Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What Women Want

Following on MP Dunleavey's NY Times piece on the strange struggle of the female breadwinner, I've run into a couple more piece that look at "reverse traditional" families where the wife makes most (or all) of a family's income. I'm surprised, actually, that there haven't been more looks at the subject from this angle -- I still see a lot more about at-home dads than the women they are married to.

(And, as an aside, one of the nice things about stories about primary-breadwinning-women is that they nearly always take some time to explore the choices of the spouse, while stories about at-home dads rarely delve into much depth about mom -- robbing those stories of a great deal of context.)

At any rate, the LA Times takes on the story this week, and they pull enough stats and anecdotes together to make a strong case that the reverse traditional family is coming on strong -- and working well. Even the headline is positive ("She earns more, and that's OK"). It's a far cry from the hatchet job Newsweek performed two years ago, when they lined up a dour series of at-home dads and overworked moms for a piece with the title "She Works. He Doesn't."

On a more personal note, an at-home dad on one of the message boards pulled up a gem from Marie Claire (last year, maybe) titled Why I Left My Beta Husband. It's a weird piece, and the end makes it even weirder -- further evidence that it is nearly impossible to distill a marriage (and a divorce) into a few hundred words. But from reading the LA Times, Beta Husbands seem just as safe (and probably more happy) than their alpha peers.

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