Men, Pick Up Your Brooms!

Okay, in my place I use a Swiffer. As long as you contribute to the household chores, broom, Swiffer, it doesn’t matter. (I take that back…use the Swiffer. It gets up more dirt. You should know that.)

Turns out women are making great strides in the workplace…but not at home. They still do the majority of the housework, despite working just as many hours, with just as great a commute, as their male counterparts.

Young man doing the laundry
Sexiest man alive, according to my friends, is the man who does the laundry.

What makes it worse, to me, is that men actually gain self-esteem when they help out at home. Guess why. Because they see themselves as good guys, they kind who help out their women. Not entirely sure I’m fond of that reasoning, but for the moment, I’ll go with it, if it helps turn the tide. Sometimes you have to use what’s working against you to get things to work for you.

My married friends tell me their husbands are never sexier than when they’re doing the dishes. Unless it’s when they’re doing the laundry.

If it’s so easy to make their wives happy, why don’t the men do it more often?

Well, part of the problem is, they believe they are doing just as much as their wives. Yet study after study shows it simply isn’t true.

Another problem? Old attitudes die hard, and I suppose sports programming gets in the way, too. Sometimes the women are at fault, because the men say, “I’ll do it after…” and their wives get tired of waiting. I say, wait it out.

Especially if it’s laundry. Let him wash his own darn underwear. Oh wait, I see the flaw(s) in my thinking…

I don’t know the answer to this problem. Either the man gets it or he doesn’t, it seems, and yet despite my light tone in this piece it is a serious problem. Women are tired and depressed, and getting some help with housework actually would make a difference.

Changes need to be made. It’s as simple as choosing to make a decision that will make your spouse happier, healthier and more relaxed. And it isn’t that difficult to do a load of laundry or three, but when it comes on top of a day at work, a nightmare commute, getting dinner on the table…and off…not to mention caring for the the kids, it can push you over the edge.

Yeah, the Swiffer’s better.

I’m not saying all men do nothing. I’m sure most contribute to the household in some way. But by and large, the burden still falls on the women.

Take an honest assessment. Don’t look at how much you’re contributing, look at the other person. If their hours start to tally faster than your minutes, do something about it.

Like pick up a broom, er, Swiffer. Those things aren’t just for sweeping, they work for mopping, too.

Photo Credit: © dandaman — Fotolia

High Power, Low Heels

Recently a friend of mine, a male friend in his 70s, asked me why women wear high heels.

The answer is simple. You look sexier wearing them. You’re taller and slimmer, you stand straighter, you may even walk more confidently.

But they are so, so bad for you, and your feet just may hurt like hell in very short order. A 25-year-old woman should not have bunions, and yet I’ve known several who have, all because of their shoes.

Looking sexier isn’t always the way to go.

A news story from Great Britain brought this issue front and center again this last week.  A 27-year-old temp worker, Nicola Thorp, was sent home from her receptionist job because she wore flats instead of the required 2″ -4″ heels. She’s started a petition to change the law in her country, and her efforts are going quite well, with more than 110,000 signatures collected so far.

There was no reason the temp agency could come up with, according to Ms. Thorp, requiring the heels. It’s clearly a matter of image, make that, sexism. Put the pretty girl at the front desk.

A friend of mine was recently advised to seek a job for which she didn’t have the skills, and the individual doing this job coaching told her, “it doesn’t matter. You’re pretty so the old codgers won’t care how good you are.” He pushed the issue, telling her she had an asset she wasn’t using. It was futile explaining to him how sexist and demeaning this is, even though every example he gave of women who held their jobs with similar “qualifications” only reinforced what was obvious to us.

Here’s what was particularly frustrating about that conversation: this isn’t a man you would, in general, call sexist. Yet in this area, he’s blind to his thinking.

AdobeStock_98604038 [Converted]As is much of my country, and many others as well. We still expect women to look pretty to succeed. There are multiple problems surrounding this, not the least of which is, some women are pretty. Most, with a little mirror time, clean up good, and want to put their best face forward, literally. No one is going to get away with telling them not to do that in the name of defending women’s rights.

But relying on your looks in your job is giving up your power. There is no strength in going before your boss, even going through the office doors, knowing your chief asset is your appearance.

So where does the line get drawn, how is the issue resolved? One small step can be made by not using your appearance to gain favor as a worker. Other than meeting a standard of proper grooming, your shoes shouldn’t be winning over the executive suite. In fact, they shouldn’t be noticed.

If you’re dressed properly, they notice the woman.

And if they notice you, that’s power.

Looking for Clothes


Image Credits: (Shoes) © Klemen Petrič – Fotolia; (Girl at Mirror) © sapunkele — Fotolia; (Looking for the Right Outfit) © NinaMalyna – Fotolia

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