Farrell + re "men's work"



1. Activities most likely to break an arm, leg, or neck, or to crack a
skull: In your relationship, who climbs tall ladders or checks out the roof? For example, who uses ladders to do house painting (e.g., reaching for a spot we've missed that's too far away on a homemade scaffold on a windy day), or to clean outside windows; or to go into the attic? Who shovels wet snow off a roof to avoid roof damage, resulting in many men slipping off the roof every winter)?

A man who falls off a roof or ladder is lucky if he breaks only an arm; some men, though, are paralyzed for life, or killed; others find shoveling snow off a roof leads to problems that get them classified in one of the next two categories.

2. Activities most likely to trigger heart attacks: Shoveling snow off a driveway or sidewalk; pushing a car that's out of gas off a crowded street into the gas station; playing tag, soccer, or basketball with the kids for a "little too long" while trying to teach the children that a parent can be a playmate too; or carrying a sleepy child from an upstairs hed to the backseat of a car and back into bed again without waking up the child, only to find Dad's heartbeat getting erratic and pain thrusting through his arm.

3. Activities most likely to cause lower back problems and hernia
operations: Moving furniture or twisting his back as he juggles a heavy suitcase into the backseat of a two-door car (or behind other suitcases in a trunk); or trying to carry a computer up a down staircase; or moving the refrigerator or some file cabinets; or moving tables at a church event or picnic.

4. Assembly: Mail-order products, toys, bikes, furniture, bookcases, beds; putting up kids' plastic pools, backyard tents.

5. Barbecuing: Shopping for barbecue, charcoal, propane; basting, marinating, cooking; cleaning up of grill, tongs, ashes, etc.

6. Bodyguard: at home (e.g., who usually checks it out in the middle of the night when you and your partner are awakened by a noise that sounds like someone has just broken into your home, and you know they could have a gun?); in public places (who plays bodyguard when nightfall turns a beautiful park into a dangerous park or a quaint side street into dangerous alley; or when a lonely hiking trail proves to be a rattlesnake haven; or when a ski slope becomes an avalanche?). We've all read stories of a man saving a woman from a burning house or a raging river or a crashed car. Women often save children in these situations--and even lift cars to save children. Although I've asked over a million people (on TV and radio) to send me a story of a woman risking her life to save an adult man, so far, no stories. Every time a woman and man walk together in a public place, he unconsciously serves as an unpaid bodyguard.

7. Camping: It starts with taking psychological responsibility for avoiding disaster (checking weather predictions and safety of the location, buying correct tent and camping gear, taking responsibility for not getting lost, knowing how to use compass, etc.), then carrying the primary backpack (often including the stove and a kerosene lamp), erecting the tent, digging drainage trenches, gathering firewood, building the fire, hoisting food away from animals. The man is often the camping home buyer, home mover, and homemaker.

8. Car buying: Price negotiation, Consumer Guide/Blue Book research.

9. Car maintenance and repair: Checking hoses, belts, tire pressures, vacuuming inside, applying Armor All; comparisons of prices with mechanics, tire changing (see also Emergencies).

10. Carpentry: From putting up shelves (in garage, basement, and closets) to repairing loose fence slats, to making bookcases, to building a doghouse.

11. Christmas: Putting up lights on house and tree; tree purchase, set-up, dismantling and disposal; retrieving boxes of ornaments from dusty attic or storage area.

12. "Male cleaning": Car washing (and waxing); cleaning all painting tools for reuse (brushes, rollers, pans, guides); cleaning out the basement, attic, fireplace and gutters (the darkest, dirtiest, hottest and coldest parts of the house); cleaning filters of air conditioning and heating units; cleaning yard; bathing of dogs; and, if there's a pool or Jacuzzi. . . . (See also: Barbecuing; Diaper Changing, Male Equivalents of; Guns and Weapons; Activities most likely to break. . .)

13. Coaching-as-child care: Baseball (T-Ball, CAP Leagues, Little League), softball (e.g., Bobby Soxers), football (Pop Warner), roller hockey, field hockey, ice hockey, soccer; more informal coaching-as-child care via "playing together" in basketball, or throwing, catching, and hitting a ball instructions in individualized sports such as tennis; instructions in self-defense (aikido, boxing, wrestling).

14. Computer buying: Researching best hardware and software; comparing prices, new vs. used markets, etc.

15. Confrontations--with neighbors or strangers: "Go tell the neighbors their dog's barking too loud." Or, you've just gotten into a car accident with a stranger; who approaches the other driver when everyone is emotionally off center?

16. Dead animal disposal: DAD quickly comes to mean Dead Animal Disposer when the gerbil dies, the rat's been trapped, when the mouse has been lead into temptation, or when the dog's been run over and the street has blood all over. What's worse for some dads, though, is having to kill the almost-dead animal-when DAD means Dying Animal Disposer.

17. Decks: Building, sanding, staining, sealing.

18. Diaper changing, male equivalents of: Plunging a backed-up toilet; wiping up a child's vomit when carsick on a vacation; cleaning up after dog doo from own dog and neighbors'.

19. Digging: Holes and ditches, removing of boulders, tree stumps, etc.

20. Dinner when company's visiting: Meat carving, wine opening, cocktail making (careful guys, most women still do most everything else when company's visiting).

21. Disciplining of kids: "Wait till Daddy comes home."

22. Dragon-killing-modern version: Swatting flies, stepping on roaches, squishing spiders--all without a sword (or, for pacifist performers, removing the spider without hurting it!).

23. Driving: To and from functions that both sexes go to together, especially when conditions are hazardous (e.g., when caught in rush hour in a strange city; when caught in snow on an icy mountain road; when caught in heavy rain, wind, and fog at night, or when in a foreign country), or when both are exhausted or have had a bit too much to drink; on long trips, especially late at night while the family sleeps; or on a motorcycle (have you ever seen a woman on a motorcycle with a man hanging on?).

The automobile and motorcycle are the modern-day white horse. Like the man on the white horse, his role involves more accidents; the man on the white horse, though, never had to worry about a DUI citation!

24. Emergency prevention: In home (e.g., noticing and repairing frayed wires, plugs, sockets, smoke detectors); in car (putting chains on tires; being certain all the cars' fluids [oil, transmission, anti-freeze] are being changed on schedule, tool kit and flares are adequate, flashlight has batteries, etc.); via nature (battening down windows, putting sand bags in the trunk before a blizzard, making sure trees aren't creating a hazard to house or people should a storm arise), on the ... (making sure there's cash in the wallet and gas in the car).

25. When emergencies arise despite prevention: Sandbagging; changing a tire on a cold night in the rain on a dangerous part of the road in the bad part of town; taking the walk for five gallons of gas when the car runs out; or risking putting the battery cable on the wrong side of the battery.

And so on for 54 entries.


On the gender pay gap

"Thus women focused on discrimination don't know which female engineers
make 143 percent of their male counterparts; or why female statisticians
earn 135 percent."

... this op-ed, while inspired by my book Why Men Earn More: The
Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--and What Women Can Do About It,
doesn't address its main purpose--to give women and men concrete career
information about all twenty-five work-life trade-offs. In brief, to
develop the best career within the best life.


Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap
By Warren Farrell

When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New
York City in the 1970s, I led protests against the male-female pay gap. I
assumed the gap reflected both discrimination against women and the
undervaluing of women.

Then one day I asked myself, If we can pay women less for the same work,
why would anyone hire a man? And if they did, wasnt there a punishment
called going out of business? In other words, did market forces contain a
built-in punishment against discrimination?


When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with
MBAs, they discovered money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent
of the women, versus 76 percent of the men. Women prioritized autonomy,
flexibility (25 to 35-hour weeks and proximity to home), fulfillment, and

These contrasting goals were reflected in contrasting behavior: male
business owners working 29 percent more; being in business 51 percent
longer; having more employees; and commuting 47 percent farther.

To make a fair legal assessment of the value of these differences
requires more than saying, for example, that people who work 33 percent
more hours should earn that much more pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
finds that people who work 33 percent more hours get about double the
pay. For example, people who work 44 hours per week make more than twice
the pay of those working 34 hours. (Not at the same job, but, for
example, at a job like a national sales representative, that would not
even be available to someone who could only work 34 hours per week.)

After a decade of research, I discovered 25 differences in men and women's
work-life choices. All of them lead to men earning more money; and all
lead to women having lives more balanced between work and home. (Since
real power is about having a better life, well, once again, the women
have outsmarted us!)

High pay, as it turns out, is about trade-offs. Mens trade-offs include
working more hours (women work more at home); taking more-dangerous,
dirtier and outdoor jobs (garbage collecting; construction; trucking);
relocating and traveling; training for more technical jobs with less
people contact (engineering); taking late night shifts; working for more
years; and being absent less frequently.

...Women who have never been married and are without children earn 117
percent of their male counterparts. (The comparison controls for
education, hours worked and age.) Why? The decisions of never-married
women without children are more like mens (e.g., they work longer hours
and dont leave their careers), and never-married mens are more like
womens (careers in arts, etc.). The result? The women out-earn the men.

...But don't female executives also make less than male executives? Yes.
Discrimination? Lets look. Comparing men and women who are corporate vice
presidents camouflages the facts that men more frequently assume
financial, sales and other bottom-line responsibilities (vs. human
resources or PR); they are vice presidents of national and international
(vs. local or regional) firms; with more personnel and revenues; they are
more likely executive or senior vice-presidents. They have more
experience, relocate more, travel overseas more, and are considerably
older when they become executives.

Comparing men and women with the same jobs is still often to compare
apples and oranges. However, when all 25 choices are the same, the great
news for women is that then they make more than men.

Is there, nevertheless, discrimination against women? Yes. For example,
the old boys network. But in some fields, men are virtually excluded try
getting hired as a male dental hygienist, nursery school teacher,
cocktail waiter, or selling even mens clothing at Wal-Mart.

The social problem with focusing our legal binoculars only on
discrimination against women is that the publicity those lawsuits
generate leads us to miss opportunities for women. For example, we miss
80 fields in which women can work, for the most part, fewer hours and
fewer years, and still earn more than men. Fields such as financial
analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library
worker, biological technician, funeral service worker, motion picture

Thus women focused on discrimination don't know which female engineers
make 143 percent of their male counterparts; or why female statisticians
earn 135 percent.

Nor did my daughters know that pharmacists now earn almost as much as
doctors. As I took my binoculars off of discrimination against my
daughters, I discovered opportunities for them.


My goal is to give women ways of earning more rather than suing more,
thus erasing the fear of companies to pursue women so as not to be sued
by women; to give companies ways of teaching women how to earn more; and
give the government ways of separating real discrimination from its
appearance. This is the world I want for my daughters.

Warren Farrell is author of Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind
the Pay Gap--and What Women Can Do About It and several other books. More
at www.warrenfarrell.com.


Homeward Bound

"Choice feminism" claims that staying home with the kids is just one
feminist option. Funny that most men rarely make the same "choice."
Exactly what kind of choice is that?

[It's merely an option few men are able to exercise! --MkM]

By Linda Hirshman


I. The Truth About Elite Women

Half the wealthiest, most-privileged, best-educated females in the
country stay home with their babies rather than work in the market
economy. ...in September The New York Times featured an article
a piece of this story, "Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path
Motherhood" ...

...There is important truth in the dropout story.

I stumbled across the news three years ago when researching a book on
marriage after feminism. I found that among the educated elite, who
the logical heirs of the agenda of empowering women, feminism has
failed in its goals. There are few women in the corridors of power,
marriage is essentially unchanged. The number of women at
universities exceeds the number of men. But, more than a generation after feminism, the number of
in elite jobs doesn't come close.

Why did this happen? The answer I discovered -- an answer neither
feminist leaders nor women themselves want to face -- is that while
public world has changed, albeit imperfectly, to accommodate women
the elite, private lives have hardly budged. The real glass
is at home.

...In interviews, women with enough money to quit work say they are
"choosing" to opt out. Their words conceal a crucial reality: the
that women are responsible for child-rearing and homemaking was
untouched by decades of workplace feminism. Add to this the good
that the upper-class workplace has become more demanding and then
mix in
the successful conservative cultural campaign to reinforce
gender roles and you've got a perfect recipe for feminism's stall.

...What better sample, I thought,
than the brilliantly educated and accomplished brides of the "Sunday
Styles," circa 1996? At marriage, they included a vice president of
client communication, a gastroenterologist, a lawyer, an editor, and
marketing executive. In 2003 and 2004, I tracked them down and called
them. I interviewed about 80 percent of the 41 women who announced
weddings over three Sundays in 1996. Around 40 years old, college
graduates with careers: Who was more likely than they to be reaping
feminism's promise of opportunity? Imagine my shock when I found
all the brides from the first Sunday at home with their children.
Statistical anomaly? Nope. Same result for the next Sunday. And the
after that.

Ninety percent of the brides I found had had babies. Of the 30 with
babies, five were still working full time. Twenty-five, or 85
were not working full time. Of those not working full time, 10 were
working part time but often a long way from their prior career
paths. And
half the married women with children were not working at all.

...***This isn't only about day care. Half my Times brides quit before
first baby came. In interviews, at least half of them expressed a
never to work again. [How many men get to hope for that? --MkM]****
had realistic plans to work. More importantly, when they quit, they
already alienated from their work or at least not committed to a
life of
work. One, a female MBA, said she could never figure out why the men
her workplace, which fired her, were so excited about making
deals. "It's
only money," she mused. Not surprisingly, even where employers
them part-time work, they were not interested in taking it.

II. The Failure of Choice Feminism

What is going on? Most women hope to marry and have babies. If they
resist the traditional female responsibilities of child-rearing and
householding, what Arlie Hochschild called "The Second Shift," they
fixing for a fight. But elite women aren't resisting tradition. None
the stay-at-home brides I interviewed saw the second shift as unjust;
they *agree* that the household is women's work. ****As one lawyer-
put it in explaining her decision to quit practicing law after four
years, "I had a wedding to plan."**** Another, an Ivy Leaguer with a
master's degree, described it in management terms: "He's the CEO and
the CFO. He sees to it that the money rolls in and I decide how to
it." It's their work, and they must do it perfectly. "We're all in
making fresh apple pie," said one, explaining her reluctance to
leave her
daughters in order to be interviewed. The family CFO described her
activities at home: "I take my [3-year-old] daughter to all the major
museums. We go to little movement classes."

...How to avoid this kind of rut? You can either find a spouse with less
social power than you or find one with an ideological commitment to
gender equality. Taking the easier path first, marry down. Don't
think of
this as brutally strategic. If you are devoted to your career goals
would like a man who will support that, you're just doing what men
throughout the ages have done: placing a safe bet.

In her 1995 book, Kidding Ourselves: Babies, Breadwinning and
Power, Rhona Mahoney recommended finding a sharing spouse by marrying
younger or poorer, or someone in a dependent status, like a starving
artist. Because money is such a marker of status and power, it's
hard to
persuade women to marry poorer. So here's an easier rule: Marry
young or
marry much older. Younger men are potential high-status companions.
older men are sufficiently established so that they don't have to
work so
hard, and they often have enough money to provide unlimited household
help. By contrast, slightly older men with bigger incomes are the
dangerous, but even a pure counterpart is risky. If you both are
through the elite-job hazing rituals simultaneously while having
children, someone is going to have to give. Even the most devoted
with the hardest-working nannies are going to have weeks when no one
get home other than to sleep. The odds are that when this happens,
woman is going to give up her ambitions and professional potential.

It is possible that marrying a liberal might be the better course.
all, conservatives justified the unequal family in two modes: "God
ordained it" and "biology is destiny." Most men (and most women),
including the liberals, think women are responsible for the home.
But at
least the liberal men should feel squeamish about it.

If you have carefully positioned yourself either by marrying down or
finding someone untainted by gender ideology, you will be in a
to resist bearing an unfair share of the family. Even then you must
vigilant. Bad deals come in two forms: economics and home economics.
economic temptation is to assign the cost of child care to the
income. If a woman making $50,000 per year whose husband makes
decides to have a baby, and the cost of a full-time nanny is
$30,000, the
couple reason that, after paying 40 percent in taxes, she makes
just enough to pay the nanny. So she might as well stay home. This
totally ignores that both adults are in the enterprise together and
demonstrable future loss of income, power, and security for the
woman who
quits. Instead, calculate that all parents make a total of $150,000
take home $90,000. After paying a full-time nanny, they have $60,000
to live on.

The home-economics trap involves superior female knowledge and
female sanitation. The solutions are ignorance and dust. Never
figure out
where the butter is. "Where's the butter?" Nora Ephron's legendary
on marriage begins. In it, a man asks the question when looking
at the butter container in the refrigerator. "Where's the butter?"
actually means butter my toast, buy the butter, remember when we're
of butter. Next thing you know you're quitting your job at the law
because you're so busy managing the butter. If women never start
the household-manager role, the house will be dirty, but the
realities of
the physical world will trump the pull of gender ideology. Either the
other adult in the family will take a hand or the children will grow
with robust immune systems. [Plus, contemporary Western cleanliness
standards are not globally matched or historically matched. Pioneer
hut, anyone? --MkM]

If these prescriptions sound less than family-friendly, here's the
rule: Have a baby. Just don't have two. [Hooray! A one-child policy.
Humane negative population growth! What this human-infested planet


Linda R. Hirshman retired as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished
Professor at Brandeis University. She is at work on a book about
after feminism. With almost no effort, she landed spot No. 77 on
Goldberg's "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America."

© 2006 by The American Prospect, Inc.



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