Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wall St Success as the Male Norm

So the New York Times front page story Sunday was Wall St Mothers, Stay Home Dads telling the stories of women bankers who supposedly have shattered or at least dented the glass ceiling.  They told of earning professional credibility and respect. "Being the breadwinner often means being taken more seriously in the workplace."

Have we learned nothing from Catharine McKinnon, Joan Williams, Martha Fineman and others?   This is not necessarily gender advancement, but just perpetuation of the male standard.  The standard of the successful worker is still defined male. The ideal high status worker is available 24-7, with no family obligations.  (One company even offered female execs a golf tutorial).  The home partner is doing all the dependency work of caregiving in the traditionally devalued female role. This is not egalitarian parenting, shared private partnership or de-gendered work and family roles. It's just role reversal -- Freaky Friday for spouses.

As Slate argues, This is Not Progress.

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