Is Laundry Only a Woman’s Job


I believe, this quote was written for our family!

Laundry is considered probably the most boring chore but not at our home. With three small kids, my mom had her hands full and laundry baskets fuller. Of course, her passion for cleanliness /hygiene, pushed some additional clothes in the laundry basket. In those days, washing machines at home were unheard of. The clothes were washed by hands then. Though I don’t remember seeing my dad washing clothes but he helped in making soap at home. blog photos 053 Yes, those days, making laundry soap at home was a fad. The soap was made and then solidified and stored in big tubs. Dad helped in carrying the buckets of washed clothes from second floor to the terrace and helped in tightening of the clothesline.

And once the clothes were dry, mom would fold the laundry and arrange them in cupboards while Dad ironed clothes. As we grew older, we started helping both of them in folding and ironing. I remember, pestering Dad to let me iron the handkerchief in the end. Laundry was a family affair at our home.

When KG and I set up or our home after marriage, with both of us working long hours,  household chores were a joint responsibility. Till date, we have never classified the various chores as ‘His and Hers’. So, right from cooking, washing dishes, dusting to doing laundry, we do it without labelling it as one person’s domain chore. Of course, I have the upper hand in finding faults in his laundry and it is his prerogative to pick on the food that I cook.

When, I saw these statistics from Ariel, I was surprised. I pondered over it for a few minutes and realized that while Dad helped in a lot of chores at home, he never really washed clothes and most of our male friends don’t do laundry either.


Washing laundry in a washing machine has become the go-to method for everybody now-a-days.  And we have strong soaps and detergents which give clean and effective cleaning in minutes. It is no longer the tedious process of washing with hands and with soap bars that would lather with difficulty. So, I am amazed that despite the advancements in every sphere,  laundry is still considered a woman’s job. And that inequality is still prevalent in  our homes.

I think the men who were a part of this survey were either from my Dad’s generation or have a story which reads like this..

“I’m never letting you do my laundry. Again.”
“I didn’t know the red towel was in there,” Prophet protested.
“You did it on purpose to get out of doing laundry.”
“Maybe. But it worked.” – S.E. Jakes

Jokes apart, just as so many men are entering kitchens and dominate them too, it’s time, they enter the laundry room and …

Laundry 2

What’s the laundry story at your home?

“I am writing for #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob activity at in association with Ariel.”

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23 thoughts on “Is Laundry Only a Woman’s Job

  1. I think my husband definitely considers the laundry my job, not ‘just’ because I’m a woman, but because he does not like to do it. So, I get the kids involved. It’s too much with 3 adults (I keep forgetting B is 18 now! *LOL*), a near adult (16) and our ‘little one’ of nearly 12. And the dogs (not that I’m teaching them to do the laundry, but they certainly do more than their fair share of making stuff dirty!

    I don’t believe the laundry should automatically be considered ‘the woman’s work’, but the job should go to whomever has the most time left over from their various responsibilities.
    LuAnn Braley recently posted…Book Review: MacDeath by Cindy BrownMy Profile

    • Aha! Your boys must be a big support in the chores around. True, the home belongs to all, whosoever is free and available can take up the pending chores!

  2. Oh missed writing for this contest due to erratic internet connectivity at home. Nevertheless, i will make a post if not for the contest alleast to share my thoughts. Fortunately, like you i hail from a family which knows no gender specific jobs and i am also fortunate to be married to one.

    loved your post, shilpa and all the best for the contest:)
    asha balakrishnan recently posted…Growing tomatoes – Some memories and life lessonsMy Profile

    • There’s going to be part 2 and 3 of this contest, so you can write for the next two, Asha! Thank you and glad that we can do same pinch on this one too! 😀

  3. We have a washer and a dryer. My wife will never allow me to wash her clothes. The rest (mine, kids, pillow cases, bedsheets, towels, etc. etc.) i wash. All I have to do is put the clothes in the machine and turn it on. After it is done, take them and dump them in the dryer. The trick is to remove them from the dryer at the right time and fold them immediately.

  4. Already done that SG.. 🙂 entered the laundary room the very first week i entered UK,, no one else would wash what was mine so had no choice .. and NOW i am the undisputed KING of laundary room ..

    i got it all worked and planned.. the dryer sits next to washing machine, which has a big basket next to it .. and another Big one of the other side .. So keep throwing the clothes in one .. when full – push them in machine.. when the cycle finishes – put them in dryer — cycle finishes – put them into basket — Take upstairs to be ironed .. 🙂

    there you . and oh yeah all the Tees etc that have changed color’s is MODERN ART 🙂 wear it with style yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    Bikram recently posted…Day 20- Week 3- FamilyMy Profile

  5. I’ve never had a problem with doing the laundry and whenever there are some good quality clothes, I like to tackle it myself rather than put it in the washing machine. My sister jokes about my love for doing the laundry because I am so enthusiastic about it:) Neither my husband nor the men in my family have done the laundry. I think it’s either the fact that it was always taken care of by the women folk or there was a washing machine to make the process less inconvenient. But as a good practice,I tell my son do his laundry once a week and he enjoys it.

    • Oh yes, it’s the same here, the good/delicate clothes have to handled by me only! Cant trust KG with that 😀 It’s a wonderful practice that you are sharing with your son, Swapna. Household chores are training exercises for real life, our kids need to learn how to be responsible, and should do age appropriate chores in and around the house!

  6. Interesting topic and fairly researched SG.

    Well well, I d call washing vessels a boring job and with the quantum of oil and spices we use a dish washer becomes less effective.
    but goodness me with the washing machines around why should laundry be a painful bore? Yes ironing out the washed clothes is cumbersome.
    Enjoyed reading the bit .
    Certainly women are so considerate that no chores is done by them alone. They are so pleasingly willing to share. Considerate!!!

    • True, washing machines and dish washers have made life easier, unlike earlier times when these machines were not available. I still remember the sink full of dishes and buckets full of laundry when we had guests around. It used to take ages to put the house in order. But not anymore. All the more reason for the guys to help around. 🙂
      LOL@ the last part! 😀

    • Hi Tuhin. Glad that you dont believe in the gender stereotypes that exist in our society. Dont worry, you will get better with practice, just dont abandon doing it 😀

  7.’s hard to say! It’s often the case that The Husband starts the laundry but then I finish it! Often, he takes out the dried clothes and gets the boys to fold them or else, I do! It was agreed upon that he would handle the dishes and I the laundry but in the end, we just do what needs to be done and we don’t usually wait for the other!
    Roshni recently posted…1000 Voices for Compassion: calling all peeps!My Profile

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