01 November 2012
Chauvinism prevails at home with ironing still seen as a female chore
More than one in three women accuse Aussie guys of deliberately ironing poorly to avoid being asked to do it. And the wrinkly issue doesn't stop there - with a poll showing 52 per cent of women believe men would rather wear a creased shirt than iron it.University of Western Sydney sociology lecturer and author Kate Huppatz said the gender roles at home are very different from the roles we play in the workplace.
"There's more women in medicine than ever before, there's a female prime minister, but when it comes to what happens in the home there's a huge division in labour," Dr Huppatz said.
"Women still spend six times longer on the laundry than men.
"Even women who are earning more than their husbands are doing more housework than their husbands."
Dr Huppatz said we see our genders in the jobs we do and it may take some time to change those stereotypes.
"In Australia we have particularly strong gender roles, we're very slow to change," she said.
"Maybe that's because there's a strong history of mateship and the men in Australia appeal to this idea of rugged masculinity.
"There has been some change - men are doing more of the cooking than they have before."
Alex Osmond, 23, from Gordon, has no problem doing his own ironing.
"My dad is the one who irons in the family," he said. "I iron everything from my underwear to socks. Everything feels crisp and clean."
Newtown resident Ina Krasteva, 25, has given up on ironing but is well aware of her boyfriend's tactics to avoid the chore too.
"I used to iron all the time, I would do everything, all my boyfriend's clothes, my clothes, and I got really fed up with it, now everything goes to the dry cleaners," she said. "I've seen him iron once or twice four years ago, he can do it, he just doesn't want to and the excuse is I do a better job."
The Galaxy survey on behalf of Sunbeam found the results not only point to a gender divide in chores but also a generational gap of who does the most housework.
"We can see that men are becoming more involved in household chores but they're picky in terms of what they want to do, whereas women feel that responsibility to do all the chores," Sunbeam's product marketing manager Sarah Francis said.
"It was the Gen-X and Baby Boomers who spend the most time ironing, more than their dads."