Friday, January 30, 2009

One of the 'helping kind'

Perhaps as a sort of sequel to my last post, here's another dispatch from the battle of the sexes, 1920s style.


Wives object to Their Fooling Round With the “Washing Up”


Is the good-natured husband who insists on wiping the dishes a real help or merely a nuisance?

Whichever he may be, he is certainly a very difficult person to handle.

“Helping husbands” are a product of these days of servant shortage, and Suburbia is full of them, poor dears, but whether they do any good, or whether their services are appreciated is open to question.

“Personally, I would sooner have my husband out of the kitchen,” a woman who possesses one of the helping kind, said to the Daily Sketch.

“But he means so well, that I haven’t the heart to tell him so.”

“Directly the evening meal is over he says: ‘Now, come on, let’s do the dishes; you wash and I’ll wipe,’ and he bundles off into the scullery and messes about and gets in the way and breaks things.”


“And he takes so long over everything! I know that I could do the job quicker by myself. About four minutes to every cup—and he dries and polishes it, and wipes it well round the ears as it were, before permitting himself to return it to the dresser.”

“It’s the same with other things. ‘I’ll run the sweeper over the carpet,’ he says, and amuses himself for half-an-hour doing it all wrong.

“He is a perfect dear, of course, and it seems awfully mean to speak of his efforts like this; but the fact remains that few men are really much use in the ordinary work of the home.”

“We had a discussion at our local debating society only last week on this very question and four out of five women who spoke declared they would rather their husbands didn’t help.”

“One woman was all in favour of the helping husband, but I happen to know that her husband is in a class all by himself. He is not only willing but capable, too, although even then I’d rather do the work myself.”

“Most women, I am convinced, would sooner the men put their slippers on, lit a pipe and settled down in the armchair with the evening paper than potter about the domestic domain under the impression that they are ‘helping’.”

“But the trouble is, how can we tell the poor dears that? When they have made up their minds to be considerate, unselfish, and helpful they’d be bitterly affronted.”

(The Daily Sketch, 21 June 1928, p. 26)

1 comment:

The Wife said...

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