Emerald Productions CEO Irene Larwia Zakpaa and George Lutterodt, a relationship consultant at Warg Counsult Ltd. appeared on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday to debate the appropriate division of domestic labor between husbands and wives.
Zakpaa called the idea of a naturally feminine domestic tasks a social construct not rooted in any fundamental truth. She said that this mentality comes out of an earlier time when men acted as providers and women managed the house, but insisted that things are different today.
She also pointed out that many women today support their families with salaries and employers have the same expectations of male and female employees. For professional women, she said, the work they do at home comes in addition to carrying a workload equivalent to a man’s.
Since women are starting to share the burden that has traditionally belonged to men, Zakpaa believes that men should reciprocate a little bit. She recommended that every couple should decide for themselves who will perform which domestic task so that both parties are satisfied with the work they take on.
She does not expect men take responsibility for 50% of domestic chores, but she feels that if men care about their wives, they will voluntarily perform some of the household chores.
For his part, Lutterodt argued that “men make houses and women make homes.” In other words, men should be solely responsible for providing financially while women handle every domestic task.
He justified this vision of marriage by saying that women are naturally better endowed to perform tasks like handling very young infants and cooking. He added that unlike men, women have been blessed with a work ethic that allows them to easily work through discomfort.
He said that if a man helps with housework, it is a nice gesture but that women should always be grateful for this because in doing housework, men cross an established gender line.
The danger in men performing house chores, Lutterodt said, is that women can take a man’s help for granted and begin to insist that their partners perform certain tasks.
To this point, Zakpaa responded that she and many other women can simply appreciate a man’s help without trying to take advantage of him.
She closed by saying that the goal of dividing housework should be established to bring harmony between husband and wife. Therefore, she recommended that parents teach all their children how to do all household chores so that when they are grown, they might enjoy more harmonious relationships.
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