Friday, June 26, 2009

The Social Repositioning of the "Stay at Home Dad"

From Daddy Dialectic:

Here's the important thing: During the Great Depression, unemployment would destroy men. They were told that money was all they had to contribute to their families; if employment vanished, they saw themselves as worthless. They couldn't become "stay-at-home dads" because that role did not exist. Few mothers worked and fewer earned enough to support families. Today, most moms work and we can say to unemployed fathers: you still have value to your family, they need for you to see to their well-being.

That's a message that a decade's worth of voluntary stay-at-home dads can send to today's laid-off dads. That's something men need to hear right now, that they can play caregiving as well as breadwinning roles in their families.



  1. Lyndsay6/26/2009

    I'm confused about the 30s now. I'm reading The Feminine Mystique and it sounds like a greater percentage of women worked in the '30s than in the '50s. Not sure if you know of stats of how many women or mothers worked throughout the decades.

  2. Hello; this is Jeremy of Daddy Dialectic. I spotted this link and saw this comment, and thought I'd reply. Women's employment jumped during the 30s and again in the 40s (e.g., Rosie the Riveter); it dipped after WWII and throughout the 50s, but started to rise again by the end of the decade--in fact, it rose steadily throughout the 20th century. As a result, there are vastly more women and mothers working in the first decade in the 21st century than were working in the 30s.

  3. Lyndsay6/27/2009

    Thanks for the comment. I guess "few" is relative to today. I wonder what the common view is though. If I hadn't done certain reading I wouldn't have realized that employment of women rose for much of the 20th century except the '50s. Even then it sounds like some were working but there were more educated women not working than ever before.

  4. The best thing about being a stay-at-home dad is having the freedom to do what you want with your time. You can spend time with your kids and do other activities.

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