So I admit it, I love to cook. Well I love to cook when I don’t have to work, or when it’s not expected of me. So, in reality, I love to cook on Sundays. What I don’t love are the dishes, the laundry, and cleaning.
Yet, somehow in the midst of hating all things domestic, I find myself on Pinterest. Included on my boards are hundreds of recipes, of which, I’ve tried about five. I’ve also pinned cleaning tips, make from scratch cleaning products, and the occasional craft. Still I keep pinning and repining.
Women today are becoming more and more like super-humans. They maintain their full time careers while balancing a family and a household. Feminists have been talking about ‘The Second Shift’ since the book was first published by Arlie Hocshild in 1989. Many women are opting for careers but at the same time still come home to the same chores that their stay-at-home counterparts do.
In many household’s men are assuming larger roles in maintaining the household. Still, women complete more. A 2011 study by UK Insurance Company Aviva found that, on average, women spend around 85 minutes a day on household chores compared to 57 minutes men contribute. The gap widens when a couple has children with women spending 16 hours a week caring for children and men spending 11 hours.
Marriage, even in 2012, brings with it long held gender norms. We are taught early on what is expected of each person within a household. These ideas are carried with us into adulthood. If you are raised in an egalitarian household, you are more likely to divide chores evenly. If you were raised in a household where the woman did more of the household chores, your marriage is likely to be much the same.
Some of the most popular pins on Pinterest continue to be recipes, cleaning shortcuts, and craft ideas. Whether we were raised in egalitarian households or not, many of us still want to be super-human. We want to do everything ourselves. With many of us operating on tight budgets right now, the idea of doing something ourselves and saving money is appealing.
Truth be told I don’t use most of what I pin. I like the idea of cooking at home. I like the idea of handmade gifts. What I like even more is the idea of having time to do these things.
What is the influence of Pinterest on Women’s 2nd shift? It gives us the ability to daydream of all the things we would like to achieve without actually doing them. It gives inspiration to our thankless work. It gives us the shortcuts and planning tools we need to get things done. It tells us how to make the best cookies on the block while also telling us how to lose weight. Best of all it shows us that slow-cookers are our new best friends.