|Taken from article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/weekinreview/20parkerpope.html?ref=men|
By TARA PARKER-POPE
Published: June 19, 2010
In response to some new studies on parental stress, one New York Times author comments on the expectations of heterosexual parents based on gender. As society (and mothers) begin to expect fathers to devote more time to the home, they are beginning to have trouble finding the family-work equilibrium that mothers have been trying to perfect for decades. Joan C. Williams explains that "This is a pretty sensitive indicator of the rise of the new ideal of the good father as a nurturing father, not just a provider father." Despite this new standard, men are generally not allowed as much time off of work as women when it comes to their kids, even though they want to be involved with their children more than ever. They can not take nearly as much leave as mothers can after having a baby, except for a few choice countries such as Iceland in which they receive only a third of the time off as their female counterparts. Even as men begin to take on more responsibilities at home, many studies show that things that a man might see as household work are often not taken into account when his wife mentally calculates his contribution. Men do not have as much experience or as many role models in this new-found world of male parenting and housekeeping, and so are struggling to keep up and meet expectations.
After centuries of women's struggles to make their way into a world of work and business which has traditionally been dominated by men, at what point is it time for men to begin forging their way into traditional female territory? Do you think it will be as difficult for men to step into the household as it has been for women to do the reverse, and do you think that it is as important to fight for a man's right to be a part of his family as it is to fight for a woman's right to be a part of the workplace?