An epic change is happening inside American homes: Men are doing more laundry.
The younger the man, the more laundry he’s doing, according to The Wall Street Journal. In fact, among men ages 18 to 34, a full 67 percent claim they are “mainly responsible” for laundry. Big Business is taking note, so they can make More Money.
Detergent and washing machine makers are taking aim at this growing group. While women still report doing most of the clothes washing, men now share more of the load.
Tide is trying new scents it considers more masculine. Whirlpool added a cycle to keep colors from mixing because men don’t sort the laundry. Hero Clean detergent is geared for days-old stains because men tend to let dirty clothes sit around. Doing laundry, marketers say, involves more decisions than many other household chores and men and women do it differently.
But I had a sneaking hunch that my friends might have a different take on this laundry-related gender equality. After consulting with some ladies (all of whom cohabitate with gentlemen), I call shenanigans on this market research! The good news is, about half of our survey respondents share the duties OR their men take on the task. So maybe the dudes aren’t “mainly” responsible, but they are shouldering a (bigger) portion of the dirties than previous generations.
Here’s what our friends said when we asked, “Who does the laundry for your household?”
As you can see: Two men are primary laundry-doers, four couples split the work, and five women said they’re the primary.*
Let’s give three cheers for the couples that split the work! Here’s what they said:
- My husband and I do the laundry together and divide up the tasks. Usually I fold, and he irons.
- I do mine, my husband does his, and one of us does our kid’s (me, 80 percent of the time). My husband is the type who immediately puts his clothes away. I live out of baskets.
- Well, I used to and my husband would do the dishes, but we both sucked at our respective tasks, so we switched. That was 2 weeks ago.**
- We don’t have a washer/dryer (there could be worse problems, but some days with a toddler I have a hard time believing that) so I get lazy and send the laundry out. A lovely gentleman by the name of Mario comes and picks it up for us. However, if Mario wasn’t helping me out I would venture a guess that it would definitely be me.***
*Do you think the responses would be different if we asked the men in these relationships? Every time I bring down a load of laundry, my husband says, “I could’ve done that,” and I’m like, UNAMUSED FACE EMOJI.
**We should probably follow up to see how things are going in a few weeks. But I’ll call this a “split” for now.
***OK, that last one I’m calling “shared,” since technically the household is paying for a service. But our survey respondent would probably get the task if circumstances were different…