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The "Useless Man" Myth Makes Working Moms Feel Better

Started by Waylon, Nov 23, 2009, 03:21:41 AM

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The "Useless Man" Myth Makes Working Moms Feel Better

Why do working moms complain so much about their "useless" husbands? A new study by Rebecca Meisenbach (http://communication.missouri.edu/people/meisenbach.htm) of the University of Missouri suggests that it's all to make them feel better about themselves:

    If there is one thing on which many working mothers agree, it is that their partners do not pull their weight on the domestic front.

    But research to be published this week reveals that men are being unfairly accused and working women are advancing the myth of the "useless man" so they can feel more feminine. "Working women who provide the majority of the household's income to the family continue to articulate themselves as the ones who 'see' household messes and needs as a way to retain claims to an element of a traditional feminine identity," said Dr Rebecca Meisenbach, whose research paper, The Female Breadwinner, will be published this week in the journal Sex Roles.

    But Meisenbach said the trend of the female high achiever and the male slacker is a tall story that women tell each other to compensate for the fact that most career-orientated women feel an "overwhelming sense of guilt" over their role and less of a mother and a wife.

Meisenbach questioned 15,000 female breadwinners on how they felt abouttheir positions in the private domestic sphere and the public worksphere. She said that her theory was strengthened by the fact that theonly women who did not express a strong sense of responsibility for thehome were those who did not have children under 18.

Full Story Link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/22/working-women-husbands-housework)
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