Thursday, December 6

Gender roles

British women are working in lower paid and lower status jobs than their male counterparts because they still shoulder the responsibility for housework and childcare, a Cambridge University study reveals today. I don’t disagree with this premise. My problem is that someone from Magdalene has nothing better to do than write a report stating the blindingly obvious. He goes on to say that men are the losers, because part-time working women feel they have greater work-life balance and higher job satisfaction than full-time working men. Burchell then suggests men should consider a spell of nappy changing so their wives can ascend the labour market, into the same full-time high-status positions? Go figure?

Given my aversion to Fairy Liquid I was quick to adopt that well worn strategy of male incompetence in order to avoid my share of the housework. The secret is to break a valued piece of china when filling the dish washer; put her favourite cashmere sweater into the hot wash; then chip the Aga's enamel, trying to cook dinner. After that, the though of you drowning junior at bath time (even if you haven't got one) guarantees you’d never again be called upon to share such onerous duties. The country remains awash with social psychologists and female Labour cabinet ministers that despair at the iniquity of it all.

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