Housework remains the last frontier to be crossed and conquered, the territory where we will plant our Male of the Species Flag once we have orbited around the sink and landed in front of the ironing board. This time, though, there will be no talk of conspiracy or dodgy images that might confuse viewers. We will have a dust-filled Hoover to prove our case.
When the moment arrives, we will be able to say that we, men, have finally claimed true ownership of housework. The glass ceiling has been broken. And whilst you are there, smashing that menacing and ubiquitous overhead surface do us a favour and get rid of the cobwebs, please. You know what spiders are like at this time of the year.
Joking aside (well, only just and that’s half-joking, by the way), what is it with us, blokes and housework? We have crossed other boundaries, for instance, our open-minded approach to grooming gave us the “metrosexual” years ago who has now metamorphosed into the “spornosexual”. With a full Brazilian. No problems with sharing girlfriend/wife’s night cream but sorting out the dirty laundry? You might as well book a place in the next “watching paint dry” avant-garde art show (possibly a future Turner prize?).
Your blog host has a confession to make. I am fond of some house chores. Cooking, cleaning (including vacuuming), doing the washing-up, ironing and mowing the lawn (I know it’s an outdoor activity but still inside the home, so it is technically speaking, housework)? Count me in. Doing the laundry, tidying up and dusting? Don’t like them. Especially the tidying up as a lot of the mess in our house is my responsibility.
It wasn’t always thus. If I were to attempt to chart my evolution in the housework chain in a scale of one to ten, one representing minimum housework and ten maximum, I’ve gone from zero (years lived in Cuba) to seven or eight (years lived in the UK.so far). The reason is simple: I grew up with four women in a one-bed flat in downtown Havana. Until thirteen the only other man in the house was my dad and when he finally got kicked out by my mum I remained as the sole beneficiary of my late Nan, late auntie, mum and – to a lesser extent – cousin’s attentions. If I ever picked up a broom to sweep, my grandma asked me with a straight-looking face: “Are you ill?” and snatched the broom away from me.
|A fellow fighter in our campaign|
Let’s talk about housework, fellas, because this will be our first wave of “masculinism” (it’s not a proper words, by the way, I’ve just made it up. Sorry, I’m still working on the marketing side of this campaign. It’s not even a good word, I confess. Unlike “feminism” with three, “masculinism” has four syllables which makes it not catchy at all). So women fought for the vote, and then for their reproductive rights and later on for their right to wear whatever they wanted to wear? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet, because we, men, will fight against the myriad prejudices, still rife in our society, that tar us with the unfair brush of being anti-housework. We shall fight these misconceptions on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds... Sorry, wrong speech. We shall fight them at the sink (not with fists, but with our Marigolds on), we shall fight them behind the couch, we shall fight them with an ironing board; we shall never surrender.
Let’s talk about housework. And let’s also talk about the first wave of “masculinism”. Now, fellow male bloggers and male readers, who of you will side with me? You can start by helping me find a new name for the campaign and get rid of the cobwebs.
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 26th October at 10am (GMT)