independent

Sunday 26 October 2014

Role sharing at home still way to go

STRAIGHT TALKING DEBORAH COLEMAN

Published 02/10/2012 | 16:13

HANDS UP if the housework is fifty- fifty in your house? According to study recently conducted in Norway couples who share chores equally are 50 per cent more likely to divorce than those where the wife does most of housework.

Talk about a backward step for equality. In this day and age how could any 'modern' couple operate in such an archaic manner?

The study has found that equal distribution of domestic chores does not lead to contentment as many couples prefer that their roles are clear-in other words, me Tarzan, you Jane!

This, to my mind is utter rubbish. For one I don't know any couple where both the man and woman work full time even keep track of who does what. A real partnership is not about measuring who does more or less but working together to run a household as best they can. If one preferred a rota and house rules then student digs or house share is the way to go, not marriage.

Personalities must also come into the equation and of course there are certain chores that most of us despise. For me emptying the dishwasher is the most hated of tasks, but to my joy my other half isn't as repulsed by it as I am, so it works.

This study claims things run more smoothly if man and wife are not stepping on one another's toes and know where they stand in terms of household duties. It's hardly a case that someone is going to blow a fuse if their partner takes their place and cooks dinner instead of them! We are not animals marking our territory, after all.

Interestingly this survey differs with another recent one which included Britain that found men were more content and had a better work-life balance if they shared work inside the home.

And why wouldn't they? Tradition and inequality for years ensured that it was uncommon for men to do anything domestic except be the ' head of the household'. It was not the done thing for a man to come in from a long day at work and start cooking and cleaning.

For women who also worked outside the home though it was testament to their domestic goddess and mothering instincts that they would run the household on top of earning a wage.

Even if a man wanted to be more involved domestically it was frowned upon and perhaps even women weren't totally comfortable with role sharing in such a way.

Today, there is simply no excuse to have such an imbalance in any household and certainly no reason that anyone burdened by it should be content with it.

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