Monday, 28 December 2009

i was in a situation this week where a third party was mentioned and the comment came in hushed tones "she's not a very good housekeeper, you know"

the conversation went on and all kinds of quotes were made, quotes essentially saying that housekeeping is not the be all and end all but truth is, the hush accompanying the comment said otherwise.

it's an interesting thing, this housekeeping business. we justify our failures with the fact that it's harder than it looks but we don't make the same allowances for others.

i dont know if it's just the circles i move in, but i get the distinct impression that a woman could be a world renowned brain surgeon but if she cant keep house......well, she just isnt up to scratch. or maybe i'm projecting?
i wonder what else is so important as to be talked about in such reverential tones?
bad mothering, whatever that might be, would probably do it.
how about for men?
do they fail the masculinity test if they are bad providers?
deadbeat dads?
bad at DIY or forget to take the bin out?
maybe it's the wrong car?
or lack of sporting prowess?
and who is the judge?
women are judged by other women but do men secretly indulge in housekeeping comparisons, too?
are men judged by their peers or by their women? or not at all?


  1. Hi kylie. I just came over from here where Mark was just havin' a natter. Good addition to this, methinks.

    And as far as the people talikng behind backs...that never seems to end, wot?

  2. Having been privy to a few very blokey conversations around a camp fire at last year's music festival, I can reassure you that men do indeed judge women on every possible value from their taste in music to their bra size. Until the wife turns up at the campfire with home-made biscuits, then the hush falls.

    But women are the harsher critics of their own gender. I have heard women describe other women according to how their house looks, how their cakes look or their pie tastes. I am constantly paranoid about inviting people into my home for fear they will raise an eyebrow at the pencil markings on the wall (where i have measured my childrens' heights over the years) or the holes in the nets or stains on the carpet or the fact that my furniture is a hotchpotch of hand-me-downs from long-deceased great-aunts. No, I do not live in an Ikea catalogue and I feel a complete failure!

  3. Very interesting topic. I think both men and women judge men's "masculinity" and find it wanting. Men make me feel deficient for my total DIY ineptness, my lack of any interest in sport, and my ignorance about car problems, while women tut-tut about my not cleaning the house properly, not expressing my emotions enough and not having good enough social skills.

    Do I judge women? I think only on the same basis I would judge anybody - unhealthy lifestyles, poor dress sense, rudeness etc.

    As for the brain surgeon, if someone was skilled enough to
    repair my brain, I couldn't care less about their home life. They can live in a total tip if they wish.

  4. I didn't think it mattered as much these days. I can still hear my mother making remarks about so and so's house if it was well kept or not. She would even tidy up before the cleaner came. Mind you none of this has rubbed off on me. As my step-mother always says an untidy home looks lived in rather than worrying if it always looks tidy. She also calls womwn who are always cleaning is a wettex Queen.

  5. Hi Kylie,

    That's quite a few questions in your list :-) I think the "masculinity test" is one that men do. The questions you ask are all qualifiers in the test to be sure, but I've seen instances where a few more general rules are used than questions are asked soft of thing ... like ... these:

    #1. A wise old man once told me that a man's vehicle is an extension of his penis. You drove up here in an old blue farm pickup truck with hay and animal feces in the back of it. What kind of girl were looking to date anyway?

    #2. Real men wear tool belts. The more genuine cowhide leather in the belt the better. The heavier it is with tools - the better. Carrying a hammer in your hand instead of hanging it from your tool belt is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

    #3. The measure of a man is the woman he is with. At times, I've wondered if this old maxim should have been updated to say ... the woman willing to put up with him.

    #4. Real men can order coffee in two words ... coffee please. The choice of "hot, black and bitter" or "cold, blonde and sweet" is an acceptable individual preference.

    Best wishes,


  6. subby,
    i read marks post. he's good

    as for the talking, it wasnt too malicious, i was just interested in the double standard

  7. cinnamon,
    ikea furniture is garbage and we have a hodge podge of second hand stuff. not stylish but interesting :)

  8. nick,
    the cynics say that women dont want to hear blokes express emotion, they want to hear their own reflected back.
    i think there is truth in that


  9. jo,
    wettex queen is a classic!

    i think these days good housekeeping is still "required" but the level needed to reach "good" is a bit lower :)

  10. skeeter,
    i'm likin your list.
    a toolbelt has to be worn by a bloke who understands tools or it's worse than no toolbelt at all
    and i like the coffee one. i'm drinkin my coffee coldand blonde right now

  11. kylie, you and Mark give a fresh approach to the whole deep thinking's a wonderful feeling :)

  12. Men judge men by a different standard than women judge women. Mainly due to gender role training but no we don't judge each other on penis size or anything like that because we avert our eyes in the locker room so as to not make a self comparison.

    Men judge men strictly on projected attitude. If a guy appears a bad ass he is in fact a bad ass. If he appears a metro sexual he is in fact a metro sexual. If he puts on a great display of wealth (even though in debt to his eyeballs) he is wealthy. You get the point eh?

    Women look to a completely different set of criteria and when the claws come out it is brutal. Every aspect of the combatants skill at being feminine is in the arena.

    Almost all of the friends I spend actual time with are female and my wife is the oldest at a couple of years younger than me and the youngest is 19. I know first hand how women pick apart every aspect of another person because I have been shredded more than once by my old lady and her allies, my friends.

    I wrote about one incident here

  13. mark,
    i'll be over for a squizz....


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