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Rubbishing the stay-at-home father

01/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_9495/

While browsing through a friend's Facebook notes, I found a link to an older (2003) article from an American publication discussing the stay-at-home father.

Perhaps it was the intent of the author; perhaps it's the required attitude of a successful person, irregardless of gender, but the women interviewed have to rate amongst the least empathetic characters I've ever come across.

Here's an example:

Betsy thought she was the only mother in their grade supporting a stay-at-home husband—especially one who refused to polish the surfaces. “It’s like one of those things,” she says, “where you realize you’re married to people who drink.”

And another:

Anna, a public-relations executive, saw her relationship with her Web-designer husband collapse as she became more and more successful and he floundered. In the last year of their marriage, she earned $270,000 while he brought in $16,000. “He never spent money that wasn’t his in an extravagant way,” she says while taking therapeutic sips of a Sea Breeze at Tribeca Grill on a recent evening. “But by not helping, he was freeloading.”

How about this from one woman who actually appeared to still like her spouse:

"There’s no way I can control him. I wouldn’t stay married to him if I felt I could. I can readily take my business personality into the home. But he forces me to be a partner rather than the boss. It’s what keeps our marriage healthy. He won’t give me an inch of satisfaction. He won’t acknowledge my superiority.”

"My superiority"? Good grief.

This one:

“I don’t think any of them are married to really successful men,” she says of her peers. “All these men wrap themselves around their wives’ schedules much like a trophy wife would.”

Dang. How dare they actually try to accomodate their spouses.

One more:

“I can’t give up the position of empress,” she says. “Everything is in my name. When I’ve gotten really bratty, I’ve said, ‘Well fine, leave,’ knowing he can’t leave. I’ve never had such security in a relationship. There’s no risk of flight. But it’s only giving me a short-term gain. Ultimately, it’s emasculating for him.

If one reversed the genders of the speakers and their subjects, you'd have a classic case of abusive, power-hungry men who'd be written off as shallow and selfish. However, in this article there's an underlying note of approval. It's frustrating.

(Via Mark Collette)


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