In the Loop

In the Loop: January 18, 2008 Archive

Hand your better half a broom

Posted at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2008 by Larissa Anderson (5 Comments)

Did anyone else grow up with Free to Be You and Me?

Does anyone else remember Rosie Grier singing "It's Alright to Cry" or Marlo Thomas and Mel Brooks deconstructing gender stereotypes

or, one of my favorites, "Housework" with Carol Channing?

Little boys, little girls, when you're big husbands and wives,
If you want all the days of your lives
To seem sunny as summer weather,
Make sure, when there's housework to do,
That you do it together!

Well, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center, it looks like Channing was onto something.

Married couples now rank "sharing household chores" as third important for a successful marriage, behind "faithfulness" (no shock there) and "happy sexual relationship."

The study says

Back in 1990, fewer than half (47%) of adults said sharing household chores was very important to a successful marriage. In the 17 years since then, no other item on the list has risen in importance nearly as much. And this rise has come all across the demographic landscape – among men as well as women, among marrieds as well as singles; among old as well as young.

The Pew study cites research from the University of Maryland that suggests in 2003, men were doing more than double the housework they did in 1965.

So, what's the deal? Are we all so busy working all the time that one person just can't possibly do all the chores? Have Carol Channing's Free to Be children grown up?

Someone get a banjo. Sounds to me like we're inching ever closer to a land where "you and me are free to be."

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