Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I haven't yet plugged Half-Changed World, a new blog by the wife of an at-home dad, so let me do that now. And now let me rip off a couple of her latest posts ...

... HCW just read a book that sounds well worth reading, Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies and Bargaining Power. I haven't plowed through the book, but the author has a website that makes for some interesting reading:
... this book proposes a revolution in people's attitudes toward the sexual division of labor in the home. It proposes that we throw away the stereotypes that say men cannot be tender and competent as hands-on parents. It proposes that we also throw away the stereotypes about what makes a woman a good mother. A woman who earns most of her family's income while her partner does most of the child raising is a caring, loving, good mother, too.
There are so few good arguments out there for RebelFamilies that I love to learn about one more.

Also, HCW flagged this bizarre New York Times piece by Jenny Rosenstrach about the competition between mom and nanny. HCW does a great job of explaining why it's a strange and disturbing piece, and I don't have much to add. Suffice it to say that anytime someone suggests a "right" and a "wrong" way to parent or to feel or to act, they're probably reinforcing a set of stereotypes that will make it harder for novel work-family solutions to arise. I can imagine Rosenstrach's pain. But suggesting -- even with tongue (mostly) in cheek -- that mom must "outscore" any other care provider suggests a screwed-up view of modern work-family life that makes it harder on not only nannies, but dads, too.

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