Gender Equality

I was going to post this last week but my free time just got away from me. Which happens a lot when you’re a stay-at-home parent. Which is all Kool and The Gang. I like doing what I do. When it comes to my boys I’m the best childcare money can buy. Well, that would imply that I get paid for this. Which I don’t. Even though I should. And, yes, I am aware that women have been making this point for years. But, now I’m making it so from my perspective it’s kind of official.

One of the bigger stories of the past week or two, government spying and conservative paranoia (and also spying) aside, is the revelation that women are the main or sole breadwinners now in some 40% of American households. “Breadwinner” is a term I’ve never been in love with especially since I got off wheat. “Beer and Bongload winner” is a lot cooler and, to be honest, I think more relevant for most of us. At any rate this finding touched off a firestorm of controversy with (hold your breath) social conservatives decrying this as the end of our civilization and the destruction of America and the annihilation of Jupiter and… whatever. And apparently working moms aren’t winning any popularity contests with the country as a whole.

“The Pew Research Center made headlines this week, with the release of a report showing that mothers are now breadwinners in fully 40% of American homes. The finding set off a storm of excited debate, even though, in truth, the “new” statistic wasn’t in any sense news: the proportion of breadwinner moms — women who earn as much or more than their partners or are single mothers providing the sole income for their families — actually crossed the 40% threshold back in 2010, as Heather Boushey and Sarah Jane Glynn of the Center for American Progress have previously reported.

What was notable — and surprising and more than a bit disheartening, on its face — was some new information about what Americans seem to feel about all those hard-striving, moneymaking mothers. Researchers Wendy Wang, Kim Parker and Paul Taylor found that a majority of people appear to disapprove of them: 74% of adults say that the increasing number of mothers working for pay has made it harder to raise children, and 51% agree that children are better off if their mother is home and doesn’t hold a job.” – TIME

Also, 51% is the same number of Americans who think Elvis is still alive, that raping a virgin teenager cures AIDS and that space travel is angering the gods. So I take this all very lightly. And the fact that I take it at all is kind of my way of meeting society halfway. As with judges and police officers I’m pretty much doing them a favor just by pretending to listen. Truth is I don’t really give a yak fart what society thinks about anything. I’m not a politician (well, not in any real sense of the word) so I don’t live my day-to-day life according to what some jackass thinks. And if you take a call from an 800 number and answer personal questions asked by a complete stranger then you are pretty much a jackass.

I was raised by a working mother. My wife is a working mother. Which I think is misleading because I can goddamn guarantee you I’m not sitting home jacking off and watching soaps all day. Parenting is hard fucking work. There are days when I am taking care of my kids where I can literally see my life passing by. But, that’s all good in the ‘hood. I’m a dad. I chose my path and if Jesus or whoever has some problem with it they can come tell me to my face. And therein lies another misconception: that men who stay home to raise kids have somehow become “soft” or “feminine”. And I’m sure there’s all kinds of statistics and social research that goes along with that belief. That’s great. You can tell me all about it as I’m beating the living shit out of you.



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