Economic realities and structurally and socially embedded gender stereotypes have diverse impacts on the lives of young people. How extensive these impacts are and how many gender aspects there are in so-called “normal” assumptions, behaviours, and patterns is not conscious to a lot of people.
The exercise “Doing Laundry Is No Work” can start a discussion about these topics.
The technique is suitable as an opening or an in-depth activity.
The exercise works for groups of various sizes. Ideal number of participants would be from 4 to 15.
The cards with the sentences will be put up on a table or the floor, visible to everybody. The number cards will be put in one or more boxes (if the group is large), so everybody has access to them.
The exercise can be introduced like this.
“We have different sentences with statements like: Doing laundry is no work, because the washing machine does the job. Now you have numbered cards, ranging from 1 to 10. 1 means you don’t agree at all. 10 means you completely agree. The other numbers are gradations. For example, 9 means I almost completely agree, or 5 means I don’t agree, but I also don’t disagree. Now everybody picks a number that is suitable for them and puts it on the statement. After that, we will talk about your decisions and the statements.”
Next, the participants put their number on the statement. After that, the results will be discussed. If there are clusters of agreement or disagreement, it is possible to start a discussion about that.
The discussion can be started with the following questions. Depending on time and interest, the discussion about statements can be long or short.
What do you think about this statement? Why did you rate it with this number?
Is this a statement that you have already heard? From whom? In what context?
What do you think can be important in this statement? What’s behind all of this?
Does gender play a part in connection with this statement? If yes, how?