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02 August 2010 @ 09:10 am
Casual sexism: do you has it?  

There is a final, huge, virtually universal form of casual sexism which is expressed in nearly every house. Any man who thinks it's OK to live in a household where the woman does the overwhelming majority of all the housework, childcare and family admin is a woman-hater. If he weren't, it would agonise him to live in such an unequal and exploitative setup.

From Casual sexism is nothing but misogyny

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existential hot showerveek on August 2nd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Any man who thinks it's OK to live in a household where the woman does the overwhelming majority of all the housework, childcare and family admin is a woman-hater.

I hate that I both vehemently disagree with the above and (generally) don't feel at liberty to do so out loud.

So, what to do about casual sexism? Don't perpetrate it yourself, call it when you see it and fight any man defending his misogyny or any woman defending her false consciousness.

False consciousness my ass. The author is appalling in her pre-emptive defense strike against dissent from women.
Boring Nerd: cthulhu eyebrowssignsoflife on August 2nd, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
"False consciousness my ass."

Yeah, that's one big unfalsifiable hypothesis right there.
lazyzlazyz on August 2nd, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
There is so much that needs doing in life. Separation of duties/chores is reasonable.
Jonathan Woodwardwoodwardiocom on August 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)
Are we presupposing a household where both parties have full-time jobs of equal difficulty and earning power? Does this apply to a household where the man works in construction eight hours a day and the woman doesn't have a job qua job?
Pierceheartpierceheart on August 2nd, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
I think that the writer has forgotten to put the proper economic "Cēterīs paribus" disclaimer.
(no subject) - veek on August 2nd, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - woodwardiocom on August 2nd, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catya on August 2nd, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - woodwardiocom on August 2nd, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
drwex: Whorfindrwex on August 2nd, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, really
The author, whom I feel no need to read beyond that quote, can kiss my sexist, misogynist, and exploitative ass. It would be best if the author did so while my wife was around because then Pygment would also get a good laugh that way.

(Like you, I am part of a very small minority of M-F households that have such unequal distributions of labor and are aware of the situation and deal with it on a conscious level. That doesn't excuse the author's insults, just noting that we're anomalies.)
(Deleted comment)
Re: Yeah, really - drwex on August 2nd, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - aroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - catness on August 2nd, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - kcatalyst on August 2nd, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - drwex on August 2nd, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - plymouth on August 3rd, 2010 03:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - drwex on August 3rd, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Yeah, really - kcatalyst on August 3rd, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catya on August 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrope on August 2nd, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on August 2nd, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I think it's just as fair to say that any woman who does not demand a fair and equitable division of labor in her life is a self-victimizing loser. This kind of name-calling may be a fine shock tactic, but as a call to arms it's sadly lacking.
Chance: dork tower number 317miss_chance on August 2nd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
I think more bloggers need to be called out as self-victimizing losers.
(no subject) - aroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - muffyjo on August 2nd, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lillibet on August 2nd, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on August 3rd, 2010 02:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
but - sarahshevett on August 3rd, 2010 03:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: but - vinnie_tesla on August 6th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrope on August 6th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrope on August 2nd, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lillibet on August 2nd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
stephanie m. clarksonthespian on August 2nd, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
I think it's OK to live in a household where the person who isn't me does the overwhelming majority of all the housework.

I don't know what that makes me. A me-sogynist, perhaps?
m.entrope on August 2nd, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
I have so much anger about this. I can't even discuss it with Imre - every time I do, he steers the conversation toward the fact that I've made a choice to be a stay at home parent, and how his choice is to have a messier house and more time for...what? Fucking around on the internet while I henpeck him to wash some dishes? It makes my blood boil.
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
One of my ongoing struggles in this field is how individual choices -- which I value and support -- reinforce bad political structures. It makes sense in any given couple that, for example, one parent's focus is in the home and the other's is out of the home, or that when choosing the offspring's last name, they go with that of one parent or the other, or etc. And each individual choice of which partner is in which role often really, truly, deeply makes sense. But it's still a problem when all of those individual choices add up to the same role split in the vast majority of places.

I do this a lot myself, and even when it's something that makes me happier than doing it the other way would, it troubles me, and leaves me kind of struggling to figure out what the right thing to do is. Do I do what makes me happy? Or do I do what makes the world look more like what I want it to look like?
(no subject) - coraline on August 2nd, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pierceheart on August 2nd, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catya on August 2nd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - miss_chance on August 2nd, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wistful - drwex on August 2nd, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrope on August 2nd, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on August 2nd, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - entrope on August 2nd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on August 2nd, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on August 2nd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harimad on August 2nd, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mrf_arch on August 3rd, 2010 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sarahshevett on August 3rd, 2010 03:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
metagnatmetagnat on August 2nd, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I read reporting on a study, somewhere, that in households with more education, the housework is more equal, but it's not because men do more. It is, rather, that women do less and their houses are simply more dirty. I have no memory of what methodology was used to determine this. I do know that I do less housework than my mother does/did.

Having read the entire article, I felt it was a little feminism 101y. The parts where she was talking about casual sexism in the workplace resonated with me more than the housework part.

-E
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on August 2nd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I do know that I do less housework than my mother does/did.

Yup. And I also remember my mother's uncharacteristic feminist agony over housework. I don't want to live there. I'd far rather live in a dirty house.

It's also probably worth noting in this comment that I'm one of the only women I know who does *less* housework than her male partner.

Edited at 2010-08-02 02:21 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - coraline on August 2nd, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on August 2nd, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moominmolly on August 3rd, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on August 3rd, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on August 2nd, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metagnat on August 2nd, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on August 2nd, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on August 2nd, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - catness on August 2nd, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
it's a vain pursuit but it helps me to sleeprezendi on August 2nd, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
I love The Guardian, but they do publish a lot of crap.
blk: cygnusblk on August 2nd, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
It's interesting to me how this paragraph gets overwhelmingly picked out as the thing to discuss, while the rest of the article gets ignored. I wonder if the author did that intentionally?

It's also interesting to me to note how much easier it is to disagree than to agree.
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I pulled this one out because it was the one that I thought would be most provoking -- even many of the feminist-identified men I know live in households with a traditional gender split in domestic and family tasks. But I think it's probably provoking more knee-jerk and less introspective reactions than some of the other (and actually more interesting) points she made.
(no subject) - dbang on August 2nd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pierceheart on August 2nd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chancemiss_chance on August 2nd, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Any man who thinks it's OK to live in a household where the woman does the overwhelming majority of all the housework, childcare and family admin is a woman-hater....

This, like much blog-journalism I think, is very useful and helpful way of beginning to think about things, *if* taken with a grain of salt and a fair amount of assumptions about underlying circumstances. Of course what is meant here is "Any person who thinks it's okay to live in a household without discussing and negotiating openly what feels to both partners like a fair and equitable breakdown of shared responsibilities is a misanthrope."

I believe it's possible and reasonable for a couple or triad or other household-structure to divide work in such a way that one person feels satisfied, respected, and cared for by being free from the fetters of paid labor to unleash and unharness a whirlwind of domestic energy, while another partner feels free from the fetters of domestic duties to work out in a profession for money... these arrangements can be mutually beneficial if negotiated and re-evaluated on a regular basis (so ones proclivities as a twenty year old do not become codified as ones obligations as a forty year old).

I think it's anti-humanist to single out possible distributions of labor as sexist, without knowledge of whether or how those distributions have been arrived at.

But, still, sweeping generalizations are sometimes a useful way to *start* a conversation, as long as it doesn't stop there.
catcatya on August 2nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
*impressed*
(no subject) - kcatalyst on August 2nd, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - miss_chance on August 2nd, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kcatalyst on August 2nd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Misanthropic extrovert: devildbang on August 2nd, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
I need a wife.
Randy Smithrandysmith on August 2nd, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
What are your goals in using this presentation? It seems like the stridency of the quote is going to produce emotional responses in just about everyone and polarize the argument--maybe a little, maybe a lot. And it is (IMO) a subtle issue without, at the individual level, simple right and wrongs, that would benefit from nuance and room for exploration without feeling defensive.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Part of what interests me is to see if people can pull useful thoughts or insights out of their defensive feelings or if the knee-jerk reaction prevents that. I'm not really interested in not making people feel defensive.
(no subject) - entrope on August 2nd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - randysmith on August 2nd, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - veek on August 2nd, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
T Streichsweetbaboo on August 2nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hello, unequal distribution of labor! What's that got to do with women? I don't care who cleans up my mess, as long as it isn't me. If a woman thinks that's a fair bargain for whatever unspecified things I do for her, that's on her. If women in general are more likely to put up with that than men (results to date: nobody of either sex thinks this is a good deal), why does that imply something about what makes me tick, and not them?

Weird.
Jadiajadia on August 2nd, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Housework is hard to manage equitably, especially when one person is much cleaner than the other people in the house. I've yet to live in a situation where there isn't an unfairness in terms of one person doing more than their share of work while others do less. In my current household, we have 3 women and 1 man, and the man happens to do more of the work because of this effect. (I know my situation - 4 housemates, none of us romantically involved with each other - is not exactly what people assume when they talk about women being responsible for more of the housework, but it happens to be how I'm living. And even in this situation, housework is one of the sources of friction.)

It bothers me when things aren't fair, but it seems nearly impossible to actually end up with a perfectly fair housework situation, at least based on my 8-ish years of cohabitating with people. But avoiding *overwhelming* unfairness seems pretty straightforward with a little bit of effort.

(Did you see the article in Science about women scientists/tenure track professors and paying for housework? What did you think of that?)
ruthless compassion: thinkyaroraborealis on August 2nd, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Interesting -- I hadn't seen that article!

I'm a huge proponent of paying for housework, actually, regardless of one's career. I would much rather trade my money for the time I would spend on housework, which I don't enjoy and feel bad about not doing. It also means economic activity that's by its very nature local, and in most cases, it provides a job to a segment of the population that has less of a safety buffer between themselves and poverty than I do, and I like that, too.

I see the agonizing over hiring housework help (and etc) as a great example of the ways that women are often damned if we do and damned if we don't, but I like to thing change is happening.
(no subject) - jadia on August 2nd, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harimad on August 2nd, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - harimad on August 2nd, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)