I’ve been ranting about the new feminist compaint: how tough it is to be an upscale full-time mom. The poster child in this movement is Judith Warner, author of “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety” and denizen of Washington, D.C.’s second-most expensive neighborhood. (See my “Judith Warner, America’s Best-Compensated Whining Housewife,” Feb. 8). The idea is that wives do all the work, while their husbands just laze with a beer in front of the flat-screen.
According to Warner, the “gender caste system is still alive and well in most of our households . . . Who routinely unloads the dishwasher, puts away the laundry and picks up the socks in your house? . . . The answer, for a great many families, is the same as it was 50 years ago.”
The idea seems to be to get your husband to do his “fair share” and split the housework and child care down the middle.
Now come Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks, arguing in the Tallahassee Democrat that this is bunk: Statistics show that husbands actually work much harder than their wives, when you take into account the total amount of labor both inside and outside the home. They write:
“According to Census data, only 40 percent of married women with children under 18 work full-time, and more than a quarter do not hold a job outside the home.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2004 time use survey, men spend one-and-a-half times as many hours working as women do, and full-time employed men still work significantly more hours than full-time employed women.
“When both work outside the home and inside the home are properly considered, it is clear that men do at least as much as women.
“A 2002 University of Michigan Institute for Social Research survey found that women do 11 more hours of housework a week than men but men work 14 hours a week more than women. According to the BLS, men’s total time at leisure, sleeping, doing personal care activities or socializing is a statistically meaningless 1 percent higher than women’s. The Families and Work Institute in New York City found that fathers now provide three-fourths as much child care as mothers do–50 percent more than 30 years ago.”
So there. Your guy is sacked out in front ot the tube because he’s tired.