I just found this interesting questionnaire that attempts to explain why many women end up with men who refuse to do their share of housework:
1. Before pairing up with your current ‘spouse,’ how did you attempt to filter your dates to eliminate ‘domestic non-helpers’ and attract men who were more domestically inclined?
2. Who was considered more socially dominant and/or higher on the social hierarchy when you first started going out? You, or him?
3. Who explicitly asked who out first? You, or him?
4. Who was making more money when you first started going out? You, or him?
5. Who explicitly initiated sex first? You, or him?
The OP’s author makes an interesting point:
Now, if your answers are “not really anything,” “him,” “him,” “him,” and “him,” and then I trust you can see the problem. But there are those who will read this that might be a little slower than you, so I’m going to spell it out. What you’re asking for is for your post-courtship relationship to be even-steven, even though before and during courtship you were perfectly happy to enjoy the benefits of a wildly imbalanced relationship where the man took on all the risks of overt rejection, and where your standards had nothing to do with finding a man with egalitarian values. Instead you chose one who embodied the dominant, high-on-the-social-hierarchy, patriarchal values that you now chafe against.
I think this makes a lot of sense.
My answers to the quiz are:
1. Only considered dating men who had been living alone for at least several years and gave them many opportunities to show off their domestic skills to me. In all of my long dating life and two marriages, I have not encountered a single man who’d expect me to be his servant and do more than half of housework. But, of course, I also always had and always will have separate budgets.
2. We were both grad students starting our 5th year at very good schools.
3. He did.
4. Again, grad students, same year, same kind of schools, the same $21K per year.
5. I did.
This looks like a relationship of complete equality, which makes it unsurprising that we now have an equal division of household chores. So the quiz works in my case. I now wonder whether this is a coincidence or whether there is something to it.