Ladies, when you've finished cooking dinner, washing the dishes, folding the laundry and sweeping the floors, what kind of reward do you receive from your husband? A kiss? A foot massage? A week-long getaway with your girlfriends?
Wait, you don't receive any of those things? That's what we thought. But, despite the fact that women do the housework with no promise of praise upon completion, an Australian news host has proposed an incentive program to encourage men to chip in around the house. Advice on Divvying up Household Chores
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Here's how the anchor, Karl Stefanovic, describes it:
"Why not have a scheme with your husband that's not unlike a... frequent flier scheme. Let's say the husband did the vacuuming, the dish washing, he cleaned the gutters, and got a lot of points that went towards a week in Thailand with his mates. Or something more simple like an afternoon at the pub on a Saturday. Something like that where you encourage and don't expect something for nothing."
It's unclear whether or not Stefanovic was joking, but his female co-host fires back with an excellent point: Why do men need a Husband Rewards Program? Women do the housework simply because it needs to be done, without any expectations or incentive requirement. Want Help With Chores? Have You Tried Sexual Favors?
This program goes right along with the concept of "chore-play." Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggest that men who help their wives clean, take care of the kids and do housework would reap the benefits of their labor in the bedroom. So, ultimately, rewarding him with sex after he does the dishes. Of course, this particular study suggested that women weren't necessarily looking to repay their husbands for help around the house; rather, since such acts demonstrate a certain level of caring and kindness, wives felt turned on by their helping husbands.
A far cry from, "I did the dishes two days this week, I've earned a night at the bar!"
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Aside from stereotyping women as domestic divas, Stefanovic's plan proposal also brings up another potential marital problem—should a husband (or a wife, for that matter) need to earn the right to have fun outside of the relationship? A week in Thailand is extreme, but Stefanovic's program makes it seem as though women condemn their husbands from going out with friends (unless, of course, he vacuums). And, of course, provides no equivalent program for women (a day at the spa after a week's worth of home-cooked meals, perhaps?).
Joke or not, we're hoping we don't hear of any husbands requesting their own gold star incentive program. The promise of appreciation from your spouse—and maybe even some sex, a la the chore-play concept—should be enough to encourage men to chip in. 5 "Man Chores" That Will Get Him To Do Housework