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Gender Lines and Household Chores – Is there a divide?

Gender Lines and Household Chores – Is there a divide?

In our house, we have guy-jobs and gal-jobs … and a squishy area of in-between ones that might be called the whoever-finally-gives-in-and-does-it jobs. At Chez McGinnis, man-jobs include furniture-moving, spider-squashing, and fire. Sometimes I’m called in to help with the furniture, but only if McTool-Guy absolutely positively can’t do it himself. For some reason he thinks it’s easier to heave-ho gigantic objects around the house without my assistance, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with my dismal upper body strength … or my complete lack of spatial skills.

The spider business used to be rather straightforward. I’d spot it, squawk, and he’d suck it up with the vacuum cleaner. Then we had children. And suddenly spiders became Living Things. We got lessons in how spiders are good because they eat other icky critters, and how Native Americans used their webs to stop bleeding, and how many eyes they have … because truly, I wasn’t already freaked-out enough by their pulsating abdomens.

Clearly I needed a plan, and fast. Thankfully my children were a little bit naive … and it wasn’t all that hard to convince them that the spiders in our house suddenly got very, very smart … and they’d learned to march right on out of the house when we weren’t looking. Only on weekdays. When the kiddos were at school.

As for fire, I’ll never make it past the first round of casting calls for any Survivor-type show. Despite two years of Brownies and ten years of vicarious Boy Scouts, I cannot build a fire. Not even one little spark. McTool-Guy finds this infinitely amusing, but I’m pretty sure that’s partly because he gets to step in and be all manly when we need fire. Kind of caveman-ish, but it’s okay. I’m happy to sit back and watch him move the furniture, squash the bugs, and make me a toasty fire.

I’m a modern, evolved woman that way. :)

How about you? Does the division-of-labor in your house run along gender lines? Or are you one of those strange creatures who’s actually capable of doing all that needs doing?



**Photo credit of survivor.com**

Maggie McGinnis Maggie McGinnis is the USA Today bestselling author of Driving Without a License, which was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. A former high school English teacher, an accomplished musician, and a certified black belt, she lives in New England with her family.