IT'S A PANDEMIC: Half of all Dudes Can't Use A Washing Machine

This explains why they never appreciate my "relationships are a lot like the heavy load cycle" speech.
Publish date:
June 13, 2013
casual sexism, laundry, boys, chores, gross people, boys vs. girls

Did you know that according to this Daily Mail poll, over half of all British Men do not know how to use a dishwasher? I’m sorry, let me try that again. Did you know that according to this Daily Mail poll, over half of all British Men “do not know how to use a dishwasher”? The quotes are necessary because it is the Daily Mail, and also because MEN OF ENGLAND YOU ARE FOOLING NO ONE WITH THIS.

The Daily Mail should run a second poll, a companion piece to this one. The title would read “Half of All Murders In Britain Perpetrated By Ladies Whose Victims Claimed To Find Their Washing Machine ‘Too Confusing’. Because that is legitimately one of the reasons dudes polled gave for their ineptitude. What planet are we living on that someone would rather be perceived as mentally deficient over being a stubborn, lazy ass?

A large portion of the dudes feigning idiocy are between the ages of 16 to 24. This is surprising to no one. I have brothers this age. Intelligent, charming guys. One of them jumps out of planes for money, the other is skipping his senior year of college and going straight on to graduate school -- which I did not known was even a thing that could happen. That said, if I were to tell you that they had once pooped in a jar and hidden said jar in our basement to “see what would happen” I would not be lying to you.

This is all by way of saying that adolescent boys (and they are boys until they are 30 at a minimum) are disgusting. Doing laundry is cleaning something. This goes against their very code of conduct.

Exhibit a guy I went to college with. Rather than ever do his laundry, he would take off every article of clothing he had worn that day, neatly fold his shirt, drawers, and jeans, and then put them back in his dresser. If any of these items began to reek, he would put them in his freezer.

“It kills the bacteria that creates bad smells,” he’d say.

“You know what else does that -- CLEANING THEM.” I said.

It’s not that I can’t be filthy -- even now that I’m an alleged adult. I’ve stared at a pair of jeans for a full hour and not been able to identify when last it saw the soothing touch of that mildly disturbing Downy Bear. Also, maybe I think washing bras is pointless. Sometimes I feel that way about washing my hair too. Ultimately, I cave and clean any and all of these things. Granted, sometimes I have to wait until my jeans become sentient and come for me in the night, but it happens.

That’s because nowhere on TV have I ever seen a woman I admire feign ignorance about a washing machine receive positive feedback. The guys I know who do stuff like accidentally put dish soap in the washer may be apologetic, but they also get that sitcom gleam in their eye. They’ve been taught it’s okay for them not to know how to do this stuff -- people will find it endearing. Women will find it endearing.

In my house growing up, the four of us kids had responsibilities around the house assigned according to our physical abilities. Actually, my mom was better about this. My dad had me making him pots of coffee when I was still young enough to need a tiny stool to do so. He also called me Rebecca, Serving Girl of Ye Olde Provincetown, so there’s that. Our genders had nothing to do with our chores. In fact, on our house, the person I remember overtly mocking for not knowing how to use a dishwasher was my sister.

“Is the washer the one with the door on the top or the side?” she called from the basement. I didn’t chortle at her antics. Instead I took the opportunity to point out that she didn’t know, and thus, was a fancy moron-princess living in a fancy-moron tower. Because I am a good sister.

The only time the gender disparity of chores as popularized in the media darkened our door was when my mom asked one of my brothers to sweep. He was annoyed, he probably had secret places he needed to be hiding his feces in. He grumbled for a while as he half-heartedly swept and then said, “SWEEPING IS A WOMAN’S WORK.”

I never saw him again.

I kid, I kid. I saw him the next morning, when he was finally allowed to leave his room and apologize to all and sundry for his ass-hat-ednes. Fun fact, he does his own laundry, so does my other brother. They even switch loads and fold stuff in the dryer that isn’t theirs. MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN IN THIS STRANGE WORLD OF OURS.

Do you know how to use a washing machine? Do you send your stuff out? I get weird about my drawers co-mingling with the drawers of my neighbors. Are there chores you think of as being boy chores or girl chores? Tell me in the comments!