Kids Don’t Damage Women’s Careers — Men Do – Jessica Valenti – Medium
It’s not actually motherhood or kids that derail women’s careers and personal ambitions — it’s men who refuse to do their fair share.
If fathers did the same kind of work at home that mothers have always done, women’s careers could flourish in ways we haven’t yet imagined. But to get there, we need to stop framing mothers’ workplace woes as an issue of “balance,” and start talking about how men’s domestic negligence makes it so hard for us to succeed.
Yes, we know American men are doing more than they have in past years: Fathers report spending about eight hours a week on child care, or three times as much as fathers in 1965. (Though keep in mind that the data is self-reported, and men tend to overestimate how much domestic work and child care they do.)
Men doing more, however, is not the same thing as men doing enough. (...)
This kind of invisible work almost always falls on women, and we rarely talk about the impact it has on our professional lives.
Mothers are much less likely to be hired than non-mothers, and when they have children, their wages fall off a cliff. Studies from 2017 led some analysts to come to the conclusion that the wage gap was almost entirely attributable to motherhood. Men, on the other hand, tend to see more money once they have children.
Americans need to stop believing that women do the majority of care work because we want to. It’s because we’re expected to, because we’re judged if we don’t, and most of all, because it’s incredibly difficult to find male partners willing to do an equal share of the work.