After reading Lisa Belkin’s “When Mom and Dad Split it all,” I began wondering: even as families try to reconstruct gender norms in parenting roles, is there such a thing has having free choice or we ultimately weighed down on some level by the roles of males and females as parents within society throughout time? In the article, many parents try to a lot equal responsibilities for the father and mother while caring for the children as well as housework. While some families were able to keep “equal parenting,” many were not. With one couple “they agreed to share chores at home too, but their varying definitions of “done” soon made things unequal.” The wife stated that her husband’s “level of alertness to mess is quite different than mine. I see dirt two or three days before he does.” In another couple, the husband stated “It’s a 60-40 split, with her doing the 60, I am aiming to bring my percentage up to 42.” In these scenarios, we must ask if this free choice is limited by women’s and men’s expected role of labor in the house having an impact on how efficient men’s and women’s labor is? Why is it that the wife sees dirt three times before her husband? Is this as simple as a difference in personality and possibly up bringing and teachings towards cleanness, or on a larger scale, have women been trained to see dirt before men? These questions may help us to understand our limitations of free choice when it comes to gender roles.
Belkin, Lisa. “When Mom and Dad Share It All.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 June 2008. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.