Thursday, April 8, 2010

“Nagging Housework,” Part II

Yesterday’s post reported the research of Londa Schiebinger that women academics and professionals did twice the housework of men, ten hours vs. five a week, which put women scientists’ career advancement at a disadvantage.

Having given further thought to this problem, I have several suggestions to remedy this inequity, especially for women scientists who must put in long hours in laboratories to keep up with men, which can save the extra five hours, maybe more, they spend on nagging housework.

Eat and drink on paper or plastic plates, cups, bowls, and use plastic silverware. These can be discarded instead of washed, dried, and kept on shelves.

Have all laundry and dry cleaning picked up and delivered by a commercial firm.

Shop on-line for clothing and other apparel.

Shop at big box stores (e.g., Costco) once a week. Stock up on frozen prepared foods that only require a microwave to heat up. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables cut up for eating or heating. These purchases will help to minimize preparation time. Or, eat out five nights a week.

Live in an apartment, condo, town house, or home on a small lot to minimize gardening and other maintenance.

Older cars require more care. Lease, rather than buy, a car to minimize maintenance. Renew the lease on a new car every three years.

For those with teen-age children, require household chores in exchange for cash allowances, special clothing purchases, i-phones, etc.

Read journal articles on the treadmill. Multi-tasking, a specialty of women, will kill two birds with one stone.

Have a simple hairdo that requires less maintenance.

The above should save at least, but probably more than, five hours a week. It’s just a matter of more efficient allocation of time. Moreover, women scientists who follow this regimen will serve as excellent role models and mentors of younger scientific women.

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