When I worked in the zoo in Rotterdam in the late 1970s, we all mucked [literally a lot of the time] in together but joked [*] that some of the daily tasks were vrouwenplicht - women's duty - while others were for The Men. As the latest addition to the team, I did all the [vrouwenplicht!] cleaning and polishing of the front panes of all the aquariums as soon as i started work and before Jan Publiek was allowed in to grub them up with their poky, pointy finger prints.
*you could make such jokes in those days without
fear of being called up by an Offense Tribunal.
Emma's position is that, although modern chaps fondly believe [ahhh bless, 'em] that they carry half the sky around the house -
- they change diapers nowadays,
- can wash dishes or or at least load the dish-washer
- can clean a toilet and mop the bathroom floor
- cook up a storm for eight on the weekend - esp if barbecue involved
- as well as the [bizarrely: who makes these decisions?] manly stuff
- take out the trash
- mow the lawn
- wash the car
- fix light-fittings
We live in changing times! My father never changed a diaper in his life. I could and did; both in the 1970s with The Boy and in the 1990s with Dau.I and Dau.II. I could also sew on a button, turn up a trouser-cuff, cook, bake flapjacks, wash dishes and saucepans and clean a bath. But I remember, when Dau.I was about 8 weeks old, I was tasked to look after her for several hours while The Beloved went to a business meeting in town. At the end of the afternoon, the child was clean, fed and uninjured BUT diaper bin hadn't been emptied; there were dishes in the sink; the laundry was one wash behind schedule; the bed was unmade; and I had no idea whether there was sufficient tea, sugar or eggs in the house. I sent a You Should've asked link to the family and got two responses.
- One from The Boy pointing out that the French do less housework than any other civilised country. Skeptix alert: that is published in a British newspaper; an average of 16hrs/wk in France compared to 19hrs/wk in UK and you may be sure that stacks of ménages français do more [and less] than the UK average - the data distribution is going to be heavy on the variation and low of the average.
- One from The Boy's partner: "SO not true in our house!"