The Patriarchal Power Structure Of Households Essay

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Fathers and mothers in households today continue to partake in a gendered, asymmetrical division of labour. Mothers still contribute more to household labour even though today’s father contribute more than fathers of the past. The discrepancy is because gendered norms to do with paid and unpaid work continue to prevail in both policy and social attitudes. The patriarchal power structure of households is linked back to the nuclear family being idyllic with mothers completing all unpaid labour and fathers providing in the financial sense. Since the 1970s, Western society has moved away from the nuclear family structure with rigidly gendered roles toward an egalitarian household set up. Part of this shift was women moving into paid work and another part was men slightly increasing their contribution to unpaid labour in the household. Despite the increase labour women contribute to provide financially for the household, splitting that burden with their husbands, men have not increased their contributions to household duties to the same extent. Newer representations of father’s contributions to childcare and housework are idealisations not actual representations of experience. These representations, again, positively impact men while co-currently women are vilified for not finding the right work-life balance.

Fathers today contribute more to childcare and housework than their fathers did but their contribution isn’t significant in comparison to the amount of work today’s mothers
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