This is inspired by a discussion in a friends locked post. Please tick as many boxes as seem relevant, but make sure to answer only the question applicable to your gender.
If you don't define yourself as either "male" or "female", that's wonderful and liberated of you but there is no space for you in my poll. Answer in a comment if you like, and preferably don't hate me. The reason for this is that LJ polls have no direct way to link answers in two different categories, and for this particular poll I'm interested in the people who are still part of the binary gendered majority.
We have a cleaner (when she turns up). Otherwise, I do most of it, because my father and brother both work long hours and my mother physically can't do much. I sometimes get frustrated with how little my brother does (partly because it's not fair, and partly because of feminist issues - I think he and/or my mother *may* subconsciously think that it's the girl's job, and he has no idea how much work is involved in looking after yourself, because he's never lived away from home at all), but he does work very long hours, and I'm at home pretty much all the time.
I answered as best as I could. The problem is the division shouldn't be 50-50 as my household is somewhere between 4 to 6 adults.
I do a disproportionate amount of the housework, because I'm the only one in the household for whom if the dishes aren't done, it means I don't get to eat. We divide housework up roughly by ability, which means the one driver with car does most of the driving tasks, the sysadmin does most of the computer tasks, etc. This actually does put us mostly into stereotypical gender roles, but simply because of how the abilities happen to fall (why they fall there may well be for cultural reasons, but it's still the way it is). Except that most of the cooking used to be done by my male partner, except now he's way too busy in school and isn't home much.
However, a lot of people just don't do their share. It's just the way it is. And many of the people are what I call "burst workers". Every now and then they go on a cleaning spree, and that's great. And then for long periods of time they do almost nothing. Whereas I do dishes pretty much every day, along with other work.
Also, in theory, my share shouldn't be too large, because of disability. I'm not particularly happy that I'm doing as much as I am, but there are some factors that may make that better as time passes. Anyhow, I think it's the females who generally aren't doing as much as they should. Although now and then they do a bunch, and that's great. It's possible it does balance, but it doesn't feel like it to me.
I found this very hard to answer. I do almost all the cooking and most of the laundry. I probably load and unload the dishwasher five times more often than K. It's almost always me who cleans the catboxes and takes the trash and recycling out. She does most of the dusting, floor and surface cleaning type stuff.
I think we've decided that mstevens has a higher tolerance for filth than I do, and I have a higher tolerance for clutter than he does. I'm better about cleaning the bathroom, he's better about putting things away after finishing using them. Between us it just about works, except that we're both pretty intermittent in everything except washing-up (which generally does get done within 24 hours, but wouldn't if either of us lived alone).
Unfortunately, the way of clutter is such that it makes cleaning up the filth difficult, so I feel much guilt.
My (male) partner does most of the laundry, probably because I have plenty of clothes and don't think about doing laundry until the only underpanty left is the joke black-lace crotchless thong. bbwoof, on the other hand, has only half a dozen work shirts and throws a load in the washer whenever he's down to just three of them.
On the other hand, he doesn't notice dirt in the bathroom or kitchen, and is content to share space with dustbunnies. I'm not, so I sweep and wipe up a lot. He does pitch in and work when asked.
I answered that my dh and I split everything 50:50, though that's not quite true -- it seemed closest to true. I do the cooking and the laundry, because I like to be in charge of both of those things. He does the dishes (because otherwise the wood floors would be ruined by my inability to not splash), mows the yard, and, with a lot of sighing and complaining, takes out the garbage.
Anything else that gets done gets done by me, but only when it gets too gross to stand. So, we're both really good at avoiding the housework. We both ignore it 50:50.
He does a lot of childcare, too. Changing diapers and clothes. Usually I get her ready for dinner and he cleans her up three minutes later when she shouts "I'm. All done! I'm. All done!"
He reads the newspaper a hell of a lot more than I do, though.
We're still evolving arrangements here, but I think I do more of it partly because Elise isn't here very much, and partly because we (therefore) create more of the mess. (The children, of course, are not easy to herd into doing anything positive; if I can get them to keep their own rooms faintly tidy, I tend to feel I'm doing well...) Having said that, having enough time to do enough of it is proving difficult, which I'm rather ashamed about.
When I lived with my (female) now-ex, she did more of the housework than I did, but I was working full-time while she took several years off to look after children. Cooking tended to be more my responsibility, though, and major blitzes involved us equally.
papersky and zorinth and I, when we moved into this house, sat down and listed all the household tasks, divided them up into ones we each actively liked, didn't mind, disliked, hated with a passion, or could not do [ that last including frex zorinth, as a minor, not being in a position to ring the bank to harass them etc. ] and worked out what seemed the best balanced position for all of us.
In practice, I do a whole lot of focused cleaning and brushing and dusting and so on at weekends, it being something that papersky loathes, and tasks that will raise an excessive lot of dust in the air I do when I'm sure of being on my own in the house for a goodly chunk of time, out of kindness to people with asthma, and papersky cooks most days because she actively enjoys it, as well as being much better at it than either of us - it's in the agreement that on days when she's not up to it or really does not want to, we eat out or order in; this works a lot better in terms of both variety and economy in Montreal than it would anywhere else any of us have lived.
Ther have been some minor tweaks since we got here - I have become much better at not forgetting to bring the recycling out Monday mornings since my job was formally changed from "bring the recycling out" to "swear about forgetting to bring the recycling out" - and there are overlays of other things, like hefting bookshelves about [ which Z and I do ] and painting [ which we have ended up all doing, though I dislike it intensely, because I would appear to be rather good at it ] that have become needful given the apartment-doubling. In general it seems to work OK, though Z goes through occasional phases of rules-lawyering* over being asked to do incidental helpful things outside the standard format.
*I first described this as "barracks-lawyering" but he said "no, if I were barracks-lawyering you'd have sold me before you discovered Gunpowder"...
Further potentially relevant datum; this is in a context where I work something very close to regular business hours, and papersky works from home and tends to work in bursts; the balance of things changes a lot when she is having very productive days, and would probably change a lot if that pattern of other time commitments were to change.
Except I couldn't actually answer accurately at all, since "well, if the housework gets done at all, I'm probably more likely to have done it, especially things like cleaning the bathroom sink, but on the other hand, Ian makes a lot more dishes than I do so technically he should do the dishes more often, but they just tend to build up, but he also knows it's his responsibility though it's mine sometimes; and then when someone's coming over we both panic and things get split about 50/50 as they did just on Saturday because my aunt and uncle were coming" doesn't really fit into ticky boxes. :)
I do think that some of the discrepancy does boil down to gender. If we have an empty sink and I produce one or two dishes, then I generally feel like I should wash them right away. As was demonstrated this morning, Ian feels like it's way to much effort to wash one spoon and a glass right after he uses them and would rather wait until there are at least ten things in the sink before he washes any of them. Whereas if there are a bunch of things in the sink already, I go, "ugh, I can't be bothered to wash this dish, I'll just stick it on top of what's already there, it's not going to make the sink any dirtier than it already is." And I think that really is partially a gender-inspired difference. I don't say, "Oh, I'm a woman, I should do housework," and Ian doesn't say, "Oh, I'm a man, I shouldn't do housework," but we react differently to the necessity of doing certain pieces of housework on a very basic level.
I don't know whether that's a gender-inspired division, because nobody in our house would ever think to wash one thing at a time - unless in a situation of being one instance of said thing short of an immediate need, which does not happen often - rather than to get a whole pile of stuff done.
There is definitely a distinction between people who find unwashed dishes left on surfaces gross and people who find unwashed dishes left in water gross, though. [ This for plates that have had bread on and glasses and such things, rather than things that inarguably need soaking to be cleanable. ] I find myself supporting the latter category largely because I have lived with people who thought The Way To Do Things was to chuck all the cutlery into the wash-basin immediately upon finishing a meal, and I have cut my hands on knives left in water too many damned times.
As it happens, I washed a specific thing about an hour ago, because it's needed for tonight's cooking; this seems to come up moderately often here, because there are categories of "things that go in the dishwasher" (which mostly gets run every day or two) and "things that have to be hand washed"), which I do in bursts, usually fairly often, but it can easily happen that, say, both of the really good knives are dirty and one of us wants to cook. At that point, I may just wash one of them, or I may do both, and any wooden spoons that need washing.
that's not gender-inspired in our household -- doing any one thing at a time is a colossal waste of water, so we wait until we have a sink's worth. me, i like to soak the dishes, the paramour thinks that sorta disgusting; calls it my "cholera water". since i do more dishes, cholera water soaking it is.
my other partner doesn't like leaving things in the sink, but has a dishwasher, so can put things away -- it's not about gender there either, but about finding dirty dishes in the sink to be horribly unhygienic (apparently once they're in the dishwasher, the germs are no longer a problem! :).
My mum instructs me to rinse the items and scrape off any visible morsels before anything goes in the dishwasher. Basically, she wants me to wash it before it goes anywhere near the machine she bought specifically to do that job. I think that I never pre-wash things well enough for her, and she likely fishes things back out in order to pre-wash them "properly" before the cycle even starts. Bleh, I so hate living here.
Usually I go for the soaking method (cholera water!), even though I find it vile myself. This usually mounts up for a day or two, though I drain it every so often, and will sometimes only soak the really icky things. The rest goes in a dry germ-filled pile next to the sink, so I can still fill the kettle, and I'll give cups I want to re-use a quick rinse. When I finally deem the bowl to be full enough and my mental energy sufficient, I don rubber gloves and drain it entirely and go "ick" a lot, while filling it back up with nice clean hot water in order to wash them. Naturally, this only works when my mum is away or in the time I didn't live here.
I've lived with at least four different sets of people in different houses and in different circumstances, and so my experience of housework was different in all of them. I think pretty much all of those experiences are best left un-relived though, especially since it doesn't give much insight into gender roles. I will note that my last female housemate operated in bursts, leaving things soaking and piling up way beyond my limit, rendering the sink useless for anyone else, and then very occasionally would blast through everything and clean up her filth while remarking how filthy everyone else was.
I've only been living on my own for three weeks though. *g* When I lived with my parents, none of us really did much in the way of housework, but I did the least amount because I cared less than my parents.
Me and loreid seem (I think, and will be surprised if she says different) to do about the same amount of housework. We originally divided the jobs between us, largely based on who could do what, and then divided what was left to leave us roughtly even. In practice we're both fairly lazy and things get left for a while, so she often ends up doing some washing up (my job), while I think I'm the only person to wash the bath since March (her job).
My initial reaction to this question was 'Someone I pay' - because, living in college, I have a scout who does the vacuuming, cleans sink and bathroom, etc. Only on reading others' comments did it occur to me to consider cooking and laundry as part of the housework, so I went back to add 'Me, I live alone'. I don't know why this is, but I suspect it's because my mother has much higher standards of cleanliness than I do. Thus while I was living at home, 'housework' was all the stuff I felt was unnecessary that Mom made me do anyway. As I like having cooked food and clean clothing, those things are clearly necessary and not housework!
Apologies for the conflicting answers but nothing really fitted. Generally we don't "do housework" unless someone's coming to visit - other than the essentials (washing clothes, washing dishes, cooking, taking out the rubbish, etc). I generally do more of the essentials, mainly because I give in more quickly, although we share cooking fairly evenly (60:40) and Rat does the rubbish more than me. But when it comes to the chores we only do because someone's visiting (or we're finally totally fed up of the mess) - Rat does more than me. So it all balances out!
You didn't include the possiblity of someone doing more of the housework because they enjoyed doing it.
I live by myself now. When I was living with my housemate/lover he definnitely did more of the housework than me. This was partly because I was working much longer hours and partly because I am a lot more of a slob. I tried to balance it out by paying for more things (as I also earned a lot more).
I think D. and I split the housework roughly 50/50, but we're not systematic about it -- I like to cook and am better at it, plus I'm home earlier, so I do more of that, and he likes to clean and is better at it, plus he notices clutter a lot sooner, so he does more of that. We both put off laundry as long as possible, and we both pitch in for last-minute cleaning before guests come over. I'm a little worried about how future childcare duties will shake down, though.
Also, I don't know how accurate your flist is as a mirror of society -- we're kind of self-selected -- but I'm still surprised by how many of the women are still doing most of the housework in a household involving other adults.
screw your binary gender stuff, i am not outing our private parts here. :) you can always try and guess who of us was born with what bits, *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*.
we don't do gender roles. we share housework, but i do more now (it used to be 50/50 for a while). for one, because my live-in partner does more of the bring-in-money work these days. for another, because i actually enjoy it more.
that's a huge change from 20 years ago, when i didn't much like housework and saw it as an undesirable interruption of much more interesting things. i trained myself to not be such a slob, and in order to do that, i made up all sorts of games so i could enjoy housework more.
now it makes me feel accomplished and useful.
there are some things the paramour almost always does, like take out the trash and recyclables -- because i tend to forget what day of the week it is, i used to miss too many instances of that, and have therefore happily handed it over. the paramour is also more thorough when it comes to vacuuming -- we both dislike that, and i just do the floors, but the paramour, oh hoh, does the cobwebs under the ceiling too. :) that tells you how often we vacuum.
but for the most part, house, yard, truck, and garden work are my province. calling people to arrange for stuff, or complain about things, i hate that, and leave it to the paramour. unless i can do it online. finances we split -- i do most of the banking and payable bills, the paramour does the invoicing and books. if something needs to get built, i do it, unless the paramour takes it on as a special project to learn, oh, routing or something. repairs i do, except for electronics. and i buy the books, which is how we decorate.
if i lived with my other partner, the *poing*, i bet i wouldn't be doing anywhere as much of this, because the *poing* is much cleanlier than i am and would get tired of things being in a state of non-cleanliness much quicker than i do. i'd still do the yard and garden work though, cause the *poing* wouldn't even want a yard and garden. and i'd take care of the car as well, the *poing* hates that. when the *poing* last moved i went down to pretty much handle that; i am great at moving people. and when i wasn't boycotting the bloody country yet, we'd time buying furniture for my next visit, because i am also a fine assembler of ikea furnishings. :)
oh, and i forgot -- i do 60%-70% of the sysadmin tasks as well. which is more work than one might expect, since we run a small network with 6 different machines and N different operating systems (lemme count -- debian, redhat 7.3, 9, FC5, mac OS X panther and tiger, SGI irix, windows XP 32- and 64-bit) in order to support our clients' software.
notice there is no mention of cooking?
we eat out.
no, unfortunately that would be too expensive. but we both don't much like cooking. i cook a little more often, but generally that is a shared task. i bake a lot more often, or at least that used to be the case until my recent montréal trip, during which the paramour taught self how to operate the bread machine. :)
being in montréal rocked because papersky (whom i'd like to be adopted by) did the cooking, and a fine job of it, and i did some cleaning, which worked out nicely. i want a live-in cook, *sigh*.
We split approximately 50/50 according to preference and skillset. That is, I like to cook so I often make the dinner, where D has particular ways of washing up which he'd rather do himself than argue with me about. I tend to keep the bedroom and front room tidy, and D cleans the bathroom and kitchen. D hoovers, 'cos he says I'm rubbish at it, and I do the laundry because I seem to be the one who notices it needs doing. So we end up with a pretty sparkly house between us both!
We take turns making coffee and breakfast in the morning.
When I used to live with my parents I did almost nothing except when my mom made me. I live now in a flatshare with one female person who I knew before. When I told lethargic_man he asked as a joke if I am married. I do everything. I look after the household, I go shopping, I cook and fight with agencies and companies on the phone. She does not know how to cook and does not know how to wash up. I can do it a lot better. The only thing I can't find is my concentration on my studies. I really have the feeling I am married.
I never aspired to much when it came to housework. I am not dirty or icky, but I am messy (really, really bad with folding/hanging up clothes). I'm reasonably ok with cleanliness though.
Sharing flats and being in relationships has kicked my ass a bit though, especially my current relationship.
My male partner is unbelievably tidy and clean. Up to the point that it almost seemed obsessive-compulsive. He's toned it down a bit though (thank goodness) and now we are callibrating it to a happy compromise.
We share about 40/60, with him taking the 60, to be honest. But he doesn't mind. He never complains. He wants it this way. Of course, he's not divinity incarnate and there are housethings I am better at.
Ok, the breakdown is: Cooking: 50/50. We both love it and is a hobby of ours. He tends to do more of the weekday cooking (something fast and healthy) and I tend to gravitate towards the Shabbos [Sabbath] cooking (something more elaborate and healthy). I do the baking though, and that includes baking/taking challah [the Sabbath bread].
Cleaning: I tend to do surfaces and bathroom (he does toilet). I polish the mirror and scrub the tub. He's better with the dishes (which is a more regular chore anyway) and the stove (he's great with cleaning the stove!). He does all the vacuum cleaning (I detest it), and takes out the garbage (I forget which day. It's not a matter of heaviness of the bag). I take care of the "halachic" [stuff tied in with Jewish law, especially the food laws] cleaning: Pesach cleaning/kashering [making kosher] and general kashering-around-the-kitchen because I am more frum [religious] than him, and I don't want to burden him too much with my observance. He helps maintain the kashrut though, obviously.
Laundry: that's a pretty equal split. He hates changing sheets, so I do that. I tend to make the bed. He hates ironing, so I do that (I quite like ironing and I enjoy doing it for him b/c I love him). We both wash equally (clothes). I do the odd, irregular stuff, like laundering the curtains.
Shopping: he tends to do most of the shopping during the week. I tend to do shopping for Shabbos, or we both do. He has a car and an income more worth noting than mine, so the shopping defers to him. I detest shopping for groceries.
He tends to be better with doing little things around the house to keep it nice. Putting things in order. Cleaning random things. I generally am not good with that. I am happier to do the irregular stuff (that takes more effort though) like The Bathroom and Laundering Curtains and Ironing. Then I make it into a ritual act: put on a rockmusic cd, blast the speakers and off I go. He is more disciplined than I am, but I am learning from him, and he's learning to chill the f*ck out more b/c of me.
All in all, it's not at all gender-related for us. It honestly isn't. He's like... disgustingly Egalitarian.
As to Jewish household stuff: we both make Kiddush [the blessing on the wine for the Sabbath] and switch around. We do the same thing with Motzi [the blessing on the bread for the Sabbath]. So that is all equal too. I go to shul more often than he does and I do all the praying. The only thing he's not completely Egalitarian in, is lighting Shabbos candles. He always defers this to me. He calls it a "woman's mitswah" [commandment] even though I am the tefillin-wrapping rabbi wannabe. It cracks me up seriously. But it's cute.
I was listening to a discussion on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago on the subject, as various women moaned about their (mostly male) partners feeling they'd done their share of the household chores if they'd taken the bins out or put a load of washing on. I sat there (actually, I was probably driving) smugly thinking about how it works in our house. R has always definitely done his share - I do the washing, he does the ironing, we both cook, he stacks the dishwasher, I empty it. His tolerance level is slightly different to mine, and he will notice things need doing sooner than I do, but I then feel guilty and am chivvied into helping get whatever it is done. Having said that, because I only work part-time, I probably do more, but that is because I have more time to do it, and feel I should do more - but still my view on the balance is 50:50. Embarrassingly enough though, as I was reading down the list of options thinking 50:50 was the best answer, I noticed the "we pay someone to do it" button amd realised that was actually the one I should be ticking. It's not that I'd forgotten about the cleaner, it is that I do consider the "housework" to extend beyond hoovering, dusting and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, although thinking about it, it probably accounts for the lion's share. It does encourage us both to tidy up once a week, since we pay her to clean, not clear up our mess and as we both have messy tendencies, it is a great discipline. I do have a slightly skewed view though, as I felt it necessary to apologise for the state of the kitchen floor after we'd had the dog to visit as I had really wanted to mop it before the cleaner came!
My female flatmate behaves in that way like a male. She behaves like my dad actually. When she washes up everything is greasy and she can only open a tin and cook the contents of it. She things her part is done if she hangs up her washing and takes out the bin sometimes. She works more and more full time now. I am always at home and suppose to study. I am not working and therefore have more time but I get up very late. I often don't get everything done.
I think I'm doing a bit more than half right now--"right now" being a time in which the partner I live with (male) is working full time, and I'm doing some freelance work and looking for a full-time job. (Looking can be tiring, yes, but it doesn't have a daily commute built into it.)
We have some long-term job divisions, which work for us: he hates doing dishes, and I dislike the laundry room, so dishes (mostly involving the dishwasher) are my job, and most laundry is his. (He dislikes hand washing clothes for the same reason as dishes, namely bending over the sink, so I buy only such hand-wash-only things as I like enough to be willing to launder.)
We each sometimes feel as though we're doing more than half, but I suspect that's largely that one's own work feels more time-consuming, because one is there for all of it, rather than only part.
You are right, not filling out the poll due to embarassment has not occured to me. It would be interesting to do a poll about how guilty people feel about housework. But I am allegedly doing work and would feel terribly guilty about writitng a poll instead.
couldn't answer it. there are many in my house and we don't split equally nor one person do most of it nor pay someone else to do it. it's not organised in any way, very rarely mentioned, but we're now into our 3rd year in this hosue so it seems to work.
(hmm. tried to reply to this out of email but i dint work.) this house. i meant house. er, no. currently no space. is it really so unusual for 5 people to be sensible and not overly-zealous about housework?
Yes, extremely unusual, from what I have seen in shared houses of more than 2 people their expectations invariably mismatch, and sooner or later this leads to conflict. I was joking about moving in, sorry!
i'm in my 4th such household (3/5 then 4 then 5/6 and now 5 also), with no housemates in more than one (except the boy who is current housemate and the temporary 6th member of previous house) and generally it seemed to work ok. some houses were dirtier/messier than others, some cleaner/tidier. only one had a rota and that only for a few things. some houses we were friends and some not at all. tolerance and avoidance of melodrama, fireworks and excessive selfishness isn't so much to ask is it? (for many things including housework!)
So much to ask, no, but actually getting it... I am glad it's worked out for you, but it does seem very lucky to me for it to work that often. Not because I think people are inherently selfish and melodramatic, but because people grow up with different assumptions of how things should be done and that seems IME to rarely be a level at which clashes of expectation work out smoothly, particularly when people aren't even conscious of making the assumptions.