There has been an evolution of the roles taken, when one thinks of sole "breadwinners." Women have seemingly taken the stance of being beside, rather than behind their men. Some have pushed as far as being in front. In a realm of being accomplished, ambitious and career-oriented, I often wonder if this takes a shot to the male ego.
In many marriages, it seems the role dynamic has switched. Men are staying home with the children, rather than their wives. The grocery lists are left on the counters for them to do the shopping and cooking, while their women climb up the corporate ladder of provider.
Call it role reversal, if you will. For generations, men have been given the title of "breadwinner." Whether it was wanted or not, it was/is seen as the man's duty to work to take care of home. Meanwhile, a woman's job was to care for the children, home and man.
But when those places switch, how does each side fare? Should it matter, as long as a check is being bought home?
When I searched for the denominating factor on why that was, it seemed to be education. The high salary paying jobs are requiring degrees, which more women have than men. But it seems to go far beyond that. I recently came across an old video from Katie Couric's Notebook that sparked my interest in this topic. Take a look:
After watching this, I reflected on my own household. I was raised by both of my Panamanian parents, who came to this country to do just that--work. Though, my mom worked years for the Coast Guards and my dad as lab technician, you could say he was the one who took care of home. With my mom leaving for work at 5 a.m. every morning, it was my dad's job to do the housework until she got home. Clothes, dishes, food, my hair, he did it all. But in that case, it's called co-parenting.
In other instances where it's the man's CHOICE to be a "house-husband" or boyfriend, I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Some may just be comfortable and don't mind taking a back seat to their wives or girlfriends. In marriages, it's more understandable. In simple boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, there's just no way.
How many women actually feel comfortable occupying that role of being the one providing, while their man stayed at home? Does that make them any less of a man (marriage or otherwise)?
Wait, so if a woman chooses to take on the role of provider, it's okay, but if a man chooses to take on the role of homemaker, suddenly we're "not sure how we feel about that"? And suddenly the male ego is called into question?
How about we let the men work with their spouses and decide if they want to be the primary provider, a co-provider, a homemaker, or whatever the hell role they want to take - and let men worry about how that role makes them feel instead of trying to tell men how they should feel?
If one partner works for money, and the other partner works to take care of the home to allow the first partner to work for money, I think that's a fair exchange of household responsibilities regardless of the genders involved.
To say that a man is less of a man because he happens to be the one doing classically "feminine" chores is both degrading to men who choose this path as well as degrading to women who choose this path, because to suggest as much means those chores aren't "as valuable" as money-earning work, when in reality, both need to happen for a household to function. (If doing laundry, making food, and raising children isn't done by members of the household, the household has to pay someone else to do it... thus it has cash value.) IMO, obviously.
I don't care how much money I make in relation to my partner(s) as long as everyone in the household is contributing in some way and adjusts their expectations of standards of living according to the total income.
my single parent mom did it all, she was the husband and wife I have a 5-Star mom she shaped my harsh view of men being mostly useless or I don't need them for anything, thus I wouldn't opt to live with a guy when in a relationship because I still want to maintain my independence. however, I've found a guy, who shares similar views and we make it work. whatever works for the couple.
i feel like i've said this too much recently... but this might be the dumbest thing i've read in a month or so. while i am very career-minded, it's not because i see working outside of the home as more prestigious. it's because it's what i want for myself.
what's wrong with a man staying home? my SO happens to be very much interested in that. and that's fine, because i'm not a domestic goddess in any sense.
From my experience with fellow men, and myself. Men in majority do not do well being home-bound. They can do it, it takes determination and they always have to find another preoccupation. I know a few with kids and a working wife, all of them try pursue as many hobbies, interests, work opportunities and such as possible. It isn't as if they didn't want to be in that position although some were the lower wage earner, but good husbands will always sacrifice their career and lifestyle for their wife, often without knowing the future ramifications for themselves. I feel that it is just a biological imperative that a man must be doing something more. No man ever really gives up his dreams and desires. I love that more and more women are becoming wage earners in a significant way, and it is bound to increase, but i do not think that the determination of women as a whole to join the job market on a full career basis is reason for men to stop doing the same and become housebound. If you want to start a family then find a balance so both of you might work as you desire. If it isn't balanced then it is no better than the days when women were the house keepers.
Yeah, we're doing that. My husband supported me when he was in the military, now that he's in school, I bring home the money and he works part-time. It has nothing to do with gender roles. It's just our marriage. I asked him if it bothers him, he said no. Doesn't bother me either.
I was raised in a household where my father took care of my family and was never home and my mom did all of the traditional things. I now live in a home where my boyfriend and I divide basic household chores pretty fairly but he does more cooking than I do (he works second shift, i work first) but I do alot more cleaning. He works longer hours and makes more money but we both do work. I contribute as much as my earnings allow (which is barely under half of our basic bills. ie, electricity, water, etc) and we're both very fine with our arrangements. He didn't mind when I stayed at home, and if I made more than he did, I don't think he would mind as long as he still had his job that he went to everyday to give him something to do as well. We both enjoy working and I think that's what it comes down to.
We have too many other fun things to be competitive about like video games and who can out arm wrestle the other. :) No reason to feel like less than/more than a man over something like who brings home more cash money.
I think as long as both people are happy with the arrangement, it's all good. I know that I, personally, would go stark raving mad if I was stuck at home cleaning the house and taking care of kids all day. I do like making dinner, though. And I'd gladly do that even after coming home from work.
I just seems very emasculating. I would feel very uncomfortable being the sole provider in my family because I know how my man is. He's a provider, and if he can't provide he feels as though he's inadequate somehow (even though he's not) and that he's failed. Of course I tell him otherwise when he feels that way because I know how hard he works and how much he loves me.
As someone who sees herself probably continuing to retain my full time career, I look at it this way. I don't want to date someone who sits on their butt and does nothing with their life. I want someone who can at least financially support himself. Once co-habitation and marriage comes, decisions have to be made that works for myself and that particular guy. If there are children, and he wants to be the primary caregiver, that's awesome and perfectly fine and I won't expect anything more out of him than what would be expected of a SAHM. If there isn't...it depends. If he's not working, he needs to be doing something with his time, even if it's class or hobby or something. Also, if he's not working, he needs to contribute the housework, ect. a much greater share since he is likely to have a lot more downtime than I am.
It's something couples need to discuss before getting married or moving in. What do they personally want, what they are willing to do around the house, and the balance between them when it comes to minding the home. Especially with marriage, how are financial decisions going to be made? While I hate breadwinners thinking that it's their money so their spouse has no say in the purchases they make, I also would lose it if I married someone who went out and spent a lot of money on themselves without asking me, if I was the breadwinner. It's easier to accept the "our money" mindset when both people are working, but it's not as easy when one partner doesn't work or works part-time.
@QuantumStorm@xanga - I agree with you, as per usual. Women are allowed to do anything they choose. Men simply are not. A woman can work, or she can choose to stay home. Both are generally considered acceptable. But as soon as a man steps outside of what society expects him to do as a man (protect, provide, etc.), he's immediately chastised. That's not equal at all. Somebody call the feminists so they can come fix this, since equality's what they're all about, so I hear.
I know a few stay-at-home fathers/husbands and it very much works for their family. They are fun to talk to because their complaints were my complaints when I stayed home full time and I feel like we understand each other well. lol I don't see how that makes a man less a man at all. How silly is that notion?
@Kazydai@mancouch - Ah, that I can see. I mean women will still be told something about staying at home by some people, but yeah guys would probably be snickered at by most. I think it is rather silly. I think it is best if one parent stays home but I don't think it matters which one.
As long as it's okay with both parents, I see nothing wrong with it.
There is definitely a double standard here but life is full of double standards. Also, if you think about the flipside, stay at home dads are less socially acceptable BUT when both parents are working and children are spending most of their time at daycares/babysitters, mothers are the ones who generally take the blame. So, while men might feel pressured NOT to stay home, many women might feel pressured to be the one in the relationship who gives up their career in order to stay home.
Really, this kind of double standard is a lose-lose for everyone.