Dirty, Dirty Men

By special request (and to maintain tranquility in my home), I bring you this rebuttal post from My Not So Humble Wife.

After extensive observation I have finally answered a question that has plagued women world-wide for centuries. Why in God’s name do men never clean?!

Let me establish my man observing credentials. For over five years I have lived with my Not So Humble Husband and two dirty male roommates who, for the sake of anonymity, I will refer to as Monkey Boy and Grouchy Gus.

I have tried every method imaginable to get them to clean. Chore schedules, bribery, begging, threats, and the silent treatment had minimal success. Eventually I resorted to “fine then, if you won’t clean then neither will I, and you jerks can just wallow in your own disgusting filth” tactic. If I didn’t do any cleaning, eventually they would HAVE to break down and pick up a damn broom. Right? Right?!

I waited for two weeks twitching when the garbage can overfilled, furious as the carpet developed a layer of filth, and at last surrendered when my Not So Humble Husband proudly completed a three foot high tower of empty Coke cans in the basement. But my defeat was not totally in vain.

I had inadvertently discovered that the vast majority of men have a significantly higher “filth tolerance” than women do. Filth tolerance can be best defined as the messiest point at which you look around your home and decide it’s too gross for human habitation and must be cleaned.

On a filth tolerance scale from 1 to 10, a 1 is equal to “slight dishevelment”, 5 is “day after a wild party”, and 10 is “crack house”. As you can see illustrated in the graph below, I feel that I MUST clean around 3.5 when the floor is dirty, stuff strewn about, something smells, and everything is dusty. Whereas the disgusting men I live with range from 6.5 to 9.5 and will barely register old food containers growing mold, dust thick enough to plant shrubbery, and unknown substances dripping down the wall into a pool on the floor.


But, you may be wondering, WHY is the male filth tolerance SO much higher? I’m glad you asked. It’s my hypothesis that men have developed “filth filtering vision”. It’s well established than men are more single-minded than woman. When they enter a room their filth filter vision kicks in and unable to distinguish any detail that is not relevant to their current objective.

For example, a woman might go into the kitchen for a snack and see a very dirty kitchen (Fig. 1). Meanwhile men with low filth filtering will just see a kitchen (Fig. 2) and men with high filth filters may only be able to perceive those items significant to achieving their goal of finding food (Fig. 3).

Fig 1. Women Vision

Clean kitchen

Picture image credit: Cleaning Angels (http://www.cleaning-angels.co.uk/)

Fig 2. Man Vision (Low Filth Filter)


Picture Credit: Crafty Culinarian (http://craftyculinarian.wordpress.com)

Fig 3. Man Vision (High Filth Filter)


Picture Credit: How to Survive Alien Invasion Novels (http://howtosurvivealieninvasionnovels.blogspot.com/)

I can only hope that by sharing my discovery, humanity can unite to find a cure to the epidemic of male filth filtering (MFF) which takes a heavy toll on women worldwide and contributes to over seventy five percent of the annual incidents of heavy sighs, evil glares, nagging in shrill tones, and restricted bedroom privileges.

Pray for a cure.


5 Comments on “Dirty, Dirty Men”

  1. spm08588 says:

    I have to report on the perhaps not so common occurrence of the anomaly known as the dreaded ‘triple F’. That’s right, Female Filth Filtering (FFF) does occur, though admittedly more rarely. In this particular case there was a simultaneous facial recognition blind spot but that will have to be dealt with another day. The ability of filth avoidance was truly astonishing; pet fur-dust bunnies could line nearly baseboard yet the broom remain safely tucked in the corner. Now, to be fair, a threshold should probably be established to officially label one as suffering FFF and perhaps the point of the above treatise is not that men are filthy (Known Scientific Fact) but rather the disparity between the tolerance of men and women. Which is probably the noteworthy point in the case I’m describing – much like when a lake ‘turns over’ when a man has a lower filth tolerance than the woman he cohabitates with certain effects result. When a lake turns over the top layer of water cools to a point at or below the deeper layers thus bringing fish to feed at the surface. When Filth Filtering Inversion (FFI) occurs a level of confusion and uneasiness descends on the household. The man is bewildered as to why the house is dirtier than ‘it should be.’ The woman is incredulous since she is unable to detect the subtle layer of grime just beyond her level of comprehension. Impasse is reached. Shared custody is established. And the man now gets to clean the entire house. Alone. My filth tolerance is rising, abating…fluctuating. I sigh, heavily, for the benefit of the dog. I will have a CLEAN house, someday.

  2. theladysews says:

    There is a solution. I discovered that a month of only cleaning up after myself, not after the messier inhabitant of the house, drove me almost to distraction, but had the desired effect when I got home from work last week (he’s still on Christmas break) to find that he’d not only cleaned the flat, he’d gone out and bought things to do it.

    Apparently, he finally noticed that there was dirt everywhere, he just didn’t notice the cleaning products that I normally use – and store in plain sight in the kitchen. When I asked who was coming over to visit (the only other cue I’ve found that prompts him into cleaning), he got all defensive and said, “It’s called cleaning. You might try it sometime.” Which of course diffused the situation immediately as I rolled around the on the reasonably clean floor, laughing myself silly and asking who he thought did various tasks on a regular basis. So it turns out that the cure for MFF is actually a couple of weeks of intense boredom, and a bad internet connection day – who knew?

  3. […] For the rebuttal from My Not So Humble Wife, be sure to read “Dirty, Dirty Men“. […]

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