Women who earn a lot more also do more - housework
Adele HorinJuly 14, 2009
THE more women contribute to the household finances compared with their male partners, the less housework they do, research shows - but only up to a point.
This happy relationship comes unstuck when women earn a lot more than their husbands and partners.
Women who contribute 70 per cent or more of the weekly income start doing more housework rather than less, the study shows. They put in a little more time cleaning and cooking than a woman who contributes half to the family finances.
The study, by Janeen Baxter and Belinda Hewitt, of the University of Queensland, shows that women gain more leverage over who does the housework as their earnings increase compared with their husbands'.
"No one wants to do housework but it has to be done," Dr Hewitt, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research, said. "But as a woman earns more money, it gives her more say over how much domestic work she has to do."
The theory that the person in the household with the most financial resources has the greatest bargaining power goes only so far to explain the gender division of labour.
In the few Australian households - about 5 per cent - where women contribute 70 per cent or more to the budget, other sensitivities come into play. "For these women, doing extra housework is about compensating for their husbands not fulfilling the traditional male breadwinner role," Dr Hewitt said.
In Australia, where married women commonly work part-time, the tradition of the male breadwinner remained particularly strong. Women in atypical arrangements might feel a stronger need to perform the female role, she said.
I particularly like the article's final comment: In Australia, as partners' earnings increase, women spend less time on housework, though not, the research shows, by paying someone else to do the work.
Some days, I can't function for worrying about the entropy of the universe and why the dishes always need doing. I would love to find a cleaner to take care of the built up dust along the ledges of my life. Don't we collectively use far more energy than a small culture of organics ought? Each piece of food is made up of so much work by so many, that the thought of eating is making me feel ill!
Then again, I may be missing the point. It would take a chain of approximately 660 MILLION people head to toe simply to reach our own sun, which is a distance of one AU or Astronomical Unit. Our sun is 286,000 AU away from our nearest neighbour, Proxima Centauri, and they are both 1.7 times 10 to the 9th AU away from the center of our own little galaxy which is one of BILLIONS of galaxies in the OBSERVABLE universe.
This comes hot on the heels of "Female managers $13,500 worse off than men" . No wonder I don't feel like posting anything. When feminism 101 is over and the flu has gone, I will arise from the ashes. Just call me Cinders.