27.1 hours at home).

Here she can’t make up her mind. She admits to the higher percentage of women who work part time, but still says that amounts to basically the same amount of time…probably to get the end numbers to work out the way she needs them to support her damseling moan of a thesis.

Totaling it all up, the average American woman actually works 18 minutes more than a man each week, but she is compensated for fewer than half her hours. The American man, on the other hand, is paid for 65% of his work.

As I pointed out above, they are both compensated for all their work, if they are married. It’s all one income.

This is a textbook example of twisting facts to maintain a narrative, of artfully overlooking inconvenient countervailing information, of misrepresenting other information and of the use of plain old repetition in place of argumentation.

Perhaps I should be backing this all up with links to citations of how many more hours men work in jobs compared to female peers on average, or to assessments of how the tasks actually needed to keep a home running share our between the genders – I imagine there is so much overlap that comparisons are hopeless – or go into a discussion of how the overall list of chores is arrived at, who decides what needs to be done – the master of the house? That joke answers itself.

But Kurtz didn’t bother to back up any of her points with any kind of citations, because they are all just received wisdom. Her article is like a recitation of a catechism, and facts are just footnotes no one reads.

Perhaps if Kurtz had brought an argument it might deserve the effort of a rebuttal. But all her article deserves is a dismissal.

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  • Eagle35

    Once again, we have another article where whatever contributions men bring to the domestic table, they’re erased and ignored in favor of “oh-woe-is-woman” special pleading.

    OP: “But Kurtz didn’t bother to back up any of her points with any kind of citations, because they are all just received wisdom. Her article is like a recitation of a catechism, and facts are just footnotes no one reads.”

    Just like the majority of articles on the subject.

  • Ginkgo

    “Just like the majority of articles on the subject.”

    They take this stuff so much for granted, assume it’s so obvious, that they feel no need to actually argue anything. It’s on the level of those feel-good, down-homey folk wisdom columns you see in small town papers.

  • Paul

    These articles are the epitome of uselessness. 18 minutes? Really? and the women aren’t “compensated” for it? Who do they expect to be compensating them? Their husbands? Yeah that’s fair. the husbands of these women should definitely be paying them so they can have food clothing shelter and amenit-… hm… waitasec…

    And I’m sorry, I know this is anecdotal, but most of the “housewives” I’ve encountered have been the laziest people I’ve ever met. One women’s husband worked 50-60 hour weeks, and what did she do? Farmville. But I suppose whatever surveys Kurtz is using for her article would still count that because “technically” she was watching their daughter at the time (really, it was PBS doing it, but whatever)

    Let’s not forget that women tend to retire earlier and die later as well, there’s your “just compensation” ladies.

    Wake me when the male workplace casualty rate drops below oh… let’s say 80%

  • Ginkgo

    Wow, Paul, tell us what you really think.

    The entitlement in that article just drips off the page.

  • Paul

    lol sorry Ginkgo… I just get sick of these pithy little articles that ignore actual reality.

    Why do feminists think working for a living is fun? I mean, I know they seem to think every guy is secretly a CEO of a fortune 500 company but… For well, 99% of us… work sucks.

    I don’t get the mindset that so many women seem to have that work has to be “fulfilling.” Ideally yeah I guess, but the reason many are able to do those fulfilling jobs is because someone’s hauling garbage and making sure the sewers don’t explode. And the vast majority of those people are men.

    I’m sick of women complaining about the glass ceiling while standing on the backs of the men who make sure they aren’t living in a cave somewhere.

  • Snake Oil Baron

    Paul on 2013-11-19 at 10:20 am said:

    “Why do feminists think working for a living is fun?”

    Because they think that what they are doing counts as working for a living. Abusing power, being granted respect and status one doesn’t deserve, being compensated far above the market value for your “work”, getting to indoctrinate impressionable minds… If I was doing their job I might think working for a living was fun.

  • Kaare
  • David Palmer a/k/a Political Cynic

    @Kaare: I would also add Dr. Catherine Hakim’s study on this issue to your source-and thanks for the link by the way (I KNEW I’d seen the Norway stats somewhere…LOL).

    In any event, Dr. Hakim found that, at least with respect to Europe, in fact overall when “productive labor” is considered (i.e. both “work” and “housework”) that on average women do NOT work more hours than men. The “double shift oh the housework” cant is, in fact, a myth.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2010/08/CatherineHakimRenewal.pdf

  • Ginkgo

    “Lol sorry Ginkgo… I just get sick of these pithy little articles that ignore actual reality. ”

    Paul, “Tell us what you really think” isn’t a re[proach – I’m glad when people are blunt because it makes communication simpler.

    “Why do feminists think working for a living is fun?”

    For all their female-positive posery, they are androcentric. They value traditional male work over female and have since the 60s, they over-value areas of male power and under–value or ignore areas of female power. And then comes the sly inversion – they turn around and tout anything female as superior.

  • Ginkgo

    Hej, Kaare! Velkommen!

    That was a really good article, very interesting points.

    There is an interesting pattern forming where a lot of the progress in policy and in the gender debate in general seems to be happening in Norway and Canada, rather than the US or the UK.

  • Kaare

    Yes I have noticed much happening in Canada and Norway is moving in a good direction too. Norway has actually been more male friendly than most other countries for years thanks mostly to a less patriarchy focused gender debate and those working in government organizations having a fairly level headed non radfem perspective. Sweden has a much stronger MRA community though. Better organized. The crowd associated with Pelle Billing when he was operating. They don`t get access to the media though, they just blog. And England seems to have some good stuff with Peter Loyd, Ally Fogg to some extent and Mike Buchanan.

    Same guy wrote this by the way:

    http://translate.google.no/translate?sl=no&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dagbladet.no%2F2013%2F05%2F18%2Fkultur%2Fideer%2Flordagskommentaren%2Fdebatt%2Fkjetil_rolness%2F27237981%2F

    I think the MRA should get a lot better at spreading the research that shows rapists are not just normal guys who forgot to not rape but deviate from the norm in many ways. When I bring it up with people arguing about rape culture it almost always seems entirely new to them.

  • typhonblue

    @ Gingko

    Having trouble getting ahold of you. 😛

  • Ginkgo

    I’ve been sick the last few and then Friday the train service was suspended and I got home at eight. I’ll call tonight.

  • Ginkgo

    “Sweden has a much stronger MRA community though. Better organized. The crowd associated with Pelle Billing when he was operating. ”

    Kaare, do you have ny information on why Pelle Billing dropped his activity in this area? I have heard rumors but nothing concrete and verifiable.

  • Kaare

    My understanding is that he just felt he had done his share and needed to get to work on the rest of his life. He did it almost full time and postponed working as a doctor I believe. He felt he had done a lot to influence the debate and get a community going and shape it and that others where ready to take over. And he was correct: genusdebaten.se http://aktivarum.wordpress.com/ etc.

    Pär Ström, who was equally important as a blogger and author on the other hand quite because he could`t take more harassment and threats against himself and his family. He was pretty much THE most vilified person in Sweden.

    Billing is still doing some work with regards to the integral community of Ken Wilbur I think. They have a sort of integral feminism and an integral masculinism. The integral feminism is probably the best feminism in existence in terms of taking in facts etc. because in large part I would guess because of inputs from men in the community. The alternative community has the highest rate of male rights conscious and Farrell reading members of any social group I have come across. Wounded souls end up there and people that are tightly connected to the spirit of the times. Lots of people doing various alternative masculinity work etc.

    Anyway, Billing has previously presented his ideas to the community and I think he is still doing at least some work with them.

  • Ginkgo

    Dammit, TB – the other half says we have something going tonight.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Snake Oil, rearing the next generation IS work, though. Really. Little kids can bust your ass. I have done it for pay (childcare centers) and without (my own offspring as well as relatives, grandchildren, the neighbor’s brats, etc) and it does count as work. Kids do not get clean clothes and hot meals on their own–take my word for it.

    Gingko: “They value traditional male work over female and have since the 60s, they over-value areas of male power and under–value or ignore areas of female power.”

    This is true, as it is considered a step down for women to stay home with their children and HOTLY CONTESTED when the women have expensive educations and its understood that they ought to be on Wall Street or whatever. Nobody cares what us poor women do, by contrast. (“Lean In” wasn’t written for my class of females.)

  • Sans-sanity

    “Really. Little kids can bust your ass.”
    Ur doin it wrong!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_birth

    :)

  • tamerlame

    Considered a step down to stay home with the kids? Are you a psychopath by any chance? I wonder what sort of person could say that with a straight face while men are excluded from their families and forced to pay child support under the threat of prison rape?

    It is women who have swallowed the narcissistic lies about doing it all yourself having careers and having kids at the same time. Women have driven men away form the work place taking their jobs while refuse to break traditional gender roles that suit them. A women will never provide for a lower status man in a way a man will provide for a women, taking a man’s work away from him is a grave injustice.

    Your whines about victimhood will not work on me.

  • Ginkgo

    Tight and concise, tamerlane. Well said.

  • tamerlame

    I made a spelling mistake on my post, I can’t seem to edit it.

    Also I forgot to make this point. Women are basically the head of the household in the west, she is in charge and can discard the man at any time she sees fit. If she is head of the household, it should be her responsibility to run the household and do the chores. No rights no responsibility. The man is just a guest staying at the whim of the women. (Yes almost all relationships in the west work like this, this is doubly so if the man is married to the women.)

    Women wanted social and legal power over their partners and have been shown willing to use it, so let them take responsibility for everything. (Sadly doesn’t work this way in practise. Women are in charge but still manipulate men by acting child like at the same time too!)

  • Adiabat

    Daisy: IME, looking after children is weirdly ‘work’ and ‘not-work’ at the same time. It’s not particularly hard, but what makes it hard is that it is *constant*. After a few days looking after them you want nothing more than a day off, and maybe a chance to check your email without being pestered. Also perhaps some adult conversation and a chance to engage in something that actually engages your brain.

    I do think that there is a significant qualitative difference between looking after children and “real work”. I can’t put my finger on it though. Maybe it’s different for you because it’s also your job.

    Tamerlame: Most women aren’t interested in wielding “power” over men. They are just trying to live their lives, just like most men. And my experience of women in rl is that they don’t buy into all the bullshit you see in feminism; they are usually quite egalitarian and can see the hypocrisy in feminism as well as we can.

    I can see where you’re coming from but I find it helps to take a break from the spoiled princesses in the gender debate every now and again. It’s the best way to prevent descending from genuine feminist criticism to outright misogyny.

    (I also think it would help most feminists to ‘switch off’ every now and again and spend some rl time with actual people.)

  • Ginkgo

    Adaiabat,
    “(I also think it would help most feminists to ‘switch off’ every now and again and spend some rl time with actual people.)”

    The problem is the ones that actually do that end up like this:

    “And my experience of women in rl is that they don’t buy into all the bullshit you see in feminism; they are usually quite egalitarian and can see the hypocrisy in feminism as well as we can.”

    so that when they return to the conversation with those that have stayed in the warm embrace of the in-group, they bring perspectives and ask questions that rapaidly get them thrwon out. Ask Daisy about this dynamic.

    The systemic issue is not man-hating women, it’s man-hating men who use protecting women at all costs as a pretext for beating down other men. That’s why women’s vocies are so important in the MRM – not because they will bring other women around, most of whom don’t need to be brought somewhere they already are, but becsause they are uniquely positioned to shut off the white-knighting narratives of gender apexualist men.

  • Clarence

    ” not because they will bring other women around, most of whom don’t need to be brought somewhere they already are, but becsause they are uniquely positioned to shut off the white-knighting narratives of gender apexualist men”

    I don’t for one minute believe you can substantiate that. Most women (based on how they vote; on who tends to initiate divorce, etc) would seem perfectly fine with taking the good parts of feminism and shucking the bad parts (responsibility, agency, that sort of thing) as it suits them. This isn’t to say men wouldn’t be the same way if all legal and cultural mores went our way – the temptation to abuse power is a human trait after all – but I fail to see any significant mass of women willing to stand up for men in any real way, the only real exceptions being when it threatens to harm men they care about personally. I think most women have some SEXUAL use for men, and don’t “hate” us, but the idea that feminists are manhaters is probably the single biggest reason more women don’t embrace the label. They live their lives as feminists or usually a mixture of damsel/feminist (and I’m excluding egalitarian women from the feminist label and no, most women aren’t egalitarian) whether they call themselves that or not.

  • Ginkgo

    “I don’t for one minute believe you can substantiate that.”

    He is simply saying is that most women are not the sociopaths that feminism dictates. I thkbn the traditional femlae gender roles is sociopathic WRT to men – disposability, objectification – but there is a very large percentage of women who resist that enculturation.

    “but I fail to see any significant mass of women willing to stand up for men in any real way, ”

    I agree with this, but that’s a different lobe of the same argument. Active malice is what he is tlaking about, while rancid passivity is what you are talking about. They can have very similar effects. However look at who actually is standing up for men – very often it is women, come to think of it. Intactivists – perhaps the majority are woemn. FRA activists – quite a number are women, mostly mothers of FRAed sons. It probably goes like this down the list.

  • Clarence

    ” However look at who actually is standing up for men – very often it is women, come to think of it. Intactivists – perhaps the majority are woemn. FRA activists – quite a number are women, mostly mothers of FRAed sons. It probably goes like this down the list.”

    Yes, but that’s because , as I said, those issues affect someone they care about personally or, at least, COULD (in the future for mothers of sons)affect that special someone.

    A bit off topic but I’ve been thinking. Far as I’m concerned with this Senate nonsense, the NSA surveillance, the secret assassination lists, etc, the USA is now head on a full-blown path to tyranny. One could argue when the original precedent was set (the civil war, the 17th amendment, FDR threatening to pack the courts or the fact the government downright cofiscated private gold at that time, forced sterilizations from the eugenics movement, founding a central bank under I think Old Hickory, etc, etc) but in my opinion it was when we decided to bring the “Court of Equity” system over from england and set up such things in parallel to our Common Law courts. Add 200 years and the “personal is political ” and here we are – mass family destruction. And as the private family is one of the bulwarks against excessive government -well!

  • Ginkgo

    “Yes, but that’s because , as I said, those issues affect someone they care about personally or, at least, COULD ”

    That is correct, you included that proviso.

    “And as the private family is one of the bulwarks against excessive government -well”

    They balance each other. Where government is too weak the family, the extended fmaily, becomes all-powerful and that isn’t good either. In the West we had another leg on that tripod, the Church. The Church and governments stayed locked in power struggles sometimes for centuries.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Tamerlame: Considered a step down to stay home with the kids? Are you a psychopath by any chance?

    Um, no. And BTW, there is no reason to be insulting.

    Under capitalism, it is always considered better to make money than *not* to make money. (Isn’t it?) Working outside the home pays lots more, and women who stay home are often regarded as freeloading instead of as “housekeepers”–in fact, I constantly read that on MRA sites. Have you ever stayed home with kids? It’s hard work, yet many people act like its not really work… and isn’t that what *you* are saying?

    Tamerlane: I wonder what sort of person could say that with a straight face while men are excluded from their families and forced to pay child support under the threat of prison rape?

    Probably a person like me, whose ex didn’t pay one thin dime to support his child for 4 solid years. No money and no jail time either. Zip. Nothing. Where is this jail time you speak of?

    Everyone does not share the same experience, and mine is valid too.

    Tamerlane: It is women who have swallowed the narcissistic lies about doing it all yourself having careers and having kids at the same time.

    Most people of both genders, gay and straight, want their partners to earn money to help support the family. Most men I know want their wives to help bring in income.

    Are you saying most men still want to financially support women full-time?

    Tamerlane: Women have driven men away form the work place taking their jobs while refuse to break traditional gender roles that suit them.

    So you don’t think women should work? You think women should be supported by men? Is that equality?

    Tamerlane: A women will never provide for a lower status man in a way a man will provide for a women, taking a man’s work away from him is a grave injustice.

    Women cannot forcefully take a job from a man. What you mean is: management hires women instead of men, since women come cheaper. The same way they will often hire Mexican immigrants over white workers: it’s considered a bargain.

    This is not the fault of women or Mexicans, but of management, who are making the decision to cut corners and hire the cheap labor instead.

    Tamerlane: Your whines about victimhood will not work on me.

    I wasn’t aware I was “whining about victimhood” — that sounds more like what you are doing. I am just stating facts.

    As a feminist, and I don’t think men should have to support women financially just because they are women. I find it peculiar that any MRAs believe that such an arrangement is just. (?) So, color me confused.

    I have been a stay-at-home mom, grandmother and also have worked (for decades), sometimes as many as three jobs at once… so I speak from all perspectives, not just one.

    Tamerlane: Also I forgot to make this point. Women are basically the head of the household in the west, she is in charge and can discard the man at any time she sees fit.

    That is quite an assertion; can you prove it? Stats and links, please?

    Tamerlane: If she is head of the household, it should be her responsibility to run the household and do the chores.

    Single mothers already do this. (I have been one of those too.) This is pretty much the default for moms who stay at home, which is what you prefer, right?

    Tamerlane: No rights no responsibility. The man is just a guest staying at the whim of the women. (Yes almost all relationships in the west work like this, this is doubly so if the man is married to the women.)

    Wait, how can this be, if this relationship is the one you speak of: where women are being supported by men?

    Is this why you want men to financially support women, so he will be (by default)
    “head of household”? Are you saying any time a woman works outside the home, *she* magically becomes “head of household”– even if her husband earns more (as most do)? I don’t know anyone who earns more than their husband. (?)

    What are you talking about?

    Tamerlane: Women wanted social and legal power over their partners and have been shown willing to use it, so let them take responsibility for everything. (Sadly doesn’t work this way in practise. Women are in charge but still manipulate men by acting child like at the same time too!)

    But you seem upset over the idea of women being in charge? So do you really want this state of affairs or not?

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Adiabat: Daisy: IME, looking after children is weirdly ‘work’ and ‘not-work’ at the same time. It’s not particularly hard, but what makes it hard is that it is *constant*. After a few days looking after them you want nothing more than a day off, and maybe a chance to check your email without being pestered.

    Yes! My daughter says she just wants to go to the bathroom without kids banging on the door, tattling on each other. :) “MOM, he’s eating my Cheetos!”

    Adiabat: I do think that there is a significant qualitative difference between looking after children and “real work”.

    Do you think working in a child care center is “real work”? I think the familiarity of our own kids vs. other people’s kids is the major difference.

  • Adiabat

    Daisy: “Do you think working in a child care center is “real work”? I think the familiarity of our own kids vs. other people’s kids is the major difference.”

    I think it is real work, and you’re right about the difference. I was specifically talking about someone looking after their own kids in my previous post.