Behold the New Housewives! | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.05.2002
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Behold the New Housewives!

Cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking - housework is a hard job as members of the Federal Club for Men that do Housework in Germany are discovering. It's time for women to put up their feet.


Yippee! This is fun!

Men donning a apron and stirring a big ladle at the stove, cheerfully ironing a shirt and mopping the floor - nope this isn't a commercial, a movie, a gag or a fantasy.

Just ordinary male members of the Federal Club for Men that do Housework or BDHM.

It's a brainchild of Frank Wornath, who founded the club along with a like-minded friend. The aim is to help men help.

Fighting discrimination against men

Before women run off to get their hands on these dream men, it might be wise to know that Wornath had a purpose in mind when he founded the club.

On the club's website, the founders Wornath and Emig solemnly state that their aim is to help improve the image of the poor man helping with housework and to fight prejudices in society such as being labelled a "sissy". "

Moreover the two want the houseman to be recognised and promoted by means of taxes by the state.

Wornath concedes that when men help with the housework, it's a big relief to the wife, who isn't stressed out anymore and is more cheerful and relaxed, which in turn is great for the harmony at home.

Nudging established notions

Though this might sound like music to the ears of most women, Wornath knows that in reality few men would willingly embrace housework or even admit that they enjoy it.

For most growing up with the image of a mother constantly cleaning and cooking and a father who comes home and reads the paper, the idea of sweeping the floor or cooking a vegetable stew is difficult to swallow.

It's exactly notions such as these that Wornath believes that his club can change.

Club members can talk shop at and discuss everything from recipes to plants to cleaning materials. Handy tips on how to get flint off jackets, ironing a stubborn collar and cleaning burnt-out pans are dished out.

The club has received an enormous response, though it's mostly women who take part in the discussion forum, usually despairing ones who want their husbands to become members.

Cleaning the toilet can be fun and healthy!

And to make the whole idea more palatable to men, the BDHM also suggests that even the most unpopular household tasks like say cleaning the toilet can be raised to a new status with the right attitude.

And so the BDHM website publishes various studies to get men motivated and start rolling up their sleeves at home. "Fit for fun: housework is good for the body" or "Elton John feels housework is like therapy - it makes you feel good about yourself".

There's even quickie recipes and tips on fashion in the kitchen with aprons recommended as the best gear to conceal extra fat.

And if nothing else works, there's even some kitchen erotica to spice up long hours spent at the stove!