Women's Work

Some things really do not change.

The most recent figures from the University of Wisconsin’s National Survey of Families and Households show that the average wife does 31 hours of housework a week while the average husband does 14 — a ratio of slightly more than two to one. If you break out couples in which wives stay home and husbands are the sole earners, the number of hours goes up for women, to 38 hours of housework a week, and down a bit for men, to 12, a ratio of more than three to one. That makes sense, because the couple have defined home as one partner’s work.

But then break out the couples in which both husband and wife have full-time paying jobs. There, the wife does 28 hours of housework and the husband, 16. Just shy of two to one, which makes no sense at all.

The lopsided ratio holds true however you construct and deconstruct a family. “Working class, middle class, upper class, it stays at two to one,” says Sampson Lee Blair, an associate professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo who studies the division of labor in families.


Sunday Morning Sexism

They say you should never blog while angry, but I am going to make an exception this morning. The Washington Post has an article out today by one Charlotte Allen that’s about the most pathetic excuse for woman-bashing I’ve seen for a long time.

It doesn’t matter that the author is herself a woman. Comments like this:

I don’t understand why more women don’t relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home.

are so thoroughly ignorant and sexist that I’m amazed the Post actually published it. What the hell were they thinking?

Why is Segregation The Answer to Sexism?

I just read that Mexico City has now joined several other locations, including cities in Japan, India, and Brazil, in adding women-only buses and subway cars to combat the ongoing problem of male sexual harassment of female passengers.

According to the article, the women seem to love it, and frankly, I can’t blame them. There’s scarcely a woman on this planet who has not been groped, pinched, handled, or leered at against her will at some point in her life (myself included), and not having to worry about that as you go to work every day would be a welcome relief.

But there’s another part of me that is angry, too. Why do women have to be segregated from men in order to be safe? Why do so many men seem to lack even the most basic sense of courtesy or respect when there is a breast or a butt in their vicinity? In short, why is is so damn hard for men to just keep their hands to themselves?

And please, spare me the “ohhh, they just can’t help themselves” bulls***. Men are perfectly capable of self-control. They are choosing otherwise. And these kinds of actions, however, well-intentioned, just reinforce the perception that a woman outside the ‘safe zone’ is an acceptable target.

Shouldn’t that be a Bachelorette of Arts?

This is pretty pathetic: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to offer academic program in homemaking. Yes, really:

A description of the homemaking program on the seminary’s Web site says it “endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture.

“This is accomplished through instruction in homemaking skills, developing insights into home and family while continuing to equip women to understand and engage the culture of today.”

The whole thing sounds like an expensive way to find a ‘suitable’ husband more than anything else. If you honestly believe that the role of a woman is to stay home and raise kids, why would you be getting a bachelor’s degree in the first place?

To be fair, at least not all Baptists share that college’s view on things:

The Rev. Benjamin Cole, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, and a frequent Southern Baptist critic, wrote about the homemaking program on his blog.

“At first it was almost incredible to me,” Cole said. “I thought this is not happening. It’s quite superfluous to the mission of theological education in Southern Baptist life. It’s insulting I would say to many young women training in vital ministry roles.

“It’s yet another example of the ridiculous and silly degree to which some Southern Baptists, Southwestern in particular, are trying to return to what they perceive to be biblical gender roles.”

Good for Rev. Cole.

Slippery Slope? We're flying down it

So the Senate passed an “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” today. This heinous piece of legislation defines an “unborn child” as any child in utero, which it says “means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.” In other words, from the moment sperm meets egg.

This is some scary stuff for people who believe that a woman should have the right to control her own life and her own reproductive system. If it’s a crime for a 3rd party to harm a fetus, it’s a pretty small step to making it a crime for the mother herself to harm said fetus. And once that’s the case, then is it that big a step to having the government control what a woman can and can’t do, or eat, or drink? Whether she can get on an airplane, or even drive a car while pregnant?

Hell, let’s just send all women who become pregnant off to special pregnancy camps, where they can stay for 40 weeks and incubate, only doing exactly what the government thinks is good for them during that time. Never mind the woman’s rights. It’s all about the fetus.

Think it could never happen in America?

Just wait. If Bush is re-elected, I’ll lay good odds that Roe v Wade goes down during his 2nd term.