Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hirshman Strikes Again (Again)

Ahhh ... my favorite writer on parenthood, Linda Hirshman, is at it again, penning a New York Times op-ed piece on (surprise!) why women should work. She ends up making a thoughtful and nuanced argument for changing the tax code** to remove a disincentive to work, but before she gets there, she drop this:

We could make an effort to change men’s attitudes. Sociologists have found that mothers (rich and poor) still do twice the housework and child care that fathers do, and even the next generation of males say they won’t sacrifice work for home.

This is a bit disingenuous. I am not sure that there is any evidence to support that "even the next generation of males say they won’t sacrifice work for home." In fact, all of the surveys I have seen say the exact opposite. Now, there is an argument to be made that the next generation is talking the talk but maybe not walking the walk (I don't buy that argument, but still ...), but let's be clear -- the next generation of males say they are more interested in sacrificing work for family than any post-industrial generation.

** The tax code arguments, both Hirshman's and others, are well worth thinking about ... more on that soon.

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