London: The idea that man shy away from
doing household chores unless asked is being popularised by
working women to overcome their "guilt" of failing to fulfill
their duties as a housewife, a new study suggests.
The idea that men are slackers is being eternised by
women who feel "an overwhelming sense of guilt" at having a
career rather than fulfilling their traditional gender role of
wife and mother, the study by Rebecca Meisenbach of Missouri
"Women described retaining control over housework. They
talked about their partners contributing to domestic chores,
but almost always in response to being asked or told to do the
task by the wife," Meisenbach asserted.
By highlighting stories of how men have to be told or
asked to do specific chores in the home, these females are
making sure they still fit gender boundaries of a wife as
someone who manages the home and children, the Telegraph
"They all gendered their partners` behaviour with
comments like `He`s a man, they don`t see that there is a
mess` and `My husband`s a guy. He picks and chooses what
chores he does`.
"But by gendering his behaviour, they were also gendering
their own as women and mothers, instead of breadwinners,"
Meisenbach inferred after studying the behaviour of over
15,000 British career women.
Housework represents an interesting juxtaposition of
control and over 60 percent said they enjoyed the control
they experienced, the researcher revealed.
"Working women who provide the majority of household`s
income to the family continue to articulate themselves as the
ones who `see` household messes and needs as a way to retain
claims to an element of a traditional feminine identity".
The study titled `The Female Breadwinner` will be
published in the journal Sex Roles this week.