JANET STREET PORTER: Listen guys, we women NEVER moan. We just point things out.

Listen guys, we women NEVER moan. We just point things out

2:46 AM on 23rd May 2011

Frustration: What happened to the harmonious marriages of our grandparents

Frustration: What happened to the harmonious marriages of our grandparents” generation

When I read that the average couple has seven rows a day, I thought, ‘Is that all’ I’m an expert — usually participating in three arguments before leaving home in the morning.

Living with someone in such close quarters is not a natural state — in the Stone Age, your hunter-gatherer partner would have been out of the hut at first light, foraging for food, tracking his quarry and trapping anything that moved. He would not have returned until he was successful.

Now, they lie in bed whimpering about feeling tired and anxious about work, don’t turn their mobile phone alarms off at weekends, hog the bathroom, can’t load the dishwasher correctly and have no idea that the washing machine operates on anything other than the hot wash.

They don’t even manage the modern version of hunter-gathering once aweek — the supermarket shop — to any decent level of efficiency, regularly losing your carefully compiled list in their multi-pocketed combat-style shorts before they’ve parked the car.

Last Saturday, mine came back with a bag of compost and a pair of nasty blue rubber swimming shoes that were ‘on offer’, but no cooking oil.

These days, you rarely hear anyone saying ‘we’ve been married 50 years and never had a cross word’ in the way people did a few decades ago. Were these marriages of the war years really so happy and harmonious

I doubt it, but unlike our grandparents, my generation has always gone out to work — which gives us plenty to moan about.

Apparently the biggest reason for arguing is because the other person appears not to be listening. I can verify that.

More from Janet Street Porter…

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JANET STREET-PORTER: Forget about revenge, dear, Creepy Chris isn’t worth it

JANET STREET PORTER: Great knees-up but, as I know, marriage is no fairytale …

JANET STREET-PORTER: Who gave this lot the Royal seal of approval

JANET STREET-PORTER: Girls up North are great, so why DO they dress like Lily Savage

JANET STREET-PORTER: Forget pupil power. Let teachers take charge again!

JANET STREET-PORTER: Tweeting It”s just a tidal wave of drivel

JANET STREET-PORTER: Is peaceful protest now dead


No matter how many times a week I tell my partner what we have planned, he starts every day by saying ‘remind me what we’re doing tonight/tomorrow/this weekend’.

His brain operates on another waveband to mine: Radio Bloke. It’s full up with the little gadgets he’s secretly ordered on the internet, which I regularly have to go to the post office and collect.

Recent examples include a plastic rod with a brush on the end for catching spiders, and a pair of repulsive waterproof trousers.

Yesterday, he absent-mindedly asked: ‘Which way do you go around London to get to Surbiton’

This is the man who went to Heathrow via St Albans. Even the sat nav had a row with him. According to researchers, the next most popular reasons for a row — after being ignored — are money and laziness.

I don’t agree. Men don’t even acknowledge the word ‘lazy’ exists, so it’s pointless arguing with them over it.

They prefer to talk about their ‘different priorities’ as in ‘I’ll get around to that (ie mending the radio/washing the car/gluing a vase back together) in my own time. Men’s time is not women’s time. It is infinitely more flexible — tasks cannot be rushed or allocated a certain time slot.

Oxford University has just conducted a comprehensive study into the amount of time men and women spend on housework, published in the journal Sociology.

They found that over the years, as more women work, men have (very slowly) done more to help around the home.

Sadly, at the current rate, the scientists have calculated it will take until 2050 for men to do as much as women. Back in the Sixties, women did six hours of housework a day on average, while men got away with just 90 minutes. Now, women average four hours and 40 minutes on housework and childcare, while men manage two hours and 28 minutes.

The reason why progress is so slow comes back to the internet. Men spend hours looking at screens in case anyone is trying to contact them, or in tracking that box set of Extreme Fishing they’ve ordered on Amazon. Apparently one of the reasons men aren’t doing more housework is because certain jobs are still viewed as too ‘feminine’, such as baking.

I don’t agree. My partner makes an excellent cake, but we’ll have a row about the way he chucks flour everywhere that I have to clean up. He then resorts to that key phrase that men use (100 per cent guaranteed to trigger off a major row): ‘stop moaning’. Women don’t moan — we point things out.

Was I too pretty for Arnie

As the list of women who’ve had sex with Arnold Schwarzenegger grows longer by the day, it’s time for me to confess.

I’m the woman who sat on his arm — and nothing happened. There was no secret lovechild, just a bag of half-eaten doughnuts.

Back in the late Seventies, Arnie arrived in London to promote a film about bodybuilding.

Terminator: A young Janet Street Porter with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator: A young Janet Street Porter with Arnold Schwarzenegger

We were filmed in a gym in South London for my television show, and the budding movie star was happy to pose with a grinning JSP perched on his giant bicep.

Sadly, Arnie was more interested in wolfing down the bag of 20 doughnuts I’d brought as a sweetener than chatting me up — although his accent was so strong I couldn’t be sure.

Recent events have made it clear why he didn’t succumb to my flattery. It wasn’t my bizarre Farrah Fawcett-meets-punk hairdo, or my unfortunate tracksuit bottoms, but the fact I was simply too gorgeous!

Arnie has been revealed as a serial philanderer who (we are told) finds ugly women ‘irresistible’ as they bolster his fragile ego.

Take a look at the women he’s alleged to have bonked — they certainly wouldn’t be chosen as weather girls, would they

Since then, Arnie had other chances to chat me up — we met again when I briefly dated one of his wife’s relatives.

I once spent a drab Thanksgiving at his swanky family home in Pacific Palisades, sitting through a Disney film about a mermaid (that sums up his taste in entertainment), and making one miserable glass of champers last two hours.

Not much fun, and I can’t recall whether the housekeeper he seems to have found so sexual desirable even served it.

Now, his wife has hired a hot divorce lawyer and his career is down the dumper. His next movie — in which he was set to play an athlete who romances an older woman — will probably not get made.

Arnie’s rise to fame and fortune seemed to embody the American dream: an Austrian immigrant and penniless bodybuilder who became a huge movie star, who parlayed his box office status into success at the ballot box.

The Governor of California who married into the unofficial royal family of his adopted country when he proposed to Maria Shriver. The bloke who had it all — but secretly fancied ‘plain’ janes.

Perhaps the Terminator’s problem isn’t his giant ego, but the fact he’s less than ‘rambo’ down below

Brits BBQs don”t sizzle
Brits abroad: The Camerons are unlikely to impress when they invite the Obamas over for a barbecue this week

Brits abroad: The Camerons are unlikely to impress when they invite the Obamas over for a barbecue this week

This week, President Obama will be banqueting with the Queen and enjoying a barbecue in Downing Street.

Dave and Sam pretend they’re ordinary folk, but this is a mistake.

The British are rubbish at barbies — serving up charred meat that’s raw in the middle and stinking of lighter fuel, accompanied by ready-made coleslaw fizzing as it’s past the sell-by date.

This is one culinary art form best left to the Aussies and the Yanks, who have the right weather and technology.

The Obamas will be shivering between showers, waiting for the charcoal to heat up.

Sam will sport a Burberry apron, cursing because heels and grass are a bad combo.

Worse, Michelle grows organic vegetables in the White House garden, and I doubt Sam has sweetcorn in her back yard.

Nul points, darlings.

Jane Fonda has written a guide (published here in August) to her ageless style, called Prime Time: Creating A Great Third Act. She claims it’s down to ‘good genes, money and sex’. Luckily, Jane married well — ex-husband Ted Turner was a billionaire and her latest bloke is a top record producer. In spite of being paid to promote creams that claim to slow the ageing process, Jane has undergone cosmetic surgery — last year she admitted to improving her neck, chin and eyes, at an estimated cost of 37,000. She said ‘I wish I’d been brave enough not to, but I chose to be a glamorous grandma’. Forget anti-ageing — this third act costs plenty.