Where Are All The Men?

Posted: 3 March 2016

Man and Woman DatingWhen I am not writing columns I spend my time in an office which works with and for young people. Last year we thought we’d try a new event for young adults which we called ‘Dating & Degustation’. The evening consists of a five course meal in an upmarket hotel but at the start of each course the male participants relocate tables according to a preset list so that each person has the opportunity to have a ‘mini date’ with five different people. While there are many events at which young adults can meet and mingle, we wanted an event that was explicitly pointed towards the goal of good relationships.

We of course had no idea how the event would be received and whether or not we would even achieve the minimum number of forty people to actually book out the hotel restaurant. The risk with dating-type events is that a person who might interiorly be interested has to rather explicitly admit to themselves (and others) that they are interested in (b) meeting someone with whom they could enter into a relationship and (b) one day marrying such a person, and in the 21st century we knew that would be a rather large call. None the less we created the event, started advertising, and to be sure the registrations began to come in. Within a short space of time the twenty female tickets were gone and we began a waiting list of ten, twenty, thirty extra women. However the twenty male tickets were barely moving.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anyone can do the house-work; but who is doing the home-work?

Posted: 24 August 2014

Housework men womenDid you know that it is women who do the majority of housework? Even mothers of young children, who are holding down fulltime jobs, seem to spend more time than men with a mop and vacuum in hand. This however is not new information; every few months you can find a news report somewhere highlighting the situation. The most recent Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), shows that in households where men are the main breadwinners, they do 14.5 hours of housework a week, compared to 27.6 hours by women. That may seem understandable, but even when the situation is reversed, and women are the main breadwinners, the data still shows that men are not taking up their fair share of the load. Needless to say, if both the man and woman are in the workforce it seems only right that they contribute to the domestic duties in an equitable matter.

However, these reports about who is doing what chores are only so helpful, and in fact I think that in some respects, they are completely unhelpful. They may be leading us to believe that quantifiable domestic tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry, are the sum work to be done in keeping a household, and by extension a family, in good order.

Of course ‘back in the day’ we know that husbands left the house to work, and wives raised the children and cared for the home. Since women got the vote in Australia in 1902 however, there has been a steady march towards a greater participation of women in the paid workforce, and in the last two generations this has really flowered (which is not in-principle a bad thing). Governments are working harder than ever to ensure than women are getting back into the workforce as soon as possible after having their 1.87 children. Read the rest of this entry »

Men and Women…Are Not Equal

Posted: 16 October 2013

Men Women EqualityI am sorry to be the one to raise this issue but I am going to put it straight out there so there is no confusion: men and women are not equal. For two things to be perfectly equal they would need to be the same and it should be self-evident that a man and a woman are not the same. Not only are they different on the physical level but they differ in almost every way they relate to the world around them. Men and women have different communication skills, different uses of emotion and even different perceptions of pain. However just because men and women are different does not mean that one is better than the other, in fact the very existence of humanity depends on these differences. These differences are what we might call complementary and they are part of the richness and design of humanity.

We have a major problem in our modern society though, we want everything to be ‘equal’, at least equal in the way we think it should be equal. Marriage has to be suited to whatever combination certain people desire lest it be discriminatory, faith-based employers are forced into employing those not of, or contrary to, faith, and some workplaces have quotas placed upon them in order to employ equal numbers of men and women. Read the rest of this entry »