Rosie Millard: It's the control-freak men who like dusting

Notebook

Share
Related Topics

So, given the choice, men prefer doing most of the housework. Who knew? According to researchers from Cambridge University, using a survey of 30,000 households conducted by the European Social Study, chaps find that home life is a lot smoother if they do the cooking, washing, cleaning and shopping. Rather than letting their grumbling other half do it.

The academics suggest this is because men have discovered that rushing with open arms towards the rubber gloves, rather than regularly collapsing on the sofa means: a) less internal guilt and; b) no noisy nagging. Hence, an easier life all round.

Of course, Cambridge thinks this is a direct result of global female emancipation. "Women are becoming more assertive and making their dissatisfaction with lazy partners plain," say the academics.

I'm not at all sure this is true. Apparently, when a group of women goes on holiday, you can always identify the Alpha Female, because she'll be the one in the kitchen. Maybe it's the same at home. If your husband wants to stake out his place over loading the dishwasher and takes pride in wielding the Mr Muscle; indeed, if he is the only one in the house who knows how – and more crucially – when to change the bags on the Henry, there is a message to be absorbed here. He who does the lion's share becomes the lion. According to Paul Hollywood, baking ace and resident hunk on The Great British Bake Off, men are always tweeting him pictures of cakes they have just created. Honestly! He told me so himself.

Kitchen designers understand this; indeed, if you look at current trends, there's a lot of big, tough stuff going on in kitchens. It's all about Quooker boiling water taps, blast freezers, Japanese knives, Blumenthalesque infernos; terrifying gadgets which reinforce the idea of the kitchen as laboratory, racing car, and hi-pressure catering zone smoothly capable of delivering the highest possible placing in the social barometer which is the DPS (Dinner Party Stakes).

Perhaps it's a subtle way of redressing the balance; anxious about "career women" (now there's a silly phrase) advancing in the boardroom and achieving all-round excellence at school, blokes have decided en masse, to undermine the soft underbelly of the Domestic Goddess. You know those smiling dads at the school cake sale? They're the ones to watch.

Come along quietly, grandad

So, the accepted wisdom about murderers is that if you are near pensionable age, your effectiveness and overall potential for being scary diminishes quite considerably. On hearing that an actual murderer, aged 64, had escaped from my local prison, Pentonville, I was alarmed. I mean, it's about 300 yards away from Millard Towers.

Keep calm and carry on, tweeted my friend Steve Anderson, an estimable chap who at other moments of the day can be found editing Question Time. "The police can snare him with a bowl of hot soup."

What? So if I position myself on my doorstep with a copy of Saga, and a hot toddy, he'll come quietly?

Absolutely, assured Steve. "Bring slippers, toast, cocoa and tomorrow's Daily Express. Works every time."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Jack Warner  

Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Tom Peck
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)