Monday, 1 March 2010

Girls vs. Boys

When O and I were down south looking after my niece and nephew we played a girls vs. boys game. In teams you are asked to name 10 stereotypical things about the other sex while an egg timer runs. For example, name 10 things that a woman might carry in her hand-bag. Name 10 male film villains. Name 10 household chores. Name 10 things men do at the weekend.

The boys picked a card so my niece and I needed to answer: Name 10 jobs for men. I start rattling through all the careers I can think of:

Doctor; Accountant; Builder; paramedic etc. etc.

Then coincidentally the boys had to answer basically the same question: Name 10 jobs for women. So O basically repeats the list I have rattled off. He got to Doctor when my 11 year old niece pipes up with, don’t be silly girls can’t be doctors they’re nurses, doctor is a boys job. O and I looked at each other in horror (we were already not impressed with the game). We declared the game over and had a sit down with my wonderful niece informing her that girls can do anything they put their mind to; they can be doctors or astronauts etc. And vice versa boys can be nurses or stay at home parents etc.

This incident and other posts that have been flying around recently about the concept of wife (here, here) have got me thinking about the idea of female vs. male roles. Or in other words how spoilt I am. O works fewer hours per week than I do and as a result he is in the house more than me and so ends up doing more housework. He refuses to clean the bathroom but apart from that I’m spoilt rotten. He is also a much better cook than me and so does all the cooking. Which is why he continued to make the food while I took photos of potatoes. I do the admin for the house; I phone plumbers, get insurance quotes and make sure the bills are paid on time and I clean the bathroom.
(we've pretty much reversed the stereotypical gender roles)


  1. It's so interesting. Its easy to forget that these stereotypes still exist out there when you don't really have to deal with them too much in your everyday life. Glad you were able to sit and chat with your niece.

  2. Good on you for sitting down and having a talk with your niece! When I was in College there was a subtle nudge to move towards certain fields (social work, human relations, nursing), whether it was my being over sensitive on the issue, though, I'm not sure. I chose a male dominated field (Engineering) and it hasn't been without some trials.

    Our roles are pretty split at home. I do 90% of the cooking because I love it. But he does the dishes. We do most of the household chores together. And beause we both hate it, our poor bathrooms don't get cleaned nearly as much as they should.

  3. oh that game is not coming anywhere near my family ever!I can't believe something like that even gets bought for kids!

  4. What ever works I say. Glad you sat your niece down and told her she could be a doctor too. I think I'd freak if my niece said that!

  5. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

    Also, thanks for wondering where I was and visiting my APW post. I feel a bit exposed on it!

  6. What a game!! I was a training thing recently were all the women introduced themselves by their marital status first - and all the guys introduced themselves by their job title! Pretty depressing for what's meant to be a modern industry!!


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