Assumptions: Women Have it Tougher Than I Thought

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A nice reminder that although it's not all bubble baths and bon-bons for stay-at-home moms (or dads), that assumption is often made.

The following is an excerpt from an article I read on 

“The stay-at-home moms, or the “Lululemon Moms” as the working moms in my community often call them, seem just a bit calmer. Of course, not all of them wear Lululemon workout gear–in fact a lot of them might not even be able to afford $95 or so for yoga pants. Still, the reference to the “Lululemon mom” has become short-hand for what many working moms incorrectly assume to be a certain kind of person.

In reality, I don’t know anything about their lives except that they get to wear comfortable clothing when I am dressed for the office. ”

Although this (and most) parenting articles assume the primary care giver of a child is the mother (as was the focus during the recent Yahoo work-from-home ban). I have however, been finding it easier to insert myself (or rather my gender) into the text.

Although I believe in the fundamental principles of Carl Jung’s identified archetypes of anima and animus, I don’t think it’s all genetic and I debated this point with my mother who counseled me on the magnitude of the undertaking any stay-home dad accepts. I believe a significant portion of our gender identity is largely a result of socialization and suppression. In light of my recent catharsis, I have come to realize that the one benefiting most from my struggles and sacrifices is not my daughter as I had initially presumed… but in fact, it has been me.

This gender-role reversal has allowed me to experience a tremendous amount of growth as a person and adopt a fresh perspective on personal dynamics in general and a newfound appreciation for modern women. I always found it interesting and disappointing that in most professional situations…even even after introducing the woman in the room as the lead, client or principle....most people will still direct their eye contact and conversation at me.  I understand the hard-wired tendency to predominately regard the physically larger (and often louder) presence in the room but it surprises me, that in 2013, women have a great deal more conscious and unconscious gender discrimination to overcome on the professional and domestic fronts than I ever imagined.