Re: male/female work issues
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 10:18:59 -0700 (MST)
** Reply to note from Berrins [at] Thu, 28 Dec 2000 23:30:08 -0600

>From Racheli Gai

In response to the following exchange:

> >> 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.  

The "I doubt..." comes across to me as defensive and perhaps more than
a little snide.  Certainly it doesn't seem to be based on first-hand knowledge 
of the situation which Liz (I think) described, but on Roger's belief that men 
(at least men in a cohousing community) wouldn't do such a thing.  
Judging from my own experience, it's very common for women to engage
in clean-up work than it is for men.
It's also very common for men to become defensive when women describe
how they do more cleaning than the men do (or more babysitting...)  
[Notice that in both cases I said "very common", not: "In all cases" :)]

Another point I'd like to raise is that often, for one parent to be able to 
contribute work directly to the community, another parent/adult needs
to work too - to take care of children.  Without the support work, the
more apparent contribution can't take place.  This is another form of
work which goes often unnoticed (except in cases where there is a community
event, and childcare becomes "institutionalized").

Sonora Cohousing, 
Tucson, AZ

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