Monday, April 11, 2005

I'm sorry sir, you're going to have to come with us.

In an effort to relieve women from the domestic responsibilities that far exceed those of her American counterpart, Spain is looking towards passing a law which will include an equal balance of domestic work in future marriage contracts. Of course, my imagination runs wild at the idea. To think that a woman could call the police due to domestic inequity in her home. She could press charges of "assault with a lazy ass" and her husband would be thrown in jail overnight to cool off. But in reality, the law will mostly be attributed to divorce settlements. A man may not get as much time to see the kids if he didn't wash as many dishes and fold as many towels as his soon-to-be ex.

Still, domestic equity between men and women in America does not yet exist. A US Department of Labor Time Use Survey released in 2004 found that women do an hour more per day of housework than men. A 2005 University of Michigan study reports that women do an average of 27 hours of housework a week versus 16 hours for men. Some may argue that women have more time to do more housework since they work 8 hours less per week on average. More women than men have part-time jobs. However, this is a poor argument since there is a social expectation that women work part-time both because they generally have lower earnings from their jobs and because it's the women's "place" to raise the children and take care of the home. It's the man's "place" to work 80 hours a week to earn enough money to buy the family vacation in Tahiti and the 4 bedroom house in the suburbs. It's a pretty fucked up set of values if you ask me.

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