As a preferred household product brand, JOTO naturally cares about different aspects of family life. Have you ever wondered who quietly puts in the effort and sacrifices so that we can go out clean and refreshed every day? Clothes don't wash, dry, and iron themselves, floors aren't always spotless, and delicious meals don't magically appear on the table only to vanish into thin air. Yes, these are all part of household chores, and today, let's talk about the invisible labor: housework.

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We often hear people say, "Men work outside, women work inside." But if we carefully consider our experiences at home, we'll find that women are usually in charge of which tasks? In reality, whether in the workplace or at home, major decisions are typically made by men, while women are responsible for handling trivial matters. Women, it seems, are never truly "masters" regardless of where they are.

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Renowned American sociologist Arlie Hochschild coined the term "second shift" to describe the dilemma faced by contemporary women who, after finishing their jobs, still need to come home and take care of household chores. We'll realize that often these household chores don't directly reward women: there's no economic compensation, and doing more household chores doesn't elevate women's status or empower them to make major decisions. For women, the household is like working a second shift, except this shift doesn't come with a salary and is seen as a given "act of love."

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This has led many privileged white women in the United States to choose to become "traditional wives" who "take care of the home like women in the 1950s." They face the dilemma of alternating between two shifts (underutilization in the workplace, facing gender inequality; and being responsible for many household chores at home), and these self-proclaimed "traditional" women choose to embrace the traditional gender unequal division of labor as a resistance to the hectic modern life.

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Even though more and more men today are willing to participate in housework and help share the workload, we can examine which tasks these men typically take on. Do they only handle the "fun" or "prestigious" household chores, such as reading bedtime stories to children or driving them to soccer practice, rather than the labor-intensive but less rewarding chores like doing laundry, sweeping, or washing dishes?

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Especially since household chores are often very fragmented, if we observe who people usually call when something unexpected happens to a child or an elder, or who usually takes care of trivial matters, we'll find that many invisible household chores are disproportionately assigned to women. It's time to reconsider the division of household labor. If it's a family, then everyone should share all the chores needed to maintain the household, rather than just choosing the easy and fun ones, becoming a buffet of household chores.


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