What is it about mens shirts?…..

I’ve a feeling this is going to be another of my ‘hodgepodge’ posts where I know what I’m trying to say but can’t find the right words to describe it.

Before I married The Golfer we joked about things we’d do as a married couple and laughed at the things we felt we shouldn’t be doing.  When I said in all seriousness ‘I won’t be ironing shirts’ he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders.  It didn’t seem to bother him, he was in the air force and used to doing his own ironing.  If the truth be told I was a bit worried about not doing it correctly – I’d never had to iron a man’s shirt before and as he’d mentioned in passing how his mother had never seemed to iron the collars properly I decided (rightly or wrongly) it wasn’t going to be my responsibility.

Anyway circumstances had it that for all of his working life (in several professions) he wore a clean business type shirt each day and except for the odd occasion when he was extremely busy I laundered and he would iron them. Much much more professionally than I ever did – no questions asked 😊

I saw a tv programme only just a few years ago – one of those where young couples openly air their grievances while discussing problems within their marriages.  One newly wed young man complained his wife refused to wash and iron his shirts!  Her explanation was ‘I don’t wear them so why should I wash and iron them.  He’s big enough to do them himself.  It’s not my fault his mother did them before we married.’  For the life of me I cannot remember what advice was given to the young couple on how to settle their differences.

These days when the mood takes me I watch a supposedly serious but quite funny dating show on SBS called ‘If You Are the One’. Made in China with subtitles it involves 24 women ‘interviewing and interrogating’ men in the hope of finding a Mr Right.   Some of the questions seem quite strange but there’s usually a reason behind them.

One young girl asked if the young man ‘would wash her undies’.  ‘If I had to I suppose, he said. They’d go in the machine with everything else’  ‘And, she said, would I have to do your washing, your shirts and other things’   ‘Well if you were busy I suppose I could do them myself’

After a little digging (gentle questioning) by the host, it emerged that in a previous relationship this young girl’s partner had insisted (to the point of being violent) she do all the household work including his washing and ironing as he sat around doing nothing, even though they both held jobs with status.


Yes, here it is Monday (the traditional wash day) and I’m just wondering

Why it is that even in these days of so called shared responsibilities laundry is still regarded as women’s work?

What have we done to our sons to make them think this way?

Is it too much of this?


Having daughters help in the home


Maybe not enough of this?!

And what is it about men’s shirts that causes such mixed feelings in households 😊😊

Do you have any thoughts at all on this issue?

Laundry – Shared Housekeeping – Parenting – (Family Violence)

Linking to Mel’s MicroBlog Monday

#MicroblogMondays 154: Look at Linus

17 Replies to “What is it about mens shirts?…..”

  1. Have always done all the washing because I was a stay at home mum
    And even when I sworked part time I still did it as hubby was working longer hours than normal building up a business.
    I think each couple should work it out for themselves
    But having said that. I know lots of women who expect help in the house but won’t do anything outside because that’s men’s work!
    Equality means just that. Equal in all things. If you want help with the washing. Then you too have to wash cars, now lawn etc


  2. Until men lose the idea that they are “helping” with the house and the kids, women will be relegated to all the house and home jobs besides their regular jobs. Women need equality in their homes if society is to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Radio broadcaster Jon Faine does the family’s ironing, which I assume now is only his own and his wife’s. My partner irons my shirts that I wear I am not working. My work shirts go in the dryer and then straight on a hanger and they are ok. That’s all of mine that gets ironed. If is fair that a person who spends more time in work does less at home, but that does not mean they do nothing.


  4. I do most of the washing and all of the ironing. His mother did all of both. I do most of the gardening, and put out the bins and the recycling. I mow the lawns if he is away. He finally is doing more of the cleaning but things like the bathrooms are still a sore point.


  5. I am delighted to tell you that my three sons iron their own shirts! My husband does not, mostly because I can’t bear watching him making such a hash of things, I refuse to mow the grass.


  6. First husband expected dinner on the table at 5.15pm just like his mum had done…we ‘negotiated’ that 6pm was more reasonable for a working wife but it was a battle! I was expected to iron his clothes and did for well over 25years…did I mention he was a former husband???? Lol. Yep after 28 1/2 years I left and 4 years later got a ‘better model’ ! 😉


  7. My husband was in the military and he did his own because he did not like the way I did it. That was okay with me. When I worked we did work together. My husband can make a meal and I am proud that he does not expect to be waited on all the time. I think couple who both work should share responsibilities. Thank God today father take a more active role in parenting. We have come a long way. My daughter shared maternity leave with her husband. She stayed home for six month and he took six months.


  8. I have ironed my clothes all my life and even when clothes come in from the laundry neatly pressed, before wearing, I would iron them. I do not see anything wrong about it though I am ribbed about it by my siblings.

    Having said that, here in India, almost all middle class and above homes, have help to wash clothes though now they do that in washing machines and a Presswalla as he is called who comes around twice a week to collect the washed clothes, iron them and return them after two days.

    Most people I know, including just about everyone in my family simply wear what the presswalla brings.


  9. Take them to the laundry. My first husband traveled and the dry-cleaner would wash, iron, fold and wrap a paper around the shirt so I only had to pack them in the bag.


  10. Loved the last cartoon image! I learned to iron very young. It was one of my Saturday chores along with polishing all the Sunday shoes. I ironed with an iron and my mother used ironing machine for all the flat pieces like sheets, pillow cases, table cloths, etc that could be put in the ‘ironer’. I don’t iron much anymore. My commute seems to undo the backsides of things anyway. 🙂 I’d rather knit!


  11. Ah, household chores, a battleground for equal rights. My husband does his own laundry most of the time. He likes his t-shirts and shirt to be hung dry just so. After I threw them in the dryer a few times, that relieved me of that chore. When he was working in business, he had a ton of shirts that I couldn’t iron quite right either, so those went to the drycleaners.


  12. Interesting… It has definitely become a thing in our household where I do the laundry and generally I put away all the clothes too… However I absolutely draw the line at ironing, I cannot stand it. For me, to iron a piece of clothing is pretty much the ultimate act of love. For this reason only I occasionally iron a shirt of his to show my partner I appreciate something… except that I do such a horrible job that he actually asks me not to do it. Hm, let me correct myself about ultimate acts of love – perhaps it is more the case that being asked not to do ironing that you’ve volunteered to do is the ultimate act!!!


  13. I remember making myself very unpopular with my brother-in-law. His wife complained that she did his ironing, when they were both working full-time. I said to her to simply stop. He wouldn’t wear un-ironed shirts to work, so in the end he’d have to do it himself. She did stop, and I’m not sure he’s ever forgiven me!

    My husband and I both do each other’s laundry. When the laundry basket is full, whichever of us notices it first does the laundry. The best thing we ever did when we were both working full-time – as both my husband and I dislike ironing – was get cleaners who also did ironing! Problem solved.


  14. I also told my (now) husband when we moved in together that on no account would I ever iron his shirts. It was very important to me, almost symbolic. I also said I wouldn’t do his washing, but the ironing was the big thing. From about 13 I’d been made to iron my father’s police shirts, and I was never going to iron for a man again. To this day (20 years later) I have not ironed a shirt of my husbands, he does his own. I also have a separate laundry bag, and I wash my own clothes and he does his. I swore I’d never be elbow-deep in a man’s unwashed socks and pants, and I never will be. These things default to the woman because boys see their mothers doing it. Ironing is bloody hard work and I’d really want to be paid for in some way, otherwise it feels like an act of subjugation to me.


  15. Oh for a press wallah! I do not iron anything…. we are retired, and no need to look neat from a sense of respect for the clients, and so it is creases, creases, all the way.


  16. the iron here, is for pressing my art-works…yesterday I filled up the water tank, as I needed some steam!

    when ex was around, his shirts never ironed other than the collar of cuffs, because year round he wore a sweater over them (suffered badly from the cold, yep even in hot summer, a lite-weight sweater on)

    household chores and clothing related things – all for me only. I suppose I could iron something but somehow I don’t… I did go through a period of wanted pressed t-shirts so they didn’t look creased!


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