June 27, 2008

Kevin Myers: Just Carry on Cleaning Girls and Let Men Do the Real Jobs

Shocked! -- by the revelation from a recent report that women do 39 minutes more housework a day than men. This is outrageous. Only 39 minutes? I'd assumed it was far more. I sincerely hope the Government will act to ensure that men are entirely liberated from such drudgery, which can then be left where it properly belongs -- to housewives, or Romanians.

The primary reason women do housework is that they like clean houses. They want to be able to eat their dinner off the floor.

The average man would be happy to eat his dinner on a plate that he's just scraped some mystery egg yolk off, and then held it under a hot tap for a couple of seconds. Oh, and where's the last clean fork? Ah yes, there it is, in the tin of dog-food: a quick wipe, and it's time for a dinner of sausages and sausages, with maybe, in the interest of balancing our diet and combining our food groups, some sausages.

Look. I don't want a clean house. I know what's what. Polish is a nationality, Sheen an actor and Lux shorthand for an EU duchy. And at home, I'm content to be surrounded by unwashed cups that are probably producing industrial levels of streptomycin. This brings peace to my soul -- balm -- tranquillity -- an almost Buddhist nirvana.

If you girls want to have clean houses, then clean away. But don't wait for us chaps to start upon projects in which we have no emotional or psychological interest. To be sure, we can be bullied into doing housework, for an hour or so when it's coming up to Christmas.

I have occasionally -- entirely at my own initiative -- begun to empty that funny little sliding cupboard called the 'dishwasher'. (Why are things simply not left there until they're needed on the table?).

Anyway, after a few minutes of bafflement, with a homeless soup plate in one hand, and an egg cup in the other (just where do egg cups live?) I usually then totter to the blissful refuge of the garbage pit that is my study, to recuperate amid my festering cups. This, of course, takes time. Months, often.

So all in all, considering we have no interest in the matter, I think we men have behaved with a splendid selflessness over housework. After all, it was we men who invented every single labour- saving device -- the lot, from the vacuum cleaner to the washing machine. Please, do you girls really mean to say that in addition to inventing them, we've then got to use them as well?

Well, the Feminist Commissars of the Equality Commission clearly think we should. Naturally. Their sub-Marxist doggerel underpins the workings of our courts, which routinely exclude blameless men from their own homes and children.

The triumphant feminist agenda has also created a binary prison system. On the one hand, women's prisons, with their wallpapered rooms, en-suite showers, WCs and Rampant Rabbits in the bedside lockers, and on the other, five male prisoners in a cell, four in bunks and one on the floor, alongside the stinking chamber pot, in a 10-hour lock-up.

But even if you were to give male prisoners "rooms", they wouldn't keep them as spick and span as the girls do.

No, indeed. There'd be porn on the walls, and dirty underwear in a heap in the corner, and toothpaste stains on the mirror, and on the sideboard, maybe a picture of their Rotttweiler, Tyson.

In the girls' quarters, there are flowers, ornaments, and crocheted picture frames containing photographs of their mothers and of their little cat Choo-Choo.

Of course, the Equality Authority does not admit to such innate differences between the sexes. Indeed, the day might well come when entire armies of Rosa Krebbs will be deployed across the country, as the authority starts its Five-Year Leap Forward to Divide Housework Equally Between The Genders.

This will mean that the male sex is to be re-programmed, with electrodes placed in every boy's brain, to administer a shock every time he leaves a sock on the floor, or adds another sliver of snot to his pride and joy, the dried-out bogey collection on the edge of his bedside locker.

But it'll make no difference. The insane dreams of ideologists always come to naught when faced with the stubborn realities of human nature.

In other words, dream on, girls, dream on, with your demented hopes of genetically-improved husbands, dancing round the house with a duster in one hand and a Dyson in the other. That said, I regret very much if any she-readers came to this space looking for any of the enlightened, sandaled, right-on, new-man stuff that you normally get here.

So, let me console you with this little titbit. Struck by that apparently meaningless term "spick and span" (as used above), I looked it up; it's a gobbledegook corruption of the Dutch word spikspelldernieuw, which means "splinter new". So girls, if you want your homes to be spikspelldernieuw, that's fine. Your choice. But please, leave us out of it. We like our splinters old.

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