Posts Tagged ‘ division of labor ’

Division of Labor in the Home

Today in my sociology of family class we talked about the division of labor in the home. This summer in my theory class we learned about the division of labor theory that Durkhiem came up with. Durkhiem focuses more on the international division of labor, where as today we talked about how the labor to keep a household running is divided (usually between husband and wife).

The whole time my teacher was talking about creating an equal division of labor within the home. In other words, having a home where the man cooks, cleans, takes care of the kids, and does the same amount of housework that the woman does. Now in theory this sounds great, and why wouldn’t we want to strive towards this? But taking a closer look at what this means, and I don’t know if I would actually want an equal division of labor in my home. For instance, take cooking. I love to cook. I love to make dinner for people, it is a way that I like to show people I love them, care about them and value the relationship I have with them. I look forward to the day when I get to cook dinner (most) every night and enjoy a home cooked meal with my husband. Cooking is relaxing to me and a great way to de-stress from the day. Why would I want to have my husband cook every other night just so that our labor in the home would be equal? Not saying that I wouldn’t love to cook together or have help every now and then, but I love cooking. Why would I want to give up doing something I love?

This got me wondering, why are women so entranced by sharing everything equally? Honestly, there are somethings that I am better at than Gavin is, and things that he is better at then I am. Why would I try to do those things that he does so well, when he can do them better than me? Yes I want to take care of my kids, and hopefully be able to stay home with them. Why is that so looked down upon? Why in today’s society is being a stay-at-home mom seen as a bad thing? I found it a little funny that my teacher put a statistic up that valued the work of a stay-at-home mom around $130,000 for a year. I’m not sure what year that was for, but regardless these women are obviously doing a lot of work. Yet, there is a sense of drive towards dividing the labor within the home. I guess I see it more as my husband is going to have his job outside the home (and if he could make over $100,000 a year great) and I would do work inside the home that is just as valuable as his work. Also in class my teacher was saying how the difference in household work that men and women do has decreased in the last 50 years, but that is mainly because women are doing less work. Well who is doing the work now? Are the hiring help? That doesn’t seem like the best use of money, at least to me.

What I am not saying is that the woman/wife should do all the housework, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids. I definitely think the man/husband should help around the house and be involved in the kids’ daily lives.

I guess what I am getting at is why is American society so fixated on men and women sharing all tasks equally?  Why can’t we acknowledge that (generally speaking) one gender is better at certain things then the other and be ok with that? The phrase “embrace the differences” comes to mind. Although people usually use this when talking about race, ethnicity or culture. Why wouldn’t it apply to gender?

What are your thoughts? Am I just totally out there and off the wall? What do you think about gender norms and division of labor in the home?


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Critical Thinking

So I decided to write two posts today. This first one (I wrote it second, but it is going to show up first) is on topics/concepts that have been talked about in my sociology classes and is more critical thinking (hence the title) and pondering of concepts. The second one is an update on life and what I have been up to.

Today in my methods of research class we talked about gender and sex. Honestly this is a topic that I don’t really have any desire to study more in-depth. I think this is because the view of this topic. The article we had to read for class today was called “The Five Sexes”. Today our teacher talked about how society wants to put these three other sexes (hermaphrodites, male pseudohermaphrodites and female pseudohermaphrodites) into the boxes of man or woman. I guess the issue that I am having with all of this is basically that God created man and woman (Genisis 1 & 2). Yet, these babies are born like this, knit in their mother’s womb by God himself. So what are we to think about this? It isn’t like someone did something to these fetuses to have them be born with male and female genitalia. So if these people are naturally this way, should they stay this way or should we surgically modify them to fit into what society deems “normal”? I don’t have the answer to these questions and I would be interested to hear a Christian view on the whole topic, because I’m fairly sure my teacher’s wasn’t.

Another thing that was uncomfortable/I had issues with was using these 5 sexes to justify homosexuality. My teacher’s explanation was if there are only 2 sexes then there is really only 1 “normal” or “natural” way to have sex. But, if there are 5 sexes there are many more ways that become “normal” or “natural”. However, does God intend for these people who are able to have sex with either males or females to put into practice that ability? Personally I don’t believe that we were created to have intercourse with someone of the same sex. Man was created for woman and woman created for man. However, that doesn’t mean we as Christians shouldn’t love these people or judge them, I think that would be the total opposite of what Jesus would want us to do. So, say we want these intersex people (as the author of the article calls them) to choose to either be a man or woman. When should that decision be made? At birth by the doctor or parents? Or should the infant grow up some and then decide? Some people in class said that we wouldn’t be able to have 5 boxes of sexes to choose from on say the census or any survey until society becomes more accepting and open about this. My question is, should society change to be more accepting of these people? On the one hand they were created by God this way and I don’t like to think of oppressing, discriminating, or judging people for something they cannot control. On the other hand I do not think I would like how people would use it to justify the “naturalness” of homosexuality. All in all, I think this is a REALLY complex issue and would love to hear other people’s thoughts/opinions on the topic.

On another note today in my sociological theory class we were finishing up talking about Durkheim’s division of labor concept. My teacher made us write what we had done today and how that related to the division of labor. Then he put this quote by Martin Luther King Jr. up on the board. It gives examples of division of labor and relates it to world peace. Also, MLK was a sociology major in college, so he most likely had to read these same theorists that I am reading, specifically in this example Durkeim and the division of labor. Anyway, I thought it was very insightful and a new way of looking at peace, so I thought I would share!

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half of the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.

This quote was from a Christmas sermon Dr. King gave and the whole thing was really interesting and a good, quick read. Here is a link to the whole thing if you are interested:

So that is all for now! Hope I didn’t get too philosophical or anything on you guys!!