I want everything, just like men get to have, except without having an easy life buttressed by inequality.
The quote is from a commenter at a feminist website. It can be an odd experience reading these sites. There are feminist women who seriously believe that men are a privileged class and therefore have it easy compared to women. As the operator of one of these sites put it:
... the dude merely has to show up at the wedding.
I couldn't help, therefore, but notice the striking contrast between the attitude of these feminist women and that of Bettina Arndt in a recent Herald Sun column.
Bettina Arndt didn't like recent media reports portraying men negatively as domestic shirkers, so she looked up the data on male and female workloads. She found, contrary to assumptions, that fathers generally work harder than mothers:
You have to look very hard in the ABS website to find data on total work for men and women.
All they have at the moment is 1997 Time Use data, which will be updated later this year.
But surprise, surprise, it shows most fathers work harder than mothers.
The only group of mums who put in more hours were the small proportion, just over a quarter, who work full-time, clocking in more than 71 hours total work, compared with the full-time working dad's 69.
These dads averaged three hours more than mums working part-time and 10 hours more than homemaker mums.
Why is this not a story?
It's a similar outcome with the Australian Institute of Family Studies data. This shows that men put in more hours if the couple is childless and when the children are aged 5 to 14. It's only when the children are aged under 5 that women put in significantly more hours (7 hours per week).
Bettina Arndt doesn't want marriage to be based on hostile account keeping:
Yes, women put in tedious hours sorting whites from darks and wiping tiny noses.
But many men face hours behind the wheel in snarling traffic, often working long hours in dreary jobs to pay the mortgage.
It makes no sense, this endless gnawing at the bone, examining, dissecting, predicting married life on the basis of how many dishes washed, how many floors swept.
In real life, in good relationships, there's always much more that adds to the ledger of marital happiness.