Chapter 7 of the Online Book Club this Week!
Traditional gender roles within a family setting are economically and biologically efficient. Husbands work to provide for their families and wives tend to household duties; the female is biologically wired to nurture children. The feminist movement aimed to free women from household duties and assimilate them in the workforce; women have been granted career opportunities since then, however they have not abandoned their duties at home. Arlie Hochschild writes of the shift to “second gear” that bounds women to more hours spent on household duties than men. This shift is fueled by men’s unwillingness to assume more responsibility in the home. In the 1950s and 1960s motherhood meant ensuring the toys were in order, and kids were clean and happy. Today motherhood has drastically evolved; mothers have a hands on approach, micromanaging their children and involving them in everything from sports, dance, music lessons, and more. The feminist movement created many contradictory expectations for women and their roles in the home. Women want to have careers, but not compromise time at home with their children, and they want equal pay to men, but for their husbands to earn more than them. Spar offers women some advice about how to address these contradictions and combat the “having it all”, perfection syndrome!