Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Slate has a story from a man who's a stay-at-home husband. Not dad, just husband. His now-wife got her PhD and (it can happen! though I wonder in what field, but could not find out in the requisite ten seconds of Googling so, so much for that) got a high-paid job elsewhere, so he came with, and kind of fell into house-husband-ness.

And, the response from commenters is... not so positive. Either dude is looking to be dumped (because every woman needs a man at least as ambitious as she is), or he's living the dream (which must also involve pot and video games), or he's simply not a man, or he's unemployed and pretending like there's more to it. Or - alas - he's taken to task for not devoting himself to charity. (We don't know that he doesn't volunteer, but it's not in the article.)

As for me, I think it's great. There are super-driven women, and things will go far more smoothly if there are male partners-of-women prepared to be the less ambitious party, rather than if every ambitious woman demands a still more professionally successful man. Granted, for income as well as sanity, less-ambitious partners-of-both-sexes are generally going to have some kind of job outside the home (which might well be from home, which is something else). We've reached a day and age in which it's considered bizarre for a woman to not work on account of being married, unless there are kids. But arrangements like these basically need to happen for women to have better representation in any number of fields, particularly those requiring frequent relocation. If more such couples existed, if we got that 'the less ambitious one' didn't always have to be the woman... yes, that seems like the way to go. Even if most often that person is likely to be the woman, due to whichever social conventions, difficult pregnancies, etc. But the idea is it shouldn't have to be the woman.

My only caveat would be that clearly dude isn't so entirely lacking in get-up-and-go, so content with just being a stay-at-home spouse, given that he's gone and written an article about this for a major publication.


Shybiker said...

Our society doesn't support the arts so there are many professions (e.g., writing) that lend themselves to this situation. But more importantly, we don't need to justify to others how we choose to live our lives. If one wants to enjoys a simple life, that's your right. The opinions of others just don't matter.

caryatis said...

He's only been staying at home for six months, and at least the first couple months I would think would be taken up by moving stuff and getting to know the new city. Who knows how long he's going to be content with this arrangement?