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Sami Muirhead says science has proven men see just as much mess as women do around the home – they’re just better at ignoring it.


Blind spot

Sami Muirhead says science has proven men see just as much mess as women do around the home – they’re just better at ignoring it.

Does the bloke in your life seem to have selective vision when it comes to tidying up? Well, a study has come out that I feel we should have splashed across front pages around the world, because it busts an age-old myth and proves that men do in fact see the same mess women see in a room.

Say what? I would have bet the farm this was not the case. I am currently running my own little sneaky experiment at home. I have placed a pair of sneakers on the bottom step of the staircase. For seven years we have lived in our two-storey house and anything on the bottom of the steps means it needs to be taken up next time someone walks up the stairs.  Anything that needs to come down is placed at the top of the staircase.

I do not think this is brain surgery. But do you know, not one single person in our house has ever picked up said items and carried them up or down, unless I have barked instructions? I seem to be the only mule that carts things up and down the stairs. I bet if a packet of jelly beans was lying there, the kids would pick it up quick smart.

So I am leaving the sneakers to see how long my husband just ignores them. At this rate, we may have all succumbed to global warming before he notices the sneakers.When we are in marriage counselling, he will be hearing a lot about the stupid pair of sneakers. It could even lead to a book titled The Day The Sneakers On The Stairs Made Me Snap.

I wonder if the same selective blindness would be at play if the item on the step was a beer?

A lot of my time is being taken up with this sneaker experiment that no one else in the house knows I am even conducting. To be fair, my husband is a beautiful soul who spoils me rotten but we all have that one thing that bugs us, right? I am sure I have plenty of annoying habits.

So when I read Leah Ruppanner from the University of Melbourne’s study I froze in my tracks. Goddess Leah has proven in her research that men spend a third as much time cleaning as women on an typical day.

We probably knew that. But Leah claims women are not the beacons of cleanliness and men are in fact able to see the messiness in their midst. The study shows men are simply less penalised for not keeping their spaces tidy and clean. No one expects a man to keep a clean home but the whole world is pretty quick to judge a woman if we have dust bunnies in our homes.

Leah also claims women are not better at mutlitasking than men. I find this one a bit of a stretch. I can make lunches, check emails, listen to music, drink wine and hold a conversation like a boss!

All this research does not answer another question: why is it most blokes cannot spot a dirty plate on the kitchen table, but they can spot a g-string on the beach at fifty metres away? Curious indeed!


Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator. For more from Sami tune into Mix FM.

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