Say it Loud - I Iron and I'm proud

FEM4 - Say it loud, I iron and I'm proud

Back in 1980 something my late Dad made a joke about a neighbour John who was widely acknowledged in the village as being ‘put upon’ by his wife.

“They conceived the baby the evening of the FA Cup Final, I know that because I walked past their lounge window and for once John wasn’t doing the ironing.”

It’s thirty years’ old but the stigma relating to men ironing still remains today. Hard as she tries to disguise it, I can still pick up the annoyance in my Mum’s voice on our weekly Sunday call when I mention that I’m ironing. 

Gender-based ironing antipathy is not just outdated, it’s also utterly self-defeating.  What else offers mid-lifers the opportunity to plonk themselves in front of the tv for a couple of hours and do little more than slide their right hand from side-to-side?  Well masturbation, obviously, but this is far less likely to earn you plaudits from your good lady.  As well as offering guilt-free box set indulgence, ironing is also soothingly mentally satisfying, transforming a crumpled unruly mess – the clothes not you – into a neatly stacked crease-free collective. 

Having stridently argued that ironing has no place in sexual politics I would just add one caveat where ironing must remain women’s work.  This is when, having successfully ironed all of the shirts, slacks, tee-shirts, jeans, skirts and kilts[1] you’re left with a tiny crumpled ball of lace and silk.


While there’ll only be three or four items, these will represent at least 60% of your good lady’s wardrobe by value.  If you are foolish enough to proceed at this point, then at best she’ll just do them again herself anyway, and in a worst case scenario she’ll still be regaling friends a decade later about how you burnt through her £150 gauze Dior blouse while watching England versus Portugal.

[1] Do you actually iron kilts?