A girl who grew up in a normal Malawian household, can speak to the fact that at an early age, she was required to get up early before everyone else, draw water, heat up water, and prepare food for the men and children in the household. That girl, was also expected to retire for bed later than everyone else after cleaning up. Most of these girls were told that they were being prepared marriage, because in marriage, it is women who take care of the men and children. If they did not abide to ,they would be called names, one of the most damaging and well-known being "Lazy".
Before I go any further, let me explain that we all have been called “lazy” at some point in our lives; but, as Zsofia Borsi pointed out, the quality of laziness is often problematized differently along gendered dimensions. As a woman or girl, you are supposed to be naturally a morning person, as a male, you can be a morning person or not: no one cares. Laziness in a woman is problematic since it has direct impact on others. For example, if the woman of the house chooses to sleep in and wake up at 9:00 AM instead of her customary 5: 00 or 6: 00, AM then everyone suffers: the husband , other men and the children in the house will be late for work ,school or other obligations.
This article is not intended to justify women’s laziness, it is intended to highlight the fact that what drives others, particularly males, to label women lazy may not even be the basis of labelling someone lazy. But as is customary, women are designated house caterers and are expected to take care of everyone, and if they fail to do, the “L” bomb is dropped on them. let’s be honest, no one wants to be called lazy when they are doing their best. Women are labelled as sluggish for failing to carry out simple tasks such as preparing breakfast for the family or getting everyone ready for the day; tasks which they (men) themselves would be able to carry out.
Of course, this comes down to the gender roles and stereotypes because if there wouldn’t be any prescriptions on who can do what in a household based on sex, one individual wouldn’t be stuck with all the household chores. In that case, no one would be overwhelmed with chores to the point they get accused of being lazy if they fail to meet some of these expectations dumped on them. Gender Roles is a very broad topic which affects people especially women in several ways.