SSN Commentary

It’s a Total Myth That Women Are Better at Keeping Track of Household Chores

Policy field

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Harvard University

Originally published as "It’s a Total Myth That Women Are Better at Keeping Track of Household Chores," The Guardian, June 19, 2021.

While recently browsing the greetings card aisle of my local drugstore, I discovered a genre of less than flattering Father’s Day cards. “Happy Father’s Day to a husband who has it all – but just doesn’t know where it is,” trumpeted one. “To the boss of our family,” read another. “Whoops, sorry. Mother’s Day was last month. Happy Father’s Day, anyway.”

The Bumbling Dad to whom these cards refer is the flipside of the iconic Supermum. While Supermum juggles a briefcase, four dinner plates and a crying child, Bumbling Dad tends to be a single-tasking kind of guy. She tells him where to be and when, and even what to wear while he’s at it. He’s great with a “honey-do” list, but when left to his own devices, dinner tends to be microwaved and children dropped off at daycare wearing seasonally inappropriate attire.