Feb 9, 2010

Made of Iron

Australia's erstwhile Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has tickled the nation's funnybone/moral outrage button again: this time for suggesting ironing is still the primary domain of the womenfolk.

Should we be surprised that Tony's missus is the one picking up the Tefal Aquasteam more than People Skills himself? After all, his preferred attire is Coogee-special budgie smugglers or skin-tight Lycra bike wear - neither of which require much pressing. By anyone. In any way. Ever. Ew.

What I find most hilarious is that Tony Abbott turned up at the clothing manufacturer/place-where-irons-would-be at all. The guy's so well-known for being a do-lally-Christian-family-values-type, there was no way he was escaping that shirt shop without drawing some criticism over a remark in the "get back in the kitchen" vein.

Which means, of course, that in this election year we can look forward to more gut-wrenchingly funny appearances by Tony Abbott in shoe stores ("Shouldn't you be barefoot and pregnant?"), childcare centres ("We wouldn't need these if Mums would stay at home") and private girls' schools ("Now who do you want to grow up to marry?").

In the roster of household chores, ironing would have to be my favourite. I actually really like ironing. I can put the telly on and potter away with my Sunbeam Enduro (with teflon coating) for hours at a time. The most frustrating thing is the constant lack of coathangers to put the garments on. And don't suggest picking up some of those wire things. About ten years ago, my mother went on a Great Purge, ridding our house of all wire coathangers. Consequently I have followed this plastic-or-wooden only policy in my own home, and find wire hangers grubby to the point of being morally offensive.

The Wah is not an ironer. Never has been. He is what you might call a "natural crumpler". He often tells me I don't need to iron his clothes, and I do realise this. But being a contrary sort of gal I do it anyway because a) men's clothes are easy to iron and b) a big stack of ironed clothes makes me feel like I've accomplished something around the house.

Because before you label me some sort of anti-feminist anti-Christ, I must confess that I am deficient in virtually every other household task. Our kitchen regularly attracts unwanted insect life due to laziness in tackling saucepans and woks and other big items that won't fit in our mini-dishwasher. God I love the dishwasher. As far as I'm concerned, the dishwasher is one of best-ever inventions - below vaccination and Robin Hood movies, but above the internet and the space shuttle. A couple of years ago our dishwasher broke. I probably could have waited a few weeks to save a bit of money to buy a replacement, but no, I rushed out to The Good Guys the very next day and laid down a lazy grand on the plastic for a new one. I couldn't handle the thought of all those dishes piling up in the sink, knowing that I'd have to wash them.

I'm pretty terrible with general cleaning. Dust collates on everything around Chez Clumsy, and I don't sweep or mop nearly enough. Toilets and showers could do with more attention. Our rubbish bins should be emptied more often.

But far and away my biggest domestic sin is my habit of spreading shit everywhere. Surfaces that would otherwise be tables, or chairs, or couches, or ironing boards, become resting places for the unending glacier of books, papers, tech stuff, water bottles, hair dryers and straighteners and oh-my-god the make-up that never seem to find a proper home.

What's your least/most hated domestic chore - and, when he's not giving his daughters sexual advice, what do you reckon Tony Abbott gets up to around the house?


  1. HE's a tool, BUT, not that your average punter can afford it any more and the gubbermint are subsidising the wrong people with benefits for having kids but I can't help but think that we're somehow losing out by one parent not being around for the kids.

    I reckon the gubbermint should re-evaluate who should be getting extra benefits. I don't think too many would argue that the money many are getting merely for breeding is encouraging welfare as a career choice. The problem is that that is becoming intergenerational where kids are having babies and dipping out on the education. The flip side of that is that they can't assist their kids in helping educate because they just don't have a clue.

    It seems to me that the problem then becomes two fold. Working parents can't stay at home coz of living costs and minimal breeding benefits and the ones who CAN are becoming less and less edumacated.

    So, in a round-a-bout way I agree with with him, but what he doesn't realize is that because it might actually be a logical train of thought that it is actually possible for most.

    Caveat: This was thought out before my first coffee. I take no responsibility for its content, either offensive nor logical.

  2. I miss the pub for the fact that i never had to iron, wear jeans or trousers in summer or shoes most of the time.

    Tony would mow the lawn, that would be it, the rest is "bloody womens work"

  3. I find dishwashing to be therapeutic, but it's gotta be in the right mode. It's a mindless job, where the only thing you have to think of is "Did I scrub off last months spaghetti sauce properly?" while you contemplate life.

    What I don't like is people bothering me while I'm doing it, like my roommate. He just sits there and tries to make up conversation. Ugh.

    Most hated though is probably cleaning the bathroom. It's not very therapeutic at all. And it stinks. Not the good way. Too much bleach and vinegar for my liking.

    I have a joke too since we're on the subject, and I bet it may be Tonys favourite.

    "A woman jumps in front of a motorcycle and dies. Who's at fault?"
    "The Motorcyclist. He shouldn't be driving in the kitchen."

  4. I too enjoy doing the washing up. It's that moment of the day where I can veg out and listen to my favourite podcasts while my hands do all the work.

    Hated chores? Hanging out and bringing in the clothes. I can't stand the sensation of dry towels. Gives me the jibblies.

    This comment by TA is a bit of a beat up isn't it, though? He made a passing comment anchored in a stereotype that's based in a hell of a lot of fact.

    He said that housewives iron. Sure there are male housewives. You could call them house husbands, but that's not the point he was trying to make. The point was how people will have to pay more for electricity or have to use less electricity under a scheme that helps the environment. Although he seems to be implying that this is a bad thing.

  5. Ah, may the Iron Age re-commence.


  6. For me, I'm happy keeping the kitchen clean. It's a smallish job so it can be done thoroughly and quickly. I'm the type that can't half-do a job, so I'm a lot happier to not do it at all than half-do it. Any job I start, I'll need to see through to the bitter end. Which is a strange mix of obsessive-compulsiveness and sheer laziness, but there it is.

    I'm also constantly spreading things around. But I deny that this is inherently a bad thing. A house needs to feel lived in, not some weird display home for OCD robots. A house isn't comfortable unless it feels like it's been lived in. By humans.

  7. As I do most of the domestic chores at home I should have been insulted by the 'leader' of the oppositions comment.

    Personally it's a pretty insignificant comment which the ALP seems to be blowing out of all proportion as they seem shite scared of the Mad Monk and his fellow sociopaths.

  8. And there, chazfh has it in one...

    The old adage about there being no such thing as bad publicity...

    Abbott wanders around bandying his babble, the press prints or broadcasts whatever his gabble of the day is and the name Tony Abbott stays up in lights.

    What with him and Barnaby gurgling on the Labor (how I hate bad spelling) Party doesn't get a toe in the media door...

    Just wait till Ruddock starts

    I think I will emmigrate

    The Ancient Man

  9. The only thing I hate more than ironing is folding. Everyting I wash apart from underwear and towels, goes straight on a hangar, even t-shirts and nighties. The hangar goes on the line, the garments are dry and relatively wrinkle-free, the hangar with garment goes straight in the wardrobe.

    I don't mind cleaning the bathroom, it's the one area of the house I'm very fussy about. After all how can you clean yourself in a dirty room.

    I rarely sweep or mop, or vacuum for that matter, because of my wrist problems, though I don't have trouble mowing the lawn.

    My surfaces are there somewhere I'm sure!

  10. Very interesting point you've raised there Bill.


  11. So did Jesus or Mary Magdelene do the ironing?

    My method of dealing with this issue - I work in an idustry where you wear polo shirts and pants that don't need ironing, and only need to iron for weddings and other fun occasions. That = win. When I'm ironing, I'm looking forward to something, so it's tolerable.

  12. Hmmm, random God-bothering comments... ...interesting.
    Jesus never did the ironing, he spent all his time behind the couch.

    Personally, I like ironing too - very much a relaxing pastime, a bit like meditation really. Definitely not too keen on dishwashing, really should get a dishwasher...