Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Equity in the Gender Division of Labor — Reality/Perception

 The article, "Chore Wars" Time magazine, Aug. 8, 2011, generated lots of thoughts and commentary. I can't link to it because I'm not a subscriber, but if you google Chore Wars you'll see articles/commentary about the Time article. The "surprise" point is that contrary to current popular opinion, leftover from a few decades ago, working men and women are doing approximately equal amounts of work, running the home/kids show. The message to women? Let go of the perception and resentment that goes with the belief that you are the one who does most of the work and has the most stress. An interesting comment illustrating one possible source of the change.
"Women expect more of men, and men expect more of themselves."

Another quote —"Inequity in the gender division of labor gets rediscovered in pop culture every seven to 10 years as a new generation of women enters early parenthood and that's the issue they see,"  caught my attention. I wondered if the same issue of equity in the division of labor doesn't come to the fore in many times of life transition.

• When the children are first all in school.
• When either or both parents change jobs, start to work at home, stop working outside the home.
• When teen kids start driving.
• When the nest is empty.
• When grandchildren are part of everyday life.
• When one or both partners retire.

The patterns may look and feel different, requiring recharged flexibility, while reminding us that the more things change the more they stay the same. The article reinforced the belief that we have to constantly adapt our perception to new realities. It also reminded the reader that resentment doesn't work well. Yes, we all know that, but . . .

What are your beliefs about equity of gender division of labor and life transitions? I'd really like to know. I think that I will always think I do more, during all of life's transitions. I hope that I also always recognize that I have made that choice for my own reasons,  rather than build resentment about  actual inequity.
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the good advice, I am 47 years old and I am only now learning how to reduce my stress and how to relax, I also just started a blog on some things that I do to reduce stress and a place where women can talk about everyday problems and share, I have just started it today and I am working on it. I need to learn how to say no to friends and family without feeling guilty, thats the number one things that I create stress on myself. thanks again.


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