Time magazine asked the question last week, “Who Needs Marriage?” Turns out, educated and wealthy people, apparently. But that’s not what caught my eye in this exposé on modern marriages. Rather it was the Pew Research Center poll’s results, made into black and blue (why those colors for marriage, I wonder?) in the magazine.
For what must be the first time since the feminist movement burned bras, the expectations for husbands are higher they are is for wives. Notice that more people — 82% vs. 74% — believe that good husbands must put family before anything else compared to good wives.
But they also have to bring home the bacon: 41% vs. 19% say good husbands must provide a good income compared to good wives. But wait…
AND they have to fry it up in a pan: 32% vs. 28% say good husbands are good at household chores vs. good wives.
Finally, more husbands — 93% vs. 90% — must be good parents than wives are expected to be.
Well, who went and raised the bar for husbands so stinkin’ high? And when? Because it’s usually the working moms who are presumed to be dragging their butts while juggling work and home, while nobody even bothers to put the word “working” before “dads.”
How is this possible, when there are working moms who wear jeans to the pediatrician’s office so the doctor and nurses find them to be more dedicated to their kids, while Daddy, in his business suit, taking the kids to the doc is widely hailed as a hero.
Speaking of heroes, when friends of ours took in several foster children a few years ago, the wife drove to three different school bus stops every school day, twice a day, for four weeks without a peep. When the husband then performed the same task one afternoon, he announced, “I am a hero!”
When I pointed out that his wife had been doing that very thing for a month, it seemed to be news to him.
“Is she a hero?” I asked.
Later, his wife overheard him tell a colleague on the phone what I had said. It seems it had sunk in who the real hero was, though she never got a parade or even a pat on the back.
Yet, some 2,691 adults surveyed in October decided that now is the time for husbands to have it tougher than wives, for the bar for dads to rise up, dare I say, higher than the bar for moms. And I am dumbfounded. Also, incredulous. Because until dads are changing into jeans to look more dedicated to fatherhood, I say, who needs surveys?
Share, share: Is the bar higher for husbands these days?