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70 per cent of women enjoy doing housework according to Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail reports on a study that has found that 70 per cent of women “admit” that they gain satisfaction from doing household chores.

The research undertaken by Mintel questioned 25,000 adults across the country. The Mail suggests that this means “the 21st century housewife has far more in common with her 1950s counterpart than she might have thought.”

Even though many women now work full-time, they are still doing the lion’s share of the housework; despite this The Mail still lazily refers to women and housewives as one indistinct entity.

This somewhat misses the point and diminishes the greater expectations placed on women trying to  do more in both the professional and domestic realm. The Mail shows no appreciation of the fact that women are still expected to be a domestic goddess whilst holding down a full-time job.

The research found that those men who admit that they deign to undertake their fair share of the housework gained the same satisfaction from performing the chores as the women (sorry, housewives).

The study reports that most women undertake and enjoy the responsibilty for housework, but women in their twenties and thirties were most likely to buck this trend, expecting a more even distribution of the household chores.

  1. This article is hilarious. Great analysis too, I loved the ‘admit’. Yeah, you’ve got us, we love it really, we just pretended we didn’t because we know men don’t like it and we’re such vindictive bitches. Also liked the fact that they think 50s housewives were happy! You don’t exactly need a PhD in social history to be able to sense something’s not quite right with that statement.

    The comments in the Mail are often surprisingly sensible (ok, except in articles about benefits, immigrants and Muslims) and this article seems to have attracted some readers with their heads screwed on right. The best rated comments say that the survey is a load of rubbish!

    • Sarah Richardson says:

      It’s a typical Mail article this one, so it’s good to know that at least some of the commenters haven’t swallowed it! As you point out, just because so many more women were housewives and didn’t have careers in the 50s it doesn’t mean they were happy with their lot!

  2. You’re right that the Mail’s analysis misses the point here. I don’t know if you spotted it, but another recent study reported that housework and family time actually make men happier. It highlighted the fact that although gender roles have been changing / converging for years, employer perceptions of these roles and the associated measures they have in place are extremely outdated.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/04/fathers-happier-more-housework-study

  3. Hi Tom, I saw that article in the Guardian, it was very good and I really hope it’s done even the smallest thing to help change employer perceptions about what employees want from their jobs. I assume this study wasn’t covered in the Mail, which prefers pseudoscientific surveys that read more like press releases for the brands that carried them out, to actual evidence-based research. I left it on the kitchen table for my dad, who has never done a day’s housework in his life and doesn’t know how to wrap sandwiches in clingfilm or even use a microwave.

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