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Housework Myth

April 15, 2011

The media has repeatedly publicized studies that purportedly found men do not do their share of housework.  These studies, including one by the United Nations, were seriously flawed as they did not account for work outside the home and/or failed to factor many traditionally male forms of housework.  The mass media also virtually ignored subsequent studies that disproved the housework myth.  For instance:

A recent 25-nation study (the study)by economists from Berlin, Brussels and Texas, which included rich and poor nations, found men do as much work as women when all types of work are combined.

A University of Maryland study found the total workloads of married mothers and fathers is roughly equal when paid work is added to child care and housework, at 65 hours a week for mothers and 64 hours for fathers.

A University of Michigan study found women work an average of 11 hours more housework per week more than men while men an average of 14 hours per week more than women outside the home.

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43 Responses to Housework Myth

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  3. Daniel Crowe on January 27, 2018 at 8:25 PM

    The study mentioned in the article shows that both genders are working for a comparable amount of time per week when combining paid and unpaid labor (~7.9 hours/day), but that does not mean that both genders are compensated fairly. Men and women do not get paid for housework that they do, but since the majority of housework is down by women (4.5 hours/day to men’s 2.7), that means that they are not compensated for their labor. Maybe both genders do comparable work, but our society is set up so that most women are not paid for the work that they do.

    • Marc on April 2, 2019 at 6:37 PM

      Should they get compensated for brushing their teeth and cleaning their cars too? Housework is unpaid because it’s your own home and people need to clean their own homes. When you count work both inside and outside the home, men do their fair share of housework.

    • Paul Neil on March 4, 2020 at 2:21 PM

      I have always thought that housework was a distraction from who is and who is not working in a relationship. Housework in your own home is a chore not work. This is easily proved by the fact that when one is single (whether a parent or not) it is just a chore that one routinely does without expecting recompense. Single people do not campaign to have their housework recognised as work or as a contribution to society. Single people certainly do not claim that the housework they do is as hard as their paid job or worth half their fortune!

      When one is in a relationship, household chores are suddenly work and suddenly an hour of house work is magically equal to an hour of paid work for an employer. This makes no sense. Facts must remain facts regardless of relationship status.

      It only makes sense if people who have the privilege to not be working and are lucky enough to only have household chores to do suddenly decide they need to claim to be working in order to secure a claim to resources that they did not earn. Ask any man who supported a housewife who then divorced him if he would rather have done his own house work and kept half his fortune? He did his own housework when he was single and never felt it made as equal a contribution to his fortune being earned as his work! Anyone who said such nonsense would be ridiculed, except society has accepted the falsehood that housework is work.

      Men have been hoodwinked by the housework myth for far too long.

  4. Wes on September 11, 2017 at 3:06 AM

    One parasitic housework myth is simply the idea that “it needs to be done.” I’m not sure who fabricated the idea that spotlessness is a “need” but it’s clearly just a matter of personal preference… which is FAR from ever being a “need.” Personally, not only do I never expect my SO to do housework, but I encourage her not to. Why? Because I’d rather know that she’s out having fun with her friends or whatever else she wants to be doing. I’ll take out 100% of the trash, when I feel like it, while she does nothing for weeks. I’m fine with that, as long as she doesn’t nag me about it. I’ll be happy to cook 100% of the meals, while she does nothing, as long she doesn’t nag me about doing it every day, and doesn’t criticize how long I leave the dishes. The whole fundamental idea that “housework needs to be done” is simply laughable beyond belief. As such, what’s even more laughable is how horribly people paint each other for not doing it. The reason that women complain about men not doing it is very simple. THEY desire a perfect little nest that falls within the parameters of their nesting fantasies. Nobody else (necessarily) cares. It’s just another age-old example of women expecting to have their desires provisioned to them, and feeling entitled to it. When I decide that I want my motorcycle waxed and polished, I don’t expect my SO to go do it as her “share” of contribution to my motorcycle obsession. I just go wax it. Similarly, anyone who wants a spotless house should own the fact that THEY are the one who wants it. Isn’t personal accountability great?! 🙂

    • Tammy Stark on February 25, 2019 at 10:16 AM

      Why are you lumping all women into a group? Everyone is different. Some people don’t care while others feel sick when the house is trashed. It truly can affect some people’s mood and cause depression. It’s really just about common sense and simple respect for one another. Help each other and this topic disappears

  5. Marc on November 5, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    “Work time — paid at a job and unpaid at home — is almost equal for American men and women, says a report out today that shows men clocking in at 45.6 hours a week and women at 45.2.

    But it’s not 50-50 in terms of work on the job and at home. Men spend about 10 hours a week more than women in paid work, and women spend about six hours more in household work and an additional three hours more in child care, says the analysis, by the Pew Research Center…/14/men-women-work-time/1983271/

  6. Shaikh Abdul Hameed on June 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM
  7. Red on December 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Not sure if this posted before, but this is a pretty interesting article that shows that society is starting to become more aware of the increase in men helping out at home. Women do still do their share of housework and outside work though. But across the board, I think both sexes do their fair share of work, regardless of where it is at. Women do still make the top spot for childcare in traditional families and men still make the top spot for businesses and leads in companies than women do. While the numbers are increasing vice versa, today we still have more men in major business and more women at home.

  8. Red on December 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    This is a nice article. It helps to point out the increasing amounts that men are doing around the house compared to the past.

  9. Cherie on July 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I grew up being told by feminists that "you can have it all." What a lie that was. See, the word "ist" has to do with anarchy, which translates into "disorder." Betty Friedan was into Marxism (not good), and the others, as far as I can see, have to do with socialism. Not good. America has suffered greatly since they have come along, and have done a great job at doing damage-especially with family and children. They used the teachings of Mao to get their message out in the early days, using groups to get together for what was called "consciousness raising". That was a group of women got together and complained, and then they got a group, and so on. The prison population rate has soared since 1970, 700% increase. There has been total breakdown, I apologize to any of you who have been negatively impacted. The lies that I lived from that time has driven me into Christianity, and that Christ truly treated all of us as equals. Remember, it was Eve that the serpent went to, and lied. "Did God really say that?". Something to think about.

    • Devin on December 21, 2011 at 1:36 AM

      There is nothing wrong with Marxism, and nothing wrong with other views. Don't forget that the original texts in the Hebrew bible mentioned that women were not below or above man, but there to be by his SIDE. Christianity took the original texts and butchered it, changing it.


      Christ stood up for a female prostitute.

      It is wrong to put all the blame onto Eve. Don't forget that she was human, and made imperfect by God. Adam was made imperfect as well. If Adam were to arrive to the snake first, then he would probably have been tempted as well.

      • Marshall on March 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        It seems to me that the reason the story has Eve eat the forbidden fruit instead of Adam is to remind us that women aren't perfect, either. Because men are naturally inclined to compete with other men but risk themselves to protect women, while women are naturally inclined to group together and value women over men, it seems to me that we need reminders that women are (like men) less than perfect.

        I think the typical faults of men are much easier to notice than the typical faults of many women and so it's easier to fall into the trap of sexist "women are wonderful" (and men aren't)-type thinking than the converse trap of sexist "males are superior" thinking. At least, it seems this way to me. I'm sure that living in the present-day western world (with such a powerful, pervasive feminist influence) has coloured my perception somewhat.

        Although I'm an atheist, my awareness of and appreciation for the wisdom contained within the world's various religions is always growing.

  10. pk on April 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    My ex-GF would always complain that

    i didn't help out around the house. I mentioned all the house, appliance and car repair I do. Well, she said, "that doesn't count because you *like* doing that stuff." And there you go: from the mind of the modern woman.

    • fabrizzo on October 7, 2011 at 11:50 PM

      dont do it and see how she can handle it.really hate people who take others for granted.

    • Katie Mason on February 6, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      Oh, right. Because cleaning the toilet is to gardening with flowers, just as is cleaning the toilet is to problem solving with repair work?

  11. so on April 20, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Just remember, the crazy feminists you are talking about are the extremists, and are in the same realm as the Christians who set things on fire and say that god hates people, my point being that not all are like that. I personally believe in gender freedom and rights equality on both sides, and so consider myself both a feminist and a masculist(?). I actually have a stay-at-home father, doing a very large portion of the housework, including laundry, dishes, and cooking, as well as working on the vehicles, while my mom supports the family by working in a position she loves an average of 70 hours a week.

    The both enjoy and are fulfilled by this arrangement (which rocks, and I love them both so much)

    Short version-

    Don't generalize and name-call. It's what the crazy feminists do, so if you do it, you are no better.

    • Perseus on May 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      Feminism is Racism. So those who affiliate, even though you want to justify yourself, 'NLTOF (not like those are feminists)' you are guilty as hell. If you believe in gender freedom and rights equality, then you are a humanist. But your racist affiliation betrays your true motives.

      • JD on May 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM

        No, feminism is not racism because gender is not the same thing as race. Feminism is an organized hate movement that wants nothing else but to disenfranchise men. Feminism is MISANDRY (the systematic hatred of men) — this is your new word for today:))

      • Sebastian on December 24, 2011 at 1:59 AM

        Feminism is not racism, nor is it a hate organization. This whole website is a hate movement because you bastards have nothing to do but moan and complain about how you have been WRONGED, even though you already are in charge of the governments, most major companies, the households, the church, etc etc.

        • Marc on April 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

          Feminism has become a hate movement to the extent that it advocates for anti-male discriminatoryt laws, such as creating and/or backing laws that exclude and neglect male victims of DV, laws that ignore male victims of rape (like in India), supporting differential criminal sentencing laws, supporting discrimination against fathers, etc. This organization fights for equal rights and you call that “hate”? That just shows your own ignorance and bigotry. The board of this organization has a woman who was the president of NOW in Dallas and left to form the Dallast chapter of NOW because she was tired of the sexism and double standards of those feminists. That’s called being fair-minded, not hate. In fact alot of minority feminists are calling themselves “womanists” because they don’t like how feminists ignore men’s rights. “One of the primary ways Womanists differentiate themselves from feminists is their concern about men’s rights and their willingness to include men’s rights within their advocacy issues.”

          Thank you, womanists, for not being bigots like Sebastian.

        • Marc on April 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

          Feminism has become a hate movement to the extent that it advocates for anti-male discriminatoryt laws, such as creating and/or backing laws that exclude and neglect male victims of DV, laws that ignore male victims of rape (like in India), supporting differential criminal sentencing laws, supporting discrimination against fathers, etc. This organization fights for equal rights and you call that “hate”? That just shows your own ignorance and bigotry. The board of this organization has a woman who was the president of NOW in Dallas and left to form the Dallast chapter of NOW because she was tired of the sexism and double standards of those feminists. That’s called being fair-minded, not hate. In fact alot of minority feminists are calling themselves “womanists” because they don’t like how feminists ignore men’s rights. Search “womanists men’s rights.”

    • BE FAIR on September 9, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      You're father sounds weak and so are you as you have his DNA.

      • Dusk on September 19, 2021 at 4:07 AM

        It’s “your”, not “you’re”. Just saying.

        • NCFM on September 19, 2021 at 9:25 AM

          Thanks. Your right!

    • fabrizzo on October 7, 2011 at 11:13 PM

      that depends on whether it's the crazy feminists who are in power influencing the law.if so,something drastic needs be done.If not,they should just be ignored

    • Marc on November 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM

      to some extent you're right. But the difference is that the crazy extremist Christians don't have control over mainstream Christianity, while the crazy extremist feminists DO have control over mainstream feminism, and thus they get the public funds and have been strongly influencing public policy on gender issues for decades. The difference is huge. That's why I don't really have a problem with MRA's criticism of "feminists" and "feminism." I prefer not to generalize because I know there are alot of fair-minded feminists, but the ones in power are not fair-minded one bit. They have fought for all kinds of discriminatory laws against men when it comes to domestic violence, child custody, criminal sentencing, sexual assault, paternity laws and more, and they lie to the public and the government all the time about men and gender.

    • Devin on December 21, 2011 at 1:33 AM

      This is extremely true. There are different "levels" of feminism, ranging from reasonable to extreme. The extremists are the ones who actually cause more harm than good, although it may not be intentional harm.

  12. Ray on April 20, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Most feminists don't do a fraction of the work their grandmothers and great grand mothers did. Yet they whine like they're actually doing more. Great grandma knew what man's work was (in the fields) and avoided it. I know, I was raised on a farm. Gender feminism is one of the biggest scams in the history of America, and it's also one of the biggest hate movements.

    • Be Fair on September 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      That's right because most grandma did not have to work outside of home to pay for household expenses. Grandpa did. Today, women had to work to pay for household expenses and be responsible for the housework, which exceeds many grandma's duties. Please double check your statement with your grandma otherwise she would be disappointed with your whinning.

      • Marc on October 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        I didn't hear Ray "whine" at all. He's pointing out that gender feminists are full of it, not complaining about his grandma not whining. You're the one who needs to "be fair."

      • CANCANWILLDO on November 12, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Right on "Be fair'!!! I like how all I see is female bashing on the comments when they don't like to see male bashing. Let us go back to what we learned in grade school. Two wrongs don't make a right. Saying hurtful things about women does not women respond to you…

      • atlast on November 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        To be fair–go out and chop a load of hardwood for the winter(whilst carrying out all 7 day a week farm chores contemporaneously) like granpa and his grandsons did and in some areas probably still do whether it is the USA or Australiaor N-Zealand or Canada .And what are all these lazy boned primma donna kids in the USA Australia Canada doing about their own share of housework??–answer probably nothing–I have not seen one teenager of either gender here in Brisbane Australia mowing a lawn–ever- And we all know well and truly who masterminded the invention of incredible labor saving devices eg washing machines that double as dryers etc and robotic domestic floor cleaners dish washers-etc -etc How many American women use cheap illegal labor to do all and more housework?? Quite alot of them in California as I saw back in the mid 90's…….the feminist dangerous destructive hierarchical myths are about to be torched big time– make these academic feminists past and present pay up – sue the lot of them- and the male fools who permitted this destructive nonsense- in allowing its feet to be firmly entrenched in the whole of Academia –yeah-atlast.

        • Sebastian on December 24, 2011 at 1:57 AM

          How about YOU go and wash the dishes three or more times a day, cook three or more times a day beginning in early morning, care for the children 24 hours a day while your SO is at work all day, get them off to school, go to their games (etc), dress them, feed them, push them out of your body, carry them for nine months, do the laundry, clean the house (kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom(s) kids' rooms, living area(s), etc), iron the laundry, and try and take care of yourself at the same time. Women are also expected to care for the baby in the middle of the night when he/she cries. Child care and housework is a 24 hour job.

          You try to do all this when you are SICK. Women are still expected to get up and play their "roles" when ill even. Men expect to be catered to when sick and not expect to do any work at all around the house.

          From what I have learned in my studies and research, the most pressing jobs for men are OFFICE jobs, which entail long ass meetings, sitting at a desk all day, dealing with ignorant ass-wipes. How is this physically exhausting to your body? Sure there are construction jobs and jobs that are pressing, but the number one type of job that is most often the most tolling are the jobs that require office hours.

          However, you are not working for 24 hours a day/night. Women are expected to or they are "feminists", "anti-male", "sinfully independent", "disgusting", "vile" etc etc blah blah blah.

          You don't have to chop wood year round, and most people don't. This point is stupid and moot and it makes you look stupid and act like you are whining.

          ALSO. Farm women have it worse than the average woman. They have all their household duties, PLUS duties in the stables. Women who live on farms have to help tend to the stables and animals on top of their child care and house care. Plus, they may even have a job these days.

          CHEAP and ILLEGAL labor? What the HELL are you talking about? Are you referring to the use of washing machines instead of water bowls? Or vacuums instead of brooms? If so, then you are really low on the intelligence level. Borderline Worse than Stupid. =_=

          You have no real points and you have no real argument here. You are just complaining about doing physical labor that men chose to do in the past cause they felt women were not physically strong enough.

          But the bottom line is, is that women are expected to work more hours at home and at work in order to make it by and please everyone. Men are expected to work decently and then get catered to at home cause they are too lazy to clean their dishes or throw away their beer cans.

          • Marc on April 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

            Devon said: “But the bottom line is, is that women are expected to work more hours at home and at work in order to make it by and please everyone. Men are expected to work decently and then get catered to at home cause they are too lazy to clean their dishes or throw away their beer cans.”

            Nonsense, Devon. Do some research. Look at the “Housework Myth” section of the issues page. Research that includes work both inside and outside of the home shows men do their fair share of housework and that both sexes work about the same number of hours. All you’re doing is spewing the same feminist myths we’ve heard for decades. And men make 92% of job deaths and the vast majority of occupational injuries as well. They also have longer commutes, work far more overtime, and take on more physical risk. As Warren Farrell puts it in The Myth of Male Power, “Today we have the multi-optioned woman and the no-optioned man.”

            • Marc on April 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

              Sebastian, not Devon. But Devin seconded it.

          • JM on September 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM

            Sounds like an urban legend or myth for sure. I hear and read these types of comments all the time. I listen patiently until the story is over, then I always ask for a practical example. I say, telll me who you know well enough to be able to apply this idea to and say, yes its true and here is an example. I have yet to find proof that women do more work in the home, its just an urban legend. What is true, and not a myth, women have options. I have personally known women, married or in relationships with men, that do almost anything that they desire. From I think I want to go back to school, I think I want to have a child, I think I want to be a stay at home mom, I think I want to go back to work ect ect. The men in these relatiohships were expected to toe the line, like a donkey pulling a cart, a sponsor for the woman and her intrests/wants/desires.

            For example, one of these women I personally know, actually I have known the couple for many years, decided after attending college for 4 years and receiving her degree (during which she did not work nor have any income and he paid for her education) that she did not want to work in that field after all. What she really wanted was something completely different and would required another 30K and another year of school. A year and a half later, she decided that what she really wanted was to be a mother. And women that are pregnant or trying to get pregnant cannot be expected to begin a new career. Bottom line is that in the last decade she has contibruted very little financially (she has only managed to work for 6 months total), but has endebted the relationship upwards of 100K in education expenses for degrees that she does not use because she is a stay at home mom now. She does not cook because she is a modern woman (unless she wants to cook, which is rare), she does not clean house because that is traditional sexist female work, he cooks, works fulltime and sponsors her interests. This woman is not unique, I know many in similar situations, but none in the situation described by the author.

            The men in these situations feel pride, proud that he is able to support his family and is sensitive to the needs/wants/desires of the woman in his life. To be honest, at the end of the day, he is a means to an end. I have seen the back end of this as well. When the children come, he is the only expendable member of the family unit, but must still maintain his sponsorship of her needs/wants/desires.

            You need to take a serious look at what is going on, at least in this country.

            • Jude on September 4, 2020 at 8:47 AM

              Man, I know of a woman that told me she would marry a rich dude when old.
              She literally dated different men till she found one whose family paid for their home and holidays.
              She took a decade to end her degree. And after him supporting her all that time she decided she didn’t want to work on that field.
              She didn’t do any house chores because that’s patriarchy. But made him pay for immigrant women to do all the tasks.
              When looking for a new job, she used her man’s family’s contacts to land directly on director level, with no experience. Passing over women and men that had been working on that company for over a decade.

      • Devin on December 21, 2011 at 1:32 AM

        I second this.

        • Gregory on December 23, 2011 at 6:53 PM

          I third this. (Judging by your earlier posts, Devin, it seems you second "be fair". I think they make excellent points as well.

  13. William Wallace LA on April 15, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    'Feminists' are the sleezebags of our era. Utterly despicable creatures.

    • Devin on December 21, 2011 at 1:31 AM

      And male chauvinistic pigs like you prevent the world from evolving and moving on.

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