Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Traditional" Is An Interesting Word For Master

Re my earlier post, this article up at the Nation, "How The 'Opt-Out Revolution Changed Men," makes some interesting points.

Lots of caveats here, of course, since our sample size is a handful of hyper-wealthy het women married (I am willing to bet) to Xtian guys in East Coast cities, and all from the same sort of WASPy Park Slope culture: but.

It turns out that before the women opt-out, or "choose" to stay home with their kids (at least one woman mentioned "chooses" to do so under pressure from her husband), their husbands treat them as intellectual and moral equals, more or less expecting to share household chores and family responsibilities with them.


Not so much.

It seems...that the actual circumstance of having a wife stay home changes men from being egalitarian to being far more traditional in their expectations of what they should get from their wives. 

After, the men have apparently been convinced -- at least partly by the women's own actions -- that women's lives have less importance than their own; and that, therefore, men can adjust their behavior accordingly, and expect women to do all or most of the shit work around the house.

This is an especially interesting paragraph, by the way:

Researchers found that boys who grow up just with sisters are 15 percent more likely to be conservative in their views of women’s roles. Why? They speculate that these boys grow up watching their sisters be assigned more housework, thus learning that chores are women’s work. Boys who just grow up with brothers share the load. Family structure when these boys are young informs how they view women later in life.

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

I never would have guessed that about boys growing up with or without sisters. Oh.

I'm guessing there's an uncomfortable space where they want good for their sisters, but also a traditional wife for themselves. Gah!