Kiki (apologyhat) wrote in binky_betsy,

I’ve mentioned a couple of times here that it bothers me the way there have been a huge number of strips featuring Mike working, writing, and generally being involved in the world, and very few strips featuring Dee doing the same, despite the fact that they both work, and are said to have lives outside their children. Other people have mentioned that Dee bears the brunt of childcare/housecleaning duties.

So while at my temp job (where they are totally cool about letting me surf the web), I decided to go back through the Foobian archives to see if our impressions are really true. I went back to October 2002 (when Meredith was born), and ended at the most recent strips. I counted the number of strips that feature either Mike or Dee, and then came up with different categories for each strip—work, domestic (including kids and cleaning, cooking, etc), and "other". Mike’s freelancing, newspaper column, and book counts as work (although his stupid party I considered “other.” I noticed that Mike’s “others” are about half him hanging out with Weed. Most of Dee’s others are one where she’s with the Patterfam).

I counted each strip based on what’s actually going on in the strip. So if Dee has a Patterspawn draped limply in her arms, yet the whole strip is about Dee and Liz discussing Paul, then I counted that as “other,” not “domestic.” 


2002 (Oct – Dec)

Mike’s Total Strips: 22

            Work: 0

            Domestic: 15 (counting Meredith’s birth)

            Other: 7


Dee’s Total Strips: 27

            Work: 0

            Domestic: 25

            Other: 2


2003 (Major events: Mike goes to Japan; Mike gets fired then rehired; Dee starts working again)

Mike’s Total Strips: 88

            Work: 36

            Domestic: 18

            Other: 34


Dee’s Total Strips: 57

            Work: 5

            Domestic: 31

            Other: 23


2004 (Major events: Dee announces she’s pregnant again; Robin is born.)

Mike’s Total Strips: 73

            Work: 14

            Domestic: 27

            Other: 32 (almost entirely featuring Weed)


Dee’s Total Strips: 46

            Work 0

            Domestic: 31

            Other: 15


2005 (Major events: Mike and Dee move into Lovey’s upstairs apartment; Mike butts heads with the Kelpforths and writes his stupid article)

Mike’s Total Strips: 55

            Work: 13

            Domestic: 18

            Other: 24 (mostly move-related)


Dee’s Total Strips: 43

            Work: 1 (only mentioned)

            Domestic: 23

            Other 19


2006 (Major events: Robin gets sick; Robin puts Ned in the toilet; the housefire—note; if Mike explicitly mentions his stupid book, then I considered it “work,” since it’s related to his like outside of the kids. Otherwise, I put it as “other.”)

Mike’s Total Strips: 43

            Work: 10

            Domestic: 15

            Other: 31


Dee’s Total Strips: 43

            Work: 0

            Domestic: 28

            Other: 15


2007 (Major events: Everyone moves into the Pattermanse; Mike sells his stupid book; Mike quits his stupid job; Mike and Dee buy the Pattermanse)

Mike’s Total Strips: 87

            Work: 25

            Domestic: 21 (12 of which are in service of the flashbacks)

            Other: 41 (mostly Housening related)


Dee’s Total Strips: 47

            Work: 1 (mention)

            Domestic: 21

            Other: 26 (again, Housening)


2008 (Major events: Boring flashbacks)

Mike’s Total Strips: 14

            Work: 0

            Domestic: 9

            Other: 5


Dee’s Total Strips: 13

            Work: 0

            Domestic: 9 (even with that whole week of “See?! Mike is a good dad!” strips, he still spends just as much time with his kids as his wife does)

            Other: 4


In summary—Mike’s strips are pretty evenly among the three categories, almost a third each, which surprised me, I have to say. Yet two tenths of one percent of Dee’s strips are about work, and 60% of her strip time shows her tending to her child, cleaning the house, cooking, or grocery shopping.










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