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Nov 18, 2020 in Sociology
Women's lives

Despite the long-term fight of women for their rights, they still spend more time on domestic service than men do. There are different explanations of this unequal labor division. Particularly, some researchers believe that it is a choice of women and the main hallmark of their femininity. This paper will analyze the findings of B. Beagan, G. Champman, A. DSylva and B. Bassett as well as will discuss the ideas of Majorie L. DeVault. The research question: Why do women still do housework more often their partners?


It is Just Easier for Women to Take Responsibility for Everything

Brenda Breagan and her colleagues found a range of explanations of unequal labor division between men and woman. First, women do housework because they want to make the same contributions in household as men do. This explanation is particularly popular among women, who do not work or work part-time. However, men working fewer hours than their wives do not want to increase their share in housework. Second, the involvement in housework is explained by gender ideology. Thus, educated men supporting egalitarian gender ideology tend to do housework more often men supporting more traditional ideologies. Third, many people simply believe that it is fair when women are responsible for cooking and cleaning. Besides, B. Beagan, G. Champman, A. DSylva and B. Bassett explain the difference in division of labor by time availability. Some women do not work, so their family members think that it logical that their mother/or wife does housework. In addition, some people think that housework is womens work and one of common hallmarks of femininity. Although females accept that it is an old tradition, they claim that this division of labor is effective. Another popular explanation of labor inequality is health reasons. Thus, some women do not allow their husbands to cook and go shopping because they think that they would choose only junk food. Women feel responsibility for the health of their relatives. B. Beagan, G. Champman, A. DSylva and B. Bassett also found that women have high standards for cooking and cleaning. When family members help mothers/wives, females start criticizing their work. Furthermore, women say that is easier for them to cook on their own than to clean the kitchen after cooking of their husbands. Researchers also found such explanation as the desire of women to reduce conflicts. When women cook food alone, they avoid arguments with their partners about negative effects of junk food because men prefer preparing something unhealthy. In other words, the desire of harmony in relationships is greater that the desire of sharing responsibility with someone. Doing housework also helps women to avoid of emotional work, which is done in case of familys arguments. Finally, B. Beagan, G. Champman, A. DSylva and B. Bassett explain the unequal labor division by choice of women. Some of females do choose to do housework on their own. However, many women only think that housework is their free choice. In fact, the community often forces women to choose the role of bread-maker.

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Conflict and Deference

Majorie L. DeVault also has some explanations of unequal division of labor in families. First, there is a problem of sharing because the woman is the person, who keeps the plan of doing housework in her mind. Therefore, men cannot perform some duties without consultations with their partners. For example, they cannot cook some dish because women have already created the menu for their family. In addition, sharing the work requires communication between family members, so women simply decide that it is easier to do everything on their own. Another explanation is that when somebody takes responsibility for some work, others hardly ever think about it. Thus, women normally take the responsibility for cleaning and cooking, so men are not motivated to do housework and even do not treat housework as a real work. They often think that housework is a natural territory of women and their expression of caring. In addition, some women say that that housework is their obligation and they do want to please their partners. Moreover, women tend to do everything in the ways their husbands like. For example, females cook dishes their partners like. Wives behave are so submissive because they are very sensitive to comments of their husbands. Besides, women also depend on gender roles accepted in the community they live. When women decide to reduce the time they spend on housework, they experience resistance from their family members and feel selfish. Majorie L. DeVault also explains the current labor division by choice of women. However, the researcher says that women decide to start doing housework under influence of others. Finally, some men force their partners to do housework because it is used as an indicator of their submission. In many households, women demonstrate deference to males only because caring is included in cultural definition of woman.

In conclusion, the articles under consideration have some similar explanations of unequal division of labor between genders. Thus, authors of both articles say women often decide to take responsibility for housework on their own, but their choice is affected by gender roles accepted in the community. Some women simply want to please their partners or to equalize their contributions in the household. Besides, women start to do all housework because it is easier for them to do everything alone than to share some responsibilities with others. In addition, B. Beagan, G. Champman, A. DSylva and B. Bassett found that men loose motivation to help their partners because females have too high standards for housework. Another explanation of the researchers is that women want their families to eat only healthy food and live in harmony. This is only possible when female partners are responsible for housework. Majorie L. DeVault also says that such labor division helps to reflect the division of power in the family. When the woman performs domestic service, she demonstrates the deference to her man.

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