Categories
misogyny MRA reddit Uncategorized women's jobs aren't real

Study finds that some women work much harder than men; Men’s Rightsers have a fit

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.

Follow me on Mastodon.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

We Hunted the Mammoth relies on support from you, its readers, to survive. So please donate here if you can, or at David-Futrelle-1 on Venmo.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
24 days ago

“When I see women on construction sites, climbing transmission towers in -40 weather, and collecting garbage, I’ll give this some consideration,”

You see this all over Asia and in so many developing countries.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
24 days ago

Hmm, must confess, having read the paper I would suggest the only conclusion that can be reasonably drawn is that some anthropologists went to Tibet. (I’m not going to call it China as that’s like saying the Donbas is Russian).

It may be there’s a lot more research they don’t cite in the article itself. Perhaps there’s a full paper somewhere? But I’m not sure the study as it stands really tells us much. In fairness the authors themselves say it has little applicability in urban, industrial, or post-industrial societies.

What is interesting is the bit about dispersal and what happens after marriage.

But it seems all they are saying is that, in that community, married women tend to go live with the man’s family rather than the other way round. So they have to walk further to see their old families in their leisure time. But so do guys when they move in with their wives’ families. Although intriguingly, the differential isn’t as high in that case. Wonder why that is?

That’s my take on it anyway, but I’m rubbish at statistics and the like, so very happy to hear other people’s interpretations.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
24 days ago

@Alan Robertshaw

That’s… not what I’m getting from the paper?

So far I am getting that I am meant to draw the conclusions that:

  • Women who disperse into the community on marriage (the most common arrangement) have the worst lot and work the most
  • Men who disperse into the community on marriage (the least common arrangement) result in a near sex-equal work division
  • As people get older they work less
  • Large families are beneficial to sharing workload, and 2-person households substantially increase workload

In fact, because I only read 2 pages so far and haven’t had time to thoroughly read more, I can only conclude that:

  • Women who disperse into the community on marriage walk a crapton more than men
  • Men who disperse into the community on marriage walk a near-equal amount with their partners
  • As people get older they walk substantially less, almost half less at 60 than 30 within a margin of error
  • Large families (8-11) walk less, around 2/3 of the amount that 2-person households do

I assume that there were surveys filled out and people self-report that walking correlates with work, but I haven’t got to that part yet.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
24 days ago

@ BTD

This is why I need cleverer people to explain it to me. I really struggle with statistical stuff. My brain just doesn’t seem to have the wiring for maths.

But I can’t see the link between step count and work. That seems to possibly be explained by the family thing. I see they are saying women who leave home do end up doing more work but they don’t (that I could see) show how they measure it. I mean I have no doubt it’s true. That’s the sort of thing anthropologists are trained to observe. So maybe it was questionnaires as you suggest, or maybe some sort of more advanced ‘time & motion study’.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
24 days ago

@Love Is All: You can see it every Wednesday on CBS right now, on the show “Tough As Nails”. Carpenters, contractors, naval mechanics… all there. Right here in America.

Also, women have always done field labor throughout history and prehistory, tending to crops and livestock with newborn babies strapped to them.

I bet none of these MRA whiners does anything but sit behind a computer.

Last edited 24 days ago by GSS ex-noob
oncewasmagnificent
oncewasmagnificent
24 days ago

One suggestion for a rich vein of women work hard material – just google kenya women digging terraces, and choose. (The place I’m currently living in has weirdly erratic wifi and I have only my phone anyway. Computer should arrive soon. Until then reliably using links seems to be out of the question).

What the pictures show is women working literally shoulder to shoulder, many have a child on their backs. Best of all, if you play any/most of the videos these women will literally be singing cheerfully while they work.

oncewasmagnificent
oncewasmagnificent
24 days ago

Oh, I forgot Alan.

The largest contributor to number of steps for most peasants is fetching and carrying water. Unless a farmer has a well handy at every stopping place for grazing animals, there’s a hell of a lot of (extremely heavy) work fetching carrying filling water for troughs – on top of watering pasture or crops.
Women and children certainly get the short straw in allocating easier versus harder tasks in practically every example I’ve seen.

KMB
KMB
23 days ago

@Alan
The people observed in the study are farmers in an underdeveloped part of the world with most likely not many, and when then very old, electronic helpers such as dish washers or washing machines. Certainly little electrical farming equipment (tractors etc.), as seen in the pictures of the article (which breaks down methodolgy and conclusions). Afaik, many remote places in those parts of the world don’t have running water, for example, either.

Therefore, everything has to be done manually. You have to fetch and carry water from the well manually. You have to bring in the harvest manually (partially even in central Europe, see esparagus or some cabbage harvesting, for two examples), not just from the field to the road, but maybe even to your home. You have to fetch firewood. You have to wash dishes and do laundry by hand. The latter especially is very physically taxing work when you have to do it by hand with soap, especially with very dirty clothes. For all those activities, you have to walk in addition to the physical load. So in those communities, walking farther indeed is an indicator for walking longer at the very least.
Even if you don’t carry as much as the other person (which I’m not 100% sold on being the case, and when it is unlikely to be a significant difference), needing more time to complete a task means you got less time to rest, which puts a greater tax on your body. Then there is the fact that stuff like doing laundry, which involves hauling water, is both time consuming and taxing. Milking the cows and carrying the milk is taxing. Cooking is time consuming and physically taxing when done without modern implements. Cleaning is taxing without modern utensils. Weaving isn’t exactly easy, either. All those activities are, traditionally, done by women in most parts of the world. And on top of that, they do the same workloads as men (like working in the fields) all while also looking after the children.

Much of those points was true in our parts of the world until not too long ago. I went to a museum two years ago that highlighted life back in the 19th century that also shows quite a few things above. Oh, and men will often get to eat more, too. In some cultures especially when the woman is pregnant, just to make things worse, you know…

Also note that the article explicitly mentioned the following things. There are statistically very clear differences between the different forms of how step count increases after marriage. And there is self-reporting about the workloads involved, which I’m sure shows quite a few of the points I made above.

@oncewasmagnificent
Almoat as if men use their physical strenght and societal power to be extra lazy instead of actually working harder, amirite…

Last edited 23 days ago by KMB
Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
23 days ago

You can see it every Wednesday on CBS right now, on the show “Tough As Nails”. Carpenters, contractors, naval mechanics… all there. Right here in America.

Yes but in other countries you see women working on roads and buildings everyday when you go out. Carrying bricks in baskets on their heads, etc. The problem with these MRAs is that unless they live in those countries, they don’t see that so they assume it’s “very rare” and “as seen on TV” only.

Raging Bee
Raging Bee
23 days ago

Well, men may not work harder then women, but some of us make up for it by crying harder.

“When I see women on construction sites, climbing transmission towers in -40 weather, and collecting garbage, I’ll give this some consideration,” wrote modsarebrainstems.

Um…I’ve seen women on construction sites, and collecting garbage. And I’m a relatively sheltered (and not stunningly observant) white guy.

(And what the fook is with that name “mods are brain stems?” What was that twit thinking when he picked that name (we know his mom didn’t pick it)?)

Victorious Parasol
23 days ago

These seem like the same sort of guys who sneer at nurses as being lesser than doctors. The dreaded “handmaiden of medicine” stereotype.

I am now imagining a NICU nurse dealing with these bonkeyheads. Or a charge nurse from any unit.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
23 days ago

“Uh yeah, okay, whatever you say ladies,” added SuspiciousGrievances.

Well, his name says it all, really.

Ever since I’ve been enlightened on the concept of emotional labor and how a lot of household chores often done by women are basically unpaid labor (Not to mention things like making sure the dishes are done after work meetings etc.) I’m generally inclined to believe women work harder. If only because a lot of work they tend to do isn’t even acknowledged as work by some people.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
23 days ago

@Alan Robertshaw

I’m back! Finally had time to finish reading the actual study (the summary article does actually summarize it fairly accurately, I’d say, if with no detail whatsoever–sometimes articles totally misrepresent research, but not in this case).

This is why I need cleverer people to explain it to me. I really struggle with statistical stuff. My brain just doesn’t seem to have the wiring for maths.

As a former maths teacher, including of remedial maths, I firmly believe this to be a problem of not having found a teacher and educational system that could speak to you on the subject, rather than a wiring issue or lack of cleverness. It may also be true that at this time, it’s easier to outsource the problem to others, just as it is much easier for me to outsource my legal understanding.

But I can’t see the link between step count and work. That seems to possibly be explained by the family thing.

I checked for it, it’s this: Accelerometer data predict human motion and have been validated statistically.34,41,42,43,44

However, they then say that most of the studies cited were done in labs and not in the field, and those that were are focused on really specific tasks.

I see they are saying women who leave home do end up doing more work but they don’t (that I could see) show how they measure it.[…] So maybe it was questionnaires as you suggest, or maybe some sort of more advanced ‘time & motion study’.

They said that they solved the deficiency in pure accelerometer data by collecting both the data and time-budget data for 561 adults across different marriage dispersal pattern groups. The accelerometer data is used to calculate work rate, and the time-budget data for workload distribution. Basically, it was indeed questionnaires, but then the data in the accelerometers was mined to confirm that the questionnaires were broadly accurate: study participants often skipped reporting light work.

Roping in @KMB and @oncewasmagnificent to the discussion, since they’ve mentioned water-carrying and milking cows… in fact milking cows and collecting yak shit at 5:30 am is one of the first tasks that women do every day. (Water carrying is not specifically mentioned in the AT tasks, but see below.) Men do not participate in early morning cow milking, confirmed by accelerometer data. They sleep later. They build more and have more leisure time and personal grooming time. Women do more farming, animal husbandry, and gathering.

I question the categorization of some things here, because I’ve done things like “wash clothes by hand” before, and as you may guess it involves carrying water unless you go to a stream, and even then boatloads of scrubbing unless it’s not really dirty (in which case why are you washing it)… this is a medium metabolic-equivalent task? I feel it may be a case of Ainsworth et al. devaluing women’s work, but I’d have to read the metabolic study to be sure. But I really would be willing to bet on it. There’s a reason laundresses are depicted as buff as shit in art. That’s some high-intensity metabolic-equivalent tasking or I’ll eat my hat.

The main theory of the paper is that

1) marriage dispersal, regardless of sex, has a negative outcome on expected postmarital workload and

2) being female has a negative outcome on expected postmarital workload.

These effects are about equal, and stack.

epitome of incomprehensibility

The part starting “When I see women on construction sites…” stuck out to me too. Like, the person didn’t even say “I see more men than women doing these jobs” but acted like NO women do these jobs, which is demonstrably false.

Also, those kind of job trends relate to societal expectations as well as individual choices. You also have some men arguing that certain jobs are more manly and women shouldn’t be allowed, because men are tougher and stronger and all.

The only argument where that made any sense to me was hearing that the U.S. restricts some specialized military units to men, because in those units people have to carry very heavy packs and most women don’t have the physical capacity for that. Of course, you could question whether very heavy packs are absolutely necessary for the job…but I’m not in the military and don’t want to be, so I’m not really qualified to comment.

Speaking of my own experience, I haven’t had to do demanding physical labour for any length of time, buuut… I challenge any of these guys to try working as a combined admin assistant / receptionist when you have ADHD (had to replace someone at my job – two people, actually). It’s mentally exhausting.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
23 days ago

@ BTD, KMB, & Oncewasmagificent (apoligies if I missed anyone there)

Thank you ever so much for all your help here in explaining the paper to me. I’m still a bit confused by some of the aspects; but you really helped ‘translate’ the work for me. It makes so much more sense now. Lot to unpack as the kids say. This does though relate to my interest in all things neolithic. Even the step count thing.

There was a recent discovery of a series of large pits around the Salisbury Plain ritual landscape. They form a circle over a mile in diameter. The circle isn’t perfect. But then some people decided to walk from the centre to each of the pit locations. What they found was that each pit was the same number of paces away, and the different radius was just caused by undulations on the terrain along the route.

comment image

Durrington shows how far people can walk for things. They’ve established people came from all over Britain to attend gatherings there; even from Orkney (which is practically Hyperborea).

Of course one thing you don’t have to worry about too much here is access to water. But it’s interesting to see how early settlements align so much on springs.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
23 days ago

MRAs, I do animal care as my career. I frequently get 18,000-20,000 steps a day and I know that’s nothing on what women working on a farm get.

Also:

while the woman is walking around doing god knows what with all of those steps

This statement says a lot more about you than you realize, I’m guessing. You don’t pay attention to anything we do because you’ve already decided we do nothing, so you don’t even look or bother to ask. And the garbage about “I bet the women he works with would never say they work more”… yeah, maybe not to his face! One thing I’ve observed about some men (not all, of course) is that they announce the stuff they do like they expect a medal or reward of some kind, and then when women talk about what they do, these same men tell them to stop complaining.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
23 days ago

Huh, my comment disappeared into the ether. Too tired to reconstruct it. Whatevs.

I was today years old when I found out the first successful slave rebellion in the Americas was in Panama, 200 years before Haiti. Some of the new issue of Smithsonian (with a lion on the cover) is specifically about Black history. (yes, I still get one paper magazine)

Kimstu
Kimstu
22 days ago

Anyway, aren’t all these male-supremacists always complaining about modern gender egalitarianism because they hold that women are “traditionally” and/or “biologically” SUPPOSED to be servile laborers spending their lives in caring for men and children? While the men get to sit around holding weapons and scratching their asses because they’re “defending” the women and children from those Other Men?

And now when a study says, in effect, “hey, in these traditional societies women typically DO have less power and less leisure than men, just like you consider the natural and right way to be”, the MRAs are squealing “It isn’t TROOOOO?!”? Why? I’d’ve thought they’d be thrilled to hear it.

Beroli
Beroli
22 days ago

They know they have to work more than they want to. Clearly that means their rightful “stand around scratching one’s ass” positions have been usurped. Not by rich men, rich men are amazing and aspirational: women are the enemy so they must have done it. Pay attention to, or try to provide evidence? Why would they do that? Evidence is a traitor and enemy, having long been proven to be on the side of evil evil women.

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
22 days ago

Beroli, all of their arguments against Feminism are really arguments against Capitalism. Either they don’t realize that or they do and don’t want to admit it because… “commies”.

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
22 days ago

I’m listening to Jedediah Bila’s live right now and this comment pops up in the chat:

In a man and woman household, men are 58% more like to do the laundry, 51% more like to clean the house, 50% more to care for child on the daily, 45% more likely to grocery shop,and 42% more do dishes

Of course no citation.

They’re talking about how back in the day women took pride in their living space and found joy in keeping it clean and tidy whereas now, supposedly women find it “oppressive” to do so. The guest is a PUA (they’re still around? calling themselves “dating and relationship coaches” now) and he says “if you trace this whole women empowerment/feminist movement back to its origins you see it stems from consumerism”. Notice how he uses “consumerism” instead of “capitalism” — that’s on purpose. Check what he uses as an example — Old Spice deodorant and aftershave. You read that right. Old Spice was folding. Losing money. Until they researched who it is that buys men’s grooming products. Who is it? WOMEN. Just see the cognitive dissonance here. They’re complaining that women don’t do domestic chores anymore. That men “have to” do them. YET women are out shopping for men’s body products – for men. Then he says the Old Spice commercials were scripted in such a way to appeal to women and the company had a major comeback and other companies followed suit.

This is what this guy says is the root of Feminism!!!

And who is he?

Jed sits down with Jonathan Hogwood of @ModernLifeDating to discuss dating, marriage, feminism, promiscuity, health, The Matrix, and why he left the United States for Japan.

And the title of today’s show?

“Masculine Men are Leaving the US to Find Feminine Women”

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
22 days ago

@Love Is All: Translation — Crybaby men in the tank for corporate capitalism are moving overseas to have a higher standard of living thanks to their US money, and therefore are looking to developing countries where the women are still expected to enslave themselves to do everything so the men can scratch their asses, hold weapons, drink with the boys, and still have all their needs met without working at all.

I don’t think Japanese women are much caring to marry at ALL nowadays, even to Japanese men. They aren’t lining up to wed losers like these guys either. Also I’m fairly certain Japan has all the modern amenities and then some. Seriously, look at their toilets.

Cavoyo
Cavoyo
21 days ago

The last argument is a huge equivocation (the fallacy of using multiple definitions of a word in the same argument). If the paper was about the physics definition of “work,” then locomotives and other machines would be harder workers than any human.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
21 days ago

@ covayo

locomotives

There’s a legal concept called Deodands. That’s what was used in all those cases where animals were put on trial. If convicted the animal becomes forfeit to the victim. But it doesn’t just apply to animals. So once, a locomotive was put on trial under the Deodands procedure.

That’s not as daft as it sounds. This was in the days before public liability insurance. So some victims of a rail accident put the engine on trial. When they won they were awarded the engine. Which they then sold back to the rail company. So that way they could get some compensation.

ETA: More on that in this.

https://academic.oup.com/book/26281

Last edited 21 days ago by Alan Robertshaw
GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
21 days ago

@Cavoyo: That was not only mendacious, but one of the dorkiest damn things I’ve seen recently. And half the people I know are computer geeks. I can only think: 🤓

25
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
%d bloggers like this: