First, let us present the plain facts: there is a new study out, based on statistics gleaned from "time use diaries" filled out by women chronicling their own activity. Researchers found that American women today are spending only about half as much time doing housework—vacuuming, laundry, etc.—as they were 45 years ago. During the same period of time, the amount of time that women spent sitting down and watching a screen doubled. The conclusion, based in simple biological fact, as stated in the NYT in a story headlined "What Housework Has to Do With Waistlines:"
According to the authors' calculations, American women not employed outside the home were burning about 360 fewer calories every day in 2010 than they had in 1965, with working women burning about 132 fewer calories at home each day in 2010 than in 1965.
The study's author, a doctor, recommends "finding ways to incorporate movement" into time spent at home, for health reasons. (He does not call for that movement to be housework. Nor does he decry the fact that women are doing less housework.) All very straightforward. Less physical activity and more sedentary time means fewer calories burned per day—in this case, among women, who happened to be the topic of this particular study.
Now, the real question: How angry will everyone get about these scientific findings, due to a failure to fully digest the facts of this story? Let's turn to the reaction on Twitter happening right now.
More housework will decrease my waistline, huh? Will making my man a sandwich make me happier? Rolling my eyes: well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/wha…— Sydni Dunn (@SydniDunn) February 27, 2013
Hey ladies, get off your fat asses and vacuum something. (WHAT. THE FUCK.) well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/wha…— Kate Zambreno (@daughteroffury) February 28, 2013
Really, NYT? Really? American women are fat bc they aren't vacuuming? Fail: well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/wha…— Christa Desir (@ChristaDesir) February 28, 2013
Only one person in the whole class gets a gold star:
Let's all take this as a gentle reminder that just because you don't like (or didn't take the time to read!) a scientific study doesn't mean it's wrong.