Spit and Spirits

Pink Jobs, Blue Jobs

with 9 comments

‘My old enemy, we meet again.’

It’s safe to say society has changed since the middle ages. We have running water, garbage trucks, and the ability to check Facebook from the comfort of our own beds. The days of brushing our teeth with charcoal and having to marry the first person we accidentally knock-up, or get knocked-up by, are way behind us.

Society’s changed. We’ve changed. Commentators were squawking about the royal wedding recently and how Kate and Will’s marriage was one between equals. The comparison was made between Dianna and Charles’, which seemed more like a lord and servant type arrangement. Kate and Will have the same degree of education, are the same age, and obviously have the same teeth whitening procedure. They seem to be on the same level. The only difference being I guess is that Will can invade France whenever he wants and Kate can withhold sex from a prince whenever she wants – and no, invading France is not a euphemism.

However even with this apparent royal pairing of equals to teach us a lesson in modern gender roles, I believe some roles will never change. Ever.

Which brings me to jobs around the house. I’m not sure who came up with the term, but somehow I’ve started categorising jobs as either blue jobs – mine, or pink jobs – hers. Yes, it’s very stereotypical to use these colours to label a gender and blah blah blah blahhhh. I know it already. But it does come in handy.

Some jobs will always stay within the responsibility of the man. Jobs like walking the rubbish down to the wheelie bin late at night for instance, or scouring the roast pan in scalding hot water. These jobs are tough and fraught with danger – seriously, wheelie bins at night are a breeding ground for Gremlins, Ghoulies, Freddy Kruger, and every other 80’s movie monster just waiting to getcha. It’s a man’s responsibility to deal with them. It’s just the way it is. Same as getting up to check a sound in the middle of the night. Would a decent man send his girlfriend or wife out into the darkness to karate? The answer is no. These are blue jobs through and through.

Pink jobs are a bit harder to list. I’ve actually started making them up as a way of getting out of doing housework. When I’m asked to help take the sheets off the bed for washing I simply call out ‘pink job’ as I’m walking quickly away down the hall. When I’m asked to make more of an effort in helping choose the flowers for our wedding I groan and say ‘pink job’ with the annoyed subtleties of a teenager who’s been asked to clean their room. It’s works – at least for now.

What I’m trying to say is relationships are never going to be completely equal in a household job sense. Some tasks will always be expected to be completed by the man and same for the woman. And it’s not because delicate ladies can’t take rubbish out and all that, they can if they want and I’m sure they’ll do a bang-up job at it. It’s just because in a loving relationship we try to do things that we know the other person finds gross, or difficult, or boring. Being able to separate these jobs into two categories does, in a way, make things more equal so as one person isn’t doing all the work. Love separates our household tasks. Always will.

Another reason I feel some jobs are particularly ‘blue’ jobs is because deep down all us men really want to be our lady’s knight in shining armour. We’ll gladly open a jar of bolognaise sauce for you – actually it makes us feel awesomely powerful, so maybe just ask us for fun. Washing the toilet is a bit of a blue job seeing as we’re the ones who drink ridiculous protein shakes and enjoy sitting on it for hours, plus it’s a bit yuck. Carrying every single grocery bag up from the car in one go – definitely a blue job. We’ll also feel it’s our job to deal with any kind of conflict, like getting someone to move their car out of your car space under the apartment. We love you, and want to don the armour and ride into battle to protect you as often as possible. Totally a blue job.

What do you think should fall into the realm of ‘blue’ and ‘pink’ jobs? Or, do you think this way of thinking has forced equality back a few decades?

9 Responses

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  1. Ours is a pink job family, with a few purples thrown in for special occasions. Lawns and trash – that’s the only blue I see for miles around.

    I just have to tell you how much I loved this post I plan on printing and framing it for my non-toilet scrubbing husband. I think I’ll title it “Don’t you love me? Prove it Dammit!” Its going to be hung over his side of the bed. He’ll be so grateful.

    Anyway, I’m off to line up the bolognaise jars….


    May 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    • Thanks for the comment Karyn. I’m sure he’ll be very grateful. I swear those toilet duck adds are targeted at men. Have you seen the toilet duck recently? – so manly and buff.

      I was actually wondering where your blog went to. I’m sure a situation like that isn’t as fun as Kevin and Whitney make out in The Bodyguard. Stay safe.


      May 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      • Too funny! Sadly, no Kevin waiting in the wings to do my blue chores :(


        May 14, 2011 at 1:12 am

  2. Love this post too!!! I’m going to do some brainstorming with my Year 3 students to gauge their attitudes to what they deem as ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ jobs..should be very interesting to see where our next generation are heading! Stay tuned…


    May 13, 2011 at 7:24 am

    • Thanks for liking the post.

      Great idea. Perhaps it will get the kids talking and thinking about housework. Then the parents can kick back with some mojitos and watch their 5 year olds wash the car and mow the lawn. Nice.


      May 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

  3. I opened my first jar of strawberry jam the other day. Felt powerful and manly. That sucker was really stuck on, too.


    May 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    • Nice!

      It’s always a little embarrassing when you strain for about 60 seconds before giving up and sitting it under the hot water. Those jars have an agenda, I swear.

      Jake J. Fox

      May 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

  4. Anything involving outside is a boy job. Mowing lawn, cutting back the trees, putting the bins out. I’m a feminist until I have to clean out the vacuum cleaner, then it’s ‘but I’m a girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl!’


    May 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    • Ahhh, being a feminist you have the ‘choice’ to clean the vacuum cleaner if you want. You just choose not to.

      I agree. Blue jobs usually involve something to do with the yard. Like jousting.

      Jake J. Fox

      May 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

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