Ask me to point to the number one contributor to the gendered wage gap, and I’ll gesture at the chore gap. Women are pressured by society to do housework, and this saps away the time they can devote to work. Men don’t face this, and in fact are mocked for doing chores, so they can plow more time into their careers.
A number of feminists are fighting back, with something called #ChoreChallenge:
- Keep a two-week log of activities and chores, including kids, in your family. Put everything on it and make sure to add activities that aren’t usually thought of as chores. For example, buying gifts, managing social calendars, doing taxes, making doctor appointments, school activities, car maintenance, or financial budgeting and planning.
- Analyze the list to see who does the bulk of what work.
- Gender-swap household responsibilities, all or just some, for as long as you can.
- If you have children, talk to them about work and stereotypes, gender roles and expectations.
- If you reach a milestone, or a hitch, or encounter some interesting differences, send your story or upload a photo to Breakthrough’s THE G WORD , using the #ChoreChallenge hashtag.
- Join the #ChoreChallenge tweetchat on Tuesday, January 12 at 9 a.m. EST/2 p.m. GMT/7:30 p.m. UTC
I’m a bit shocked I don’t see more organizing around this, and I hope that’s just me. Anyway, you can read a great interview with one of the organizers, Soraya Chemaly, over here.
And think more about who does what in your house, and why.