If Childcare & Housekeeping Were Important, Men Would Do Them

by Tami Winfrey Harris

“B*tch, you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym”

– Drake on Vanessa Bryant, wife of Kobe, in Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin”

American society does not value childcare and housekeeping. Oh, we say we do. Last week, Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, got het up when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen questioned her ability to advise her husband on women’s issues since “[Romney] hasn’t worked a day in her life.”  Mrs. Romney countered that raising five children is indeed working–hard work, in fact. And I agree, though I note that as the privileged wife of a millionaire, Ann Romney should hardly be the voice of the average stay-at-home-mom. But I don’t believe all the Conservatives rushing to voice their support of mothers everywhere. And I believe few of the Liberals saying of course parenting is just as valuable as working outside of the home mean it either. That is just not the society we live in.

We live in a society where childcare providers–mostly women–are barely paid living wages. American parental leave pales in comparison to that of most European countries (Parents in Sweden receive a whopping 16 months to care for newborns, for example). And when a woman forgoes a career to help a man reach the pinnacle of success by tending to home and hearth, and then divorces in the face of infidelity, some folks greet the idea of equal division of family wealth with, “Bitch, you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym.” I guess child-rearing skills just aren’t as important as tossing a ball through a hoop with amazing accuracy.

You know when I will believe that our society values housekeeping and childcare? When men do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of men who are involved spouses and fathers, but few who take primary responsibility for maintaining home and family. That is why childcare providers are unfairly compensated. That is why single mothers without outside employment are not applauded for working hard raising their families. That is why America doesn’t give a damn about affordable and reliable childcare. Housekeeping and childcare are not important because men don’t do it. Because what we really believe is that these things are “women’s work.” And as long as this is true, and we all still live in a sexist society, then these things will always be undervalued.

Say you run into an old college classmate at the corner coffee shop. He was a smart guy back in the day. Sharp. Everyone knew he was going to be somebody. You ask him what he’s up to and he says he’s a househusband. He cares for his two young children while his wife works in a high-powered corporate job. If you find this news anything but admirable–if you find it at all emasculating–ask yourself why.

The idea that keeping house and raising children are unimportant is a product of a sexist culture, but to change this, it’s not just men who will have to adapt. If women believe nurturing is as important as providing, well then, we have to be okay with potential husbands and life partners choosing the former and not just the latter. We have to let go of the idea that the most important thing a man can bring to a committed relationship is a paycheck. Now, this is not some endorsement of shiftless, lazy men with no life direction, but we should equally admire the brother who is a captain of industry and the brother who stays home and raises future captains of industry.

In an ideal world, a couple could make decisions about work and childcare, based on their family’s unique needs and the strengths and desires of both parents NOT based on worn ideas of femininity and masculinity.

What do you think? Would it be okay if your man was a stay-at-home-dad?

  • Dreaming

    Let me start by saying that at this point in time, I am not interested in marriage or romantic relationships with men, BUT should something change and life takes me in that direction, I would not mind if my husband was a stay-at-home dad. If my life keeps going the way that it is, I doubt I’d be making enough income to support a family, so I would at least need for him to have some type of income.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    admire the brother who is a captain of industry

    I don’t.

    I admire the brother who understands that we live on a planet with finite resources and that proper resource management rather than resource consumption is only way the earth can survive.

    Bout captains industry. And which countries in Africa are you proposing that your children invade so they can steal the resources to be captains of industry in america?

    Captain of industry my ass – would that be like bankers and financiers on Wall Street who produce absolutely nothing of value to sociey – just imaginary profits on an electronic balance sheet?

    The world hasn’t got enough resources for any more captains of industry, who are only “captaining” extreme consumption and environmental destruction.

    This is confused nonsense. Captains of industry means someone has to be the foot soldier of industry – right? So we’re challenging the hierachical structure of the family but not the hierarchical structure of society as a whole.

    Nah – don’t so think coz us foot soliders of industry is gonna fight back.

    “In an ideal world, a couple could make decisions about work and childcare, based on their family’s unique needs and the strengths and desires of both parents NOT based on worn ideas of femininity and masculinity.”

    As long as the couple’s decision is not exploitatative of either party in the couple – placing more burden on one than the other.

    The ideal to strive for is an EQUAL division of domestic labour, EQUAL division of child raring, and EQUAL division of BREAD WINNING.

    We’re not getting around EQUALITY by leaving it up to the people involved, because when we leave it up to individuals, we find “traditional” patterns asserting themselves.

    This new egalitarian policy should be enforced by law and custom. Everyone goes in knowing that everyone is EXPECTED to contribute EQUALLY.

    simple.

    This is why no one who is truly seeking to transform the world, takes movements like feminism and gay rights seriously, because neither challenges the global power structure. Neither dares go up against the real POWER. Such movements only want deeper integration into the existing system.

    This is why they came down so hard on the Black Power movement and have targeted blacks ever since. BP fought for self determination – it was a truly transformative movement, the very thing that whites fear most – because they know that once blacks are free and independent they lose –

    everything.

    No compromise no sell out

    What?

  • chanela

    Very interesting article! i never realized just how underappreciated women are! hell, we should get a check or some coupons or gift cards or some type of compensation after giving birth. that ish is work! no esta facil!

  • Sasha

    It would not be okay if my someday husband was a househusband/ stay-at-home-dad because I would like to be a housewife/ stay-at-home-mom.

  • Terrence

    interesting comment but you’d probably be surprised to know men probably aren’t checking to be in a relationship with you.

  • Mamareese

    Well as long as he didn’t feel imasculated by doing so…hold it down. My experience was this fool let me go to work all day and then was waiting for me to come home and take care of kids, home AND HIM. Yeah, I ran to sign them divorce papers!

  • http://www.lolazabeth.com/ Lola Zabeth

    Very interesting post! I don’t know if this is a gender issue as much as it is an economic issue. There was a period of time when my husband worked from home—not manage-the-household work, but work-work. Even though I knew it was unfair, I expected him to shoulder the bulk of the household management, because after all, he was at home all day. I didn’t matter that I was lacking a Y chromosome, somehow I felt that working outside of the home gave me the right to have a hot-cooked meal waiting for me when I walked through the door.

    On the flip-side, I’ve been that at home mom with two in diapers to boot, and it was no joke–easily the toughest work I’ve ever done. I wasn’t so much wanting my hard work to be acknowledge and appreciated, I just wanted someone to relieve me so I could nap for a couple of hours. *shrugs*

  • Jai

    I’ve actually recently discussed this with my current boyfriend of 3 yrs, I would love for him to be a stay-at-home husband/dad, if my career takes of as projected. He wasn’t too keen on it because he thinks he might get bored. I just don’t think he knows how much goes in to taking care of a household. But he doesn’t have a problem with working part-time, and taking house & home as well, if the financials will work out. I’ve got corner office dreams right now, so I doubt working part-time will be in my best interest, but who knows what the future holds. Either way, I’d just like our future family to be well provided AND nutured for… and I don’t care who, or how that gets divided up between the two of us.

  • QofNewcastle

    This article makes me sick. Our house work has been slashed to nearly nothing thanks to the modern advances. We have dish washers, washing and drying machines, vacuums, televisions to raise our children, etc. We all make a choice as to what type of life we are going to have especially in a country like the US so please lets not use yet ANOTHER opportunity for a pity party. No one forces us to become mothers. Since women divorce men, no one forces us to become divorced single mothers.

    Hosue-husbands? No thanks. Many of us here would like to believe that we can go off to work while our husbands are home with the kids but the resentment will eventually build.

    Lastly these Scandanavian countries are taxed to death. All those perks they have arent free. I wonder how much of their paycheck they actually take home. Personally, as an American, I would rather take home most of the money I make. And another thing, so what if childcare providers get paid crap. They arent doctors, it doesnt take any expertise to mind children and there are a bunch of people who can do it. Some of you act as if you dont understand market forces. Take an Econ class and be quiet.

  • Shea

    If you are a millionaire’s wife I highly doubt you are doing much of aything, maybe the nanny and/maid is who should be getting the kudos

  • Sasha

    @Terrence- And why might that be?

  • Erica

    Thank you

  • LemonNLime

    I think I may have felt this way more when I was younger but as I have grown older not so much.

    I wish people would stop saying being a mother is the hardest job in the world. It’s isn’t, especially in comparison to, oh I don’t know the doctor’s who performed the first full facial transplant or neurosurgeons. No one is forcing you to become a mother, it is YOUR choice to do it. If you choose to fine, but let’s stop acting like it is this crazy difficult job. After all it isn’t like you are raising kids, tilling land, milking cow, planting crops, preparing food, sewing cloths, shearing sheep to make those closes, all while taking care of 7-9 kids. Being a stay at home Mom was hard when my granma was a kid. With modern conveniences there is no reason for housework to be as difficult as people make it out to be. You have laundry every couple of days, dishes, and meals…unless you live like a pig and are CONSTANTLY having to do a full house clean everyday… and if that is case then what are you doing the rest of the time to have such a dirty house? Come talk to me when you are working a part-time/full-time job AND running the house. And considering there are 13y/o that act as child care providers while parents are out for the evening, I don’t think it is a job that demands a 6 figure salary. Just being honest.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    No I would NOT be okay. That just screams laziness on his part. But I do respect housewives. Hypocritical much, yes. Do I care, no!

  • LN

    I have a lot of thoughts on this… so bear with my long comment.

    I agree that equality won’t come until men take on housework. But it also won’t come until women are HONEST about their perceptions of marriage and staying at home.

    I went to a very conservative Christian college, and I heard many classmates (who were 90% white, suburban and middle class) say to me that they were only in college (spending $100,000 on an education no less!) to find a man who could support them. These women were not interested in equality, they were interested in finding a life long financial backer.

    About 60% of the women I graduated from college with (that I know of) stay at home while their husbands support them. And they are LOVING it.

    We need to be honest about the fact that many women — IN THIS DAY AND AGE — see their JOB — their EMPLOYMENT — as finding a man who can support them financially for the rest of their lives. That is why they spend inordinate amounts of money on their appearance. It’s an investment. And sadly, this pursuit has nothing to do with finding a suitable environment for their children to be raised in. It’s about finding a lifelong financial backer.

    My younger sister, who is very good-looking, fell into the wrong crowd in college and, for a while, started hanging out with golddiggers. She was a division 1 athlete, so alot of the guys she met were division 1 athletes. It was disturbing to hear how she negotiated her relationships, “So and so is good looking, but he probably won’t be drafted to the NFL, so I think I’m going to date so and so, who’s definitely going to be a top draft pick for the NBA.” Like, she and her friends would LITERALLY compare the athletic statistics of their romantic prospects online to determine who had the most lucrative future in professional sports. CRAZY!

    My sister is good now, after one too many run-ins with abusive athlete boyfriends, she gave up that life and is in law school now (thank you Jesus!) but it was eye opening.

    As much as we hate to admit it, we as women are partially to blame for the inequality. These women who are pursuing a man to support them financially don’t believe in the ‘nobility of childrearing’. They see children as insurance for their lifestyles, and so denigrate the importance and the gravitas of child rearing. This is true of women who pursue athletes, politicians, doctors, engineers, lawyers, dentists, popular musicians, basically any guy who makes a good living.

  • Perspective

    These articles contradict themselves. Its like – either black women are carrying the race by themselves, make more money than men, can’t find anyone so they’re not in relationships anyway.

    Or, NOW, black women are stay at home moms holding down the fort while the man goes out here and gets the BACON – which one is it? Either way I see women complaining.

    If the women are out there working in corporate America they’re complaining about that – and men not manning up. If they’re mom and corporate its a – “we can do it by ourselves we don’t need no man” argument. If the man is handling business as men should – women now complain that men are controlling and women want to have their own agency (ability to make personal decisions)

    FINE! we get it. Women are never satisfied – but this is what I’m more concerned about.

    WHO’S SUPPOSED TO BE BUILDING UP THE COMMUNITY?

    If this article is debating or suggesting that black men do house chores or be house husbands (which is a dumb debate) I thought last month we were’t getting married – Ok this week we’re talking about the 30 percent of black households ok. Gotta keep up. I can’t keep up with black women they change like the breeze. Ok now we’re here – black women in the house = No good. Black man need to be a house dad while SHE gets the bacon.

    Hmmm I have a strong sense – “HE NEEDS TO MAN-UP” is going to be her trump card when she gets tired of bringing home the bacon and he’s just the house dad – but that’s beside my main point.

    I just want to know who’s going to be building up the community.

    I mean we seem to have a lot of strong independent black women out here. How come I don’t see them kicking out the Asians and Arabs who are operating businesses in the black community? I mean if they are fully CAPABLE why aren’t they doing it. I mean isn’t that what black men SHOULD BE DOING – Not saying we are, we actually are doing a pretty bad job of it, but I’m saying – If the women are BETTER and more CAPABLE, why aren’t they doing it.

    Ohhh :-( That’s right I can’t charge you with it because it’s not your job as women. Its men’s job to build up the community and protect it.

    Ok – So if that’s our job (not saying we’re doing it) then how are we supposed to take care of home and household if we’re supposed to be out there in the streets BUILDING UP OUR COMMUNITY?

    I guess we’re supposed to be in 2 places at once? Remember building is not women’s job! At least if we try to charge ya’ll with it.

  • Dreaming

    Terrence Please do tell how you have arrived at such an erroneous view, because I have experienced quite the opposite.

  • http://Lianaandmason.com/dollhouse Liana

    My husband is currently a SAHD since being laid off 2 years ago. He’s also an Ivy grad and has a Wharton MBA. It doesn’t bother him in the least though it bothers me since I have the West Indian mentality that all able bodied people need to work to bring in income to keep the wolf away from the door. But in my company, there are a really amazing number of women in my situation whose husbands manage child/home responsibility while wives have the corporate careers. It works.

    Yet my feeling is that being a SAHP is not a job that requires graduate degrees. To me if that is your aspiration, why bother going through all the drama and stress of graduate training if you aren’t going to use it? I feel the same way whether the person is male or female. One of my close friends from college went through med school and residency, the hardest experiences of my life, and after practicing for 6 months gave it all up to be a SAHM. To me I’m like why did you go through the hell of that training in order to just give it all up? It’s been almost 20 years and she’s never returned to pediatric practice. Seems like a waste of a residency training slot.

  • Perspective

    I swear women don’t get it – They are driving the PRODUCTIVITY of men INTO THE GROUND.

    The more women advocate this SIMP ASS behavior from black men – the further in the whole we go and women don’t even get it.

    The very system of welfare will collapse – yes the welfare and other social programs that women and single mother need.

    That money does NOT come out of thin air. It comes from the paychecks of men and women who are working, but women who encourage this simp ass behavior from men and boys often times get it, resent it later – especially when they see those other races of women who GOT with the program of their men, didn’t disrupt the social contract between men and women, and are living comfortably. That’s when it gets to black women – but that’s not even my point.

    The system of welfare will collapse because you have more women taking money OUT of the system, that you have PRODUCTIVE men putting money into the system.

    Women are not hiring themselves, and even when they are in a position to do so, they DO NOT CREATE THEIR OWN JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES.

    MOST DO NOT!

    They are dependent on what men create, but as time goes on – when men aren’t productive, jobs will decline, we enter recessions, women can’t find jobs, and are now more dependent on welfare, but there’s no jobs to even hire men, or men with the incentive to create jobs because they’re all encourage to be a bunch of WHIMPS by women and then what happens?

    Welfare and other support services for women collapse because women don’t even have enough productive men to extract money from.

    Its like back in the 60s women would get pregnant by a man – go down to the court house and get her child support and demand more EVERY PAY INCREASE.

    (Keep in mind men can’t BUILD UP a community when they are strapped for case or paying out exorbitant child support fees) You really want me to believe you are spending $1000 or more on a child a month. PLEASE!

    Gee that’s a nice purse!

    Anyhoo, Today – you have women who get with men who get their money ILLEGALLY have a baby by him but guess what? He’s not on the books! He’s invisible to uncle sam, there are no FUNDS FOR HER TO GARNER.

    And eventually the whole system will become like that. Men either not working, unproductive, or not on the books because of illegal activity – and women who have the baby and no way to redeem anything.

    You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Abolish stay at home parasite –

    get a job.

  • LemonNLime

    “I went to a very conservative Christian college, and I heard many classmates (who were 90% white, suburban and middle class) say to me that they were only in college (spending $100,000 on an education no less!) to find a man who could support them. These women were not interested in equality, they were interested in finding a life long financial backer.”

    At my school we called that pursuing and graduating with an MRS. degree rather than a BA or BS.

  • LN

    @LemonNLime… Girl, yes! The MRS degree. I had come from Jamaica to the US for a college education, yet most of the women I encountered in college were just looking for a man. They got expensive “fluff” degrees, like ‘Christian Studies’ but spent most of their time dating around and, when they got engaged, planning weddings.

    That mindset, to me, is one of the most dangerous threats to equality in men and women’s rights, because men begin to feel that, if their financially backing someone, they get to call the shots (the recent political debate on contraception and women’s pay are perfect examples).

    When women give up/entrust their economic security to someone else, they’re also giving up some of their political voice.

  • LN

    @LemonNLime… Girl, yes! The MRS degree. I had come from Jamaica to the US for a college education, but most of the women I encountered in college were just looking for a man. They got expensive “fluff” degrees, like ‘Christian Studies’ but spent most of their time dating around and, when they got engaged, planning weddings.

    That mindset, to me, is one of the most dangerous threats to equality in men and women’s rights, because men begin to feel that, if their financially backing someone, they get to call the shots (the recent political debate on contraception and women’s pay are perfect examples).

    When women give up/entrust their economic security to someone else, they’re also giving up some of their political voice.

  • http://kelly.hogaboom.org Kelly

    My husband was the at-home dad for a year. He reports he got the BENEFITS of sexism. People calling him “superdad” for doing it, for changing a diaper, etc. In our culture and group, he was status’d and respected. But, this was a minority situation.

    Tami, your words mean a lot. Liberal and conservative lipservice to at-home work sting because social realities don’t back that up.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    A stay at home parasite probably has the same mentality as women who become single mothers. They believe that having children is the only “contribution” they can make to society.

    Single mothers case is mitigated by the fact that in many instances women become single mothers because they feel excluded from the kinds of opportunity that allow upward social mobility – and they’re right to feel that way. The most unequal societies eg AMERICA, produce the most single mothers, the most crime, the most mental illness – the most everything bad.

    Stay at home freeloader, on the other hand, is just a mindless oaf of a woman who uses her sex and her womb as a meal ticket.

    Well, the world doesn’t need any more babies/people and there’s plenty of work for everyone to do.

    Get a job that suits your “gifts” – working as a WORKING WOMAN’S maid/nanny if you wanna stay in someone’s home.

    :-)

  • Socially Maladjusted

    @Laina

    my comment was not response to yours, Hit the wrong reply button.

  • QCastle

    @Liana

    My problem is that your friend took a space in medical school that could have gone to a man who would STILL be working and providing health care to society. It was a complete waste. Who paid for her training? I hope it wasnt the tax payers.

  • Steamer

    I’m so glad that you stood up for yourself. I admire that. I noticed in the list of things you mentioned that you weren’t one of the priorities that were expected for you to care for. Well, I’m assuming that you were expected to do all of those things, AND keep yourself healthy, AND presentable while not becoming burnt out from all of those demands on your psyche or complaining about these imposed expectations.

    You can only do the juggling act for so long before things start to fall and before you know it, you aren’t juggling anymore.

    Self-care is so important because if you can’t take care of yourself you aren’t effective in taking care of others.

  • Hushpuppies

    Having trouble with the rhetoric of this piece. Can someone explain how the the pulled Drake quote is relevant? The meaning behind it isn’t discussed in the article.

  • Steamer

    My understanding to this issue is that it’s not so much that as a woman I want or need to be treated like a man. I’m not one and I’d be insulted for someone to look past the gender constriction that has been put on me by my environment. By my outward appearance alone, people see me and know that I am a woman. I, personally, do not want to be equal to a man. I want equity; to be separate, but equal.

    I will be starting graduate school this summer and earning a degree that will enable me to have financial security in a way that my mother never did. My mother worked part time and raised three kids while my father worked full time. We never went without, but I wonder sometimes if my mother would have left him if she would have been able to afford raising us on her own. I have this feeling that the control over finances is just another form of power that the immature partner can use to try and elevate him or herself above the value they see in his or her mate. From this point, I feel that economic control could be the pushed to the extreme and may lead to domestic violence.

  • Perspective

    Do you think the Marines would all you in the military if you really told them that you were a pacisfist and once you got on the battlefield after weeks of rigourous training that you didn’t intend to fire one shot. You wanted a be a marine for the sake of being a marine and all the prestige that comes along with it, but you had no intention of actually going out here doing what you were trained to do based on the limited number of available seats.
    What if you were the admissions director of a public medical school and your state had a severe shortage of physicians. You knew that it was the obligation of the school as a duty to the taxpayers to provide decent, qualified medical professionals to the community, but what if you know that a prospective student had no intentions of practicing medicine after graduation. They simply wanted the prestige of being a doctor or were whimsikle in their conviction towards providing a service to the community. You saw that they didn’t have the passion for medicine that would be required for society and the community to get the best return on investment. What would you do? Would you choose that woman/male as a medical student or would you choose someone else who really wanted to be knee deep in some of the most healthcare depreived areas, which is the new mission objective of the school?

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Yes this article is on point! The thing I love about is that it gets to the truth of things…it’s just real. People only say they value it because that’s what you’re supposed to say. And they only value it when it is the woman doing it because it reinforces gender stereotypes while simultaneously subordinating women, in order to uphold the privilege of men

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    @ LN…+1..very good points

  • http://harperdavis.hubpages.com Harper

    Wow, very good article and very relevant to our times!

    My thoughts are we should be very sensitive to the fact that life happens. I would *NEVER* ever put my man down, call his stupid things like “Mr. Mom” or say he’s babysitting our own children (how the heck does that work anyway, babysitting your OWN kids). While I don’t see myself willingly being the official breadwinner while he stayed at home if there were no definite reason, I don’t mind it in the least if he were to get sick or laid off.

    This reminds me of a particularly vile woman who ripped her husband to shreds on national television. She actually said she had no respect for him for being unable to find a job and having to take care of the home while she worked. I’m not knocking her personal feelings, but to tear him down publicly and see the look on his face hurt me deeply and I don’t even know the people!

  • Tiffany

    Please don’t have children…EVER.

  • O’Phylia

    I know this will warrant so many eyerolls and “ughs,” but dang it if I found a man willing to stay home with the kids, then I might actually have kids. A stay at home dad would be a blessing.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

    …And for that reason, Ann Romney needs to shut the entire hell up!

  • dhonesty1

    i don’t mind my man if i had one staying at home to watch our children.. i’m a single mom and i go to work 9am-5pm. i get up @ 645am, get this kid ready, drop my kid off, then head to work, commute is over 1hr. when i get off, again commute is 1hr, then i get my kid and I’m helping my kid w/the hw, then i’m cooking, cleaning a lil, doing hw cause i’m back in school and i don’t have time to do anything else.. this is mon-fri.. on the wend i’m taking my kid to activities.. if i had a stay at home husband he could be the taking our child to school and picking him up, helping w/hw, no after school program.. when i get home i could help cook or food can just be ready and i’lll pick up the rest of the slack on the wkend.. that would be awesome

  • ms_micia

    Verry good comment. Right on.

  • au napptural

    People just don’t know. Raising kids PROPERLY is the hardest job in the world. Nothing is easier than to sit than in front of the tv and feed them fast food, but raising black children with self-love in this racist world? Preparing for scholastic challenges, fighting off the attempts of teachers to put in remedial classes, medicate them to death, or label them “bad”, checking over work, instilling them with self-confidence, watching out for negative influences, taking care of them when they are sick (or god forbid disabled?), possibly homeschooling, etc.? Yea, I have no clue what idiot thinks that is easy.

    If my husband had the inclination I would love for him to be a SAHD. Don’t let other people ruin you happiness. I myself want to stay home with my children for at least 5 yrs., though I’d probably work from my home as well. I’m a writer so I can :). I also plan on homeschooling. But if I was asked to head up a top magazine or something, I’d want my children to have the benefit of an at home parent.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    That would be just fine as long as it wouldn’t be a lifelong goal. I’m not cut out for the stay-at-home life.

    Men know it’s important; there’s just no benefit for them in reference to other men if they acknowledge the importance. So they usually don’t, at least not verbally. There is still a constant downplaying of the unpaid labour of the home.

  • phoebe

    There is a saying like this “Only one himself knows if the shoes match his feet or not”。If you really love her /him, race, color or age. ain’t nothing but a number for these loved-up A-Listers. My BF and I both think so! He is a banker .We met via ___Blackwhiteplanet,,C0′M____, a nice place for women and men who have much money, Ever feel that you would best enjoy someone who is in your group? If u are really interested in it, maybe u wanna check it out or tell your friends.

  • phoebe

    Are you still single?? Here to find Soul Mate,meet cool interracial friends and someone single special—>B’l’a’c’k’W’h’i’t’e’P’l’a’n’e’t.c’0′m<-
    ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ Where To Seek The  Serious Relationship?
    Where  To Enjoy  The  Wealthy And Romantic Feeling?
    Where  Has The Best  Service  Fame?Interracial single LIKE Black, White girls and men ?
    It’s  Here! –

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    Thanks phoebe. I don’t like bankers. Do you have astronauts or neurosurgeons? I rather like those. They better be tall and handsome too!

  • arlette

    People may dissagree with me but i also think it has a lot to do with feminism.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    @Perspective and QON

    I thought taxes came from people who pay taxes. Well since the working masses foot most of the tax bill why are they are not entitled to have the taxes they pay spent on the services they need?

    Where do you people want the taxes spent – building more jails, on the military? Or you are trying to save money for something, if so –

    what?

    And what the hell relevence does taxes in Sweden have to do with this conversation? The tax system in Sweden is the one the Swedes decided on and created for themselves. Most people in Sweden seem to feel well served by paying high taxes because it delivers a decent standard of living for all its citizens. Everybody pays high taxes so everybody has better quality of life.

    What is a tax system supposed to do if not provide services to the masses of people to improve their quality of life?

    jokers

    people chat a load of shit.

    Contrast that with the american system where the people (and institutions) who can afford to pay the most tax – pay the least tax, but demand the most from the tax payer, while bemoaning the NEGLIBLE amount of tax money spent on people who actually DO PAY THEIR taxes.

    shut the hell up.

    You aint got a clue what you’re talking about.

  • iQgraphics

    ^ ^ ^ so much for moderation ^ ^ ^

  • iQgraphics

    it is my goal to eventually stay at home and make lots of babies. grow veggies, teach the babies, keep a wonderful and productive environment for my family etc…

    Childrearing and housekeeping ARE important.

    No men wouldn’t do them… its not for them to do.
    Women are supreme at it.

  • Ms. Terious

    I’m sorry, but you really need to get a life. You are obsessed with this site. What do YOU do to make ends meet? I sincerely hope this site is paying you. I would love to see some of you trolls in real life just to put a face with the creepiness.

    (sorry to come at your neck, but you’re really annoying.) haha!

  • Sidi

    If only we could get that girl! Keep your head up…we are in SAME exact boat….

  • Michele

    I have four friends whose husbands have either opted or been forced to leave jobs and now stay at home. The working-outside-the-home women STILL do a disproportionate amount of childrearing and household duties, in spite of the fact that there is an adult at home full-time and the kids are in school most of the day. When I ask I get answers like, “I really like to grocery shop and cook all the meals” and “My husband is training for a triathelon and needs at least 5 hours a day in the gym” or “He just doesn’t clean it the way I want him to.” Of course that is just my small experience with it and the women who choose to continue to run themselves ragged are responsible for that aspect. But doesn’t it seem strange that I don’t know of a single stay-at-home mom who gets a pass on household responsibilities because she needs 5 hours a day in the gym?! I have always thought that staying at home was an equal opportunity and it didn’t matter who did it- if you could afford to have one parent be at home, of course it was worth it. But given these examples, I’m starting to reconsider my position.

  • sahm

    I agree with you and I AM married to a neurosurgeon- I choose to stay home- I gave up my career and don’t regret it- I do some freelance work from home along with the normal household stuff. I said just yesterday that my gig is pretty easy compared to his- he looked at our screaming, teething toddler who I was comforting and said- no way! He’d rather be operating-for him, that is easy! Yes, I know I am fortunate to have this choice- even more fortunate is the fact that my husband DOES appreciate what I do and actually pitches in- he helps- cooks and cleans and is an involved daddy- he can change a mean diaper and remove a brain tumor all in a days work… I do not think I would want to be at home if my husband didn’t appreciate my contributions to our family- it may not be monetary but it is significant- and as he points out- if I was to return to work- we would be paying a lot for child care- he even jokes that he couldn’t afford to pay someone to look after our kid 24/7…no, it isn’t hard to be a stay at home mom, or dad for that matter, but it DOES count and it should be valued more in this country but again, you are right- it ain’t brain surgery… ;)

  • Mimi

    The author used the lyric because it was referring to Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is entitled to half of Kobe’s fortune. A lot of people thought that Vanessa did not deserve half of his fortune, ever since she didn’t work for it. But other people thought that she did deserve the money, ever since she was a stay-at-home parent who was taking care of their two daughters.

  • Pingback: Weekly Feminist Reader

  • http://Www.andreagyoung.wordpress.com Andrea

    My ex husband and I both work. He actually took equal days off for sick kids, appointments, etc., and shared that responsibility with me. One of the (numbered) reasons he was given for being laid off was how he took too many sick days for the kids. I couldn’t believe they had the guts to actually give that as a reason. I think dads taking care of the kids is not a good enough reason to neglect work and that the company felt it was a good enough reason to get rid of him.

  • abracadabra

    My 5 year old son is a real boy’s boy with no particular encouragement from his father or me — very much in trucks and cars, balls, and rough housing. But he has also consistently talked more about having babies, including naming them and planning for them, than my daughter (which is surprising because we really don’t spend much time around babies at all), including asking for his own baby doll that he has kept for a couple of years now. The other morning, he told me that all he wanted to be when he grew up was a dad, nothing else.

    Though I have been a stay-at-home/work part time/flex time mom, I was a little taken aback (his dad is a very engaged care taker but has always worked a regular 8-5 job). I think (hope) it is just because it was never my intention, dream, or desire to be a stay-at-home parent — it worked out best for us at the time, I was happy to do it, but I went back to work because I wanted to not because I had to. In other words, I think it is a perfectly respectable choice to make, it just isn’t something I understanding being one’s goal at 5 (I wanted to be a pilot/doctor at 5 and didn’t have a much use for babies until I actually had them). I said that was a fine choice to make but that he needed to train to do something else just in case he needed to do it.

  • Andy

    My husband’s willingness to stay at home/be the primary caretaker of whatever children we may have is one of the many reasons I married him.

  • Rob

    If I was making more money/my career could not be put on hold, I would work. If my partner was making more money or had room to grow in their company, they would be the one to work. Simple as that.

    The thought of staying at home with children excites me. Luckily, I live in a province where paternity leave exists. I would definitely take a year with the kids and allow my partner to work and then switch. I don’t feel as if it is beneficial for either the kids or the parent to have only 1 stay at home full time- switch it up for the adult’s sanity!

  • Pingback: QUICKIES 04/23/2012 - Queereka

  • Hannah

    I would have absolutely no problems with my husband taking a more direct role in our home and raising our future children (as we currently have none). However I would also enjoy taking this role myself. As it stands right now I think it would just depend on availability and on who has the potential to make more money outside of the home.

  • Marce

    I encountered this thinking in a college course with a required textbook that turned out to be quite eye-opening: The Second Shift. Of course, there was one married white male in the class who completely refused to read the book (hello, instant fail, were it me grading that course!) and then argued with the teacher about it for the next 3 class sessions. Um, you haven’t read it, STFU. I have very few doubts his wife was at home lollygagging through her day of taking care of all the housework, chores about town, and probable childcare. He stank of so much privilege I found myself wanting to move further across the room from him.

  • Aisha

    I think the only way a stay-at-home-dad situation could work is if the woman had a predominantly masculine core where she was comfortable being the primary or sole provider. And the guy had a more feminine, nurturing nature. But if you pair a feminine woman with a man like this, it will bring about disaster.

  • TB

    The choice of who stays home with the children is also strongly influenced by whose income can be sacrificed, if any at all. Unfortunately, we live in a society where, on average, a woman still earns much less than a man, currently about 77 cents on every dollar. Therefore, it’s not just our perception of what is appropriate for each gender that determines our choice of houseparent. We are constricted by our economic reality of pay inequity stemming from sexism and the devaluation of women’s work everywhere, not just in the home.

  • http://MAMMYX.com MAMMY X

    I agree with all that Tami said. But I would add that men and women both undervalue those who provide childcare because they simply do not believe that job is all that important. Even if more men were employed as daycare workers, the mentality that working folk have about the pecking order of jobs would not automatically change. For instance, people don’t really consider daycare owners entrepreneurs. They don’t consider daycare centers real businesses — even though they provide one of the most significant services on the planet. Both men and women who work outside their homes or from their homes feel elitist next to daycare providers. That tells us a hell of a lot about American society. I know way too many middle class folk who drive luxury cars and get their hair and nails done regularly and eat out more than they eat at home, but try to find the cheapest daycare centers in town to leave what should be their most precious gifts — their children. And they leave them at those cheapest centers all day — from 6 or 7 in the morning until 5 or 6 in the afternoon while they do the oh-so-important jobs of teaching at real schools or being a nurse or, heaven forbid, a doctor or lawyer. They just put no value on the work of providing child care — no matter who does it. Granted men have been directed away from jobs that have typically been held by women – often because they have been socialized to be the primary breadwinner and they prefer higher paying jobs. But if we really valued our children, we would want to pay the folk who keep them at least as much as we make — no matter what their gender. They deserve to live as comfortably as the parents of the children they keep — if not more comfortably given the difficulty of their job. We don’t give a damn that they barely get paid enough to get by; and that says a lot about what we truly value in this society.

  • Medusa

    LoL…. you don’t care that you’re a hypocrite?

  • Pingback: Child Care | All Things Latin

Latest Stories

Hashtivism: See How Twitter Took Over #myNYPD to Highlight Police Brutality

by

V.O.T.D: “Thugs, The Musical!”

by

Open Thread: Did You Watch “The Boondocks” Season Premiere?

by

Paul Ryan to Meet With CBC to Clear Up Racially Insensitive Comments

by
Read previous post:
Who Needs Feminism?
Fleeting Moments of Clarity
Close