Money = Power = Masculinity ??
By Peg Johnston • February 02, 2007•Sexism, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Discrimination
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Miss Feasance February 22, 2007
I saw the same presentation on TV and also first thought to myself - who cares about salary? But one recurring theme that came up was the idea that whoever is making more money should have less responsibility for caring for the home/children. I’ve also noticed that with the recent hike in salaries for law firms, I’ve heard a bit about a corresponding possibility of a hike in minimum hours. So, to the extent that salary corresponds to the quantity of work done - shouldn’t salary matter to home life? Shouldn’t men making less be expected to do more around the house? And are they?
KHernan881 March 02, 2007
If men aren’t doing more housework are you conceding that housework is inherently feminine or at the least culturally feminine? If that’s the case, than is making the money and that related release from housework duties masculine?
Miss Feasance March 03, 2007
Yes I think that women generally do more housework than men (there’s an interesting article on that at http://www.careerjournal.com/columnists/workfamily/20050520-workfamily.html). And yes, I think that housework is culturally feminine. I do think that perception is starting to change but there has been a long history of women being responsible for the home and change takes time. One place I believe perceptions have changed is that it is inherently masculine to work outside the home and bring in a paycheck. That being said, I don’t know how I feel about the correlation between paycheck and housework. There’s the argument I made above about salary representing time and I buy that to a certain extent. But when housework includes rearing children, that argument breaks down - I would think that ideally parents should be involved regardless of paycheck size.
KHernan881 March 05, 2007
There is an interesting post on http://www.feministing.com related to this conversation. It seems that working women do more housework as a result of marrying (a man) and working men do less housework as a result of forming this so-called partnership of marriage.
Elizabeth March 07, 2007
In 1970, Pat Mainardi wrote an interesting piece on why women end up doing more housework, even when their significant others are committed to an equal relationship: The Politics of Housework. Her points are still quite relevant, over 35 years later.