What the HAYnes? Hang onto that toilet brush, honey

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

HUMOR – Gender-equality advocates, feminists, and angry people in general: Gather your pitchforks and torches. We are storming the metaphorical castle of a group of Norwegian researchers who claim that the sharing of household chores will destine modern couples for divorce.

In the recent study, those researchers found that married couples who share household chores are 50 percent more likely to divorce than their more old-fashioned counterparts.

Not surprisingly, a recent poll of my friends determined that most likely the Norwegian study was conducted by a bunch of dudes who were fed up with being asked to pitch in.

“What we’ve seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn’t necessarily contribute to contentment,” Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home” said. “One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite.”

I know why. It is because women are so much better at housework than men. This is because most women are equipped with superhuman filth radar and it causes serious issues for men when it comes to housework.

From what I have noticed, men are sort of oblivious to messes and smells. An elk carcass could be rotting on the living room carpet, and rather than remove it, a man would measure it to determine whether or not it was a 400-class bull.

It is no surprise that sharing chores can lead to disagreements. There are so many decisions to be made: Is the chore necessary? How should it be performed? And when – when is the right time to clean that toilet?

Columnist Dave Barry wrote the following in regard to his wife and housekeeping: “She and I disagree on certain housekeeping issues, such as whether it’s OK for a house to contain dirt. Also smells. If NASA scientists really want to know about life on Mars, instead of sending up robots that keep finding rocks, they need to send my wife and have her take a whiff of the Martian atmosphere. If there’s a single one-celled organism anywhere on the planet, she’ll smell it.”

I am unsure what the results of this study mean for my marriage. My husband and I divide the housework 80/20, meaning 80 percent of the time I do the housework and 20 percent of the time my husband does the housework and then I redo it because he did it wrong. Does that mean, according to the Norwegians, that our marriage is in the clear? I hope so. I love having someone around to help me scrub the toilets incorrectly 20 percent of the time.

However, something tells me that disputes over how to properly load the dishwasher are only the tip of the marital discord iceberg. Hansen claimed that the higher divorce rate has less to do with housework and more to do with values held by more “modern” couples. He said, “Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage as being less sacred.”

To me, this seems a more likely cause for the higher divorce rate. Not many divorcées blame the demise of their marriage on improperly folded socks. But is it possible, the more we clean the less sacred we are? It’s either that or the rotting elk carcass in the living room.


Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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