That’s the title of a piece by Sarah Greene Carmichael of Bloomberg Opinion that appeared in my local paper last Saturday. According to her, there should be an Equal Housework Day every August to underline the extra labor women put in at home.
Time Magazine had a cover article about The Chore Wars back in 2011. And I wrote about a solution then.
Back in 2018, there were viral posts on Facebook about this uneven distribution of chores. And I wrote about it again. I even have an inexpensive course that would help every couple resolve this issue.
But it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It makes me wonder if anyone really wants to find a solution.
Since women are reporting that they are exhausted and resentful about this status quo, you would think they would. Based on results, apparently not.
In a survey from March led by advertising agency Berlin Cameron and author Eve Rodsky, when asked what is one single thing their partner could do to lower their stress levels, the most common response from women was, “Help around the house more.”
As I’ve said before, that is part of the problem.
Per the viral Facebook posts, husbands and sons are not sufficiently contributing to the running of the home they live in.
Multiple studies suggest men consistently overrate their own household contributions. In addition, women disproportionately end up with the daily grind of cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
Why? The unpleasant truth is everyone allows it to be set up that way.
This is why “asking” the men in your life to “help” doesn’t work. This presumes that it is all the woman’s job in the first place. But anyone living in a household has responsibility for keeping it running. Once you accept this premise, the rest becomes a spread sheet exercise.
The best time to tackle this issue is when you first move in together. The next best is anytime after that.
If this is still a problem in your relationship, it is way overdue for resolution. I know. You’re going to say that you’ve tried. This is the refrain repeated in many of the Facebook rants. And I’m sure it’s true on some level. But results speak for themselves.
And it’s why Ms. Carmichael is calling for a strike. In my experience, both personal and professional, a unilateral boycott rarely works. It just increases the tension and resentment for everyone.
But there is a way to solve the problem once and for all. And it won’t lead to an interpersonal argument.
Previouly Published on The Hero Husband Project