Friday, October 1, 2010

Gender and Status Messages

If your husband makes dinner, takes care of the kids, does some cleaning in the house- that is NOT a reason to post a giddly schoolgirlish facebook status update. 

Do you ever wonder why women still have such a shitty lot when we make up half the population? I mean it makes sense in some parts of the world but in America women are as or more educated than men (more women earned phDs last year than men), have significant economic capital and live in a society where there is no real need to be attached to a man. (Although there is social pressure, most of it is self-imposed by women on themselves)

Yet, we make less money, have less prestige in the workforce and carry the majority of the burden of managing the home, even when we are working. Many women shirk promotions or leave their careers all together because they can no longer balance their work and personal responsibilities. 

When I look around at the couples in the South Asian community that I am part of, a fair deal of the women are now making more than their husbands. (Not because they are higher paid in their respective fields in comparison to men, but because they are in higher paying fields than their husbands.) But when it comes to one partner having to leave the work-force when it is time to have a family, it is the woman who does. Or both will continue to work and use a third party to help with child-rearing responsibilities. But what I don't see is men leaving their jobs, even in the cases that it makes economic sense to do so. 

I know women who LOVE being homemakers. I can completely understand that. In fact, I would love to be a homemaker one day. I think it is an admirable role in our society and I also think it can be a lot of fun for people who are suited for it.  So, this isn't an issue of men should be doing this, this and this and women should be princesses and not have any role. Every individual should play a meaningful part in society but to the extent possible, this role should not be externally determined. 

So, ladies before you post how awesome your husband is for making dinner, think of whether you want to to keep feeding a system in which men's participation in the private sphere is praised and continues to be seen as a one-off opposed to being just one more part of being equal partners in a relationship. 


  1. Hi, great post!!! I agree- why isn't it a given in this society? I am choosing to stay at home with my son- and I love it but its also weird since I'm used to earning money since I was 16 years old. . . now that I am home I do take on more of the responsibility because I feel I should, but it amazes me when my mom goes so emotional when K cleans up, or does laundry or leoads the dishwasher- um, he should? LOL

    I need to figure out whats wrong with my google reader, but as soon as I do I'm adding ya on :) Great stuff.

  2. AND- don't even get me started on facebook, LOL

  3. Thanks Aisha. Yeah I feel like I could write a treatise on fb but then I use it so much!


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