The Gendered Division Of Labor Essay

1228 WordsFeb 18, 20085 Pages
Integrative Essay # 1: The Gendered Division of Labor Most married, singled, divorced, young and old are striving to manage the work and family aspects of their lives. We often think about this as “balancing” work and family. Another way to think about it is “weaving” work and family together. Either way, they are both part of our identity and life. Traditionally we have had an expectation in our society that men are the providers for their families. In the Feminine Mystique, it stated that “men were the breadwinners, working full time in careers that promised security and a comfortable living for those willing to make work their top priority. Women were the caretakers of the home and family, supporting their husbands emotionally and socially so that they could focus single-mindedly on climbing career ladders or at least hanging on” (p.3). The ideology behind the American Dream is difficult to achieve because it is hard to “have it all”. This is the lifestyle that most middle-class Americans want, but not everyone can achieve it even for a dual-earner families. In the case of David and Lisa, they had “successful careers, owned a nice home, had an active social life, and were in love” (p.1). They were living the American Dream, but they end up getting a divorced after eight years of marriage. In reality, to “have it all” is impossible because you can’t fulfill all of yours materialistic needs. Your expectations about your career and family life will excel as each day passes by. The ideal of breadwinner and homemaker reinforces a division between genders. It embedded that a “man” should do all the work outside the home while the “women” taking care of the daily living inside the home. “Success for men entailed a career that enabled their wives to stay home. Success for women meant being married to a successful man” (p.3). Despite of this belief

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