People live different types of live in different parts of the world. The differences in life occur based on conceptual frameworks such as lifestyles, social class, work or division of labour, gender, and ethno methodology. Such concrete methods of life usually lead to people living a different kind of life in many parts of the world. A closer look into such organizations also marks the distinction between men and women. Thus, it clearly shows the everyday life lived by men and women based on work (labour), class, gender and occupation. This article is a discussion of everyday life between men and women. It focuses on how they conduct their daily lives.
The paper first looks at the scenario in which a mother expects her three grown children to be at her home for the weekly family dinner. She states that the work is usually too much as it involves lots of other chores such as cleaning and washing dishes among others. The children also notice that their father will never help their mother in doing some if not all the house chores. Therefore, they offer to host the family dinner at their own homes in turn so that their mother may get to relax. To their surprise, their mother affirmatively states that she is very capable of cooking for her family. Mostly this article analyses the scenario from conceptual framework of labour. Thus how labour is divided among partners and the rationales governing such frame works.
The scenario depicts a family routine, the type that is most common in western cultures. The practice is one in which all family members gather for dinner. As usual the mother of the children, who also is the wife is trusted or rather trusts herself with the job of preparing the required meals all by herself. When the meeting is over, the mother continues to the laborious process of cleaning plus doing all the dishes (NY Magazine 35). As usual, the father will not be involved in doing the labour in the house. Looking at the scenario from the conceptual framework of labour, the scenario depicts a difference in the division of labour. The difference or indifference of the division of labour in heterosexual families is a doing of the past but is still stack with human beings of the current generation.
Lupton (173) states in her finding that most household chores are gender based. For example, the preparation of food in Australia and other western countries is still seen as a woman’s duty. Thus, the scenario described above tends to disprove the common thought that people posses about division of labour in many western households. Currently most people believe that there if a 50/ 50 method of sharing house hold duty in the western world. While in real sense, some chores are stuck with women as they were many centuries ago. Some faculties of the home still belong to women in the same way they did before civilization or before the Beijing gender equality campaign (Lupton 173).
Research by Lupton (174) reveals that some department of the home such as the kitchen is still a woman’s special place. Contrary the common opinion, it is quite clear that most women prefer being in the kitchen as compared to their male counterparts. In fact, women see it as their sole duty to prepare meals for their family and carry out other chores such as cleaning and washing dishes. On the other hand, most men find such avenues a no go zone since they do not possess the expertise needed in such areas. This is an indication that civilization experienced from the 1980 up to date has not done much to change the way men and women vie division of labour.
It is also clear that the type of work done by either the man or the women in the house has nothing to do with the level of education, employment status, amount of income or age of the partners. For example, a survey carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statics in 1992 indicated that some educated/ non educated, employed/ unemployed and young and old men, though a smaller percentage equally took part in cooking and other chores around the house (Friberg 160). However, the majority of the work done by these men came as a result of being asked to do so by their female partners. Only a small number of men preferred doing the chores without being asked and they did not feel bad about it.
The scenario brought about numerous social processes and other social factors that were found many years ago and are still valued to date. For example, just like in the 1980s backwards, the modern family still value family reunions. They view this as an only way of staying together, especially in cases where all children are grown up and moved out of the house (Lupton 95). The normal life back then revolved around the family and they were expected to be as close as possible. The same occurrences still exist in modern families as they struggle to maintain unity. The scenario as well illustrate that like the old days, mothers still take pride in cooking and serving their families while expecting the husband to be the main provider. The man still holds the mantra of being the head of the family and should not be subjected to feminine duties.
There is an indication of a social belief that children will always be children, whether they have grown up or not. Many unemployed women around the world just like the mother in the case scenario hold the belief that their working husbands should not carry out household chores such as cooking, cleaning and others since they work hard at their jobs. They also provide for the family in every dimension, as such the wives feel that it is only fair, for them to exempt their hardworking men from household duties (NY Magazine 34). Children on the other hand should help in finishing some household duties. The scenario portrays them as being ready to host the entire family for the weekly dinner without demanding extra help from any of them.
This is an indication of responsibility that is long gone in the western world. Without much ado, many will realize that currently children prefer eating out than cooking at home. This is in order to avoid household chores, which they otherwise find tiring. Most grown and young children will easily do with a house help who does all the cleaning, cooking and washing for them (Gong 83). On a smaller percentage of grown working children will perform household chores. In this scenario, it is noted that the farther does not appear anywhere to make decision and contributions into the preparation of the family dinner. This is a show that most men considers food preparation a woman’s affair.
The situation portrays the existence of ability to exercise power and authority in people’s perceived line of duty. For example, the mother vehemently rejects the suggestion made by one of her children that they should host the family in turns. She strongly states that she is very much capable of cooking for her family thank you (Working Mother 60). This is a clear indication that she is not ready to relinquish her powers around the kitchen to anybody, not even to her own children. This setting also paints a picture of the lack of trust that the mother has towards her children hosting dinner. She probably does not have faith in their children’s cooking abilities. She believes that no one can cook better than she can. She still holds the power of organization and management of the family gathering affairs, and will not pass on the button that easily. There too exercise the authority of being the head of the house and thus will not be involved in cooking and other kitchen affairs (Lupton 177).
Thus, there is an apparent exercise of inequality in this situation. The first form of inequality becomes known when the mother denies her children the opportunity to organize family dinner. She believes that no one can rival her cooking. Therefore, according to her, every other person’s cooking ability is way below hers. There is also in equality in the division of labour. This most probably is brought about by the mother’s attitude. This is evident again when she refuses to let her children be the hosts for the ceremony (Lupton, 665). The children try to erase in equality in the amount of work done by their mother but she is adamant to let them take control of the occasion.
Despite the fact that most women around the world have fought for equality in many areas, equality in sharing house chores remains an unbalanced affair. Research by Gong (84) indicates that duties within the house are still considered the job category of the female folks. This is irrespective of whether the woman in working or not. In fact, an area such as parenting is one that most women contend with on their own. Very few men take part in raising the children and most often opt not to take maternity leaves as observed by Gong. However, it is not in order to lay the blame solely on men. This is because; some women do not believe that men can do most of these jobs. Therefore, they opt to have their male partners stay at work instead of having them doing nothing around the house (Gong 84). Some men also believe that they are not good at performing such errands and would rather be out looking for finances to support their families.
In this case is a conviction of lack of division of labour. For instance, the father does not help with household chores as well as the preparation of the dinner. The mother feels she is the boss in that sector and does not seem to believe that anybody can do it better. She believes that she can shoulder the duties single handedly (NY Magazine 35). Clearly, the children also just go to enjoy the dinner and leave. No one bothers to stay behind and help his or her mother with all the cleaning involved. Most women around the world hold a traditional belief that they are the ones who can cook better. They assume the duty of motherhood to heart. They would rather struggle than have their loved ones do the hard labour around the house.
The daily lives lived by both men and women in their homes and at work exhibit different meanings and assumption. Even today and in the case presented in the scenario, men do not want to be involved in cooking, cleaning and washing dishes. A good number of people who make up the world population have the assumptions that just like the old days, men and women should have distinct duties in the family. Massey (38) shows that people believe that men should provide for their families, they should be the head of the house and should assume total power and authority as well as being the top decision makers. On the other hand, people are for the opinion that cooking, laundry, dishes and caring for the baby should be the mother’s sole job (Working Mother 64).
This has been depicted in the scenario and has been evident in many other cases around the world. Human beings have not realized the much desired achievement of gender equality and equality in the division of labour within the family. However, it is not possible to point out whether this is due to the actions of men and women, since both of the genders practice resistance of some sort (Massey, 35).
Friberg, T. (1993). Everyday life: Women’s adaptive strategies in time and space, issue 55. Stockholm, Sweden: Lund University Press
Gong, M. (2007). Status relations and marriage in the United States and in a cross-national context. New York, NY: ProQuest
Lupton, D. (2000). The heart of the meal: food preferences and habits among rural Australian couples. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Pauline/Downloads/21220863_LUPTON_-_THE_HEART_OF_THE_MEAL_3.pdf
Lupton, D. (2000). Food memory and meaning: the symbolic and social nature of food events. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Pauline/Downloads/21220863_LUPTON_-_FOOD_MEMORY_AND_MEANING_4.pdf
Lupton, D. (2000). Where’s me dinner: food preparation arrangement in rural Australian families. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Pauline/Downloads/21220863_LUPTON_-_WHERES_ME_DINNER_2.pdf
Massey, D. (1995). Spatial divisions of labor: Social structures and the geography of production. London: Psychology Press
New York Magazine (1985). Marriage in the 80s retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=I-UCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA30&dq=Understanding+Everyday+Life+of+food+preparation+and+division+of+labour+between+male+and+female+partners&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C0dBU8nuHcmI7AbF_IDICg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Working Mother (2000). Friends of the family. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vQc11pd_aFoC&pg=PA60&dq=Understanding+Everyday+Life+of+food+preparation+and+division+of+labour+between+male+and+female+partners+in+australia&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oIhBU9qwF8rC7Abeq4CADQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false