Across the board, women said that if you put a market model on heterosexual relationships, then men were definitely buying and women were selling. Apparently, a lot of women feel they have to keep selling after they’ve gotten married. Is there a fear that a man will yank his “investment” if she doesn’t scrub the toilets enough? Seems like it, and I’ll go a step further than Orman and suggest that in many marriages, that fear is a very real one. What needs to happen in order to get women out of this mentality is for women to fully embrace the partnership model of marriage, as opposed to the property exchange one, and realize that they have as much right and ability to walk if their “investment” isn’t paying off as a man does. You’d dissolve a business partnership if you found out that your business partner was embezzling funds, so why not dissolve your marriage partnership if you find out that your husband is embezzling housework labor and/or emotional support without doing his part in increasing your profits in those areas?
There's actually a lot in Amanda's post that I could agree with. Women do a lot more housework than men, whether the woman works outside the home or not. And high-achieving women tend to work even harder at having nice houses than other women.
But I generally don't think women do housework because they think their husbands will leave them if they don't. I think women do the housework the way they do because they care more about the way the house looks on a daily basis. Yes, it's another sexist stereotype; men leave their dirty socks lying around because they don't care about them. They leave plates and cups sitting in the same spot for days, and they don't clean unless forced to. But, while men generally aren't Oscar Madison, they aren't Felix Unger, either. And far more women worry about balled up socks on the floor than men.
It's sad that 40 years after the feminist revolution, we're still fighting the housework war. I will admit that I lost that one years ago, when I realized that no matter if I worked 60 hours a week or zero hours a week, I would be the one doing most housework. But at that point, I also realized that if I were the one doing it, it would be done the way I liked and no better. So, if my husband had the audacity to complain about dirty baseboards or dust on the faux foliage, I would hand him the cleaning supplies and say, "Go for it." I'm certainly not worried that he's going to trade me in because I didn't get the dust off the ceiling fan.
Interestingly, in the comments, a kerfluffle develops about housework as more of "the patriarchy" oppressing women.
The “battle” you’re choosing to lose is one over your husband’s male privilege and sense of entitlement. By ‘taking care of yourself’ what you’re really doing is acknowledging that if you keep pushing the issue, you will be forced to confront the fact that he cares more about his privilege than about fairness, about being an equal partner, or about how much of your life you have to invest in catering to his Manly Self-Image.
It would probably come as a shock to most men that not doing as much housework is about their "male privilege." Do these selfsame feminists consider it to be male privilege when men statistically take more dangerous jobs, work longer hours, and willingly travel more for their jobs? Is that a male privilege as well?
I'm not saying that men should be exempt from housework. But having a life, a relationship, and a family is about more than one's house and career. So, when one person makes more money (usually by working longer hours and/or in a higher stress job), they may feel that the money is their contribution to the family situation. And when the other person doesn't make as much (either by a reduction in the hours of work or by not working), then that person might have either more time or more energy/resources to do the household tasks.