A report by the Families and Work Institute has clued into the fact that men are still pressured by society’s rigid gender roles to be the primary breadwinner even while being primary caregiver.
Even though many women work and contribute to the family income, the report says that “men have retained the ‘traditional Male Mystique’–the pressure to be the primary financial providers for their families.” At the same time, they don’t want to be the distant dads of the 1950s.
“Men today view the ‘ideal’ man as someone who is not only successful as a financial provider, but is also involved as a father, husband-partner and son. Yet flat earnings, long hours, increasing job demands, blurred boundaries between work and home life and declining job security all contribute to the pressures men face to succeed at work and at home and thus to work-family conflict,” said the report.
You know, all of this is fixable via feminism, wherein feminists attack the rigid gender roles that provide the framework for the many disadvantages of being a man. It seems counterintuitive if you think that gender roles are fine, and somehow it’s just that those damn women aren’t picking up the slack or are intentionally manipulating things so that men do everything and they reap the rewards — e.g., the MRA line of reasoning. Never mind that feminism has been fighting for the ability to do the same jobs and make the same money as men and, despite great strides toward equality, still make far less, are given far fewer raises (despite asking as often), and need more work experience before they’re even hired on to a position than men do, on balance.
That men are making inroads into being considered their children’s caregivers is undoubtedly good, but society as a whole has little actual structure in place to deal with people “dual-classing” with work and child-rearing simultaneously.
Not to mention how work has gotten more and more demanding over time! I can’t remember the last time I actually had significant (e.g. more than 48 hrs) notice before having to do an overnight, or the last time I could simply ignore my work phone when it went off outside of vacation time, or the last week that I only put in 40 hrs without doing *something* extra. Sometimes a lot, in fact. Unpaid of course, because I’m salary.
Work-life balance is eroding, and men often don’t have adequate structures to be able to take over the traditionally-female role of child-rearing. Women likewise have major disincentives against working, with the lack of equal pay. It’s like society’s tilts against women actually also disadvantage men or something! Gee willickers, nobody ever saw that one coming!