On Monday, The Conversation ran an article by two anthropologists titled “Women work harder than men – our anthropological study reveals why.”
The title, most likely written by an editor and not the two authors, was a bit misleading; the study looked at “farming and herding groups in the Tibetan borderlands in rural China.” But, as the researchers note, the area they studied boasts “huge cultural diversity,” and their “results … shed light on the gender division of work across many different kinds of society.”
The researchers–five in all–found that
women worked much harder than men, and contributed most of the fruits of this labour to their families. This was evidenced both by their own reports of how much they worked and by their activity trackers.
Women walked on average just over 12,000 steps per day, while men walked just over 9,000 steps. So men also worked hard, but less so than women. They spent more time in leisure or social activities, or just hanging around and resting.
Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars were having none of it, pounding out hundreds of critical comments that revealed they hadn’t even bothered to read the study’s summary in The Conversation, much less the study itself. One commenter, apparently skimming so quickly that he missed the part about the study being of farmers and herders in rural china, dismissed the step-counting method as nonsense.
This is an absolutely ridiculous measure by which to claim women work more than men. Walking is simply not synonymous with work done. In fact, I walk more on days I’m not working than on days I’m stuck behind my desk all day.
There aren’t a lot of farmers and herders in rural China who spend much time stuck behind a desk.
Most of the commenters, it’s clear, didn’t even read as much as a paragraph of the article they were commenting on; only perhaps four of the 223 total comments gave any evidence of having the slightest idea that the study was about, you know, farmers and herders in rural China and not that bitch from accounting who thinks she’s all that.
Some suggested that the results don’t count because “perhaps more men work smarter and not harder.”
Others decided not to accept the results because they never see “women slugging it out in the dead of winter or the middle of summer doing grueling physical labor.” Never mind that this is precisely what the women in the study were doing.
“When I see women on construction sites, climbing transmission towers in -40 weather, and collecting garbage, I’ll give this some consideration,” wrote modsarebrainstems. Apparently, grueling physical labor farming or gathering doesn’t count.
Others decided that the gender of the two authors invalidated the study.
“Two female researchers concluding women work harder than men is like 2 vegan researchers concluding milk is bad for you,” wrote MaulScarreign. “Uh yeah, okay, whatever you say ladies,” added SuspiciousGrievances.
Another commenter figured that the women in the study were simply lying about the amount of work they did. Because ladies, I guess.
A fellow called sonthehedge42 posted a bizarre 300-word that used physics, sort of, to prove that men always work harder.
Technically work is force times distance. Force is calculated by multiplying mass by acceleration. So who’s steps are worth more depend on the size of the men and women taking them, both weight and leg length would be important here. Longer legs mean covering more distance per step, while weighing more means you are moving more mass yielding a greater force. …
Women tend to be shorter and lighter than men, so on average each man step accomplishes more work than a woman step. Another factor to consider is that men tend to have better upper body strength, meaning they can add even more mass than his average woman counterpart further widening the gap between each steps work value.
Of course none of this applies if the man just sits behind a desk all day while the woman is walking around doing god knows what with all of those steps. Now if the man works a blue collar job, even the women in his life, or maybe just at his job site will agree that he does way more work than them on a given day. His wife might think he just dicks around at work all day while she labors away at home, but the women he works with (mostly) wouldn’t dare claim to out work him, as they will likely have him or another man do whatever aspect of her own work that she either doesn’t care for or believes herself to be unable (sometimes correctly) to do herself
Well, that was all completely superfluous. To quote Kirstie Alley on the death of Stephen Hawking: “Thanks for your input.”
I don’t know where these guys get the idea that men work smarter. There’s certainly not a lot of smartness going on in this thread. So much wasted energy, so little thought–Men’s Rights in a nutshell.
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