Before you complain that we're making a big deal over a silly spring-cleaning story on Fox & Friends, go ahead and do this mental exercise: Watch the segment in the videos below, and pretend that the women in it are men and vice versa. It may make you a little uncomfortable, but it's important.
The weekend segment featured co-host Abby Huntsman interviewing eBay lifestyle contributor Anna De Souza about cleaning tips and tricks while her male co-hosts looked on. The first...interesting choice was having Huntsman do the interview (and "gamely [pretend] to dust," as New York mag mentioned) rather than one of her male co-hosts.
De Souza showed off her favorite cleaning hacks — like using a lint roller to clean your lamps, creating a non-slip surface on your hangers with hot glue so your clothes don't fall off, and sprinkling cinnamon on your carpet as a chemical-free, organic cleaner. Most of them were good hacks, like dusting with fabric-softener sheets because they're designed to get stuff to stick, which kind of blew my mind, but then again, I am not one to usually peruse cleaning tips.
But then the dudes started with their comments, and that usually ruins things.
"Guys, I know you’re thrilled about all of these…" Huntsman said, as her co-host Clayton Morris appeared on the screen. His response? "I'm excited to watch you do it." Uh-huh. Because you're above dusting your lamps, Clayton? Another male co-host made the old joke, "This assumes that you dust." Haha, we get it, your wife does the dusting for you. Another guy helpfully chimed in to admit that he only changes his sheets once every six months, and everyone laughed.
Can you imagine what the reaction would be if, say, Abby Huntsman told us she only changes her sheets twice a year? Unless a woman is a societally accepted plays-a-mess-on-TV type — i.e. a Sarah Silverman or a Lena Dunham — admitting "I only change my sheets every six months" is just not done.
So why is it okay to laugh and chalk it up to "boys will be boys" when a guy does this? Why is the woman, once again, gamely playing the role of Serious Clean Person while the men get to crack jokes about how lazy they are? Let's reverse roles more often. We're just as lazy; we've just been conditioned not to admit it. I'll do it first: I don't dust.