To support MIT Technology Review journalism, please consider becoming a subscriber.,
Some apps mimic enterprise software. Michael Perry, founder of App Maple, says his apps છે inspired by workplace tools like slacks and trails-place tasks in a “dumping ground” where family members can pick them up via chat without the need for a person to represent them.
Other approaches draw their inspiration from research on local inequality. Rachel Draper, a research associate at Harvard Business School, is working to integrate research into how couples can more successfully divide housework into the next application, fair share. “Many of the solutions target women, and we thought the issue was missing,” he says. Draper’s solution – which is still just a prototype – is to crowdsource data on how homes divide their operations and use the results to inform other homes about what works and what doesn’t.
The problem is that these apps face a very difficult task in trying to overturn deeply ingrained social norms – girls play with their mothers in the kitchen, boys play with their fathers. This type of expectation is part of the reason why heterosexual couples tend to overestimate women in housework (same-sex couples are significantly more egalitarian). Once women become mothers, the imbalance worsens.
Still, that’s not the point If Men can play an equal role in housework but howIn a more egalitarian culture, men, surprisingly, play a more just role. And in those places, if a partner does not have the time or energy, the government itself can come to their aid. In Sweden, which is at the top of the Gender Equality Index in the European Union, the state pays half the bill for rent for works such as laundry and house cleaning – which means many more busy families can afford to do so. It, in turn, helps women’s earning potential. In Belgium, the same state subsidy for outsourcing jobs led to a significant increase in women’s employment.
In the United States, however, many women માતા mothers or not સંક are in a state of crisis, with little or no access to safety structures such as affordable or subsidized child care or healthcare.
Papering on inequalities
Part of the reason that apps can struggle to seriously reduce women’s homework load is that most working women are not physical, but mental and emotional. Alison Deminger, a doctoral student in sociology at Harvard, says the burden still falls heavily on women as they anticipate the needs of those around them and make everyday decisions on behalf of the family. These tasks may include researching the best deals for the bed or remembering the time to schedule a visit to the child’s dentist. It is a time consuming task, even if it is largely hidden from others.
Core app design routinely embeds more of the status quo: that it’s usually women who assign chores around the house. “I can’t think of time [in my research] Where a man made a list for his wife, but I can think of many cases where the wife made a list for her husband, “says Deminger.
Jacqueline Wong, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina, is not only an expert on the role of gender expectations in couple dynamics. She is also piloting her own app, a work calendar that seeks to escape the racial trap — the woman handles cooking, the man handles the yard work કરીને by splitting the entire range of household chores between the two partners. It also aims to write down exactly what each person is doing.
Chapman Clark says making invisible labor visible in this way was a big advantage of using her core application. “It helped me to see when my husband was contributing, and it helped my husband to realize that a lot of work exists, apart from just cleaning, vacuuming, cooking and cooking,” she says.
But not everyone is happy to see this discrepancy between the couple’s contributions. Wong’s research shows that this is an uphill battle: “There is a pushback. People become defensive when they are informed about ways in which they are not equal partners, “she notes. The risk is that couples may leave the application for that reason, even if it may help them in the long run.
While apps can be easy to access and use, they often seem to be just paper on gender inequalities at home. In fact, if they are viewed as a “management tool” rather than a “partnership tool,” they could lead to a rift in the relationship, says Kate Mangino, author of the next book. Equal partnersAbout how to improve gender equality in households.
“One of the ways we can forgive gender inequality is by saying ‘he is the manager and I am the helper’,” says Mangino. It creates a fantastic power dynamic that apps just make stronger.
The most important thing for the success of the app is to buy from a partner who is doing less work and it is impossible to guarantee. “Managing the app will still be seen as a woman’s job,” says Wong. “We have set the standards that women and mothers call the ultimate.”
After all, a working application can only do so much to involve a reluctant partner, and it cannot undo sexism for centuries. It can help make it more visible who is doing what around the house, but it cannot change the situation unless both members of the couple accept the need for change – and that remains the biggest obstacle.
“I get in touch frequently [chore app] Entrepreneurs, and the response I almost always give is, ‘How do you ensure the enthusiasm of men in engagement?’ “Deminger says.” That’s the biggest hurdle, and I don’t know anyone who has broken it. ”