Gendered Workers/Market Equality
22 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2003
Decades of feminism have freed women from many longstanding gender roles - less so, however, men. Women now wear pants, but men still do not wear dresses. Mothers of young children overwhelmingly work outside of the home, but male housewives remain rare. Tomboys have achieved some acceptance, but boys are still expected to be boys. Actresses needn't be sultry to be sexy, but actors are still taller, stronger and more silent than their sexual partners - except for Woody Allen.
Perversely, the confluence of women's entry into the workplace with the death of social democracy resulted in recreating the American worker as a gendered, unencumbered bachelor. Women have been freed to be men, and men have been freed to be single. But someone has to wear the dresses, someone has to raise the children, someone has to go to work, someone has to take care of the old folks, and someone has to keep up the social calendar. So long as men are gendered into or out of some of these roles, women will be stuck with the rest, on overload. The next step of gender equality requires limiting market equality in order to loosen male gender roles.
Keywords: gender roles, labor market
JEL Classification: J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation