Excerpted from The Atlantic: Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality
Men’s absence from the conversation about work and life is strange, because decisions about who works and who takes care of the children, and who makes the money and how the money is spent, are not decided by women alone or by some vague and impersonal force called society.
In March, The Pew Research Center found that about half of all working parents say it’s difficult to balance career and family responsibilities, with “no significant gap in attitudes between mothers and fathers.
The average working-class guy has the strange experience of belonging to a gender that is railed against for having a lock on power, even as he has none of it.
The current arrangement serves almost nobody’s interests. And yet it may be harder to break than older modes of sexism. The struggles articulated by The Second Sex and The Feminine Mystique and The Female Eunuch were broadly oppositional—women against men, young against old, feminists against the existing structures of power.
Today, men and women are not facing off on a battleground so much as stuck together in a maze of contradictions.
…Yes, there are the occasional pieces in newspapers and magazines by new fathers—a genre that at times seems more oriented toward establishing one’s literary machismo than toward engaging in substantive dialogue—but men have generally failed to make themselves heard.