IT ISN’T just political beliefs that are affected by the threat of accepted gender roles being reversed – the division of household labour gets skewed too.
In a paper published in About Gender, which focused on the division of household chores between married couples who were both earning a salary, it’s shown that men who earn less than their wives, do less housework.
The greater the difference in income, the less chores the husband does.
Doesn’t make sense now, does it?
You’d think that if one partner earns less, and therefore makes less of a contribution to the household expenses, they would pick up the slack at home, right?
Looks like if the woman is bringing home the bacon, she then has to fry it up, serve it, and clean up afterwards too.
Could this be a way of making up for the fact that the wife has somehow hurt her husband’s ego by being the primary breadwinner?
Some sort of atonement?
Are women trying to protect their husband’s masculinity by doing more of what are perceived as women’s responsibilities in the home?
Not all is lost
Even though a survey experiment showed that threats to men’s masculinity made them less supportive of powerful women when it comes to politics, there were some groups, particularly those with young liberal men, who showed greater support for a powerful woman.
Also, in the housework study, even though men spent generally less time doing housework, they did spend more time cooking – an activity which seems to have become more acceptable for men to do more of.
But what does this mean for relationships?
In an article for Planting Money Seeds, Miranda Marquit talks about the fact that she earns more bucks than her husband does.
She also says that, while he sometimes gets teased by their neighbours, he’s still very open about who earns more money and is incredibly supportive of her career.
But Miranda does acknowledge that not every relationship is like this.
According to The Atlantic, there’s evidence to suggest that women who earn more money are a lot less likely to get married.
And if they do get married, they’re more likely to be unhappy in their marriage – and more likely to get divorced.
No wonder so many women give up their careers or dial down their goals and aspirations in order to be a better wife and mum.
This is, frankly, just sad.
. Would you want to live in a house and be part of a marriage that’s unhappy because you dared to try and be successful at your job?
. Why should your successful career mean that your home life has to suffer because of gender roles that were assigned to us all before we were even thought of?
. Perhaps, we need to talk about and change the fact that men still feel pressured by the ridiculous standards that have been imposed on them and how it affects their female partners.
. Perhaps we need to open a discussion about why we still seem to uphold these sort of values instead of accepting that women are not just allowed to be successful, but have earned the right to be and do so.