Presumably Theresa May is spend this Sunday whipping up a fresh batches of cookies, doing the Shake n Vac and frantically ironing shirts, while outside her husband Phil chops some logs. For this week Ms May revealed that in her quaintly traditional home, “there’s boy and girl jobs”. Phil’s macho housetasks include taking out the bins. “I do the traditional boy jobs”, he boasted, as they appeared together on The One Show.
What exactly the Mays meant by ‘boy and girl jobs’ they never explained. Still their comments have been jumped on like the row over pink and blue toys, with more grown-up stakes. Is May (despite allegedly being our busiest Prime Minister) really so devoted to her pinny that she believes there are gendered household tasks? That girls ought to stick to faffy things like dusting and baking while boys should to have all the fun fixing toilet seats and unblocking the drains. (Which, actually sounds like quite a good deal to me).
One complication here that May has overlooked is the generation gap. Modern households have changed. Now people flatshare as grown-ups, yet May didn’t explain how are three women living together supposed tackle taking the bins? Maybe wait for a Tinder date to show up? Or how LGBT households should cope. Not to mention how we work out who should take on the gender-neutral jobs like cancelling the Netflix account, cleaning the fridge, buying the gin and washing the dog.
I suspect Phil’s pride over handling the bins might have been a feeble attempt to dispel any misconception he was a househusband, although actually it only serving to remind us how much like Mr. Muscle he looks.
Some studies show men who do more housework have less sex. Others show men who don’t do housework’s wives cheat on them. In your correspondents own home we balance gender equality with sluttishness by getting a male cleaner in. Meanwhile when I try to get my boyfriend to assemble Ikea furniture he hires a woman to do it.
Perhaps, like Margaret Thatcher before her, Theresa was trying to suggest what a great homemaker and wife she is. Or – I hope – she was misunderstood. And what she really meant was that men should put out the rubbish because running the country is a girl’s job. After all Phil confessed that being married to her “if you’re the kind of man who expects his tea to be on the table at six o’clock every evening, you could be a disappointed man”.