When 75% plus 75% equals 30%

August 14, 2013

tl;dr version: Your Humble Narrator is a sexist pig apologist for the old school heteronormative stultifying patriarchal system, hates women, resents his spouse and would leave his kids with the dogcatcher at the slightest excuse.

More after the jump….

In the first episode of Pub-Style Science, @MTomasson lays down the most important part around 31:35 into the show.


If you don’t want to watch it, the essence is that @MTomasson is breaking down the myth of 50/50 sharing of workload between two professional spouses and pointing out that it is really a 75%/75% breakdown of effort and labor. In essence, each spouse thinks that they are doing about 75% of the shared tasks. He then goes on, critically, to describe why this is the case. It is because each spouse has their own ideas about what the shared tasks consist of and these sets do not entirely overlap. Even more critically, he points out that spouses not only find some of the important things on their partner’s list to be irrelevant but they think they are actively detrimental to the partnership, the shared workload and should be shed.

LaborVenn2In this clumsy Venn representation, I’ve depicted Happy Unicorn Fairy Land in which there is tremendous overlap in the things that the red and blue spouses find important in their partnership. They both contribute to a majority of the stuff on their own priority list and, since this happens to overlap with the spouse’s list, equal effort approximates an equal perception of contribution from red to blue and from blue to red. Good, right? For the little bit that is left, we just ignore that under cover of “it’s a partnership” or “there’s going to be some variability” or some such. Mature people, are we.

LaborVenn1Naturally, in the real world, the spousal overlap is rarely so good. Or at least inconsistently so good. In this less overlapping depiction, imagine that the red spouse is doing all of their own red stuff and as much as half of blue’s blue stuff (at times). The blue spouse is happy because the partner spouse is trying to reach 50/50, and hitting about 30/70, on those things that are important to blue. Good effort red! And from the perspective of the red spouse, likewise blue is coming through. But gee….there is still an awful lot of stuff on red’s list that blue ignores. And a great deal of highly important stuff on blue’s list that red never seems to get around to helping with. Grrrrrr. And here red is doing half of blue’s stuff and all of red’s stuff but somehow blue is only doing 25%…maybe 15% really, of red’s stuff and….GRRRRRRRRR.

ProfLikeSubstance had the same reaction that I did, i.e., that @MTomasson’s points on this issue were some of the most important things to emerge from 80 minutes of discussion.

@DrLabRatOry heated things up on the Twitts, which is where we find the title equation for this post:

Ahh, yes. Those of us with a certain theoretically 50/50, sex-equality shared labors approach to the life-partnership are fond of pointing and sneering at some man, usually it is the man, who is not pulling his fair share on the domestic front (it’s always the domestic front). Not doing enough childcare, not scrubbing the toilet enough, not dusting the blinds. No idea what grade his kids are in, nevermind that Johnny is failing math. ThatGuy.

LaborVenn3It is easy to ignore the fact that we cannot determine from the outside what partnership arrangement the two people have struck. There are, I am here to tell you, ALL kinds. Some happy, some unhappy and some just getting by. Within all sorts of Venn structures that you might care to draw. Maybe, as here, the red spouse’s list of what is important to do AT ALL, shared or unshared, is a lot smaller. This harkens back to @MTomasson’s point in the video that he thinks some of his partner’s items on the need-to-do list are really on the we-shouldn’t-do list.

Where it gets fun is that even within the partnership, one spouse may be unhappy with the fact that the other spouse has a smaller list of shared obligations. In any one particular arena or across the entire spectrum of things the pair of them do from day to day.

You may have noticed something fascinating by this point in the story. The issue was raised by a man. A man, me, chimed in that this was the critical part of the entire show.

Another man did the same. I’m pretty sure the Tweep mentioning 30%ers above is a man.

I have yet to hear much about this comment from any woman.

This is no accident whatsoever. It is because many of us men in science who start from the theoretical 50/50 partnership perspective have arrived at this understanding the hard way. It is unclear to what degree our spouses have had to learn the same lessons. And it is where we stand to make the most progress in understanding one another. I offer my remarks from my usual position of heteronormative bigotry and approximately mean USian acculturation. Yes, I’m sure there are all sorts of exceptions. But still.

Notice that @MTomasson was apologetic about his “prattling” on this topic and in the end felt obligated to offer up his own ratio of 65-70% against a definitive 75% for his partner. Notice that when these matters of equal spousal participation come up it is invariably in the realm of housekeeping and childcare. Invariably.

Professional women, particularly those in academia exist in a world of martyrdom in which they are put upon, make all the sacrifices, do all the work, keep shit together and fail to obtain equal help from all but the most astonishingly amazing male spouse. This popular meme is not as true as you all #scimoms think and your unthinking adherence to it is detrimental to your respective partnerships.

I’ll wait while you clean your keyboard.

Now the meme is indeed true. For very good reasons, of course. From many perspectives the dominant reality is of oppressed women in professional lives who are still expected to hold down a June Cleaver style household while Ward shows up at 6pm to tut-tut at the Beav over some minutia. But there are other perspectives that are equally valid. This, btw, is why 75% and 75% can, and do, sum to 30%. We are in the land of spousal partnerships which is a very BizarroLand indeed.

We can start with a comment from InBabyAttachMode who wrote:

For me, having a baby was an entirely different desire than wanting to be a kick-ass scientist (preferable in academia). I know I would be very sad if I would be forced to leave science because I cannot work hard enough/publish enough papers/get enough grants, but I would have been heartbroken if I didn’t have kids. So for me it’s not kids or career, it’s kids and then see how far I can get in my career.

Not uncommon prioritization, I would say. Many who have it, of course, do reach the “heartbroken” stage for many reasons- infertility, unavailability of appropriate spouse, accidents of life and career, too-late realization of this fact. But what if one spouse has an entirely different approach? What if he could take or leave kids…or actively doesn’t want them. Suppose this is a labor he takes on for the sake of the partner’s happiness? This is typically where the dominant meme of academic women takes over to insist that child bearing is not a choice, exactly. The man derives benefit! And he enjoys the ever loving fuck out of his kids now, so that proves he always wanted them all along! Aha, shared-task. Not a one-spouse priority, this now goes in the “we” box. Dusts hands.

Except it doesn’t.

You can use this belief to sneer at Prof Smith across the hall for his lack of participation in his family all you want. You can use it to feel put-upon in your relationship. You can use your cabal of local woman professionals to mutually reinforce your whinging. But this may not ultimately be as healthy as recognizing the Venn diagrams and the shared-labor lists for what they are in the long term.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, #scimoms. You know all those “expectations” of family and society that you rail against? The ones having to do with a clean house and offspring and keeping all of the birthday cards arriving on time and what not? Men have this for job and career. I know, you think you do too. A career is a good thing. We work for a living, etc. But there is a difference, particularly for the upper-middle class aspirational types such as dominate our academic circles. A career is a choice for you, it is not an obligation. InBabyAttachMode spelled it out. At some point, somehow, vaguely or explicitly the possibility of not working while someone else pays the bills is in your mind. It is not and never has been in mine, nor in that of many USian men. This is why you hear much less, comparatively, whinging from men about whether their job is fulfilling to them. Women are much more likely to treat their job as a vocation.

I say this not to judge whether one approach or the other is better, by the way. There would be many places in my career so far where I have put up with a lot of unpleasantness due in no small part to this cultural conditioning I labor under. I say it for you to consider whether this lets you understand your spouse any better. I really don’t think that many of my closer women friends in this business really get the difference. Just in the exact same way my men friends really do not understand why their wife feels it is her responsibility that their (the mens’) mom gets a birthday card. You can sort of understand it intellectually but you do not really feel it.

These are but two hot-button topics for which the confusion of one spouse’s choices and preferences for needs and musts leads to unpleasantness.

If I have one bit of general advice in this post it is to rigorously avoid your own tendency to define your own desires, preferences and choices for obligations. This is a particular problem for women in the modern two-career endeavor. It usually pops up in the context of childrearing and housework. But we men have it too. In all areas, we can stand to think about our own Venn arrangements and where we place our own stuff.

Quotidian examples abound. Are you and your spouse in different places on the clutter/clean issue? I suffer from this tremendously. I know a guy who was an absolute nutter for keeping the cars washed, and he did it himself. I pay the $8 at the autowash when I remember to. Do you want the laundry done, if not folded, because at least you can wear wrinkly stuff…or would you rather it sit in the dirty bins because there is this pressure to fold and put away if it is washed? Do you like to sit down to family dinner or do you not give a crap who eats when? Punctuality? Lawn neatly mowed or meh, it can go another week? Flowers or xeroscape? Does that dripping faucet just eat at you, or could you let it go for months?

There’s an extra special thing referenced in the Cognitive Daily fun-poll linked below wherein the red spouse sees the blue spouse’s messes and vice versa whilst each remain blind to their own messes.

All of these little issues build into the perception that ones own self is doing all the work and one’s spouse is barely contributing 30%.

Work and career issues are no different.

Suppose you are a professor at Local State University wherein you are mostly just expected to teach your classes and educate undergraduates. The workload, as in every career, involves choices. You may think you “have” to freshen up your lectures and course materials every semester but your spouse can’t possibly understand why you don’t just teach it the same as you did last semester. Number of laborious grading assignments….are they really necessary? Kinda convenient you have to lock yourself in “grading jail” every night while I do the dishes, isn’t it? Do you really have to start up a new academic specialty or program of focus? Can’t someone else do that? Why does our podunk U really need a distinct “neurosciences” major anyway?

In another realm of academia the questions continue. Is it really necessary for you to publish in Nature Neuroscience when J. Neuroscience would be perfectly acceptable? Really? Why? This is why you have never yet seen little Susie score a soccer goal. Sure, I understand you have to write grants to support this new project and postdoc but….you already have two. So why? Is this necessary? or a choice that you made?

The answer to all of these is yes. And no. These are choices made by one spouse, not obligations. But they very rapidly come to feel like obligations to the spouse doing the chosing. And if they are obligations than these are non-optional things in the partnership give and take. I “have” to do this professional chore so you will simply have to shoulder more of something else in the shared-task list.

Turning our choices into obligations in our own mind contributes to the 75+75=30 inequality.
__

This post is dedicated to ScientistMother.

Additional reading:
Dr Isis on 50/50 (see comment from sciwo, especially)
Cognitive Daily Blog: Casual Fridays: Who cleans up after who? And who’s angry about it?
MIKULA, G., RIEDERER, B., and BODI, O. (2011). Perceived justice in the division of domestic labor: Actor and partner effects. Personal Relationships DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01385.x, via this.

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73 Responses to “When 75% plus 75% equals 30%”

  1. sciwo Says:

    I agree with the first ~40% of your post, and had made the same comment on Isis’s post on pub science: http://pubstylescience.com/2013/08/14/partners-and-the-misconception-of-the-5050-split-scimom/comment-page-1/#comment-2

    So, you can take the part where you say that only men are going to point this out and shove it.

    As far as the idea that women can see career as something to be build around children (which are the central tenet), but men see it the reverse…there are a startling number of counter-examples to that trend…even if you ignore (as you do) the situations where there isn’t enough economic maneuverability for either partner to drop out of a career. So to me there’s a lot of your biases coming through in the latter half-ish of the post.

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  2. There’s a huge difference between choosing not to pursue your career at the level you intended to and not working at all. When I talk about not pursuing this particular career I am not talking about being a stay at home mom. I’ve been brought up realizing the importance of making your own money as an individual.

    Also: it seems like on a first date you should make your date fill out the imaginary Venn diagram and match people based on how clean they want the house and how important that is to them.

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  3. Mysogenist Says:

    The squeaky wheel gets to draw the venn diagram.

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  4. drugmonkey Says:

    The point, sciwo, is central tendency rather than “counter-examples”. I see fewer of them than you do, obviously.

    So to me there’s a lot of your biases coming through in the latter half-ish of the post.

    and of course your personal anecdotes, experiences and biases play no role in your approach to this issue? In your undoubtedly plentiful specific examples do you assert that you understand the male and female perspectives in the partnerships equally?

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  5. jipkin Says:

    I must be a pretty womanly man then because I’d rather spend time on my kids first and pursue an intense career second. When I’m old and dying I don’t think I can’t imagine giving a fuck about some promotion I did or didn’t get in my thirties. But surely I would treasure the memory of my kid(s)’ early years.

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  6. drugmonkey Says:

    ibam- I thought you made your “step back” point very well and I intend to be discussing relative priorities, not dramatic qualitative differences.

    Going for a faculty job, staying a postdoc for another three years, taking various industry jobs, switching to one of the much bandied “alternate” careers….all of these things involve choices. And add and subtract items on the list of to-dos. When one partner makes his or her choice an “obligation” it can distort the evaluation of labor.

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  7. leigh Says:

    i take issue with research being a give-200%-or-fuck-you enterprise. i had this in mind during the chat, but there were so many other good conversations to be had.

    that out of the way, way to reinforce gender stereotypes with the “men earn teh moneyz and women have a vocation” lines there, dude. fuck that shit. without divulging too much about my future career plans, should i land the next gig i’m aiming for, my spouse and i are quite looking forward to him working part time whenever kid2 becomes a reality. i can pitch my pursuit of this gig in whatever altruistic light i want, but i’m after one thing and that is a stable income to support my family. i’m willing to give up all that is being asked of me for it, and that is a LOT. for as long as i’ve financially supported myself, the idea of *not* working has not occurred to me in any context. i have been the financially supportive spouse in a single-income household on more than one occasion over the course of our dual-career adventures, i’ve felt that pressure and i’ve stuck through entirely unfulfilling and generally bullshit circumstances because we needed a roof over our heads. i can’t be the sole exception to your rule here, DM, so check your assumptions.

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  8. Jeramia Says:

    Agreed that it is difficult to express an opinion on this subject without sounding like a total douche (a problem DM has never had to deal with on Twitter, I’m sure). “Just be like me, and everyone will be happy!” Bollocks.

    In retrospect, “can’t be bothered” was a poor choice of words. It’s clear you think I sneer at other professionals, content in my superiority. Like any other parent/spouse in a dual career household, I’m holding it together the best I can. Which some days isn’t all that well. The 30% number isn’t out of thin air, numerous surveys suggest that while hours worked in the home have fallen overall (yay modernity), the ratio is still 2:1 female:male in North America. I doubt I crack 40% on most days. I’m interested in discussing it not because I think I’m a shining example of how to do it, but because I want to know how we get anywhere close to “equal?”

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  9. Alex Says:

    Number of laborious grading assignments….are they really necessary?

    But if I don’t critique their writing every week, who will? My lazy colleague who gives only multiple choice tests? The one who outsourced everything to some student slave grader?

    Seriously, though, the point is that something has been conditioned into me, so what others see as a choice I see as an obligation. I think that this is relevant to your bigger point, but the context of grading student writing is (mostly) less provocative and charged.

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  10. drugmonkey Says:

    I’m interested in discussing it not because I think I’m a shining example of how to do it, but because I want to know how we get anywhere close to “equal?”

    We agree. also I’m keen on “better” for as many of us as possible even more than I am on “equal”. If unequal in some way works, good for those two people. But I really object to facile observations, even published studies, that purport to judge who is working harder. It is *invariably* tied up in some sort of expectation about what is “work”, what is “fun”, what is “need-to-do”, what is “chose-to-do), etc.

    I know a dude who works practically dawn to dusk weekdays while his spouse handles the kid duties. Weekends, she’s no where to be seen and he’s trucking around his brood. this looks *nothing* like our routine. it is easy to paste our priorities onto them, particularly when/if either member of the partnership seems unhappy at times. doesn’t make us right. doesn’t mean some other solution/sharing would work for them.

    i can’t be the sole exception to your rule here, DM, so check your assumptions.

    I am well aware of the diversity. As I am also aware of central tendencies. You, as with sciwo, should not let your outrage at being an alleged outlier to my assumptions color your ability to determine if there is an actual central tendency. (ps. I’m even worse with making partially overlapping distributional curves so don’t make me)

    Seriously, though, the point is that something has been conditioned into me, so what others see as a choice I see as an obligation. I think that this is relevant to your bigger point, but the context of grading student writing is (mostly) less provocative and charged.

    It was an example driven by a lot more familiarity with this particular area of career decision making than is probably assumed by much of my audience. You have professional desires to be *good* at teaching, right? And you have a very definite idea of what good teaching requires. this is no doubt partially informed by crappy teachers who just phone it in, right? well….if they are employed and doing the rough outline of the job that way….how is your way not a personal choice rather than an obligation?

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  11. These gender-equity life-life balance issues aren’t going to get fixed until the viewpoints from males conducting parental care are features as much as – if not more than – the women. Guys need to be driving this conversation because we are the ones that need to have both the freedom, leeway and ability to make our families as much as a priority as our spouses. The grief that I’m reading here is just getting in the way of a productive conversation.

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  12. Jekka Says:

    I would like to see a guest post on this topic by DM’s spouse.

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  13. drugmonkey Says:

    I would like to see a guest post on this topic by DM’s spouse.

    I’m sure you would.

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  14. So do you have any data showing that men tend to think this way and women want to stay home more? Cause otherwise I’m not sure your assumptions are more valuable than those of sciwo and leigh.

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  15. Jeramia Says:

    I really object to facile observations, even published studies, that purport to judge who is working harder

    It’s a fool’s errand, agreed. One size never fits all. Your colleague sounds like he’s worked something out. The thought of trucking the kids around all weekend makes me shudder, more power to him. I think men should say what they do, if for no other reason than to have examples out there.

    At the risk of sounding like self satisfied douche, here’s what we’ve come up with: I do all the cooking, she does all the laundry. I work 70 miles away, so she does daycare pickup and drop-off. Cleaning is a toss up. I make sure the kitchen is clean, she and I have different thresholds for when other parts of the house need cleaning. Weekends are a complete mystery because we have no family and no local support network.

    I’ve been working for 6 years to get our positions closer so I can pick up more duties, but who knows if it will ever work out.

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  16. miko Says:

    I scoop the litter box, she waters the plants. So far so good.

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  17. david Says:

    If you value your relationship with your spouse, you might drive yourself to understand why the outer parts of the Venn diagram are so important to him/her, and that should be enough to make them important to you, too. Conversely, if you really try to communicate why something seems important to you, and your spouse doesn’t get it, then maybe it’s time to shed some of your own baggage.

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  18. drugmonkey Says:

    I’m not sure your assumptions are more valuable than those of sciwo and leigh.

    If they are a new consideration for anyone then they are. If not, then not. If anyone refuses to consider a point of view that diverges from their own simply because it is uncomfortable for them, they are reading the wrong blog.

    So do you have any data showing that men tend to think this way and women want to stay home more?

    The broad trends <a href="www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0068.pdf‎"broad demographics in this country, particularly when you gate on those who are wealthy enough to make a choice, are highly supportive of my assertion about the dominant culture. The academic “pipeline” stats also illustrate disproportionate rates of stepping-back on the part of women. Starting as I do from the recognition that women are equally capable of being in the workplace and succeeding, it is very hard to attribute this solely to extrinsic forces. Don’t you think?

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  19. Jekka Says:

    No birthday cards sent out from my apartment, which currently has three unfolded loads of laundry in it. It would be lovely if everything was perfect, but my priorities right now are pretty much career, then my kid, then sleep, then food and possibly some face-time with my husband.

    And technically speaking, my job as a postdoc *is* a vocation at this point, it’s certainly not paying for the rent or child care here in SF (avg for 1bdrm now $2600!).

    I do know more women than men who are personally fulfilled by having themed birthday parties for their children, or whatever, but I do think there is a chicken-and-egg thing going on where if you end up taking a less high-flying or challenging job, you find intellectual stimulation where you can get it.

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  20. drugmonkey Says:

    If you value your relationship with your spouse, you might drive yourself to understand why the outer parts of the Venn diagram are so important to him/her, and that should be enough to make them important to you, too.

    I totally agree with the first part. The degree to which you can accomplish the second part is a strong contributor to harmony. But it is like ethical behavior- you shouldn’t use this as a negotiation tactic or proof of your love and commitment. You should do as you describe because it is a good and right way to try to live your life.

    Conversely, if you really try to communicate why something seems important to you, and your spouse doesn’t get it, then maybe it’s time to shed some of your own baggage.

    Or maybe your spouse is being a selfish asshole that needs to revisit your first point. Not so simple, is it?

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  21. DM,
    We are essentially of the same mind on this issue…this Venn-from-Hell thing has been on my mind alot lately and was the one issue I really had to get off my chest during the discussion. Despite all the dust it has kicked up, I am glad that you’ve expressed solidarity with a…lets call it compassionate-but-troublesome view. Thank you thank you for taking the time to write about it so passionately. Peace, my fraternal relation!

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  22. drugmonkey Says:

    I do think there is a chicken-and-egg thing going on where if you end up taking a less high-flying or challenging job, you find intellectual stimulation where you can get it.

    An interesting point. I’d rather say that people have far too many interests to satisfy then life gives us time for and it is more like a squeeze-the-balloon thing. Subsequent to other choices being made for various reasons. My point is that all too often we take the choices we make for how much time to spend on X thing and turn it into this sense of obligation. Is it necessary to win the themed-party wars? No, not really. Is it necessary to *have* a birthday party for your kid? mmm, sortof. Is it *necessary* to be able to run a marathon….er, no, that’s um, selfish and shit. Wait, is that what keeps dear old Dad from dropping dead of a heart attack at 60 like *his* Dad….errr, maybe this is a shared space issue.

    And technically speaking, my job as a postdoc *is* a vocation at this point, it’s certainly not paying for the rent or child care here in SF

    I disagree this is evidence of a frivolous choice and this idea of “my job barely (or doesn’t) cover the child care” is wrong for academics. You are investing in a career for which there is a timeline that doesn’t really stop. That’s different from someone who has a job category that they can just pick up again after a 2, 5 or 10 year interval.

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  23. Mrhunsaker Says:

    I am in agreement with DM and MTommason on this one. Though, I am married and without kids, so the whole sci mom component is outside my pay grade as it were.

    What I seriously wonder is as follows: are there really a wide number of men out there that actually see the housework and raising kids as “wimmins werk” and would come home, pop a beer and make her slave. I know they are there, but can we please drum these jerks out of our ranks–both scientific AND from the human race. They seem to not be pulling their weight and we could greatly use a punctuated evolution event to overcome this.

    IMO the solution is as follows…figure out what needs done TOGETHER and then DO IT! Not he does X and she does Y. Just X and Y get done together. Yes, it is clearly 75/75=30 if we do not communicate, but can easily be made closer to 75/75=50 if we work at it.

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  24. Dr Becca Says:

    For the most part I agree with you, DM–relationships are hard, understanding other people’s desires is hard, and coming up with concrete, daily systems that make everyone happy is hard. We need to listen to each other more and introspect on how we define “want” and “need.” But this bit about women always knowing they have the “choice” to just step back and let their husbands do their career thing, while no man would ever DREAM of not being a self-sufficient, employed member of society feels very mansplainy. I can practically FEEL you patting me on the head. Aw, it’s so cute that women would like to excel in their careers, too! But nobody says you have to! Only teh menz have any kind of societal pressure to be money-makers!

    (You are basically the 1970 biochemistry faculty member who, when culling time came for my mom’s PhD class, told her “don’t worry, we heard you’re getting married so you probably don’t want to be a scientist anymore anyway. Here’s a Masters, though.”)

    What I know you know and what I’m not sure why isn’t part of your tome here is that this “choice” is often made FOR women, not by them. As was discussed last night, there is a biological imbalance in the physical toll on men vs women in bringing a person into this world, which can affect productivity. There are biases all over academia that make it harder for women (even the childless) to advance their careers (e.g. conference speaker selection, etc). So when a couple is faced with a two-body problem and the man’s career gets prioritized, it’s often not so much of a “choice” on the part of the woman to fall back on her god-given right to be supported by her spouse, but a result of all the shit that’s gotten in her way.

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  25. Jekka Says:

    I disagree this is evidence of a frivolous choice and this idea of “my job barely (or doesn’t) cover the child care” is wrong for academics.

    My intent was not to whine about academic pay, I am doing my science and that is what I want to do.

    I was more pointing out that the assumption that the person working the long hours is the primary breadwinner in the home. Traditionally it’s easier to justify being at work all the time if you’re supporting everyone else, but that’s not the case for me, and many other academics I know.

    That’s different from someone who has a job category that they can just pick up again after a 2, 5 or 10 year interval.

    I don’t know of that many careers where you can bow out for a bit and then pick up where you left off (with the same pay), unless you have a particular creative talent.

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  26. DJMH Says:

    Am I the only woman in academia who thinks her husband really does do 50% of the house and childcare? The pure exception, for which I do not fault him, being pregnancy and the first year of postpartum.

    Or does the fact that I THINK he does 50% mean that in reality, he does 75%??

    Anyhow, what SciWo said. We all run our relationships differently. Broad painting of gender groups as caring more about career or children is totally unhelpful to the conversation, when it is obvious to anyone with eyes that it is variable.

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  27. drugmonkey Says:

    are there really a wide number of men out there that actually see the housework and raising kids as “wimmins werk” and would come home, pop a beer and make her slave.

    That is the easy case and as rare as it is cartoonish, I assume. The point is more about how *often* the tub needs to be scrubbed. Does the bed need to be made every day? Do we really need to iron the pillowcases? Is it *really* necessary to wash a car? Does it matter that we select the hassle-ass $$ preschool six miles off our commute rather than the decent one next door?

    But this bit about women always knowing they have the “choice” to just step back and let their husbands do their career thing, while no man would ever DREAM of not being a self-sufficient, employed member of society feels very mansplainy.

    Whether you are offended by an inaccurate impression of absolutism or not, I stand by the central tendency assertion that constituted my remark. And as per the US Census data linked above, there is evidence. You yourself raise the issue of childbearing as if it is a default expectation and an obligation instead of a choice. While I understand all of the arguments, I do not agree with the tone of obligation. We have far, far too many people on this planet at the moment and arguments about reproductive obligation fall completely flat in this western environment of birth control and available abortion. I am not denying there is career discrimination against women even if they should remain childless. But all of the factors add up, it is not exclusively about external discrimination and choices made have to be considered.

    You are basically the 1970 biochemistry faculty member who, when culling time came for my mom’s PhD class, told her “don’t worry,

    Absolutely false. Nowhere in this did I assert, nor do I believe, that any sort of workplace discrimination or maltreatment should result from the sort of domestic choices that are under discussion. In nearly direct contrast to this I would think that better and more explicit understanding of what we ourselves think of as choices versus obligations should actually enhance career success.

    I was more pointing out that the assumption that the person working the long hours is the primary breadwinner in the home.

    Yes, I do grasp the working hours expected of people along this career arc. In a variety of subfields and settings. As you are well aware.

    I don’t know of that many careers where you can bow out for a bit and then pick up where you left off (with the same pay), unless you have a particular creative talent.

    I did say “job”, not “career” if that helps. Nor did I reference the “same pay” or “where you left off”. But pursuit of an academic tenure track job with a significant research component is not well served by time off. A lab tech that had taken five years out for some reason? I’d hire, no problemo. Retail? Carwash? Accountant? credentialed teacher? Yes, they might face a tinch of question about what they were doing in the mean time and if their skills were up but this pales compared with a 5 yr publication gap, no?

    Like

  28. drugmonkey Says:

    Or does the fact that I THINK he does 50% mean that in reality, he does 75%??

    Probably. Why don’t you ask him? Also ask him to describe, out of the broad array of things he thought he might be doing with his life, what is he doing / not doing in the context of a partnership with you?

    Another fun exercise is to introspect very strongly about things that you couldn’t possibly have imagined doing with your life that you started doing for the sake of him and his goals/choices?

    How many of those things did each of you come to find some degree of intrinsic appreciation for because of this process?

    Like

  29. Jim Woodgett Says:

    Your spouse called and wonders when you are going to finish this blog post.

    The 70/70 insight is significant. We are all selfish about what we desire. Sometimes we justify what we are doing is for the common good of the couple, but even those elements are rarely 50/50. We negotiate the rest and some of us are better negotiators than others. It’s called compromise and there is usually a life-long tension – even with a “perfect” match of responsibilities. No one gets everything they want but are they getting a better deal than their partner? Who is willing to admit that? Far better to at least be honest.

    Like

  30. leigh Says:

    I am well aware of the diversity. As I am also aware of central tendencies. You, as with sciwo, should not let your outrage at being an alleged outlier to my assumptions color your ability to determine if there is an actual central tendency. (ps. I’m even worse with making partially overlapping distributional curves so don’t make me)

    central tendency… er, where do you think said tendency comes from? perhaps lagging attitudes from the era when women weren’t given a choice in the matter to begin with, that facilitate women being stay-home caretakers and resist men doing that same work today? which is what we are all angling to overcome, right? don’t play this like it’s some intrinsic quality of the ladeez to wanna stay home and let someone else take care of us (or for all the men to wanna go out and be the rawr macho breadwinner, either).

    Like

  31. drugmonkey Says:

    don’t play this like it’s some intrinsic quality of the ladeez

    intrinsic? never said that. none of us are uninfluenced by the culture(s) in which we develop.

    so are you now agreeing with my characterization of the central tendency, irrespective of how it came to be?

    Like


  32. Having no kiddes is fucken awesome! PhysioWife and I in a completely equal manner focus all the attention we each want on our respective careers, and thereby gain a competitive advantage against our professional peers who have chosen to devote time, effort, and resources to children. Is this an “unfair” advantage that should somehow be handicapped so that we don’t leave our child-raising peers in the dust?

    Like

  33. leigh Says:

    in one breath, you call out the societal expectations that #scimoms (but i assume *all* of us) are railing against, and then turn around and reinforce it by going on about this central tendency which is shaped by those exact societal expectations. yes, i see where you are going with that a bit better having re-read it a couple times. but i think how that tendency came to be is germane to the discussion, for both sexes, from multiple angles.

    Like

  34. drugmonkey Says:

    then turn around and reinforce it by going on about this central tendency which is shaped by those exact societal expectations

    I didn’t say I thought it was a good thing. Since when does identifying a thing mean “reinforcing it” anyway?

    Like

  35. gingerest Says:

    I think I understand what you’re getting at with the central tendency career expectations for men that aren’t present for women – you’re saying that basically there’s enormous gendered social pressure for men to have a lucrative, successful career, not just a job that pays the bills. If I understand that correctly, I still think you should suck it up. There’s huge gendered social pressure on me in every aspect of my life. And I’m an upper-middle-class native-English-speaking overeducated white ciswoman, which means I’m playing the life game at the second easiest setting. I spend the energy to throw off some of those expectations. You are playing the easiest setting – you can afford to throw them off, too. It’s uncomfortable, and submits you to the misery of social disapprobation, but compared to the no-win situation most people are in, it’s nothing.

    Like

  36. becca Says:

    Actually, DM, women who are LEFT look at their scientific careers as vocations, because the ones that are looking for jobs to support their families are Elsewhere. It’s a sign of male privilege, and extreme socioeconomic privilege, that you see women “opting out” as a PULL toward the home factor issue instead of a PUSH from the workplace issue.

    Like

  37. miko Says:

    Agreeing on a list that add up to 100% is the only way to tell who is winning the marriage.

    Like

  38. DJMH Says:

    You know, the feminist/parenting blogs make similar points along the lines of, “Coordinated themed birthday parties disproportionately add pressure to women, and can’t we just cut that crap out?” to which I wholeheartedly agree.

    You, however, are choosing to frame it as, “Most women want themed birthday parties for their kids whereas most men want to WORK, so stop bugging us to pick up Merida napkins.” If you can’t see why this formulation is nasty and unfair, I can’t help you.

    Like

  39. DrugMonkey Says:

    I in no way shape or form encourage that crap DJMH. So stop trying to shoot the messenger.

    Like

  40. DrugMonkey Says:

    And btw, I am the fucking bomb as sweatshop labor for late night crafting of insanely detailed cupcakes, treats, goodie bags and god knows whatall in the mommy Olympic events. Just sayin’

    Like

  41. Ola Says:

    @DM It is *invariably* tied up in some sort of expectation about what is “work”, what is “fun”, what is “need-to-do”, what is “chose-to-do), etc.

    That’s it in a nutshell for us. The key differentiator appears to be preventive maintenance, especially of the seasonal type. Invariably the XX chromosomal spousal reaction is to do the bare minimum, ignoring the XY approach that a bit more effort now will save a world of pain later. Anything like cutting the lawn, weeding the garden, cleaning the car, sealing the driveway, painting of any kind, fixing leaks, putting away tools properly after a job, installing snow tires, going shopping for seasonal goods (especially if Home Depot is involved), anything involving soldering (electrical or cupric/aquatic), fixing and service of recreational vehicles (bikes, canoes, scooters, trailers). It all takes a back seat to the here-and-now “the kids are screaming and I need you to drop what you’re doing because it can wait” line. As such, lots of thing wait. A long time. Some things never get done, and the “honey to do” list just keeps getting longer. But of course, anything new added to the list immediately goes to the #1 spot, because all the other stuff is just “you and your buddies having fun”.

    Like

  42. Zuska Says:

    Hmm. I think this post is complex. I do not hear arguments for essentialism, or that women just wanna have babeez while manly men gotta do their thing.

    It seems unproductive to deny that we live in a culture that promotes childbearing as essential to womanhood and earning a paycheck as a necessity for manhood. This is different than saying “women want babies, men want a career”. Through shows like The Bachelor/Bachelorette, the culture strives to keep the fantasy of rescue by a handsome prince (and the obligation of the prince to provide rescue) alive. These things will manifest themselves in all sorts of strange ways.

    My own sense is that women in STEM are a group highly selected over many years, and while subject to the same cultural forces as everyone, not quite average. More likely to have “outliers”. But I think this is also a manifestation of the choices that women professionals in STEM have open to them. I know women working routine jobs at This Corp or That Corp. They don’t have illusions about a “career”. They also don’t have the option to say “well, if I want to have a baby, I may just decide to scale back my ambitions at work, because the baby will be more important to me.” They just have to keep doing their job, because there isn’t going to be any other one. Or any other choice.

    I think having such a choice is a good thing. More choice is always better. Married couples with children in STEM do not have unlimited choices, but they have more choices than married couples with children who work as wage slaves.

    These choices create a lot of uncertainty for us. Women who can chose to give birth are not defined by their motherhood status. If, when they choose to give birth, they can further choose, to some extent, where and how much they will keep working, society will ask them: what kind of mother are you? which is the same as saying, what kind of woman are you? (Never mind that the lazy welfare moms should all go back to work…) If they scale back their work, STEM will ask them, what kind of scientist are you? Men who choose to have children, and choose to be more involved in their raising, will probably receive kudos from many quarters. They may not find their authenticity as scientists under question, at least as much. But if their salary takes a hit, or they quit working altogether, they will find their manhood questioned by some quarters, and possibly even experience existential anxiety on this front themselves.

    This is why some people find totalitarianism so attractive. It reduces choice and therefore ambiguity, and therefore existential anxiety.

    If you want to live with choice, however so limited it may be, it is going to take work to make it work. You can never assume your partner understands or looks at anything exactly the same as you do. 75+75=30 sounds just about right to me. It can work that way. But only through continuous review and thorough communication can you make sure, that the 30 is the right 30.

    Like

  43. Katla Says:

    I agree with many commenters here that the gendered view on this is not particularly helpful and did annoy me personally, though I found the overall idea interesting and thought provoking.

    Coming from a culture where stay-at-home moms are pretty much a thing of the past and paternity and maternity leaves are close to equal, it has never ever occurred to me to not work. It has not occurred to most of my childhood female friends either. This is probably why I found that portion of the post particularly outlandish.

    Also, why should we even care about central tendencies when the overlap between the distributions is so big you are almost as likely to be in the role of the opposite gender as your own? Then what is the point of framing it in relation to gender, rather than some other variable?

    I think the reason this framing aggravated people is that this kind of stereotyping tends to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. It creates societal expectations and thereby reinforces the initial idea. And it’s not that this one case of stereotyping is necessarily detrimental on its own, but we are constantly being poked with stereotypes. Poke someone too many times and they will get annoyed pretty quickly when they get another poke.

    Like

  44. Zuska Says:

    In the US stay at home moms are a thing of the past. Paternity/maternity leaves not very prevalent.

    I do think there remains however the outdated expectations about traditional roles, and we all labor under them. It seems like a useful exercise to me to interrogate the Venn diagrams with one’s partner, and not assume all is ok.

    In my relationship, I know that whatever equality Mr. Z and I labor to achieve, his company expects him to be a dedicated working man. That has many implications & effects for all sorts of things, when the health insurance comes from his job, and there’s eldercare to be done. Big Corp isn’t used to men leaving work to provide eldercare.

    Like

  45. DrugMonkey Says:

    Stay at home moms are very much not a thing of the past in my neighborhood. Both the one defined by a few blocks around our house and the broader one defined by our children’s schools.

    Like

  46. bam294 Says:

    Holy carpel tunnel DM. I think you are over compensating for leaving Twitter for a week and all the bad things that you graciously admitted were your fault that befell the Twits during your time in prison. I mean, ‘away’.

    I play a bitch on Twitter, because frankly, I’m a bitch IRL. I have two smallish kids and frankly could give a rats ass what my colleagues think of the situation. Which isn’t to say that was always the case. I freaked my shit fully when I got preggo with #2 while moving to my new Uni. I lost with my new PCP crying that “no one will take me seriously with 2 kids as a female scientist.” And then, I simply got the fuck over it remembering what
    Grandma Woodchipper use to say, “if you knew how infrequently people are thinking about you, you wouldn’t give a shit what they are thinking”. And then we celebrated by tossing an undergrad into the chipper. Along with the last living fuck that I would give about worrying about anyone else’s opinions.

    Which is absolutely NOT the same as saying no one cared or tried to guilt me. I had a male doucher on my mentoring committee who told me I could ask about ‘taking the mommy track’ to which I immediately replied that he should ask about taking ‘the asshole track’ since he was so aptly qualified. That was sort of unwise, but I don’t regret it. And, as it turns out for him, there is no asshole track. Oh wellz.

    I tell my grad students if they want to have kids, they should do it in my lab. There will be no gold stars, special treatment or discussion of mucous plugs, but I will force open communication on my expectations and what they need to accomplish rather than have them slink back to lab when they aren’t ready and are going to be useless. I can find shit for folks to do when they have had 4 hours of sleep but I need to know they are sleep deprived. And if they don’t tell me, I will find out and it will be bad. No one gets to be bitchy, overwhelmed and martyred in my lab. Not even me. Not sure if it just worked out this way or what, but yes, my lab is all women which is probably worth noting.

    I compare myself not to the ladies in my neighborhood, not to my male colleagues, what my kids think a mom should be, not to my male colleagues or even my female colleagues accomplish. I compare myself to what I am capable of doing at any time. Sometimes that’s a shit ton of work. Sometimes it’s leaving my grad students and post docs to take the wheel because I have a shit ton of ‘life’ stuff to do. But I tell them that’s what ‘s gonna happen. Like, not telepathically, but in real words. Where I share a calendar so they see my deadlines, priorities and travel plans and life has no mysteries. I also talk to them daily and meet with them weekly. And for fuck sake people, if you aren’t doing a career plan as a grad student or a post doc, get your shit together and stop worrying if you boss ‘likes’ you – see what they want from you. http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/publications-5/mentoring-plans/mentoring-plan I use the same thing when meeting with my Chair. And he loves it.

    In sum, buy nice boots, focus on your own shit and communicate with the people that need to know what you are doing. Just like Mr. Woodchipper does. Only minus the shoes. Cuz we are on both on faculty salaries and he knows its 70% my shoes/30% the rest of the family.

    Like

  47. The Other Dave Says:

    I am pretty sure that whipping out Venn diagrams in the heat of a domestic argument has never worked for anyone.

    In the time it took you to write this post, DM, you could have cleaned the toilet and done the vacuuming and maybe just once in your life actually volunteered to do the grocery shopping (and come back with something besides chips, salsa, and beer thank you).

    Like

  48. DJMH Says:

    “I’ll let you in on a little secret, #scimoms. You know all those “expectations” of family and society that you rail against? The ones having to do with a clean house and offspring and keeping all of the birthday cards arriving on time and what not? Men have this for job and career. I know, you think you do too. A career is a good thing. We work for a living, etc. But there is a difference, particularly for the upper-middle class aspirational types such as dominate our academic circles. A career is a choice for you, it is not an obligation. ”

    No, DM, you don’t get to write this in the post, and then claim we are trying to “shoot the messenger” when we are upset about it. That is mansplaining at its finest.

    Like

  49. DrugMonkey Says:

    I did the grocery shopping late last night, thanks, TOD

    Like

  50. JPop Says:

    Y’all are making me so, so happy to be single and kid-less :D. *breaks open popcorn*.

    Like

  51. Evelyn Says:

    I was with you all the way until “maybe your husband didn’t really want kids” part. And after reading that, my blinder’s came on, my face got red, and my head exploded and I was unable to read the rest of it. You may have had a profound insight into the meaning of life (or even more importantly shared the super-secret trick to scoring in the top 10th percentile) but I would not know because I could not read anything after that.
    Kids are not a freakin’ house plant. It’s not a “oh, well, I guess you really want kids so, well, sure, here are some kids.” If you have a kid, you become the second place. Always. That kid is from that point on the priority in your life. And sometimes that priority means that yes, you have to work late, or go on a business trip, or miss a baseball game, because you know that sending that kid to college or saving enough so the kid doesn’t have to support you in your old age – is prioritizing him or her. If you do not feel like you can make the child the number one priority in your life, you should not become a parent. Having a child is an enormous responsibility and if you don’t feel like you can take that on, don’t. You can find a partner that feels the same way about this as you do, and by God, agreeing on kids and money is way more important in a lasting relationship than agreeing on your favorite band or beer. “The kid is just not as important to me as it is to you” is not the same as whether kitchen counters are wiped every night or once a week.
    I also want to state that the idea that women “opt-out” is not always the woman’s idea. When we got pregnant, my husband made it very clear that he wanted me to stay home with the baby. I didn’t want to, so we compromised and I stayed home for a year then went back to work. My career didn’t suffer because I was switching fields but as we are talking about #2, the same scenario will not be an option. He does not want the baby in daycare and I don’t want to stay home: so we will most likely hire a nanny. In my opinion, he is certainly welcome to stay full time with the baby if he wants to but somehow, he has never brought that up. I wonder why…

    Like

  52. DrugMonkey Says:

    Your comment seems to reinforce my point. In several ways.

    Like


  53. He does not want the baby in daycare and I don’t want to stay home: so we will most likely hire a nanny. In my opinion, he is certainly welcome to stay full time with the baby if he wants to but somehow, he has never brought that up.

    Well talk about equality… This honestly makes me very sad. If your husband doesn’t want the kid in daycare then HE can be the one to stay home for a year right?! Why is his opinion more important than yours when it’s about YOUR career??

    Like

  54. zb Says:

    The Venn diagram is nice, as an explanatory tool, and part of a partnership has to be discussing the whole Venn diagram, and yes, both men (want mother home with the baby, as an example, . . . .) and women (want the house to be neat or to cook dinner at home, . . . ) can have priorities that aren’t shared by their spouse.

    But, having children? My guess would be that to the extent that the “central tendency” shows men as “fitting children around their careers” v “fitting their careers around children” the biological differences in reproductive windows plays the most significant role, and not the actual desire to have children (though those are mixed up enough). There are enough couples where both partners prioritized career over children in which the man then found himself with a second family, with whom he reproduced. The option remains out there for most men (especially ones who prioritize career) while it disappears for women. So when a man is with the life partner who you purport to love, when the man says “I don’t really care whether we have children” so, if we have them, they are your responsibility, like the fresh flowers you insist on having on the dinner table, my take home is that the man is being a little less than honest with himself or his spouse.

    (and, that’s a big part of the problem with the Venn diagram, and I speak of this as one who is stubborn enough that I can use my BATNA — best alternative to a negotiated solution — very well to get what I want). It is not, I admit, very nice to my (male) spouse, though.

    Like


  55. In the US stay at home moms are a thing of the past.

    Wut??

    Like

  56. Evelyn Says:

    DM, well, I did say I was totally with you on most of this – I just don’t like the idea of equating taking care of the kids to cleaning the toilets. I think zb made this point a lot better than I did.

    inbabyattachmode, even “enlightened” men have their faults.

    Like

  57. drugmonkey Says:

    zb- A rather nice example of the rationalization process by which people insist that surely the man wanted children all along. Do you see how circular this is? Do you know how ballistic women would go if one were to similarly argue that they didn’t really mean what they say they think/believe because of such nonsense arguments?

    Perhaps in the ManWithSecondFamily scenario the first failed marriage simply convinced him that he should take a leap into parenthood for the sake of NewWoman and his relationship with same. This is no different process than with the man who starts from the same preference to remain childless but figures this shit out on the first go-round.

    Like

  58. qaz Says:

    A lot of this whole issue (in the sciences) depends on DM’s point that “…but this pales compared with a 5 yr publication gap, no?” This makes it very hard for someone (female OR male) to take a break for another goal (kids, another career, an ill parent or partner, any think not-200% science) and come back to be a PI. It makes it very hard for someone (male or female) to balance work with other things. The only ones who make it to PI are the ones who never slip up (or slip out, say for a drink). I do agree with DM that this is the current attitude among much of the reviewers and grant-giving agencies, but there is absolutely no reason for it. This is just more St.-Kernism.

    The world changes in five years. The technology you learned in graduate school is either just fine after five years, at which point, you just need to read up on what’s been solved in between. Or the technology you learned in graduate school is totally out of date after five years, at which point, you need to learn something new anyway. A 5-year publication gap is only a problem if we believe that it is.

    Lots of people can catch up to where the world is. We don’t HAVE to live in the thunderdome. It’s too bad that we do. It makes life harder for both women and men.

    Like

  59. The Other Dave Says:

    Any guy who says he didn’t want children should wonder…

    1) Whose children are they, if not his?

    or

    2) Whether he maybe then should have used a condom.

    It takes two to make a baby. The idea that women need to also bear most of the post-birth burden is stupid.

    Like

  60. miko Says:

    Exactly. If you had baby simply because your partner wanted one (and if you think that you not wanting one as much gets you out of jack shit), you’re dumb and deserve all the sufferings.

    Like

  61. Ide Says:

    This: “But what if one spouse has an entirely different approach? What if he could take or leave kids…or actively doesn’t want them. Suppose this is a labor he takes on for the sake of the partner’s happiness? This is typically where the dominant meme of academic women takes over to insist that child bearing is not a choice, exactly. The man derives benefit! And he enjoys the ever loving fuck out of his kids now, so that proves he always wanted them all along! Aha, shared-task. Not a one-spouse priority, this now goes in the “we” box. Dusts hands.”

    Dear lord…you poor thing, getting ‘tricked’ into having kids. And then being expected to help take care of them!! Awful, really.

    However, from my perspective, as a woman who doesn’t really want children married to a man who really, really wants children, I’m going to call complete b.s. on the idea that one partner should go into the decision to have children with the idea that, since they didn’t really want kids, the partner that does want kids should be solely responsible for the resulting dependents and the other partner can just wash their hands of the whole thing and use the “Well you’re the one that wanted kids” comeback every time the children-wanting partner asks for help with the raising of said kids.

    My spouse and I only got married after looking long and hard at whether or not we would be happy together both with or without children. My husband attests to love me enough to deal with the disappointment of no children, and I love my husband enough to have children so that he can experience being a father.

    However, I would never, ever dream of going into the child-having situation with the mindset that I will just pop the little kiddies out and then go on my merry way back to work and career, leaving spouse to deal with “his” kids. If we do have children we will be raising them as a couple and I will make damn sure to contribute my share of love, stress, and work to the raising of OUR children. In my mind having kids is a hell of a lot different than giving your spouse dance lessons for his birthday (even though you detest dancing) and then being annoyed when he wants to dance with you all the *freaking* time.

    Like

  62. miko Says:

    “inbabyattachmode, even “enlightened” men have their faults.”

    “I don’t want it in daycare so you stay home” is #17 of the 30 ways dudes can lose their “enlightened” certification.

    Like

  63. Joe Says:

    @leigh “or for all the men to wanna go out and be the rawr macho breadwinner”
    It’s not about being macho, and marriage is not a competition. It was drilled into me as a boy that if you do not have a job that will support you and your family, you should not get married/have kids. The obligation is real, and the things you must do to make the career more productive are very important. Should we also drill this attitude into girls?

    Like

  64. drugmonkey Says:

    I think you people are drawing too much of a black/white distinction over this child preference thing and failing to stay in contact with the original post.

    It is about completely subjective opinions in the minds of two members of a partnership about who bears more responsibility for particular tasks. What is a shared task, what is a “my” task and what is a “your” task.

    I agree entirely that once the man or woman who may have been initially reluctant to have children decides to do so, for whatever balance of me/you factors, this person had better sac the hell up and commit to the children.

    It is *best* if this is one of those situations where the reluctance gives way to genuine, full-throated appreciation of the fact of the children. I score myself in this category, as it happens. As some of you know I am ridiculously and shamelessly enamoured of my children’s awesomeness.

    However, there are many couples for whom the my/your responsibility list over childrearing does not jibe very well at all. This can contribute substantially to the 75+75=30 problem. It is but one of the issues, albeit a very large one given the time and effort (and blood and treasure) that goes into the kiddos.

    Like

  65. drugmonkey Says:

    BTW, the “yes, yes but children are totes different” crew should consider the fact that there are at least two participants on this thread who assert that they and their respective spouses have come to the well considered conclusion that they should not parent children.

    It is a choice, like any other.

    Like

  66. DrLizzyMoore Says:

    DUDES! Did anyone pay attention to what Bam said? Seriously? IT ROCKED!

    As a #scimom with a stay-at-home-dad hubby, I still do laundry, dishes, etc. He cooks, enforces time out and keeps our shit together. Sometimes working in the various roles of scientist, mentor, mom, wife, breadwinner, not in any particular order, feels like juggling lit fiery torches while wading across a quick sand tar pit. Meh.

    Tough shit. Seriously. Life happens. Sometimes all over your lab notebook and your perfectly decorated living room and never in neatly strewn Vinn diagrams…….point is: drop the maryr bullshit, start communicating honestly (not in some nifty code in need of a cipher), work with your partner to negotiate what each of you needs and then shut up about it and get it done. Who gives a shit what percentage falls where?…it’s always a a moving target and it usually balances out. If not there’s always Sparkle by Richard Simmons……so there’s that.

    Like

  67. becca Says:

    Yes, and NOT murdering your spouse for the insurance money is a choice. Like any other.

    Like

  68. The Other Dave Says:

    “As some of you know I am ridiculously and shamelessly enamoured of my children’s awesomeness.

    Since you’re so enamoured, Mr ModernMan, why don’t you get off the damn computer and spend some time with them?

    Like

  69. DrugMonkey Says:

    Is that your threshold TOD? 100% time?

    Like


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