Why the holiday season is a gender trap
Time for a feminist makeover this Christmas?
The holiday season has become a big gender trap with women absorbing most of the work and much of the stress
With the run up to the “holiday” season well under way we are now in full schmaltz overload. But there’s not much of a holiday about it. In fact for some it’s a lot of work. Chores are unequally divided, with women bearing the lion’s share of the work. This time of the year is a massive gender trap for women. It’s exhausting just reading about it.
Someone pour me an egg nog and fetch me a gingerbread cookie while I put my feet up to recover.
It’s in the numbers
Research by the American Psychological Association, tells us that only 25% of women admit to relaxing during the holidays with 44% reporting higher stress levels between Thanksgiving and Christmas In Australia a poll identified the gender difference in preparation hours between holidays: Women put in 83 hours, on average, shopping, cooking, planning parties, decorating, and more. Men put in roughly 58 hours. In the UK a Mori poll indicates that only 14% of men reported feeling stress at Christmas compared to 27% of women. Nearly 60% of men admitted to feel “not stressed at all” by festive preparations. Only 42% of women said the same. The same poll shows that 49% of those surveyed find Christmas shopping highly stressful. This is supposed to be a holiday.
Our need to create perfect Christmas rituals is dragging women into a never-ending cycle of deeply ingrained gender coded roles. Many of us grew up watching our mothers run in ever decreasing circles trying to recreate perfect moments from their own childhoods. In so doing we trapping ourselves into damaging patterns which heaven forbid we are passing on to our sons and daughters. It’s benevolent sexism hard at work.
Worth a Read: Why women suffer from gender burnout
Targeted by relentless media campaigns depicting scenes of perfect domesticity, women come under increasing pressure to create a Hollywood type of day for their nearest and dearest. Media plays a large role in creating these mother-centric social norms with strong gender expectations around the holidays. Bloggers tell us how to handle all of this stress (make a list and check it twice, or take a scented bath) yet fail to mention bringing a partner into the equation or heading for the wine cooler, which seem infinitely more practical solutions.
Worth looking at: Download – Developing Resilience
Let’s not forget those that will spend Christmas alone estimated to be 1 million people in the U.K. So this is why the BBC’s Christmas ad this year showing a single dad struggling to cope is maybe a step in the right direction.
Flip it to test it
Perhaps next year there will be Christmas miracle and women will be released from the kitchen and will move out of this sticky gender trap. This is a fun video depicting the flipping of current stereotypes.
ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM GENDER BURN OUT? FOR CAREER COACHING AND MENTORING, CONTACT 3PLUS NOW.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
The best way to ask for a promotion If you want to ask for a promotion, make sure you know when is the right time to ask, what is the best way to ask and why you deserve it. These tips will help you do just that. If you’re a career-driven individual, there’s no doubt...read more
A femel is a manel - different.. but the same.. What would your reaction be if confronted with a femel? If you saw a femel on every conference programme, would you accept it or question it? Would you want to know the reasons behind it? Let's try imagining a different...read more
Looking for professional edge, will cosmetic surgery boost your career? If a nip, tuck or injection is what you think would make you feel your best, that's a personal choice. There are some who firmly believe that it's a sure way to career advancement. But could...read more