with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
Behold a new term in the realm of the American domestic lingo: the “househusband.”
I am not sure if the NY Times will take credit for inventing a new word and adding it into the mix - perhaps they were somewhat uninspired and just swapped “husband” for “wife” in the much-more-used “housewife” (which these days might cause some level of nausea, depending on who you ask).
It is a blog-like exchange between David Brooks and Gail Collins, as they discuss the changing landscape of American domesticity and - by extension - gender roles.
Are “househusbands” really the future (as the title suggests)?
I have to say that in my current company, I would provide a resounding NO. Not only are most of my colleagues men, nearly all of the mens’ wives do not work (and stay at home with their multiple children).
But I would seem to be in the minority, as the blog-exchange relates, and as the unemployment and employment statistics state fairly clearly: many more men have been laid off and are out of work and women now outnumber men in the workforce.
Having been laid off myself (for 4 months), I know the mental impact it can have (even after being re-employed), but what does it mean for a family to say that it makes more sense for the man to stay home full time?
In the Times piece, Brooks says that women/mothers are more “naturally nurturing” - do you agree? Does a man become emasculated if he cannot work (or if his family situation dictates that he should not work and allow his wife to make all the money)?
I would guess that it depends on the man. I don’t know if I would feel emascualted, per se, but I do know it would be extremely discouraging to be unable to work - though perhaps I am ignorant in this thought process.
I do know that in our broad circle of friends, I’ve only met one stay-at-home dad (or “househusband”), and while I’m not sure what that means as far as the trends in the rest of the country, I am eager to find out whether this will indeed become a movement - that us guys must be able to be the domestic, nurturing ones because the gender seesaw has tipped the other way…perhaps permanently.
Do you have or know a househusband? How does it work and what do you think about the future of mister moms?
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