Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More Life to Live)

Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More Life to Live)A Revolutionary, Real World Solution To The Problem Of Unpaid, Invisible Work That Women Have Shouldered For Too LongIt Started With The Sh T I Do List Tired Of Being The Shefault Parent Responsible For All Aspects Of Her Busy Household, Eve Rodsky Counted Up All The Unpaid, Invisible Work She Was Doing For Her Family And Then Sent That List To Her Husband, Asking For Things To Change His Response Was Underwhelming Rodsky Realized That Simply Identifying The Issue Of Unequal Labor On The Home Front Wasn T Enough She Needed A Solution To This Universal Problem Her Sanity, Identity, Career, And Marriage Depended On It The Result Is Fair Play A Time And Anxiety Saving System That Offers Couples A Completely New Way To Divvy Up Domestic Responsibilities Rodsky Interviewed Than Five Hundred Men And Women From All Walks Of Life To Figure Out What The Invisible Work In A Family Actually Entails And How To Get It All Done Efficiently With Four Easy To Follow Rules, Household Tasks, And A Figurative Card Game You Play With Your Partner, Fair Play Helps You Prioritize What S Important To Your Family And Who Should Take The Lead On Every Chore From Laundry To Homework To Dinner Winning This Game Means Rebalancing Your Home Life, Reigniting Your Relationship With Your Significant Other, And Reclaiming Your Unicorn Space As In, The Time To Develop The Skills And Passions That Keep You Interested And Interesting Are You Ready To Try Fair Play Let S Deal You In An interesting book, and somewhat comforting to read As a DINK I don t have a lot of these issues talked about in the book, but it has struck me that even though I have a full time job, with a half hour commute on either end, I end up doing all the housework, grocery shopping, meal execution, household repairs, budgeting, etc while my husband uses his spare time to volunteer, attend political forums, have coffee meetings with every mover and shaker in the city, and play on his Ipad And get cranky when dinner is not planned, or when he is forced to eat leftovers two night in a row instead of having fresh food made for him So I was excited to get an ARC of this book.I felt a lot of sympathy for the author, and the other women discussed in the book, as I could see flashes of myself in them, and I actually was again SOOOOOOO grateful for the fact that I don t have any children, because there is no way I could deal with those hassles However, although the author clearly came from a background that should make her empathetic of single working mothers, her book only applies to a married couple A married couple with a decent amount of education and money, with fairly traditional jobs I couldn t see how a single parent of several children, who receives minimal support from their former partner, who may be working multiple minimum wage jobs would be able to participate in this card game Which struck me as odd, since this scenario is very similar to the way the author claims she was raised She talks her head off about Unicorn Space, but I know full well that working single mothers DO NOT HAVE THE TIME OR RESOURCES to partake in such a thing, not matter how much Eve Rodsky insists they can Despite the fact that at the beginning of the book she makes a vague promise that she interviewed people across racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, I did not once see evidence of this in any of her proposed solutions This book is obviously meant to appeal to white, upper middle class, college educated women, which is fine, but that leaves a majority of women out of the conversation, including myself I wish it had attempted to appeal to a wider audience, especially since there were points made that really struck me For example, I think the idea of Unicorn Space is a great idea for me, since I haven t pursued it much since I got married Luckily, I don t have kids, and I have enough in savings to take it on I also like that she points out that we should all strive to remain interesting instead of becoming stagnant and stuck, but again, this point falls flat to a parent living on the edge of homelessness, trying to get their family from one hour to the next, praying that a missed day of work will not derail them.It will find an audience, but it won t be me, or anyone I know. Before reading Fair Play, I wondered what would happen to my children if I died Would they grow up in squalor, never having their hair combed and teeth brushed, or clean clothes to wear Would they never see the doctor or dentist again for their regular check ups After reading Fair Play, I realized that of course not my kids would be absolutely fine, because my husband is a reasonable and smart man, and thus, he would simply remarry Simply stated, Fair Play is about equitably restructuring the domestic division of labor, a complex topic that has been discussed in depth for decades, but without a revolutionary, systematic resolution, until now However, before diving headfirst into the depths of this discussion, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge that this topic of domestic workload overlaps multiple social constructs sexuality, race, gender, and class These varying degrees of intersecting socially constructed identities make for real life consequences and differences for those occupying these identities For example, a white, wealthy, cisgender woman in a heterosexual marriage will have a very different experience than a black, impoverished, transwoman in a same gender marriage In sum, when you add various social identities together, there are increased odds of having specific types of advantaging or disadvantaging experiences, producing inequity oppression or privilege that is compounded over time However, these differences that our social identities bring into the equation are not what keep us divided Our refusal to acknowledge these differences and the resulting differences in our oppressions in ways that motivate us to think about and to act against inequity maintains and widens the divisions It takes compassion, self awareness and critical consciousness to identify the similarities that exist within our lives across differences while also interrogating the inequities and injustices upon which this country was founded The topic of domestic division of labor allows us to do both The opposite of oppression is equity, justice, or fairness, rather than equality Equity is the result of a humanizing process that takes into consideration individual circumstances and the differential effects of sociopolitical contexts whereas equality ignores precipitating, historical and causal factors and only focuses on equal input Courage and honest dialogue with open minded listening are required to step up to difficult conversations about past and current injustice, which is the first step out of inequity Beware of deflection strategies that perpetuate the cycle of inequity Deflection strategies divert attention from pertinent ideas and actions to irrelevant issues One deflection strategy is the belief in myths such as the 24 hour woman or the work life balance We are taught to believe the impossible is attainable Inevitably, when we fall short, we blame our shortcomings for failure We believe there s something wrong with us rather than fault the myth Setting the goal for perfection sets everyone up for failure obviously, a no win situation The main take away from Fair Play that I received is that we can all win if we play this game of life fairly In an inequitable system of patriarchy men are likely to receive systemic advantages over women that may increase their sociopolitical, economic standings to a 7 on the accomplishment scale of 1 10 and, women, because of systemic disadvantage, may be at a 4 on that same scale If we partner to fight for equity, then we can all be at a 9 An equitable system benefits everyone We all have something to gain and no one has to lose Equity creates a win win.There s a historical context and a sociopolitical climate that allows the current division of domestic workload to exist Fair Play brings into focus the role that macro systems i.e., culture, norms, s play within micro contexts and the cyclical relationship between the public and private sphere, such that, private troubles become public problems and public issues become private struggles Culture, systems, and policies manifest at the intrapersonal level that is, within our individual thoughts and behaviors, such as prejudices and discrimination as well as within our interpersonal relationships External values invade our homes, controlling our way of domestic life, such that our homes are microcosms of American culture and society Redistributing the domestic workload requires a paradigm shift from the inequitable practices that occur outside our homes to standards of equity within our homes Fair Play gives us permission to create our own values that introduce equity into our households, creating an equitable shift in domestic workload, and setting examples for our children that is the revolution Once working towards equity in our private lives, then it s time to take the fight public to address the socio structural issues that have squatted for too long in our homes, adversely possessing our minds, relationships and time It s important to remember that the issue is not men against women or wives versus husbands Our partners are not the enemy It s not a revolution if we re fighting each other rather the fight should be between us and the systems of inequity Mothers and fathers can work together to transform the system United households can advocate for affordable childcare options and employment policies that support families In a world of possibility for us all, our personal visions help lay the groundwork for political action Audre Lorde, p 112 The sum of our individual differences should not divide us on issues regarding our collective liberation.Fair Play was not written in a vacuum void of sociopolitical realities The research in Fair Play was done with due diligence, remaining cognizant of the fact that social science research tends to have samples with people who have dominant social identities e.g., heterosexual, white Those samples seem to reflect the identities of those conducting the research With this in mind, Fair Play had a respectable sample size of 507 people 37% were people of color Although Fair Play was not authored by a social science researcher, the sample is probably diverse than many research studies about the gender division of labor, which suggests that Fair Play has a wider applicability Although it is difficult to write for a broad audience, Fair Play acknowledges that we share similar experiences across social identities and the inequitable division of labor affects us all Everyone s personal situation is nuanced and complex Thus, the effect of this issue will be different, but the issue remains the same Regardless of one s positionality on the social hierarchy, the Fair Play system can provide insight and apply to your particular circumstances We can start a revolution within our households, sweep the public sphere clean of social norms and cultural s that uphold inequitable domestic labor practices, producing a ripple effect to future generations, thus, transforming America one marriage at a time The worst thing we can tell ourselves and our children is that s just the way it is, because the way it is, doesn t have to be We make the choice to maintain or change with every action or non action Here s a thought experiment for you while you read Fair Play Imagine what could be different about you, your relationships and the world, if we collectively decided to play fair. If you follow me on social media, you know I have been going on and on about Fair Play but I am just so excited about it I love parenting books, I love self help and relationship books and as soon as I saw the premise of this I knew I needed to read it ASAP The adjustment to parenthood did not happen super easily for us both personally and in our relationship together It was a huge transition and we struggled in many ways as we navigated our new roles and expectations of one another On many days, feeling the full weight of exhaustion that would seize me the moment my baby was down and I was finally offline, I d wonder What did I do all day When even I couldn t answer the question, there was no doubt in my mind that I d lost all control of my time Sound familiar While we have learned a lot as the years have gone by, figuring out the daily logistics of life with work, marriage, kids and our household tasks is a constant juggling act Fair Play both takes on and tackles the topics of the mental load, second shift, emotional labor and invisible work that in the 21st century still cause a great imbalance in many family s home lives.Not only is Eve Rodsky s writing accessible and totally relatable, but it is also helpful I love a good plan I feel the absolute worst when life feels tough and I don t know what my next steps are going to be Even when things are still rocky, when I am moving forward, things always feel manageable.Rodsky created a simple and straightforward approach to help equitably restructuring the balance of domestic duties while also factoring in time to focus on creative and personal growth so that everyone feels fulfilled and happy.While our relationship does follow a similar path as Rodsky s heterosexual married couple with kids she has also done her due diligence Rodsky worked with 500 couples to include a wide variety of multiple social constructs which can alter perspectives, challenges, and accessibility so this book really is for everyone Her QA on her own website is super informative if you are looking to learn about why she took on this project Resources like this are so awesome to help raise awareness of these important conversations that are so important to navigating family life.Thank you to Putnam for sending this amazing book mail and to Edelweiss for an ARC ebook edition. I first discovered Fair Play when browsing through Bustle and was intrigued by the concept of a system that gamifies the distribution of household work to achieve better balance Curious to find out , I immediately requested a copy from my library.The premise of Fair Play is that all household related tasks are turned into cards to create a deck that is customized to your family, and then those cards are dealt and re dealt as needed to establish who will be in charge of each task It breaks this down into several steps that couples can follow to play the game And if that s what works for people, that s wonderful But I don t necessarily know if this system will work for everyone.In the end, Fair Play was a decent read It did get somewhat repetitive as the book progressed and I skimmed the last quarter or so What this book does do wonderfully is stress the importance of clear communication and gives a vocabulary for all players to use so that they are on the same page If that sounds like something you need in your life, I d recommend at least giving it a shot. This is the October reesesbookclub selection As a single woman who lives alone, I did not relate to this book I find this to be such a miss for RBC as it really alienated me This was clearly a vanity project for the author and I disliked the tone of several of her statements I found the game to be confusing, and so much of it is based on your perceived opinions of your partner that I can t imagine this would actually go over well Maybe if I was at a different point in life this book would have been beneficial. I m hesitant to say too much about this or rate it because I m not the intended audience As such I m surprised Reese Witherspoon would select a book that alienates a large percentage of her book club readers This book did make me appreciate all that parents, in particular moms, do If I didn t want kids or marriage before I certainly don t want it now This sealed the deal.This is hetero normative and gendered to the hilt and that s a real missed opportunity While same sex couples are mentioned here and there, really examining how non traditional households handle the never ending to do list would have been interesting Also what about exploring the division of labor in the households of other cultures I m sorry but words like systemization and efficiency and expectations appear throughout this Doesn t that make marriage and family sound fun and joyous Yuck And no amount of it s a card game It s so fun is going to change my opinion from yuck Again, I recognize that I m not the audience for this If you re an overwhelmed and underappreciated parent, perhaps give this a read you might get a lot out of it than I did. I thought this was really fascinating and really a helpful way to think through the challenge of running a household in partnership. This book is a marvel It reads like a gripping novel while packed with historical references, funny antidotes, and most importantly a practical game plan for change Ms Rodsky taps into the place where even the most liberated of women find it hard to fight their own homes This book will transform our current culture s hold on female resource and give women and men back our most valuable comity TIME For anyone thinking about making a relationship with a true equality, this book is for you Jennifer Berry, Author Professor of Women Gender Studies, California State University Northridge. Picked up this book because of Reese s bookclub Although there was obviously a lot of research done and she does point out some good points It sounds like she wants to impose this game to their marriage, delegate while still supervising tasks instead of making the relationship a true partnership.What gave this book only two stars was the tone.Men are trash, woman are superior Husband, if you don t play this game, our whole marriage is at risks She also make you put labels on yourself and your partner.There s too many good books out there about communication, vulnerability and partnerships that makes you feel empowered but also shine a positive light.This book simply made me feel angry and made me think things about my partner that are not truly happening the way the author tries to make it seems. Anyone who has been in a relationship where they are sharing their lives under one roof will find something of interest in Fair Play I can t speak for everyone, but for most of my friends and my relationship, the scale never seems balanced when it comes to taking care of the place called home and the children or fur babies Fair Play presents a plan for a even distribution of the myriad of tasks that have to be dealt with on an ongoing basis It is written in a thought provoking and engaging way, that may lead to some well needed adult conversations Too often, arguments ensue when people are frustrated, and I can see how taking the emotion out of the conversation, and approaching it logically, as you would at work, can lead to a better outcome That may be the hardest part of trying to improve the situation at home, but after all, we would all agree that running a home and having a family is a second job, so why not treat it the way you treat your paying job It is well researched, well thought out, and may well save a relationship or two This book gave me quite a lot to think about and I am eager to see where it takes me US publication October 1, 2019 I received a DRC from Putnam through NetGalley.My Review System 5 stars Absolutely loved everything about the book It was unique or presented something differently, and I couldn t put it down Highly recommended.4 stars A really solid read that made me glad I read the book Didn t keep me up all night or make me abandon my plans, but I would recommend it without hesitation.3 stars An ok read and I might try another book by the same author to see if their writing style is a good fit for me 2 stars The book just didn t work for me.1 star I have never read a 1 star book yet, fingers crossed , but I would have to hate it to give it this rating.