Please mind the gap please mind the gap please mind the gap
There has been great discussion in recent months about the gap between the incomes of men and women who work at the same jobs. In Australia, the difference between these incomes was about 18.8% and ensued more discussion about the reasons for this discrepancy, how can this issue be tackled, where will this extra revenue come from, should women be taxed differently etc. etc.
Equality exists only in an ideal world. A world in which I, as a full time career woman with a husband and children would come home from work just about dinner time and simply dump my laptop on my bed. I would then go and disrupt the children doing homework and stay to chat with them. I would share a glass of wine with my spouse, nibble some vegetables or things from the salad bowl and mooch about in the kitchen. On a good day, I might even lay the table for dinner.
After dinner, I would help with clearing up and then watch TV or be active on social media while my husband signed permission slips, excursion slips, counted out change for the children’s canteen money, confirmed play dates and dental appointments, checked school bags for errant notes, birthday invites and lost fruit.
At weekends, I would clean the car and then exercise my fingers on the TV remote while my husband bought birthday presents for the parties the children were invited to, housewarming presents for our friends and cards for these occasions too. Then he would complete the weekly shopping and come home to make a quick, light lunch before ironing the washing gently flapping on the line.
I would help out too, oh absolutely! I would cook dinner; barbeque some steaks, potatoes in foil and grill asparagus, while my husband made salad, laid the table and continuously refreshed my drink as I cooked these huge, flat pieces of meat. And Sunday night I would cook dinner too, from a packet of pasta left on the counter, right by that jar of pasta sauce, all bought and kept ready by my husband. Then I would help tidy up, watch TV for a bit and get up, yawn, say goodnight and go straight to bed.
But instead I am the husband from the ideal world.
I do everything that I think he will do one day. Then I tidy up, watch a bit of TV, and get up, yawn, say goodnight and walk through the kitchen making sure all the food is put away, the kitchen counters are clean, the dishwasher is switched on and the rangehood fan is switched off. I check that the doors are locked, the curtains are drawn, the children tucked in, the dog is in, the lights switched off and the alarm switched on. Only then do I pick up my handbag and keys and head to my bed so that I can wake up and do it all, all over again.
So next time anyone wants to discuss equality, please mind the gap.