It Is Sexist To Pity The Stay-At-Home Dad
I always wanted to do more. But soon enough, this proved impossible, and my husband and I had to split everything 50/50 to even survive with two kids at home. It helped that my husband always saw us as an equal team.
In a recent New York Post article, the stay-at-home dad is well aware of the tilted balance in his “profession of choice:”
A female neighbor tiptoed over, all pitying smiles, to show me, the hapless man, how to use the laundry room dryer. I’d been living in the building for six years, washing clothes once a week, which means I’d worked that dryer over 300 times. I am a spin-drying genius. “Thank you so much,” I smiled at her, swallowing back the words, “and you’re a sexist.”
He goes on to explain:
My wife and I made a deal 12 years ago. I would leave my office job to pursue my dream of getting a novel published, taking on freelance work (I compile crosswords) while writing fiction. But I would be earning less than before. In return, I would look after the house.
To me, this makes total sense and should become the norm. My husband and I recently talked about the fact that if we ever needed a stay-at-home parent (we both work at home now), he would be the one to do it because I make more money. I would have been uncomfortable with this years ago because of the stay-at-home culture pushed down my throat, but now I am on board.
My point is this: It is not just the dads perpetuating the stay-at-home sexism. As in the example above, women are a major part of the problem too. Women pitying the poor, bumbling dad in the laundry room reinforce the undertone that dads can’t handle moms’ work. I’ll be happy when these roles become obsolete, and the stay-at-home mom or dad is finally called the stay-at-home parent.