Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Going All the Way

Camile Paglia wrote an interesting article in the New York Times on Friday called No Sex Please, We're Middle Class. In it, she asserts that when women hold control at home and men follow along as ‘helpers,’ sex lives can dwindle. That makes sense. Here it is in her words: "...family life has put middle-class men in a bind; they are simply cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women. Contemporary moms have become virtuoso super-managers of a complex operation focused on the care and transport of children. But it’s not so easy to snap over from Apollonian control to Dionysian delirium."

When men were “men” and women were “women,” traditional roles may have kept our sex lives interesting (to a point) because we maintained our separate spheres and stayed strangers in this manner. Great if you like the ’strangers on a train’ kind of sex. Probably not so great once you get to know a few annoying things about your own personal stranger, but remain relative strangers none-the-less.

Then there's the scenario in which men and women learn to share everything together - the work and the joy - on a level in which no one is directing the other (otherwise known as equally shared parenting of course). Here familiarity may be at a high but genuine intimacy thrives - and the kind of sex that arises from that depth of intimacy is there for the taking.

But when men do their fair share around the house but are dragged and managed by their wives, nothing seems very sexy anymore. We call this 'pseudoequality' - an unfortunate situation in which men and women look to be equals on the surface, maybe even achieving 50/50 chore sharing (heaven forbid!). But look a bit deeper and you'll see a profound imbalance of power - a set-up for resentment, harassment, avoidance, annoyance and anger. Not too sexy, huh?

Half-way to equality is like half-way to paradise...purgatory is not a good move, sex-wise!


Blogger blue milk said...

Great analysis of this annoying piece from Paglia.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey, Blue Milk, thanks for leaving a comment. I love your blog!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer R. said...

This is helpful to read. My husband has said things that make me think he's feeling like a cog in a machine operated by me...guess I have more to learn about ESP!!!

10:09 AM  

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