Archive for July, 2009

Patriarchal hegemony

July 15, 2009

My wife and I have what I think is a fairly equitable division of child-rearing labor: Monday mornings, and all day Wednesdays and Fridays she goes to her job as a doctor at a San Francisco clinic and I look after our now almost three-year-old daughter. Monday afternoons, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are my days to work on my writing or consulting while my wife looks after the kid. Weekends we share parenting duties.

We’ve been doing this since our daughter was three months old. Prior to that we were both home with the baby pretty much full time. We consider ourselves incredibly lucky that we’ve been able to arrange our lives this way and wouldn’t want it any other way. And our daughter has had plenty of chance to get used to the idea that although I didn’t give birth to her and have never provided her nourishment from my own body, I’m one of her parents and love her very much.

However, watching my daughter this morning for the umpteen-millionth time, say to her mom, “I don’t want you to go to work today! I want you to stay home!” something I don’t believe she’s ever said about me, it struck me that, at least as far as she is concerned, it would make a lot of sense if mom stayed home to take care of her full-time and dad went off to bring home the bacon.

My daughter, tool of the patriarchal hegemony.