Most women work one shift at the office or factory and a 'second shift' at home.— Arlie Russell Hochschild
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The influx of women into paid work and her increased power raise a woman's aspirations and hopes for equal treatment at home. Her lower wage and status at work and the threat of divorce reduce what she presses for and actually expects.
Many of the young aspire to happy marriages and dot-com fortunes but end up in guarded love and okay-for-now jobs.
Could it be, I wonder, that there is such a thing as a wantologist, someone we can hire to figure out what we want? Have I arrived at some final telling moment in my research on outsourcing intimate parts of our lives, or at the absurdist edge of the market frontier?
In response to our fast-food culture, a 'slow food' movement appeared.
Out of hurried parenthood, a move toward slow parenting could be growing. With vital government supports for state-of-the-art public child care and paid parental leave, maybe we would be ready to try slow love and marriage.
Has Bill Clinton inspired idealism in the young, as he himself was inspired by John F. Kennedy? Or has he actually reduced their idealism? Surely part of the answer lies in Clinton's personal moral lapse with Monica Lewinsky. But more important was his sin of omission - his failure to embrace a moral cause beyond popularity.
If in previous decades large historic events drew people together and oriented them toward collective action, the recent double trend toward greater choice but less security leads the young to see their lives in more individual terms. Big events collectivize. Little events atomize.
Many women cut back what had to be done at home by redefining what the house, the marriage and, sometimes, what the child needs. One woman described a fairly common pattern: I do my half. I do half of his half, and the rest doesn't get done.
As long as the "woman's work" that some men do is socially devalued, as long as it is defined as woman's work, as long as it's tacked onto a "regular" work day, men who share it are likely to develop the same jagged mouth and frazzled hair as the coffee-mug mom. The image of the new man is like the image of the supermom: it obscures the strain.
Here is a new car, a new iPhone. We buy. We discard. We buy again. In recent years, we've been doing it faster.
And the Republican Party especially associates the market with the idea of progress, goodness, family, and points us toward the mall as an answer to all our personal dreams.
The surface of American life looks smooth, prosperous, peaceful.
But underneath, fault-line shifts in family and work life have led us into what some have called 'advanced insecurity.
Each marriage bears the footprints of economic and cultural trends which originate far outside marriage.
For many of us, work is the one place where we feel appreciated.
The things that we long to experience at home - pride in our accomplishments, laughter and fun, relationships that aren't complex - we sometimes experience most often in the office. Bosses applaud us when we do a good job. Co-workers become a kind of family we feel we fit into.
Many working families are both prisoners and architects of the time bind in which they find themselves.
To televisionize any serious problem, the program directors face the task of making the message 'go down smooth' until the audience is delivered to the commercial.
The "female culture" has shifted more rapidly than the "male culture";
the image of the go-get 'em woman has yet to be fully matched by the image of the let's take-care-of-the-kids- together man. More important, over the last thirty years, men's underlying feelings about taking responsibility at home have changed much less than women's feelings have changed about forging some kind of identity at work.
Paradoxically, those who call for family values also tout the wonders of an unregulated market without observing the subtle cultural links between the family they seek to regulate and the market they hold free.
And were in the middle of a perfect storm.
These days, government social services are being bad-mouthed and defunded. The non-profit world is looking more and more like the for-profit world. The growing gap between rich and poor makes most of us very anxious about where we stand.
Compared with the employed, the jobless are less likely to vote, volunteer, see friends and talk to family. Even on weekends, the jobless spend more time alone than those with jobs.
Children born of married parents in America face a higher risk of seeing them break up than children born of unmarried parents in Sweden.
Let's stop insulting each other and really get to know people.
I mean, have a few beers and go on a fishing trip, and you will find a friend who won't see the world the way you do, but where you can have a really good conversation about it.
The more we rely on the market, the more hooked we become on its promises: Do you need a tidier closet? A nicer family picture album? Elderly parents who are truly well cared for? Children who have an edge in school, on tests, in college and beyond? If we can afford the services involved, many if not most of us are prone to say, 'Sure, why not?
Most women without children spend much more time than men on housework;
with children, they devote more time to both housework andchild care. Just as there is a wage gap between men and women in the workplace, there is a "leisure gap" between them at home. Most women work one shift at the office or factory and a "second shift" at home.
People who volunteer at the recycling center or soup kitchen through a church or neighborhood group can come to feel part of something 'larger.' Such a sense of belonging calls on a different part of a self than the market calls on. The market calls on our sense of self-interest. It focuses us on what we 'get.'
The more anxious, isolated and time-deprived we are, the more likely we are to turn to paid personal services. To finance these extra services, we work longer hours. This leaves less time to spend with family, friends and neighbors; we become less likely to call on them for help, and they on us.
If in the earlier part of the century, middle-class children suffered from overattentive mothers, from being "mother's only accomplishment," today's children may suffer from an underestimation of their needs. Our idea of what a child needs in each case reflects what parents need. The child's needs are thus a cultural football in an economic and marital game.
As motherhood as a "private enterprise" declines and more mothers rely on the work of lower-paid specialists, the value accorded the work of mothering (not the value of children) has declined for women, making it all the harder for men to take it up.
Three factors--the belief that child care is female work, the failure of ex-husbands to support their children, and higher male wages at work--have taken the economic rug from under that half of married women who divorce.
Just as the archetype of the supermom--the woman who can do it all--minimizes the real needs of women, so too the archetype of the"superkid" minimizes the real needs of children. It makes it all right to treat a young child as if he or she were older.
There's the reason that I think that red states don't trust the government.
They see it as an instrument of their own marginalization, because they feel especially Democratic administrations have favored blacks, women, immigrants, refugees. And all of these groups, they see as getting ahead of them, as almost like line-cutters, pushing them back in line.