She’s Bringing Home The Bacon,
He’s Frying It In The Pan.
A recent NY Times article highlighted a growing trend: stay-at-home dads. These men are not the stereotypical Mr. Mom-type dads. These are men who have embraced household challenges and bucked traditional gender roles while bringing a new perspective to parenting.
“Whoever has more time can take on the domestic role,” says Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of the new novel Triburbia. “There isn’t any shame or even any social awkwardness.”
This increase in fathers who have chosen to be the at-home parent stems from several current economic trends. Approximately 40% of women earn more than their spouses, and the economic downturn that began in 2008 has pushed more men out of work. These facts, along with increasing costs of child care, have led many couples to designate one parent to stay home. This decision-making process may be based on either income, job satisfaction or a combination.
The most interesting noted aspect is Dad’s adaptation: men are taking on their newfound responsibilities with gusto. Shucking off the past stigma of the emasculated male who is unable to find a job, these dads have no shame in choosing to take a larger role in the rearing of their children. They bring their traditionally-male skills to the task, woodworking to build toys from scratch and being more hands-on creative in their problem solving.
Gender equality is not just about making women’s rights be equal to men’s rights, but to make men’s roles equal to women’s.