Our Gender, Ourselves

The changing American family

Women on the Verge of Exhaustion

Kids, career, friends, family, and loads of stress: how women’s collective work-life fatigue is holding them back. Read More

Another women-have-it-harder

Another women-have-it-harder pander piece.

did you read the title of the

did you read the title of the article before getting disappointed with its contents, genius?

It is clearly a pander piece.

It is clearly a pander piece.

How can you not see that?

Oh, I know, you're a woman and you have invested in the myth that women have it harder.


Biased article

This article suggests that women are on the verge of exhaustion because they are doing more work than men. Let's look at the facts. The author cites a study which states women are doing more housework than men. That study says that on average women are doing .5 hours more housework than men.(1) So men are taking an extra half-hour break every day, huh? Not so fast. The author ignores the fact that in the workplace men are “clocking in at 45.6 hours a week and women at 45.2.”(2) This effectively cancels out the additional time women spend on housework. If women are doing more housework than men, it's because men are still at the office and are unable to. A 2006 study that looked at 5 decades of work and leisure habits found that in recent surveys both men and women have more leisure today than they had 50 years ago, and that men and women have similar workload and leisure patterns overall.(3) In other words, women are NOT doing more overall work than men are.


Pay and Productivity

When people say that "women work as hard as men" (or even harder than men), I'm always curious about how that was measured. For example, I don't think that "work hours" is a good metric for productivity, and productivity should ultimately determine one's pay. Just because two people work the same hours doesn't mean they produced the same amount of work.

If it's true that more women than men feel tired at work, then it's reasonable to conclude that those women, in particular, are not as productive as the men who do the same jobs. There are two implications that follow:

(1) Those particular women are going to accomplish less and, (by extension), earn less than the men who feel less tired working at the same jobs in the same amount of time, and
(2) Those particular women will end up working longer hours to accomplish the same level of productivity as men who work the same jobs but feel less tired

So on the one hand, if those women put in more hours, then they subject themselves to more fatigue and; therefore, lower productivity and, by extension lower pay. On the other hand, (as is my understanding), they're frowned upon if they put in fewer hours. Now that's quite a bind!

"Overwork" or just, "Work"?

I'm also rather surprised that academics define "overwork" (for women) as: "putting in 50 hours a week or more" of work. Men who vie for top echelons of corporate hierarchies typically put in at least 50 hours a week. There isn't a whole lot of complaining mainly because they know that's the minimum expectation, and is a show of how badly they want those positions.

There isn't a whole lot of

There isn't a whole lot of complaining because it's typically the woman who is responsible for maintaining the household, feeding the family, etc. on top of working those 50 hours a week.

OH yeah, That's so much

OH yeah,

That's so much harder and more stressful than having you job and your family's welfare on the line with every decision you make.

Be Calm

Let's not make this into a competition. The fact is working women and mothers are basically pulling two jobs at one time, which isn't to say that men don't work hard. There are just differences in how men and women tend to work. As the article said, women respond to stress by working harder and men by stepping back and taking a break. Instead of vilifying one gender against the other, let's take more stock in how all people spend their time on and see if it's helping them or just stressing them out. Even among individuals there are different ways of dealing with stress.

Not to mention that both fathers and mothers are engaged in the family's welfare, but often on different fronts. Men usually earn the money, and women usually take care of the house. Since those aspects are changing we should be more grateful for the work both contribute to the home, not calling one better than the other.

Choices have Consequences

First of all, men and women and children of all ages are more stressed than ever because of the choice of leaders the majority has made and the policies they have enacted. Today, even if we chose to have the same amount of free time and relative income as many years ago it is not possible with all the taxes and regulations we are burdened with.

That being said, it isn't like this situation has changed overnight. It is pretty obvious to all but the most ignorant individuals how much time and money it takes to do certain things such as own an airplane or have children. When one makes a choice to take on a huge responsibility in terms of cost and money it should be expected that you may very well have to cut back on other activities. It is very challenging to become a top performer at work. It is also very challenging to raise children. It is a challenge to have a nice house and keep it up. It is difficult to stay in shape in general. How hard might it be to do ALL of these at once?

I think women have a bit harder time facing and dealing with Reality. It is easier for men to look at a situation and say "This will require way too much work and take away from the other things I want to do so I choose not to do it." I think this is one reason fewer men are getting married, going to college and fighting their way up the corporate ladder. These games have been played for decades now and many are figuring out how little return there is for the effort.

So, just like men, women will have to understand they are making a choice. Just because it is expected they have kids and become CEO doesn't mean they have to. They need to be taught that there are costs and rewards to every choice and not the feminist dreck that roars: "You are woman! You are powerful and can do ANYTHING!" Men tried to live up to that crap and had the same things women are getting now: overbusy, stressful, unenjoyable lives with increased mortality.

First of all,much of what I

First of all,much of what I am about to discuss is generalized and simply my opinion.

So, here goes... 'Work', or hours put in, is far too subjective to be measured in any credible manner when freewill or choice involving having or not having children, or being married or not is part of the reality. Case in point, the average single woman with no children makes more than the average single man with no children. This is simply a fact, or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is false. WHo knows, stranger things have happened. But, if it is accurate, then regardless of societal pressure, intuition, or wants and desires, having children and being married are choices that hugely impact ones' accumulation of wealth. I do say this knowing that such a situation is an ewxtremely difficult reality for a woman that a man does not understand.

Nevertheless, men at this day in age are not necessarily the ones keeping women down in this market economy. THe author, to her great credit, did not make this article about that which is awesome. THerefore, I found this article very informative and objective of the realities a woman faces, at least from my perspective as a male, and I really seek to understand the average woman's position.

WIth this said, I know of so few men who demand their wife take on so much, from my experience. THerefore, much of the pressure of a certain woman is strictly her emotional reaction to decisions made that ultimately are honorable, meaningful ideals that unfortunately become stress-inducing, unrealistic demands upon themselves and others which create so much more stress. I am not remotely discrediting these emotions, whatsoever. THe average man would feel the exact same way. I feel bad for women in this situation. THerefore, women need to help themselves more, and realize the error of this pattern of thinking and men must be much more aware of this reality and take it seriously and additionally help those they love. Both must stop avoiding reality and be more realistic about what is really going on.

"THerefore, much of the

"THerefore, much of the pressure of a certain woman is strictly her emotional reaction to decisions made that ultimately are honorable, meaningful ideals that unfortunately become stress-inducing, unrealistic demands upon themselves and others"----I agree with most of your post, except for this small part, and I think it's only because you are not seeing one small point: There are things that HAVE to be done and if my husband does not do them, my choices are to ask (and/or nag) or do it myself. For instance, My husband and kids will keep stacking things on top of the garbage can rather than take the bag out and put in a new one. They will not take the initiative to change the bag. I have to ask and/or throw a fit. I could name a hundred other small tasks like this just in the work needed to keep up a house. It is things like this that stress women out, and give them this feeling that they have to take care of every single thing that happens, because if they don't everything will fall apart. It's just a matter of "seeing" differently. Does this make sense to you?

Oh Stephanie, I feel your

Oh Stephanie, I feel your frustration! Your husband and kids have been getting away with not pulling their weight in the household. Imagine if you suddenly took a month long trip somewhere. Or were stuck in the hospital. Or broke your leg. Your family doesn't need more nagging, they need to see the impact of their laziness... like... ants and bugs crawling from the neglected garbage into their beds... not being able to find a clean shirt for an important event, which will humble or humiliate... think of all the horrifying incentives that would kick your family into gear. You can't do it all, and if you try, the universe will throw you a curve ball and force you to stop doing it all. All those little things add up to your massively growing frustration.

Nobody mentioned the cost of marrying and raising lazy people who don't see where help is needed, and automatically step in to help. Nobody mentioned the cost of training your helpers to help. Nobody mentioned that kids are accessories nowadays, instead of helpers. Nobody mentioned that if you marry a really great helpful breadwinner, your life will be far better off than if you marry a distracted self-involved child.

Stephanie, please change the rules in your household immediately. Make consequences for inaction. Make it real. Otherwise, you are headed for greater exhaustion, frustration, anger, resentment, and who knows what else down the line.

I am truly sorry. This is why I stayed single, because my options were mostly self-centered "nice guys"... fun boyfriends but!

Actually, I am eternally

Actually, I am eternally grateful for the husband and kids that I have, faults/annoyances and all. yes, it drives me nuts to see the garbage can overfilled, or the toilet paper sitting on top of the holder rather than in it, or wet towels on the floor, or any number of things. However, I came as close as one can get to losing all of that 12 years ago. I was critically injured in a very bad wreck, looked Death square in the face, and walked away. Since then, I understand the value of being able to wake up every morning and say "I am alive today". That does not mean that these things do not annoy me, just that I choose my battles before I "throw a fit".

The reason for my original post was just to point out that women see all of these small things that are not being done and figure "If I have to watch the small things, I'd better be watching the big things too." It's not necessarily a fact of "being lazy". It's just a difference in what each gender sees as "important" in the scheme of things.


Written by the author of "Raising Boys Without Men". LOL! I'll be waiting anxiously for the sequel, "Why the Y? Consequences of an Unnecessary Chromosome", and possibly even, "A Beginner's Guide to Penectomy: The Solution to Masculinity".

it's so obvious women want

it's so obvious women want the same rights as men. However women are not men and men are not women. This leads to a detrimental dog eat dog attitude where the women are in metaphoric terms turning into alpha males to try and push harder then the men or even their fellow women work rates. If people actually accepted men are men and women are women and treated each other as that and we played to the woman's strength and played to the men's strength the productivity would be better and have equal amount of pay for what either a woman or a man could do that would benefit the company make women less fatigued and men putting in enough effort that doesn't make them lazy or have this stupid attitude that a woman should only do certain tasks. This demented fight by both sexes to be the dominant sex in all areas of lives creates so much problems even in relationships and working and even aggression in both. God created men and women equally but different for a reason. To work together to use the strengths of one to help the weakness of the other and vice versa to make a more harmonised world to live in.

They want the equal pay

They want the equal pay without the equal work.


Who, exactly, is "they"? All women? Talk about an overgeneralization of epic proportions. I'm sure you have gone out and checked with every. individual. woman. about this topic, right? You're not just making a baseless, inaccurate statement based on your own bias or anything.

How about this one instead: "They" (men) want to get higher pay for less work (by refusing or failing to do it and then just expecting women to do it instead). Oh, and "they" also want to be in control of everything (so they feel powerful), even though women are more competent.

Sound untrue? Yeah, I thought so. That happens with overgeneralizations based on one's imagination.

Men are the LAZIEST breed of

Men are the LAZIEST breed of human, period. In work, at home, in general. Hence why more men are unemployed now then ever before. The work place doesn't want them and they're not trying THAT hard to get the work because men are perfectly content sitting at home.
I for one am perfectly fine with it as I take their jobs. Thank you.

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Peggy Drexler, Ph.D. is a research psychologist, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University and author of two books about modern families and their children.


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