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The Sexist Science of Good Housekeeping and Small Waists

Posted Mar 07 2013 12:00am
 This just after I  trashed cleaning up Trash as a Good Workout , a 45 year trend analysis study  made headlines around the world : the tagline being Women are fatter because they do much less Housework today than they did four decades back. 
 It looks like there is no winning for women : "So you got rid of the drudgery ?How Wonderful :  Hello lazy Fat B*$ch !! "  The further we come the more we are at the same place :
 Coca Cola (the study is funded by them) kills two birds with one stone  .Reminding us of our household duties and adding the allure of a small waistline to it.
 Now I dont know about American women, but my mother and her mother, and my husband's mother : all these women - were brought up to  devote their lives to housework.And they did not have much automated stuff . All that housework and being hands-on with everything did wear them out, but did not prove miraculously slimming. Moreover drudgery has mental health implications too -we do not need a diazepam to set us free so that we flash a smile through the broom and mop.We need more stuff in life that affirms our worth and gives us that feeling of accomplishment.
Whether its learning a new language or starting a Home-made Laddu Delivery business :
Women of my generation on the other hand manage to stay fitter  and generally look better not because of doing more housework but because they know the importance and have earned the luxury of Downtime.They understand the need to balance nurturing others with nurturing self. Moving more is only one part of it . 
Btw let us just jot down all things that are fattening and (therefore)immoral especially for women :
  • TV
  • Internet
  • Facebook
  • Cellphone ( you do less Housework when on the phone)
  • Drinking ( including Coca Cola)
  • Smoking
  • Labour Saving Devices (washing machine,dishwasher,vaccum-cleaner)
  • Lift and Escalator
  • Skirts ,short dresses (why not sarees -you can't run in them ?) 
  • High Heels (ditto)
  • Automobiles
  • Home -Delivery (esp Pizza and Coke )
  • Whats the common factor in all this stuff ?
    It all reduces activity : walking, running,standing in your life .It chains you to the Chair.And apart from dresses and High heels; they are Gender Neutral. Much more interesting than the historical correlation study on Housework is this Study on Sedentary behaviour.
     One hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity on insulin level and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting. Reducing inactivity by increasing the time spent walking/standing is more effective than one hour of physical exercise, when energy expenditure is kept constant.
    Sedentary stuff unhealths you faster than a cigarette : Even if you do an intense workout in the gym : And sedentary means all sitting stuff including two hour long Board meetings with coffee and snacks followed by a sit-down High Powered Lunch . But dissing women for being Lazy and Fat makes better Copy. Guys !  the fat and lazy Gang is Unisex.
    But still we don't have a study that says doing a Phd thesis makes you fat. Or that men are fatter today than hundred years ago because they are now commuting by cars instead of horses ? I am just saying : All bipedal activity is healthier than sitting : we have known that for years now ! 
    But Sexism sells : Happy Woman's Day ! I know we all need to manage our earthly selves in a decent space and must expend energy on that .I need to buy my veggies and prepare  quality Food.But dust and mop ?  I would anyday exchange /outsource / reduce energy thus spent for stuff that is more meaningful and enjoyable to me like a walk or a cycling spree or even surfing the net at my standing desk. Movement ought to be fun not a Celebration of Drudgery whether in the Gym or the House.
    What about you ? Do you think that Housework is an enjoyable way to better Health ? Or do you think this is a sexist Joke ?
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