Stephanie Coontz started off her article about the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s international best seller, “The Feminine Mystique”, which was written about the women’s movement of the 1960s. What Coontz is trying to explain is that gender equality is not stalled, but “It has hit a wall”. Her title is the opposite of what she is trying to write about in the article. At first she talked about women’s rights back when the book was written. Instead of blaming the beliefs of gender roles from individuals, she points the finger at the economy and the work-family policies as the major problems to gender equality. She explains the gender equality stalled during 1990s and the first few years of the 2000s. She brought into text the usual statics, “the percentage of Americans preferring the male breadwinner/female homemaker family model actually rose to 40 percent from 34 percent. Between 1997 and 2007, the number of full-time working mothers who said they would prefer to work part time increased to 60 percent from 48 percent. In 1997, a quarter of stay-at-home mothers said full-time work would be ideal. By 2007, only 16 percent of stay-at-home mothers wanted to work full time.”(Coontz) She also talked about how 70 percent of men and women want an egalitarian relationship and how the demand of work has intensified.
As a child, I’ve seen my parents focused the majority of their time and energy at their work to provide for our family. In 2000, the U.S Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics had recorded that working couples with children under 18 years of age worked an average of 66 hours a week compared to couples without children, who worked an
The differences between gender roles are not so apparent anymore. Men are not always the typical breadwinners and many women are not stay-at-home mothers. An article by Beaupré, Dryburgh, and Wendy (2010) described the transition that many men are going through. According to Beaupré, et al., (2010), fathers were once considered the forgotten parent. “Until recently studies on the family focused mainly on the mothers” (Beaupré, et al., 2010). Fortunately, both parents are now being focused on. Fathers today are much more involved in the pregnancy and birth of their child and their child’s life in general (Beaupré, et al., 2010). Beaupré, et al., (2010) explained that women’s involvement in the labour force could be a factor to this change. Women are more educated than they were in previous years. And while women want to work more, men want to be more involved in their children’s lives (Beaupré, et al., 2010). Fatherhood is occurring later in adulthood. Research stated that the majority of men are very satisfied with their involvement in their children’s lives. (Beaupré, et al., 2010).
Past researches either supported or opposed the perceived incompatibility between motherhood and employment (Pacaut et al, 2012). This study revealed an increase in work interruption among women who began working before having children. It also showed a big decline in the gap that separates women with children and those without. The study concluded that changing attitudes towards mothers' work did not appear to ease the balance of work and motherhood. These attitudes include the availability of daycare
When looking at women who left their careers to stay home and raise children, “[a Wharton Business School] study revealed that 43% of the women surveyed stayed out the workforce longer than they expected, and 87”% of those who initially never planned to return to work changed their minds, whether due to economic pressures or a reawakened desire for professional challenge” (Young, 47). Many women in these situations are forced to justify their time away from the professional world and their previous work experience is
The pay gap between men and women continues possibly because women put their careers on hold to care for their families. Research shows that these types of choices can have a negative affect on long-term earnings. Approximately, four of ten mothers have taken a lot of time from work, which is thirty-nine percent. Approximately, forty-two percent have reduced their work hours to care for a family member or child. Also, twenty-seven percent have quit work completely to care for family responsibilities and even less men say the same. There is approximately twenty-four percent of fathers that have taken a lot of time off from work to care for family or children (Patten, 2015).
First, the demands and rigor of long hours is not necessarily well suited to women who want to raise a family. Summers noted that the women in the highest positions are either unmarried or without children. Rising to the top of one’s field requires long hours and “near total commitments” in work. How many women are willing to sacrifice raising a family for a career? Historically, married men have been more likely to make that sacrifice. Summers acknowledges that that’s not how it should be, but that’s what it is. He also asks the question if it’s right that society should ask married women to choose family over career.
“He Motherhood Penalty vs. the Fatherhood Bonus” by Clair C. Miller explains how women who work and become mothers lose respect and money. While on the other hand men are praised when they become fathers and get a raise (Miller, 2014.) Using existing data helps see the wide gap between male and female coworkers after becoming parents. The stereotype about men being the breadwinners and women being the caregivers is still how employers see things (Miller, 2014.) Old fashioned notions still follow men around when it comes to having a family. Miller constructed familiarity between the cause of mothers being paid less and the consequence of that issue playing out in low income single-parent households. She used the piggybacking strategy, “which is when a new problem is constructed as a different instance of an already existing problem” (, Loseke,61
Without the chance of pregnancy, they made the change to go back to work. These effects are seen in the numbers by the recorded percentile change in women within the workforce from 1960 to 1970. In 1960, women working during childbearing years (25-34) rose an entire two percent, working through the rearing years (35-44) increased by 4.3 and the women returning work after motherhood (45-54) swelled to twelve percent (“Labor Force”).
In the early years of my grandparents’ growing families, both my grandmothers stayed home as homemakers to take care of their children while my grandfathers worked on the farm. I noticed that later, both my grandmothers began to work outside of the home to contribute to the financial needs of the family. The change in their work can be attributed to the both the social and economic changes that took place (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2013). Since then, the women in my family have worked full-time, including myself. The men in the family have done work in business since both my grandfathers did so. My father and my brothers have definitely followed their example in that
Heavy care responsibilities limit or reduce women’s career advancement, personal leisure and productivity that require them to develop work efficient habit. Baker (2012) suggests that men’s career is granted priority and employed mothers are typically penalized in the labor market. An additional factor is the re-entry of women into workforce with a small salary offer or lower ranking jobs, including part-time or temporary jobs.
Foremost, the familial image has undertaken significant changes in regards to the ‘breadwinner’ and ‘homemaker’ roles within the family. In the latter of the 20th century, women’s participation in the labour force had been very little to non-existent, primarily because time allocations had been perceived as gender specific, that is, men were seen as the ‘breadwinner’, while women were viewed as the ‘homemaker’ (Seltzer, Bachrach, Bianchi, Bledsoe, Casper, Chase-Lansdale, Diprete, Hotz, Morgan, Sanders, & Thomas, 2005, pp.20). The ‘breadwinner’ role was to secure financial stability, while the
In the past 30 years, one of the most dynamic social changes in the history of the United States has taken place in the area of employment, specifically of women with children. Although, to some degree there have always been employed mothers, today a greater proportion of mothers are employed than ever before. Statistics show that in 1976, 48% of the population of women categorized as “married women with children” were employed and it increased to 62% in 1986 just 10 years later. What are the causes for this and how does it affect the children?
In the 1960s to 1970s, a feminist movement began and sparked a change in attitudes towards women in familial roles and pushed against gender inequality. This movement’s effects trickled down to the opinions and actions of people in the later 1970s to mid-1980s. The period saw a decline in the backing of the traditional family wife role for women and greater acceptance for women finding employment (Mason, K.O., Lu, Y., 1988). However, the change also encountered backlash, with the growth of employed mothers came concerns of the negative effects on the children and their relationship with the mother (Mason, K.O., Lu, Y., 1988). This triggered an inconsistent time for family structure. The nineties saw
Mothers are very passionate about their choice to work or stay at home with their children. This is a heated debate about what is best for children and who is the better mother. Just in the last generation more mothers are choosing to work, which is also sparking some conflict in families where grandparents felt it was important to stay at home with their children. This paper compares and contrasts both sides of working and being a stay at home mother. While there is no right or wrong answer to the work and family dilemma, it’s important to understand both sides.