Re: male/female work issues
From: Berrins (Berrinsaol.com)
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 22:48:14 -0700 (MST)
>> I'd fall over in a dead faint if I saw a man start to clean up after a 
potluck.<< 

If that's really true, I feel sorry for your community.  That isn't true 
here, and I would suggest that it probably isn't as one-sided as you think.  

>> The men here do alot of cleanup, after regular common house meals. But if 
it is just a potluck, they never do. My guess is it's the difference between 
recognized and unrecognized work. <<

Same as above.  Look around, though.  The men are probably doing something; 
moving tables, packing things up, putting food away, getting the kids home. 
Even doing dishes.  I doubt they're just sitting in the den, smoking cigars 
and drinking brandy.  

<< But my hunch is that alot of work gets done very quietly by women that is 
not noticed by men. >>

And vice-versa.  Despite the fact that there are twice as many adult women as 
men at Pathways, men are more likely to be doing the heavy lifting and 
moving.  It is hardly one-sided, as several women do more than their fair 
share of physical labor.  But on a percentage basis, men do more than women.  
If something needs to get moved, it's usually a guy that gets asked to help.  
And it doesn't seem to bother anyone here.  Maybe we have a large enough 
group so that the work load is shared by many hands, male and female, so it's 
not as noticable as it would be in a smaller group.  

One possible place to bring recognition to various tasks is an appreciation 
book.  I believe EcoVillage has one and we are about to start one.  It's a 
place for people to recognize the quiet, background, helpful things that 
others do by writing into a book.  The person who always stays late to sweep 
the floor, or arranges for help when someone is in the hospital or home sick, 
or moves the cars for the snowplower (thanks Jason).   And the strange male 
who cleans up after pot lucks.

    -Roger Berman
      Pathways
      Northampton, MA

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