The Messy House Stigma

Jessica Grose’s theory about why women still do the lion’s share of housecleaning:

I suspect that women are more driven to keep a clean house because they know they—before their male partners—will be judged for having a dirty one.

When I lived with two female roommates, I was much more of a slob. None of us was particularly responsible for the emotional tone of that apartment—no single one of us was more likely to be shunned for the state of our bathroom. But when I got married, the dust bunnies hopping across our floor started seeming like a personal affront. Although it was my husband’s father coming over, I was the one who insisted we clean. I was worried I would be judged for the beef jerky wrappers (on both aesthetic and gustatory grounds), despite the fact that my father-in-law has never once made a peep about the state of our abode. Somewhere lodged within me was the message that it was my responsibility.