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Women Bringing Home the Bacon

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There’s a power shift underway in earning power in the American family, in the American marriage. More and more wives are out-earning their husbands.

Women already get more college degrees. Now, a new study says, in marriages where the couple is under forty, nearly a quarter of women make more than their spouse. More than the guy. A generation ago, that portion was closer to zero.

That’s a big change. We wonder how it changes the family chemistry. The gender roles. Our culture.

This hour, On Point: What does it mean when the wife makes the bigger bucks?

Guests:

Joining us from New York is Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University. She focuses on gender, work, and family life. Her latest book is “The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America.”

And from Berkeley, Calif., we’re joined by Joshua Coleman, a clinical psychologist and expert on families, parenting, and relationships. He’s co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. His latest book is “When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along.”

More links:

Read the Pew Research Center study “New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives,” published this week.

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  • cory

    In America today, men need to stow their egos. My wife outearns me and provides our health insurance. I am nothing but grateful. I am also grateful that neither of us have to work two jobs (yet).

  • Tom N.

    This inevitable advance, clearly reverses the earlier balance of power within the home.

    The acute risk is that the usual man in this transition becomes more and more confused about roles and interactions.

    And as some women naturally succumb to the seduction of power… as “power corrupts”… and with awareness lacking, on both ends… happiness becomes a myth!

  • Mark

    I am a little confused. I keep hearing both that more and more wives are out earning their husbands and that women make less than men. I am trying to reconcile this discrepancy but have so far come up with nothing. Can you please address this issue.

  • Lisa W., Reading MA

    Tom – I listen to your program very often and LOVE it. Great topics. Great guests. You open my mind. Please read my comments. Thank you.

    Women making more than men is not a trend. It is part of the changes of the NEW economy. Coupled with the motivation by women to educate themselves in order to be on a level playing field with men and the fact that companies are laying off high-paying men and hiring cheaper women (we still only get 76cents per every $ that men make for the same job)to be more profitable in the last year – women are making gains, but the process has been slow and steady. Men have assumed they will always have the “power” – at home, at the office, with the children. That has changed and will continue to make headlines more and more.

    As for the previous comment posted by Tom N.: “This inevitable advance, clearly reverses the earlier balance of power within the home.” – What vacuum have you been living in Tom N? Women are mothers, executives, workers, caregivers for parents, aunts, sisters, laundry-doers, dinner-makers, family-organizers, soccer moms, hockey moms, and mentors. In between all that we find time to go to college and strive to make life better for our families. Give us credit where credit is do. And what do we continue to hear about in the news? – men are the ones who crippled us at Wall Street, men are the ones who go on shooting sprees and kill people, men are mostly the ones in acts of violence against other humans, men are the ones who leave the women who raise the kids alone. Why don’t women state this more often?

    Women have been flexible and been adjusting for decades in order to survive. Now it’s time for men to adapt to the changes we’ve made. Touche’

  • Yankeetom

    Women are not making more these days, these days, men are making less, especially blue collar workers.

  • Jeremy Baker

    During my days working as deep sea commercial fisher in Alaska, I at times found myself working on co-ed ships. As the most experienced deck hand apart from the captain aboard the F/V Bonanza, I coached Sheri Webber, the green horn, and trained Jeff ???, the young crabber new to long lining. For those who don’t know, crabbing is difficult and dangerous work, but long lining is the marathon of fishing and requires both strength and stamina to avoid the dangers and can be just as lethal. Crab crews can sneak five minute naps between sets, or so I have been told by a captain. There are no naps on a long ship, and crews can work days with only 4 hours, or less, of sleep each night.

    Jeff would at times fall asleep while standing up on deck. At one point while picking gear, which involves hydraulic gear pulling a line from the bottom of the ocean to the ship’s deck, a line fitted with black cod hooks placed every half fathom, Jeff nearly fell into the line near the crucifier (device the line pass through to remove a fish from a hook), and Sheri caught him. Long story short, Sheri out worked the Bering Sea crabber, Jeff, both in stamina, physical work, quality of work, and she did not steal my gear which Jeff did due to problems that followed him back from the bar.

    Sheri claimed that waiting tables in a busy restaurant was worse than black cod fishing. I guess while working in a restaurant you wouldn’t be trained and expected to know how to work all the jobs/positions. A waiter wouldn’t see sea birds skimming large waves in a gale, dipping their wings into the water almost like a surfer having fun. A kitchen worker would not see dozens of orange and white beaked puffins running across the surface of the water to take off in flight, or watching porpoises play in the bow’s wake, mountains disappearing over the horizon at sun set… .

    The women I have worked with while fishing were excellent deck hands, excelling in a harsh environment with 75 lbs. anchors, 150 lbs. skates with bait, hooks, and line, slaughtering fish, working gear, late night watches, spartan living conditions, lack of showers for days/weeks, they always seemed to have an amicable demeanor while facing hardship where as men can be whiners, and make good dock workers where as the common men tend to drink and sleep late. Coincidently, I also made the most money black cod fishing on the co-ed ships.

    While in the Navy, the .50 cal gun station next to mine was positioned by a woman. I was worried she wouldn’t think I was good support for her because she was more experienced with ship’s communications/protocol and in better shape.

    A ship has only so many bunks and a great amount of work that must be executed by these few individuals. A man or women who can not meet their share of work will likely be replaced, but I have never seen this happen.

  • Tom N.

    Lisa, I appreciate your comments and agree with them, what I express is an “abbreviated” observation, and would wish my daughter be president one day!

    However, what I focus on is just one area of this big subject which is “power”; women are not more immune from corruption brought about by power because they have XX chromosomes and not XY chromosomes … Did Margaret Thatcher make the world a better place because she was a woman… Perhaps some may think ?

    I’m for merit above all … talking about vacuum… the U.S and much of the world lives in millennia past, Protestants in conflict with Catholics in Northern Ireland, Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, Shia and Sunni in the Middle East … etc … cheers and let us be patient a little with each other …

  • Jaminthia P.

    I am the income earner for my house and my husband stays home with our 8 month old daughter. My husband and daugher are so close. I have to be honest, I am going to have a hard time when he goes back to work.

  • John

    I am a 58 year old man who has been married for 35 years. My wife has been making more than me for the past ten years, my only response is: Great! If there are power issues in a marriage that revolve around money, I wonder about the marriage. A successful marriage is a series of compromises by both parties. Money may be the vehicle but the underlying issue is likely something other than money

  • http://wbur.org Erin Kennedy

    I am 31, my husband is 34, we have been married for 7 and 1/2 years, and I am a pharmacist and my husband is an electrician. While in school he was almost completely responsible for our income, and now I make almost 3 times what he makes. He has no problem with this, and I am grateful that he was so supportive and can now afford to do things for him like buy that Playstation 3. We share household duties and make joint decisions about how we spend our money, and are both satisfied with our marriage and our roles in it.

  • Yar

    The family is being destroyed by no fault divorce. Nobody is raising the children.

    Divorce law currently creates the situation that requires both partners to work to provide for their own security.

    One partner can cash out of a marrage and take their part leaving their former spouse to raise the kids without any help.

    I was a stay at home Dad.

  • melanie

    Looking over some of these comments,I think a distinction needs to be made–women may be supporting their husbands a bit more, but that women still earn less than men do.

  • Jon I.

    My girlfriend, age 28, has told me that she is specifically started working towards her doctorate degree only because she didn’t know whether she would ever find a future husband (that would provide for her and her family). She wanted to be set in life if she was going to have to go through it on her own. The more school she had the more potential money she would make in the future. Now that she’s met me and looks forward to marriage, she doesn’t really care about being a bread winner.

  • Becky

    My sister and brother-in-law are in this situation. My sister is a Physician Assistant making good money and my brother-in-law works in technical support for a software company, but not making as much as my sister. After my nephew was born last March, he had two extended hospital stays as well as several other moderate health problems. My sister was the one to stay with him in the hospital, meaning they lost her income for months at a time. I know she felt and feels the pressure to keep working full-time where she’s at, even when she wants to scale back and work part-time in another section of health care. Knowing this, my brother-in-law is starting to look into going back into school for pharmacology so that he can shoulder more of the financial responsibility.

  • Tom

    I think that one of the reasons (not the only reason, but definately a factor) that women earn less yet are more employed is precisely because companies like to hire people who can produce just as much yet cost less. One sort of follows the other.

  • Ed Andrews

    Please note that the latest statistics I have heard are that women earn $0.77 compared to men, not 70 cents as Tom Ashbrook said. However, this statistic should not just be thrown around without a bit of context. i have seen statistics that when men and women are compared apples to apples (i.e. similar positions, experience etc.) that the difference is more like 2 cents. Much of the difference can be explained by women being more in some lower paid positions (teaching, retail etc.) and by women making the choice to work part-time or leave the work force at some point in their careers to raise children. This is not to diminish real discrimination, but it should be based on the full accounting of facts, not just looking at things in a politically correct way. I expect this show to look at the full range of ideas, not fall into a narrow trap of PC thought. Thank you.

  • BHA

    It depends on the family. When we got married 20 years ago, my wife made more than I did. She did the laundry, I did the cooking and grocery shopping.

    She got laid off 2 years ago, has not had a paying job since and nothing has changed at home. When we both made money, it was ‘our’ money. Now that I am the only one bringing in money, it is still ‘our money’.

  • peter goldsmith

    In it’s essessence, it’s a beautiful idea, and for many it will work. Beware of not getting the truth. My ex and I came up in the 60′s. We told each other that it didn’t matter who earned more, and it didn’t…for many, many years while we built a major retail business. Then one day, she knew that she was going to be financially independent, and I was history was history

  • Jerry T.

    My wife is a physician and I was an IT professional until the birth of our second child. At that time I became a stay at home dad. My wife fully respects my work at home and treats my day no different than if I had been at the office working all day. The problem I have run into is with other men. As a stay at home dad I tend to be left out of the business talk that happens with dads at little league games or parties. It can leave you feeling isolated but I try to keep the big picture in my mind with the needs of my children and raising them to become responsible adults. I must say I now really appreciate the work my mother did raising seven children as a stay at home mom.

  • Kenny

    I appreciate the larger context that Ms. Gerson is emphasizing, but I can testify based on personal experience. Since you asked…

    My wife and I both worked in the same field, and for eight years we even had the same employer. When I grew weary of this situation, I left to take a lower-paying position. I was laid off after five months, and over the next several years, I held several positions that all paid less. The drumbeat started with the in-laws, and now my wife is my ex – because I was a “loser.”

    So in my case, salary-differential had an all-too-predictable outcome, but I hope my experience is the exception and not the rule.

    And, in any case, as a further sign of the times, both of us are unemployed now, and there is some sense of equality in that.

  • Jeanny Wishingstone

    The only significant change represented by the this statistic, from 4% to 21% over the last 40 years, is that women are discriminated against a bit less than before, with regard to payscale. There is still a long way to go. Since 1970, I doubt there is a significant change in the amount or quality that women work, nor in the married relationships between women & men. Women are simply a tiny bit closer to receiving the pay and recognition they deserve for what they contribute, which is in the grander scheme, unchanged throughout history. For the many families supported solely by single mothers, it suggests they are less impoverished. nothing else is different. it is somewhat offensive to me, to see this framed in any other way.

  • Mary Kate

    My husband and I were watching Mad Men the other night and talking about the role of the sexes on the show. While the business world was dominated by men during the early 60s when the show takes place, we both agree that someday soon the business world will be dominated by women. He is a high school teacher and notices that overwhelmingly the girls are the stronger, more hardworking students. My question is, when is the gender shift beginning? Is this pattern of the girls dominating at the school age shifting to the workplace?

  • Melissa Manson

    Let’s add in the dilemma of unemployment. My partner was laid off and battled the feeling of “lack of contribution” to the degree that he took a job at half the income of his last one. A year later he was laid off again and the battle with identity starts anew

  • B. Opetubo

    garhhh!!! this is the most frustrating, offensive conversation i’ve ever heard on this station. THIS quote-unquote “TREND” will have nooo effect on greater culture as long as you people treat this like an anomaly: “a WIFE making more than her HUSBAND/MASTER/GOD???? Whaaaaat?!?!?”

    get over it! neither men or women should have to bear the full brunt of financial or child-rearing responsibilities. and it’s extremely disheartening to hear a woman call in, devaluing her role in her marriage and disparaging men for having “weaknesses”. I really hate that i live in this society, in which entire conversations use generalizations as a starting point instead of QUESTIONING the generalizations in the first place…

  • Jeremy Baker

    Clarification about previous post, re: earnings, the co-ed ships caught the most fish among the trips I made, which is luck to some degree; hence my/our share of the catch was more profitable. Crew are paid for their work, and shares of the catch are given in relation to productivity of the crew member. A man/woman who works gets their fair share, assuming the captain or first mate isn’t a shyster.

  • Charles Truslow

    Isn’t this just a continuation of business pushing out a more expensive work force for lower cost labor? Where in the past women would be up in arms that they were paid less than men, the leveling was to rid the men from the work place all together. Women are not making more than before just men making less.

  • http://www.todd-m-johnson.com Todd

    Tom,

    Are married people really making an issue of who brings home a larger paycheck. My wife and I have three children and one goal–provide for our family financially, show our children great love and affection, and run the household as efficiently as possible. As an artist, I make six figures from the basement. Every minute I work, I wish I was spending with my kids. My wife is the chief “domestic engineer,” and runs our household. I might make all the money, but she’s the economist (from the greek, oikos (house) nomikos (manager). If I want to spend any significant amount of money–greater than fifty bucks, say–I ask her first. If she wanted to work outside the home, we’d work it out. Gender roles be damned, a family must operate for the mutual benefit of all its members, not serving the ego of one spouse or another. Delegate tasks accordingly, be it childcare, dishes, or “bread winning.”

    Todd

  • Carolyn

    My husband and I are in this situation, as are some of our friends in their 30s and early 40s. Division of labor is challenging, not because men are unwilling (though sometimes they are) to take on household administration and childcare, but because they never learned how. The skills of “home economics” — how to shop with a list, keep and use leftovers, that laundry and dishes are an ongoing, daily task, and even budgeting, bill-paying, and long-term planning — are things that I learned form my second-wave feminist supermom. Our mothers’ generation did it all, worked and still fixed dinner and did the carpool, but their jobs were always secondary. Some of us are *still* trying to do it all, but the family depends first on our paycheque, not our spotless floors or breastmilk pumped through our 50-hour weeks. If there’s not a strong partnership, it can be a lot of pressure.

  • Marc

    I wonder if this is one of those situations where this works fine for functional families, but becomes a battleground when the relationship is not great. Given how frequently marriages end in divorce, there must be a lot of couples where the relationship is not so good. I suspect that wives making more than husbands breaks down under a stress test. And does it create more problems than when the husband makes more and there’s stress?

    Interesting topic as usual.

  • Sheldon

    My wife and I are both in our fifties and art is our passion. Over twenty-five years ago I traded jobs with my wife. I became the house husband and more importantly to me lived my dream to live life as an artist. She became the stable bread winner as a teacher/professor. As for income we had always stayed equal, but it was OUR money and OUR life together. It has never been a problem to us.

    What was interesting was it was more of a problem for our daughter who resented the non-traditional role of her dad as the one who met with the teachers, drove her to play-dates and did all of the things a traditional mom would do. As an adult she makes sure she is the MOM as it should be in her traditional mom role to her three children.

    In today’s new economic reality living life as an artist has become almost impossible. People are not buying art like they had. All of my artist friends are struggling. My wife still has the teaching job so this keeps us as a couple going. The couples who both rely on art as a living are the ones who may not make it as a couple or they might have to get a real job and thus we loose art and artist.

  • Meri

    I find this really confusing….I have lived all sides of this; as a single mother with a working class wage job for 8 years — marrying a 6 figure computer professional who became a sole breadwinner, and finally a divorced single woman reinventing a career and definitely shy of any relationship without my own financial security.
    At the center of all this is not who is making the money, but who is taking care of the kids at no pay.

  • Earl Shepherd

    How this issue translate in terms cultures and economic status.

  • Ed Andrews

    My only point with the statistics is that there are details beneath the big picture that are relevant. If female-dominated, professional professions are underpaid, then that should be changed. Conversely, highly paid, female-dominated professions such as nursing should have an active effort to increase men in the workplace. Imbalances negatively affecting men should be addressed as strongly as imbalances negatively affecting women. We all work better with balance. Facts may be inconvenient things, but they are facts. Women live longer, are healthier, have more social contacts, are imprisoned less often and have more choices than men. Lots to be done, but if the reverse situation supported PC point of view, there would be commissions galore to change this.

  • http://www.toprotype.com Rob Johnson

    Fascinating subject. As a graphic designer, I have been the primary bread winner
    in our family for the past 10 years. My wife was fortunate to have a business of her own that allowed her the flexibility to take care of our daughter. In the past year, my business was off by more than half, and hers dried-up altogether. She recently took
    a full time job with excellent health benefits while I have had to cut my hours even further to take up the slack raising our daughter. A definite role reversal has occurred
    and while being grateful that she has stepped up, it has been a tough mental adjustment for me. I still feel awkward asking for money to pay the mortgage, bills, etc. which have always been my responsibility.

  • Eliza

    I’m a liberal new mom with a group of very liberal and accomplished new mom friends. One of them was just commenting that being a big breadwinner in her family is challenging for her because she felt she didn’t have the option to be a say at home mom if she chose or to work fewer hours. I was surprised her hear her say that but I could certainly understand her point. Having a child has, all of a sudden, made me understand why so called “traditional” marriages work well for some people.

  • Todd

    In essence, the desire to take care of the woman that he loves is inherent to a man’s nature; and men feel as though it is their duty, and that they’ve failed if—for whatever reason—they’re unable to do that. Unfortunately, our socioeconomic structure has been contrived to make that duty continually more difficult to achieve.

  • Melinda

    I feel that while this study perhaps applies more to the 20-30 yo range of married couples, the concern of “complaciency” on the male member of the household that was mentioned by a caller is something I find as a common complaint among my peers (women in 40-50 yo age range, middle class/income, children at home, educated, and employed full time). It seems as though while both parties are employed the Victorian era mentality of home and children being the woman’s responsibility still apply. Thus the burden has multiplied for women, yet remains unchanged for men. But should the women focus solely on home, the standard of living would significantly decrease, resulting in a bind, a modern day form of bondage if you will for women–torn between providing better for their children & themselves or remaining in the home, relying solely on the husband for financial stability, which has become somewhat taboo in our modern society.

  • L.M.

    The post by “Jeremy Baker” regarding what he experienced regarding male and female workers on a crabbing boat in Alazka was an amazing testimony. I am glad to hear about it. Jeremy Baker stated that female workers on the boat worked hard and did not whine like a lot of the men did and they tolerated adverse conditions of life out on the sea for days at a time etc. The sad thing is that this probably does not reflect the majority of the co-ed working conditions that exist anywhere.

  • Ann

    Take Hour One today and mix it with Hour Two.

    IF we were not in a corporatocracy, IF we lived in an enlightened Scandinavian system, we would NOT have callers who feared for what would happen when the breadwinner WITH benefits wanted to be the partner home with the children. We would have many systemic benefits that represented solutions to the problems of multiple life-long responsibilities. Sure, our taxes would be higher, but we would get something of value to us with our taxes, instead of our taxes going toward Corporate Welfare. Our taxes would serve us at all points in the life span. AND, individuals and partnerships would NOT have to PRETZEL themselves all out of shape, sometimes “wrecking” their relationship, to solve problems personally; when we could be following, or tweaking, the SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS these other countries have already worked out. Please do NOT give a counter argument about the Swedes being depressed. They are as likely to be depressed by the lack of sunshine; and the Danes are consistently listed as the happiest country (or in the top three) in the world!

  • Jeremy Baker

    Limited grants/materials/seats in biology classes, in a school system encouraging women to approach science, a good thing, yet after graduation the female classmates I later met left research or doctorate pursuits that they aspired for during undergrad academic ascension, saying that they preferred a job that allows for the opportunity to interact with people rather than hold a job that requires work that isolates them from people. It’s difficult to file paperwork as a doctor or to do research in a lab when you want to relate to people, not petri dishes.

  • J Baker

    Thanks LM for ripple.
    Correction: my experience has been both surface and bottom long lining, Gloucester dragging, and salmon gill netting. I have never crabbed, not yet at least.

    Aspiring green horn fishers should look for a ship in good working order, a mess can be a sign of a drunk, meet with crew over several days/weeks, watch and learn and listen, be patient, tie clove hitch bowline and regular half hitch in your sleep, tie clean knots, become a monkey and do pull ups and long hangs at any opportunity to strengthen hands and upper body to stay aboard ship when awash with wet deck, follow orders but take initiative because a crew can get in trouble for not following orders and for not breaking orders… Mariners? No hitting on the ship, especially on the bridge. ALWAYS repeat a command, as to do nothing can be safer than doing the wrong thing in the ocean.

  • Stacked

    Women wanted power. They got it now. Time to put your feet up boys, and let the girls do the work! I couldn’t be happier! Don’t ask us what to do, to do anything anymore ladies. You got what you wanted, not bear the load! LOL! The plan worked out well Gents. We fooled them into doing everything. Now we can kick back and relax! They can’t live without us!

  • http://yahoo.com Cash

    In younger cohorts, remarkable trends:
    Younger Women are More Educated.
    Younger Women have Less Unemployement.
    Younger Women Are Making More Money than their Spouse.
    Women still do the majority of house work such as Cooking, Cleaning and Laundry.
    Women who Marry tend to have short life expectancy than women who never marry. It is the opposite for men.
    Women Idealize Marriage and Being Married, but the incentive scheme seems perverted.
    So women bring home the bacon, Birth the Children and make a pleasant and clean home for their Husbands. Husbands are kept chattel. And if wasn’t for marriage they would be homeless, hungry and poor. Marriage is looking like a Win-Lose situation that may not last.

  • Frank the Underemployed Professional

    Is it that women are just out-earning men now, working white collar jobs, or is it that nothing has really changed and that women are still working comfortable, non-hazardous jobs as librarians, social workers, public school teachers, and other government jobs while the men who used to work middle class blue collar and white collar jobs have all been laid-off?

    I suspect that this is not really good news of any sort, but rather just bad news. Our economy hasn’t moved forward in any sort of way, but women kept their jobs while the men were laid off.

  • Daniel Moore

    Surprisingly, this may be a bad thing for gender equality. I know several marriages where the husband makes less than the wife, but only because the husband is busy with hobbies, careers that pay less but are more enjoyable, or business ventures that may or may not ever pan out. The wife is the breadwinner and does all the domestic work, while the man drags his Peter Pan syndrome into the marriage. Even though he is making less, his refusal to work still gives him the upper hand.

  • peter nelson

    My wife has made more than me for almost 10 years now. My sister makes more money than her husband. We know several other couples where the wife makes more money. It’s not an issue in any of these relationships.

    If they did this show 10 years ago it might have been more newsworthy, but these days it’s old hat. Is there a controversy or problem to talk about WRT this?

  • XXX

    I know that a lot of men feel that “women wanted this. They badmouthed us, and told us they didn’t like the way we did things. Now they’ve got what they wanted, so I’m absolved. I’m taking it easy now, let them sweat it out.”

    Men have developed their “creatures of pride” M.O.s for thousands of years in society. Expecting them to change that core precept anytime shot of a few thousand more is not going to lead to anything but disappointment by women. Women messed with the order. Now they’re crying in their beer over getting what they asked for. You broke it! You fix it ladies!

  • Ginger

    I’m not trying to put my life story out here, but I feel like I have a wide range of experiences on a lot of ends of this conversation.

    as a fifteen year old girl I was employed as a line cook in a restaurant. I Had my own apartment with my boyfriend, worked 50-60 hours a week and still went to high school on time every day. during the weekends I opened the place in the morning, did all the prep work, made all the food on the line, and closed at night. I made three dollars less an hour than my slower male co. workers who had to ask me questions about how to do things right. as the only woman in the kitchen I dealt with endless harassment and a uniform that hung to my knees.

    Later, I had a new job as a hostess. I would bring the food out to the cars for to go. I made more than some of the waitresses. I got 8.00 an hour and 20% of all sales in tips. I don’t feel like a man could’ve made as much this way.

    When I was 18 I launched a career modeling. I made six figures coming out of the gate. My boyfriend at the time was unemployed, and he was okay with that. I might have been okay with it if we had children or if he was doing SOMETHING at home. But he sat a round, I’d come home cook something nice (something I like doing) and clean everything up. (something I HATE doing) so we didn’t last long after I started bring the cash home.

    Later I started dating an electrical engineer. he did things like bought me new tires, insisted on helping me with my rent even though he had his to pay and I still made almost double what he did. I felt like it was his way of feeling more “macho”. About a year ago he lost his job and he moved in with me. up until I got pregnant 6 months ago I had been paying for everything. but he did household chores, he was actively looking for employment, and he has lots of interesting hobbies. I didn’t feel like he was leaching off of me. He on the other hand, still felt this way and would get depressed and shut himself up for a few days. now he has a job as a line cook making just enough to cover our rent and I
    m not working at all. We’re still relying heavily on my savings account. money has never been a source of argument between us, though when one party makes all the money and there are no children at home it does indeed cause a great bridge of inequality that makes the person on the unemployed end feel inefficient and the person paying for things like they may be being taken advantage of.

  • Ginger

    Being a high school student not so long ago I would say the difference between girls and boys has not changed. but the difference between what is masculine and feminine has. From what I understand boys were the ones that were ‘so post’ to be smart. now, in a rich white neighborhood many boys show off there ‘F’s’ with pride. like it’s some ‘gangster’ trophy. wile girls, good girls any how sit in class quietly, listen to the teacher and know all the answers. it’s the “bad boys” that are cool and misbehave and get bad grades.

  • Ginger

    there is actually a scientific reason why men tend to be more violent and make quick rash decisions. Estrogen simply makes people more passive and testosterone tends to make people more competitive. keep in mind that both sexes have both. :)

    I also don’t feel like the high number in divorces has anything to do with gender ‘roles’ I feel like it’s just more acceptable. it’s not that there were never unhappy marriages, people just had to deal with each other, they didn’t have a choice. Now half of all mirages end in divorce…that makes me shutter.

  • XXXX

    Ginger, do you think that the boys now have any other future beside “sperm doner” and/or “gigilo?” How does a society continue to function when it supports one gender, and abandons the other? I think one of the main problems with boys/men today is that the world does not tolerate their natural tendencies, behaviors, and ways of thinking, and believes that they will change. Any married woman, I think, would tell you…”Men don’t change.” You take them as-is or not at all. I personally think the pendulum has swung to far in spotlighting the female way in society, and that’s fine…if you want to end society at the expense of gender pride. Your Grandmothers knew how to “motivate” their men. They took a seemingly backseat, but actually controlled from there. They called it “Grace.” They knew how men were, and how to get the best out of them. You make them feel like the Patriarch. They respond well to it and will work their guts out for you. You rob them of that, they will not do a darn thing for you. Old lessons need to be re-learned if you ask me.

  • http://www.residualsecret.com/totalwellness Stay At Home Dad

    Hey I’m a stay at home Dad and can’t say that I don’t love it.

    The wifey likes it when she comes home to a clean house with a warm meal and the kids bathed. Bottom line I’m getting laid more. LOL

  • XXXX

    When will this society learn? You can’t be “equals” with someone who won’t play your game. You can “change” all the stuff you like, but it takes two to tango, and them men are not interested in your party, or your dance, so…have fun by yourselves! The answer isn’t in “the future.” It’s in the past this time. Do what you want, the results of all this “change” speak for themselves. Abysmal. Men need “XYZ” to function. Make it possible, or be “dismayed” and “disappointed.”

  • Farmer Andy

    I think equality in the workplace works better than absolute equality at home. Most men probably still resist the idea of doing at least half the laundry, cooking, house cleaning, or infant care (women cry when they break, men rage). Most women don’t want to fix the broken pipe, get out of the car to change a flat tire, take the trash to the dump, or empty the mouse traps. What’s wrong with separate but equal duties? What about the yin/yang of a marriage? The main problem is the devaluation of domestic work including raising kids. Not much social status or power is achieved by doing a great job keeping the home running smoothly.

  • Manly Man

    Another departure from the natural order. How many other species rely on the male to nuture the young while the female provides food? Good for us??

  • elizar

    No one has yet answered the question: If women are out-earning men, how come we keep hearing that women only earn .77 for every dollar earned by men?

    So if a man doesn’t like his wife earning more he has an ego problem? Would you say the same of a woman who didn’t like earning less than her husband because it made her feel unequal? Would you say she has an “ego” problem? Isn’t the increase in women attending college and seeking higher paying careers due to women not wanting to earn less than their husbands? Do you call that an “ego” problem?

    The idea that we are undergoing a shift from traditional gender roles is an odd thing to say considering that the reason the current downturn is affecting more men than women is because men continue to work the traditional jobs that men have always worked, for example in construction and heavy manufacturing. How can we say gender roles have changed when we continue to have the same gender divisions in employment as we’ve always had? 95% of nurses are female, 98% of auto mechanics are male. Yeah, gender roles have really changed.

  • J Baker

    Manly Man,
    The savanna female lion does most of the hunting.
    Biology is full of contradictions. One of my favorites is the bug that makes a nest, hunts for food, arrives home, regurgitates food to feed individual baby bugs that hatched, and cares for the young until they’re mature enough to leave.

  • lucy

    Men outearn women at any given job. Accordingly, a female worker makes $0.77 for every $1.00 a male worker makes. That’s why women are “cheaper” to hire.

    Women are outearning their husbands now, because more women are working in higher paying jobs. This is correlated with the upswing in women receiving higher education and more degrees.

  • http://none joe damian

    smart men today don’t give much thought about marriage, and if they do, to demanding women. they don’t have to. sex (all kinds, including unltd. cybersex) and /or companionship of women is EVERYWHERE. Men CAN AND DO have much more of their time and money for themselves and the things they care about —if they’re smart and don’t allow a ring to be put in their nose like the soft males. if a woman wants to be an equal, and respect her man, she has a chance at real love and happiness. if not, she’s outa luck, and even unluckier is often the poor dumb guy who ‘fell in love’ and married her.

  • http://www.beccar.wordpress.com Eugenia Renskoff, Brooklyn NY

    Hi, Tom, I love your show. If more women are bringing home the bacon, why don’t they earn as much per hour as men do? Eugenia Renskoff

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