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Why Real Men Wear Aprons: Defining Gender Roles in the 21st Century

What does it mean to be a woman in a modern family, or a man? We have been asking ourselves these questions for the last forty or so years, but I just don't know if we, as a society, have worked out all the answers yet. And maybe there are no real answers, it could be that it's subjective to every relationship and personality type...

While I would have thought it safe to say that a lot has changed, that women are no longer expected to be homemakers, and men do not have to take on the tough guy role, judging from an article here on hubpages by a marriage therapist that was followed by a lengthy and lively debate, that is clearly not the case. While its really only a small portion of society that is still mired in a 1950s June Cleaver mindset, there's still a healthy chunk of the issue that continues to ruffle feathers, confuse, irritate, and enrage.



In my own house, there are no clearly defined roles as to what is "female" and "male," especially as far as housework goes. I'm a lousy cook. Luckily my fiancée excels in the kitchen. He also takes care of the dishes, the sweeping and the mopping. I'm messy, untidy, and, I'll admit it, a bit of a slob. So my fiancée tends to do most of the general organizing and tidying up around the house. To make up for my lack of culinary ability and clutter-prone nature, I compensate by taking on the gross stuff-- I clean the cat litter boxes, clean the bathtubs, unblock drains, and do the heavy-duty vacuuming. I go on a monthly house-cleaning rampage, scrubbing all the places he misses, behind the sink drains, the baseboards, smudges on the walls, you name it.

Just to make things clear, my fiancée is every bit a "manly man." He's into cars, football, and golf. He eats red meat, and does all the stuff around the house related to tools. He is very confident in his masculinity, comfortable enough that he doesn't feel threatened by wearing the cook's apron. He also always takes out the trash. And I do the laundry.

The division of housework we've somehow fallen into works out pretty well for us. My fiancée doesn't feel in anyway emasculated by doing the dishes and the cooking, a well-ordered kitchen is something he takes pride in. I take a strange satisfaction pulling globs of hair from uncooperating drains, and none of our friends or family members seem to think that this sort of division is in any way strange. We're a modern family, I guess you could say.

I can put on the outfit, but I still make a lousy casserole.

I can put on the outfit, but I still make a lousy casserole.

The boys making Turkey Ruebens with homemade dressing.

The boys making Turkey Ruebens with homemade dressing.


When it comes to our two-and-a-half-year old nephew, who is practically our adopted child, my fiancée is the primary caregiver. Because my nephew does not have a father figure in his life, he gravitates to my fiancée, who showers him with love and affection. Yes, affection. My nephew is far more likely to come to my fiancée for a hug, to kiss a boo-boo, or a cuddle with a story. When we put my nephew to bed, he snuggles in with my fiancée every time, and usually requests a backrub or bellyrub.

Because of our home dynamic, my fiancée and I have decided that when we have a child, (which is still a few years off) he will be a stay-at-home dad. I don't feel that I have it in me to be the stay-at-home mom type, I'm afraid I'd go stir-crazy. I know that while I'd likely be able to do a passable job at full-time parenting and keeping a house, my fiancée would be far, far better at it. Being a stay-home dad is something my fiancée is genuinely excited about, while to me it feels like kind of a chore. And we are very happy with our decision.

Life Magazine, August 20,1945

Life Magazine, August 20,1945


Stay At Home Dads

So imagine my surprise when I started telling people about our plan. Reactions ranged from condescending to pity to shock. I was told by one friend that maybe I shouldn't have children if that was how I felt. "Some people just aren't cut out to have kids, maybe you're just one of those." I was told that men lack the innate ability to nurture a child the way a mother can. People questioned both my mothering instinct, and my fiancee's masculinity. Somehow I was less of a woman, and he was less of a man. I was very surprised, especially since I thought that it was now considered to be socially acceptable to have a working mom or a stay-home dad. Families are doing it every day, all across America.

What I finally realized, was that it is okay to do things this way, but not by choice. Men are only supposed to be the ones to stay home with the kids if that's just the way things worked out. Unemployment, finances, a career that is impossible to break from for the wife. Women are allowed to go to work, but there has to be the same justification. Then it's okay, because everyone knows that in a perfect world things wouldn't have to be this way. People are less likely to look down on you when they feel free to pity you. The problem with the scenario my fiancée and I have dreamed up in other people's eyes is that we're happy about it. We are choosing this way of child-rearing, and strategically planning to make it a reality.

It's not that I am uninterested in my home, or the prospect of raising a child. I'm very home-oriented and family oriented. I do take a lot of pride in our house, it has been a labor of love over the past year. I absolutely love being second mom to my nephew, he brings so much joy into my life. When my fiancée and I do have a baby, I'd like to take about a year of maternity leave, if we can swing it. I just don't want to have to feel tied into the homemaker role, especially when I am lucky enough to have found a man who is not only willing to do it, but excited.


Who Cares - Really?

I feel strongly that as long as the household is being taken care of, from finances and bills, to cooking, cleaning and childcare, it doesn't matter which partner is doing the work, as long as both are satisfied with the division of labor.

It is often gender stereotypes that contribute to a lot of UNHAPPINESS in relationships. Inadequacy and frustration result when people feel that they are constantly striving to meet a socially constructed gender ideal that is impractical and at odds with both their own personality and the marriage dynamic. I do agree with the fact that men often need to feel a sense of pride in their manhood, and women like to feel feminine. Yet the ways that can be achieved is not gender-specific, but specific to the individual and the couple. Just as people are attracted to different physical attributes and have different sexual preferences, they are also attracted to different personality characteristics in a mate.

Pidgeonholing men and women into specific roles and behaviors is missing the point. People like to feel needed as well as appreciated. It is up to each partner to figure out what they can bring to the relationship-- what they will be needed for, what roles they can fill, and most importantly, what contributions they can make that will most make them feel empowered, whether it is in a masculine or a feminine way. In addition, each person needs to find the ways that are most comfortable for them to express their appreciation to their partner. While this may mean caring for a partner while HE or SHE is sick, cooking a nice meal, or dressing up in skimpy lingerie and vacuuming the carpet, there are many, many, other creative and heartfelt ways to express love and gratitude. Couples will not need to rely on generic one-size-fits-all models of marriage and gender roles if they take the time to truly get to know their partner, to find out their likes and dislikes, and find out what will work in their unique situation.

Aprons for Men

Who Woulda Thought Technology Could Make Life Easier?



SotD and Zera on August 22, 2012:

Wow, my sympathies for the reactions you got. I agree that people would be happier if they just went with what made them happy and comfortable instead of only going with traditional gender roles.


Darkproxy from Ohio on June 26, 2012:

I honestly can't belive I am saying this but beating your son daily will do less damage to him then raising him in a feminist's wet dream.

Darkproxy from Ohio on June 02, 2012:

your choices are your own so long as you don't force it on others

sligobay from east of the equator on May 27, 2012:

This is an excellent article which explains your choices. You properly date the onset of the choice and the social changes as 40 years ago. Culture evolves as it has done since the early 70's which coincides with the legalization of abortion. Thousands of years of a male dominant culture and religious moral prominence do not give way readily. Equality has also reached into the mix of cultural change.

What time will tell, will only be known after a century of social adaptation and maybe longer. Several generations will begin to tell the story. Trust your gut and do it your way.

McLaren 83 from Planet Earth on April 16, 2011:

Nature gave us gender roles and the more women talk about traditional sexist males still existing the more I laugh. Women seem to have alot of difficulty dealing with the cards nature dealt them and so invent ideas about female supremacy and men as being oppressors. It almost seems women are exempt from consequences of their prejudice behaviour.

KerryMaxCook on February 12, 2011:

Call me naïve but I didn't know such an open, honest forum extolling on the virtues of Female Superiority existed. This is really just beautiful. Thank you.

Tennamin on January 30, 2011:

So you and others believe everything about gender is purely culturally derived? Does that mean you think heterosexuality is not natural but is solely the result of culture? In that case wouldn't it be more consistent for you, as someone opposed to all traditional roles, to be in a same sex relationship with a woman? I mean a man and a woman together is so traditional isn't it? I should think you would find the traditional male-female coupling to be outdated. Why not? If you don't believe there are any differences between men and women, how can there be different sexual attractions?

ajmlasad on December 30, 2010:

She might just be a keeper however she feels that her mother will magically appear at our home to clean her room or do the dishes...... Wishful thinking.

Nell Rose from England on December 13, 2010:

Hi, you have certainly got a lot of great comments! I do believe that in this day and age there is so much overlapping in gender roles, and thank goodness for that I say! but I must admit that we have lost a lot because of the bounderies being broken. I suppose it is because of my situation, long story, but I do miss men opening doors for you, and being the main worker in the family, I know we were so backward in a way before, but I think we may have lost something on the way, thanks nell

Anaya M. Baker (author) from North Carolina on December 12, 2010:

TonyMac, MyEsoteric, Onceuponatime, thanks so much for weighing in! The discussion in the comments has been amazing...

I thinks its so funny how many men are embracing the cooking role! Such a 180 from the stereotype. Its pretty hilarious when my fiancée is with "the guys" and they start swapping recipes. So different from my grandma's day or even my own childhood.

Also, thanks for the book recommendations MyEsoteric! I've been told I'm a bit strange too, so I just might get into them!

Happy Holidays all, and try not to fight over who gets to wear the apron)

Jackie Paulson from USA IL on December 11, 2010:

Hey the comments on this hub are outstanding. Gender roles... well I took the class in college and could go on and on. I love sociology. Either way it's amazing how in the 1920's to 2010 how gender roles have changed. I believe in "equal everything, but find that women are paid less in the work force." My boyfriends does all the cooking and I do all the cleaning. He takes out the garbage and brings the groceries up the stairs and I put them away. I do laundry but he does all the heavy lifting. We both work 40 hours a week and we both contribute to the bills equally. Hope you liked this post too, :) Cheers

Scott Belford from Keystone Heights, FL on November 26, 2010:

You are so right about it being species dependent, just as you have noticed with the animals around you. One extreme is when tarantulas mate; the female kills the male in order to prevent him from eating the young to where the male ostrich sits on the eggs and tends the young. In many species the male simply disappears after procreation, not uncommon among humans. There is at least one primate society, Bonobo apes, where males and females live a rather egalitarian life and guess what ... they are the most peaceful of all primates.

If you are curious and have the desire, two books that opened my eyes are the "Demonic Males, Apes and the Origins of Human Violence" by Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson (males aren't that bad, really! also, it was when I was reading this book that I came to the realization that having females run nations around the world would be a good thing) and "Guns, Germs, and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond. I found them interesting reads but they weren't children's books for sure, but then, I am strange or at least that is what my wife says :-)

Tony McGregor from South Africa on November 26, 2010:

Great Hub. Thanks. I am a stay-at-home dad (well, I've retired!) and do most of the cooking and a lot of the cleaning and I'm very happy with that.

I even wear a nice blue and white striped apron!

Gender roles are largely cultural and I'm all for changing the stereotypes. They can be horrible traps for both men and women.

Thanks for sharing

Love and peace


Anaya M. Baker (author) from North Carolina on November 26, 2010:

Vern, Jason, My Esoteric- Great food for thought, and thanks for the encouragement!

With all this talk about DNA and the animal kingdom, it makes me wonder if maybe its the humans that are the aberration with the whole hunter/gatherer thing. I could be completely off base as this is definitely not my area of expertise, but in the wild don't both the male and the female hunt and provide for the young/pack? In species where the animals mate only for conception, the mother must both rear the young and find food. In pack animals, as far as I know I don't think that providing is limited to the males. I'm thinking specifically of lionesses, which I know can be fierce hunters. In addition, I know that some male animals do show affection and play with the young-I believe this is the case in lion prides.

From personal experience, my oldest boy cat absolutely loves kittens. He goes nuts for them, and will let them bat at his tail all day. He even grabs them and wrestles them down to give them baths. When my cat was young a neighborhood stray had her kittens at my house. One day she just decided they should be weaned. She came back for food, but wouldn't let the kittens near her. One of the kittens went to my (boy) cat, and started rooting into his belly, kneading him as if he was nursing. My cat was still young, and hadn't been fixed yet, so he was "all boy" at the time. My cat put up with it, and my roommate decided to keep the kitten. The two cats kept this "nursing" behavior up for the next couple of years, when they were separated. Ever since then there's nothing he's loved more than a kitten coming to visit us. My girl cat on the other hand, HATES kittens. And other cats, except my boy.

I've had friends joke about my cat, and call him "the gay cat." I did always think his behavior might have been unusual, but now that I think about it, there's probably plenty of other male animals that have the instinct to protect and care for the young.

I do agree that male and female roles in the animal kingdom are definitely different, but I think its really species dependent. As far as early humans go, I do wonder how much evidence there is for the male dominant/woman subservient schema, as My Esoteric mentioned. Just because the men may have hunted, doesn't mean the women were not busy warding off predators at home. And after the hunting was done, what role did the men have in the rearing of children? I know in some Native American tribes, "government" was done by women. I am starting to wonder if our concept of early human is a bit more stereotypical than actual reality-but then again, that's just a thought, I haven't done the research to find out....

Scott Belford from Keystone Heights, FL on November 24, 2010:

I agree with Jason in about everything he says from the "vision" thing (sorry for the Bush pun) to "Blaze your own path". I also like Vrbmft's comment about a "hub within a hub"; how true; how cool is that!

I really hate to say it though, but if you want to disabuse yourself of the notion that male and female chauvinism is nearly a thing of the past, come down to visit for awhile in my part of rural Florida. For example, I had a discussion recently with one young lady whom I thought was very independent and modern in her views. I did, that is until she said she didn't think she could ever vote for a woman president. Needless to say, I was surprised so I asked why. Her asnwer was amazing; it boiled down to the fact that she didn't believe women were built with enough intestinal fortitude (my words) to make it as president. It isn't in women's nature! I was speechless for a moment and then responded that in my humble opinion, I think only women should lead nations. (Because I can't think of one female leader who led her country into war when it wasn't forced on her.) In any case, I brought up women like Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and others. They had intestinal fortitude to spare. The point of course is that lady's mindset is common down here; how different from the California I grew up in.

I also have to disagree with Pcunix and agree with DawnM, sexual roles are first and foremost genetic based. It has been set by ages of evolution. It has only been recently, like the last 3000 or so years, with the advent of formal social structures and religion, that culture has come into play that wants to modify whatever the blueprint that has evolved for the human species to suit its own purposes. Males and females of all species follow a certain role that is unique to them that has been adapted over millions of years in order to insure the survival of the species. Those roles, male and female, are naturally different. You see them played out consistently day-in and day-out among the animal world; the males do their thing, the females do theirs and nobody is arguing about roles.

It is only humans, who evolved the ability to reason, (yes, I am an evolutionist, lol) along with all of the other stuff, where things get complicated and why we are in the middle of this fantastic hub. The same DNA is around now as was around when humans were nomadic and living in very small, isolated groups. I doubt there was any argument over gender roles in those days. Males acted according to their genetic blueprint and the females acted according to theirs. I am not learned enough to know if those small groups were egalitarian or not; I hope they were.

Once larger groups came together, that is when Culture starts modifying the original blueprint; as only humans can do. So, to settle the issue between Pcunix and DawnM one needs to do some research to see what roles males and females of pre-history played in bringing up their babies. Is it the same as today or is it different?

But having said all that, to quote a famous hubber ... Anaya go "Blaze your own path ..."

Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on November 22, 2010:


You are a great writer and therefore have a gift of vision, only you know what that looks like to you, and obviously you have a willing partner for this endeavor. This is what life is actually about; make the best with what you have and hopefully you both enjoy it along the way. There is all the advice you will ever need on how to mend a broken bone, a bruised ego or a crushed heart, but you cannot create a “do over” in life. Life is a journey, in your mind and heart, there is a voice of reason that only you can follow. Does it matter what either side of society wishes? Does it matter if what you choose is popular and socially acceptable? Blaze your own path…

Vernon Bradley from Yucaipa, California on November 21, 2010:

Wow, hubs within hubs here. Quite an interesting discussion. As far as nature nurture goes, there is a "notion" or theory about critical thresholds. so once an event or behavior occurs sufficient number of times within the culture, the neighborhood, etc., somehow it does get into the genetic code. There is an interesting book titled, "The Hundredth Monkey."

You are right that there is a lack of models for the kind of relationship couples are attempting to have in this day and age, sometimes described as an equal relationship. I have a book on the market, entitled, "From The Frying Pan To The Jacuzzi: Gourmet Recipes For A Gourmet Relationship" which addresses this topic. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

You really opened up an interesting can of worms, speaking of DNA, with this hub. Good stuff


Anaya M. Baker (author) from North Carolina on November 21, 2010:

Kristen- I was really surprised as well to find that gender roles are still so prevalent in our society. I'd really thought that times had changed in that respect. Over the last few months I've been noticing it more and more, in my classes at school, blogs I've read, and here on hubpages. Interestingly for the most part it seems to be more women that are into the role thing. I know there's still traditionalist males out there that think a women's place is in the kitchen, but I think for the most part men have learned to steer clear of gendered expectations for women. I just find it really surprising to hear other women saying that a woman's place is with her children, and that it is her duty, not the fathers, to care for and raise the children. I really like what Nellieanna said on this, that its important that SOMEONE is there, but its okay if it's the father too.

Nellieanna- Love the apron, heehee! Thanks for your supportive comments. I always really value your opinions, so it means a lot!

I think seeing the difficulty my sister and my nephew are having makes me feel even more that both my fiancée and I need to be realistic about our strengths and weaknesses as parents. My sister got pregnant by her high school sweetheart as soon as she went off to college. They wound up getting married and trying to make things work, but unfortunately he was a poor father and abusive. When my sister left the marriage, she lived with my fiancée and me for 9 months. It became apparent very early on that while she loves her child, she is not equipped to care for him properly. She is getting better at it now, because she spends so much time working, the time she does have with her child she appreciates more. She spends a lot less time ignoring him now.

Because she used to be so inattentive though, my nephew became very attached to my fiancée, because he was the one that ALWAYS made time for him, and would drop just about anything for a game, a story, or a cuddle. My nephew started calling my fiancée "dada," for a little while, which just about broke my heart. He's been through a lot, and its not fair to him. Luckily he's a great kid, relatively well-adjusted and incredibly smart.

Its a tough position for my sister to be in, a young, single mom with no support, financial or otherwise from her husband. I think a lot of the time she is just overwhelmed. But ironically, when she first got pregnant, she was so thrilled. She thought she would be the best mother in the world, that everything would work out fine despite her young age, lack of work experience, life experience, or education.

Honestly, I don't know what we would have done if my sister only had me to fall back on, not my fiancée as well. I love my nephew deeply, and most of the time do a good job with him, but I just don't have the patience and natural parenting ability that my fiancée does. He is also older than me, has a few nephews already, and was married for ten years before we met. It might be simply experience, in which case maybe in a few years, or on having my own baby I'll get better with the domestic stuff, but I need to know that I can rely on someone if I just never develop the ability to be a really good homemaker. I don't want to just assume that the chips will all fall into line like my sister did...

ilmdamaily from A forgotten corner of a dying empire. OK, it's Australia :-) on November 21, 2010:


Great hub, great attitude!

I for one am stunned that there is still any sort of defined "gender roles" in relationships, and that people still take them in any way seriously.

Having been married (once) to a woman with very definate ideas about gender roles within relationships, I can attest to the strain this puts onto a relationship. It's not for me, and I will never understand why people think certain tasks are inherently feminine or masculine.

Will keep watching for the debate...sounds like the last one was a pearler.

Keep writing!


Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on November 21, 2010:

PS for a picture of a perfect apron for a guy, see Chris Lincoln's recent hub -

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on November 21, 2010:

Anaya - children should be reared by their 'mothers' -whichever partner/gender takes on that role. If the man does and especially if by preference, the children benefit. If the woman does, that's a no-brainer too.

What is too often amiss is when neither natural parent is willing or able to be the ongoing parent, and when there is no other really viable surrogate, such as in the case of your nephew or in many arrangements in which grandparents take up the role. But the best choice is a natural parent, in my opinion. There is a connection possible in it, which works both directions -parent to child and child to parent - which no other arrangement can provide so well.

Impersonal careatakers who really don't care can do major harm to children.

In your individual situation, given the personalities and preferences involved - and most importantly - the agreement between you - it will be ideal! Don't let anyone discourage you. I doubt if you would!!

Anaya M. Baker (author) from North Carolina on November 20, 2010:

Pcunix - I haven't read AT's post, but I've seen enough of his comments in the forum to steer well clear...There are some people that its just not worth your time to bother engaging in debate with.

That being said, while DawnM's hub definitely got a rise out of me, I think that the issues she raises are well-worth discussing. I read the comments and discussion on the forums with interest, and even though I like many others I disagreed with her major points, the hub itself has been a great way to get people talking about some really important stuff. I felt like I came out the other end of the discussion having learned quite a bit.

DawnM- I appreciate your taking the time to comment. I actually want to apologize if I sounded overly harsh. You brought up a controversial subject, which always has the power to provoke strong reactions. I was quite fired up last night, but have since spent some more time reflecting on the whole hullabaloo. I'm going to make a few edits to my hub after writing this...I don't want it to be seen as an attack.

What's funny is that I clicked on your hub because the title intrigued me, rather than offended. Growing up, I was not exposed to the sense of equality that I see in marriages today. I really didn't have any good role models for relationships, and I had a huge resentment to the male dominant/ female subservient pattern that I saw. I told myself I would never allow myself to be bossed around by a man, etc. etc. I think it was this that made me so resentful of anything that resembled domesticity, cooking, cleaning, caring for children. In my early relationships, I was a tyrant. I was so concerned with not allowing my boyfriends to get "the upper hand" that I tried to run them into the ground, then disliked them for being "weak-willed."

As I got into my later twenties, I started to soften up and let go of this idea of the power struggle. Still, I am a very strong-willed person, and can be quite stubborn at times. I was very lucky to fall in love with a man who is equally as strong-willed. We have been able to balance each other out, to the point where there is no issue regarding a power struggle. We have a long-standing joke that he wears the pants in the relationship, but I always get my way. This isn't true, as we work very hard on approaching our relationship as equal partners, but its a big deal for me to let go of some of that control, and even joke like that. What makes it possible is the fact that I trust him to not abuse it, to not try to be the "dominant male" in more than a joking or playful manner.

It's funny, in some ways I do agree with what you are saying, but I think its an issue of semantics. I think rather than male dominance, I support respect for the both the individuality and masculinity of my partner. Rather than dominance being a turn-on, I prefer male chivalry. It doesn't have to be opening the car door for me (which he NEVER does) but just a general sense of pride in being my man, with me being his woman. I guess I prefer the dashing knight over the grunting caveman.

And we have actually discussed the fact that my wishes on not being a stay-home mom may change after having a child. Sometimes when people ask what I'm going to do after school I say "be a mom with a masters degree." We just won't know until we get there. The reality of the situation though, is that my fiancée works from home, and makes WAY more money than I ever will from a relatively little amount of work. He's in an ideal position to both take care of the kids and provide for our family. I'll likely be working so that our family can have health insurance. I know that we are very lucky in this respect to have these options, a lot of people are forced into situations that are not ideal.

As far as DNA versus culture, I'd say that while nature does give natural predispositions for differences in women and men, these differences have been exaggerated and distorted by society. To say that they are social constructions however does not mean that they don't exist. I just think that to recognize these roles as cultural means that not only are they subject to adaptation and change, but that they are also generalizations and ideals, which can be great in theory, but often not in practice.

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on November 20, 2010:

Male - Female roles are cultural. Love of children IS instinctive, but the rest is not.

This particular subject does bleed into politics, unfortunately.

But I do know you mean well and I would honestly be surprised if you agreed with AT about womens "place" in society.

Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on November 20, 2010:

Pcunix it really is coded in our DNA, when a woman has a child her natural instinct is to protect that child above all else, yes some women may not have that strong of an instinct as others, but it is coded, just as with "most" men if their wife is being attacked, they will not run away they will help is in our DNA

Our natural instinct can be tampered with if one was abused as a child and it can be distorted, and a person will begin not to trust what they feel and this sad. Especially when a woman has a child and then does not want to care for her baby.

As far as support why does that matter to you either way, he is a writer with ideas just like you, I like many of the artices that you have writen and then there are some that I may not agree with, but support or not support, that depends on the article of course. If you are talking about a political stance, that I dont get involved with here at hubpages. cheers.....

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on November 20, 2010:

Most that YOU know, Dawn. Not most that I know.

Just curious, do you support the ideas that American Tiger puts out?

By the way, Dawn, the majority of professionals disagree about 'coded in our DNA". It isn't. It is all cultural.

Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on November 20, 2010:

Hi Anya, that was a well written hub and because you left a very long comment on my hub and are showing a link to my hub and referring to me on this hub of yours, I will say that before I got married and had children and before I started working with married couples in many different areas of marriage, I would have written a hub like yours. I especially would have written this hub in my twenties, because I was the person that you described as you, working, going back to work maybe in a year after baby was born, maybe have my husband stay home. Yes this dynamic can work for a few and with the economy more women are having to put extra time in the office and coming home to do extra work at home. I would be hard pressed to tell you at this point in your life, but after a woman has a child, she changes. This is when the unhappy couple comes to see me and what the underling conflict is, she wants to stay home with her child, or this couple arrives 8 years later and they are no longer having sex, because she doesn’t want it. Why because she has been harboring her anger that her husband did not provide for once the baby was born, and she had to go back to work and who is really to blame, she is in many ways, for trying to fight this biological inscribed DNA that was there before we even had the ability to speak as humans, and that is women are still dependent on men for providing and protecting (hunter) Men on the other hand are still dependent on women for affection and sex (gatherer) It is still coded in our DNA and when a woman has a child it comes out even more. I can not help to explain this to you because you have yet to experienced it, but a woman, wife, mother and marriage counselor who has a specialty in the field of sexology, I did not pull this information out of a hat. I did write an extension to the hub that you put above

You fiancé sounds like a wonderful man and I would ask him if you do have children and your mother bear instinct kicks in and you don’t want to leave your baby after a year, will he support you until they get into grammar school or are at least three years old to go to pre-school. A one year old baby, because they are very much a baby still does need his mommy to be around him at that age and not a stranger.

No I dont think that we should go back to the 50's but I have to appplaud the women who do stay home and take care of their children, because it is ten times eaiser to go back to work and put the kids in day care, but what has that created, in our society at this point. Yes a man can stay home and take care of the children, but most men in the end will not want to and most women will want to be with their kids, just facts. (not all but most, just wanted to be clear on that)

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on November 20, 2010:

Unfortunately, the "cave man" attitudes are all too prevalent. There are even worse posts than the one you mentioned - you can look up the posts by "American Tiger" if you can stomach it.

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