This just in: The sky is blue.
Oh, and here s another late-breaking news flash: Women do more things around the house than men.
OK, I know, I know.
Look, I also assumed we d get beyond such sex-role stereotypes by the time a new century arrived.
But it turns out no less an entity than the federal government declared this week what many women already know they re doing the heavy lifting.
I realize that a quick glance at Hi & Lois just as easily underscores this sad truth, but apparently, that wasn t good enough for the U.S. Department of Labor.
On Tuesday, researchers there released a new survey that (depending on your gender, no doubt) either revealed or confirmed that working women spend roughly twice as much time attending to kids and household chores as the average working man.
Yeah, I know. See? The sky really is blue!
The survey also tells us that working men, meanwhile, spend more time than working women on three things: work, leisure, and sports.
Hey! And the sun rises in the East, too! Stop the presses!
(You know, I feel bad about dredging up what I bet is a sore subject in many households. Not only that, but I feel genuinely bad about highlighting the gender inequities. I mean, yeah, it feels a bit like male-bashing, which is interesting, since the data now show conclusively that women really are getting hosed by unequal drudgery distribution, so why do I feel bad?)
Actually, the Never-Ending Battle Over Dusting surfaced during the labor department s larger look at what people do with their time. It represents a new effort to systematically look at how Americans juggle work and family.
We ve been measuring work for a long time, but we didn t understand the context for work, a Bureau of Labor Statistics researcher told the New York Times. How do people fit work into their lives? Are they doing it Monday through Friday? Is work becoming more or less prevalent on the weekends? What trade-offs are people making?
Well, according to the data, the average working woman could say her trade-off for a paycheck is shouldering more than her fair share of chores.
She s spending an average of 90 minutes each day caring for other members of her family, a task which the average working man attends to for about 55 minutes.
She s also spending about 1.4 hours every day vacuuming, dusting, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, and whatever else needs to be done around the house.
The average man, meanwhile, forfeits just 0.7 hours for these types of tasks.
Additionally, 66 percent of working women reported that, on any given day, they cooked and did housework, whereas just 19 percent of men reported having done so, while 34 percent said they helped with meals or cleaning.
As busy as the average working woman is, I bet she will find the time to clip this column and to tack it up somewhere obvious.
By the remote, maybe.