Monday, 14 June 2010

GenderBlurrrrr: Velvet Dads

Apparently Sweden is full of Mr. Moms.

Some, however, worry that as men and women both work and both stay home with kids, a gender identity crisis looms. “Manhood is being squeezed” by the sameness, argued Ingemar Gens, an author and self-described gender consultant.

So is the Swedish taxpayer. Taxes account for 47 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 27 percent in the United States and 40 percent in the European Union overall. The public sector, famous for family-friendly perks, employs one in three workers, including half of all working women. Family benefits cost 3.3 percent of G.D.P., the highest in the world along with Denmark and France.

Is this why the Swedish men I know seem so in touch with their inner woman?

One point in the article is that men and women can't be truly 'equal' unless men do exactly the same things women do for their kids. This is an immature mentality and reminds me of a spoiled child. Mom says Charlie can come to the grocery store to buy cookie ingredients, while Felix can help bake the cookies. No one to buy the ingredients, no cookies. But baking them is more fun so, demanding equality, Charlie throws a temper tantrum. Even though their roles are equally important, Charlie thinks it's not fair that he is relegated to picking up the ingredients. Charlie demands equality. Charlie demands justice. After much thought Felix decides he too is missing out. Yes, it's lots of fun to bake the cookies, but he would like to go to the grocery store too. After all, it's no fun being stuck at home with a big bowl of dough. Felix wants to pick up his ingredients and bake them too. Mom says this just isn't doable, she can't fit both kids in their eco-friendly electric car and drive to the grocery store where she will have to spend more money, buying two sets of ingredients to make two batches of cookies.

Charlie and Felix don't care about how much money Mom has. They don't care if she can't afford the cookies. They certainly won't be using any of their allowance to pay for it. They tell Mom to find the money to buy the ingredients for two batches off cookies, and if she doesn't have it, she better borrow it from Dad.