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De-Feminizing the Decision to Work

Posted Jul 09 2009 5:05pm

It seems that I see survey after survey in which women are asked about their choice to work full-time, work part-time, or stay home after they have children. Are they happy with their decision? Do they feel they are missing out on time with the kids, or a meaningful career? Almost never do we see similar surveys of men - especially in connection to their transition to fatherhood.

Yet we're being treated to plenty of news articles these days about men's changing roles at home. Laid-off fathers are retreating to childcare and housework - some in frustration and shame, some in joy and newfound understanding of their priorities. It seems as if the gender assumptions around us are suddenly changing at a dizzying pace. Or are they? The articles don't talk much about purposeful downshifting - just outside forces causing a man to remake himself.

What would it take to truly de-gender the work decision? I'm the guest blogger today at BusinessWeek's Working Parents blog, where I write about this issue. Stop over and leave a comment!
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