Trading housework for sex?

From the AP’s article “Men Who do More Housework Get More Sex”

American men still don’t pull their weight when it comes to housework and child care, but collectively they’re not the slackers they used to be. The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex.

The article reports on what sounds like an all-around good trend: more equitable division of household labour and more sex. What’s not to like? Well, one thing not to like is the assumption that sex is a reward for men– a thing that women give to them in exchange for labour. Has it ever occurred to the article’s author or the headline writer that sex might be, well, desired by both partners? Or that if it’s happening and it *isn’t* desired by both partners that’s something *bad*? (Thanks, Jender-Parents!)

Misogyny Mishap at the WaPo

So the Washington Post decides to print a revolting article about women called, “We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get? .”

You haven’t screamed or swooned recently? Well, some women have at Obama’s rallies and so all women are that type of person. That is the caliber of argument we’re talking about. The Washington Post apparently says it was tongue in cheek.  An interesting response, since a common claim of verbal abusers is “I was just joking; she doesn’t have any sense of humor.”

But here’s the nice thing: lots of really smart women AND men have written comments are the article. Going by the comments, many women are way too smart to buy into the denigration and many men don’t want to see it. Here are some representative bits:

cat tongue

On Hilary’s inability to perform well in a debate, as evidenced by her going on about boring policy details:

semitransparent wrote:
Geez, what WAS Hillary thinking in droning on about the boring policy issues that define our country? Man, how stupid can she be to actually take her political stances seriously!  She should just get back to the kitchen and let  intelligent men like George W. Bush tackle the cerebral matters.

cthomas_sf wrote:
We Snarl. We Kill. Why are Men so Dumb?

Would you print that op ed? As a man, I look forward to the day when the
Washington Post will have an equal representation of men and women at the helm
and on the editorial board so that this type pandering essay will find its
appropriate place in the recycling bin

JennJ99738 wrote:
After reading the transcript of Allen’s “discussion” this morning (I’m in the
Pac time zone), I cannot believe she is a graduate of such a prestigious
University. Someone should really check whether she graduated from Stanford. She
is lazy in her responses and some of her responses were just nonsensical. Humor
is obvious? Obviously not. Or she simply can’t write funny. Women weren’t or
aren’t historically disadvantaged? The more I read, the clearer it became that
this piece was not meant to be funny. It was a serious piece written by an ultra
right wing misogynist.

For all the men screaming that they experience this all the time, please point
me to a WaPo piece, or a piece in any major American newspaper, stating men are
stupid. I must have missed it. Give me a break.

adfeminem wrote:
I teach critical thinking, research strategies and composition. Thank you,
Charlotte Allen & The Washington Post, for completely undermining my lectures
about evaluating the reliability of sources in research.
I used to teach
students that articles published in a source with a print counterpart–long
established newspapers like WaPo for example–were held to a higher standard
than those published only on the web. Clearly that’s no longer the case.

somniculus wrote:
I’m curious as to why a successful (sort of) female columnist for one of the
most widely-read newspapers in this country is calling all women back to the
kitchen…is the female talent pool too rich for Ms. Allen to survive in her
current career? Because seriously, satire is not her bag. This column was not in
the slightest witty, amusing, thought-provoking or informative. There wasn’t
even a meaningful comparison between men and women’s differing skills. What was
meant to be satire rather has come across as a disturbing spectacle of
“introspective” misogyny.

and a perhaps too charitable disagreement with the article’s author:

lg3060a wrote:
While I understand and applaud the author’s attempt to identify reasons why
women are seen as the “losers” in business, politics and elsewhere…i think the
author’s article may have inadvertently contributed to that misunderstanding. By
saying things like…men don’t do this, men don’t do [that thing that a woman
does], she’s simply identifying male behavior as the appropriate standard.
Instead of shunning “female behavior” lets try to understand where it comes
from, why women’s values are important, and the influential role WE truly play
in politics, business, and society.