Women, it's time to leave a nice big mess. That the conclusion of Stephen Marche, who grieves the fact that most US domestic duties still fall on women, and men are doing about the same amount of housework they did in 1985. If this can't be solved, let's handle the domestic-chores issue with apathy: "Leave the stairs untidy. Don’t fix the garden gate. Fail to repaint the peeling ceiling. Never make the bed," writes Marche in the New York Times. "A clean house is the sign of a wasted life, truly. Hope is messy: Eventually we’ll all be living in perfect egalitarian squalor."
You might wonder why we can't divide chores equally. After all, "the man with his kids is an icon of manliness" and guys engage in "foodie snobbism" over who can properly brine a turkey at Thanksgiving. Marche concludes that the division of housework is too insanely complex, mired in cultural attitudes, the size of each partner's bank account, and the fact that men get more sex by doing yard work than housework (according to a 2012 study). The good news: US women are spending less and less time doing housework that's unrelated to shopping and babies. "Hooray for disinvestment," writes Marche. "Fifty years ago, it was perfectly normal to iron sheets and to vacuum drapes. They were 'necessary' tasks. The solution to the inequality of dusting wasn’t dividing the dusting; it was not doing the dusting at all." Click for his full piece.