More on “Stay-Home-Dads”

// 9 July 2009

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Just a quick heads-up to say I took part in a Radio Five Live feature prompted by a report that there has been an 80% increase in men staying at home since April 2008.

I realise we probably shouldn’t be getting too excited about these findings, owing to the fact this research was conducted by a PR company for Tesco’s Baby and Toddler Club. However, with an apparent increase to 342,000, it does look like they must have used a fairly large sample and the quoted increase, from 192,000, is said to be based on a comparison with ONS Jan – March 2008 data on men looking after family/home. I’m still in the process of hunting this data down so if anyone has better luck with finding it than I have, please let us know!

Ranvir Singh was presenting.You can listen to the feature online until Sunday (scroll to 2.27.06 into the programme).

Comments From You

nick // Posted 10 July 2009 at 9:37 am

maybe, just maybe its because these men have lost their jobs, and having to stay at home whilst their partners work.

and maybe, just maybe when the economy recovers, they will still be ‘stay at home Dads’ ………

Is that a bad thing ? surely feminists would welcome this ……

Holly Combe // Posted 10 July 2009 at 12:42 pm

No, I don’t think that’s a bad thing, Nick. I know this was just a quick entry but did I give the impression I thought it was? Have a listen and I think you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Lisa // Posted 10 July 2009 at 1:22 pm

Linking to the Sarah Palin piece – interesting that women who choose the ‘staying-at-home-with-the-kids’ and ‘housework’ option are sometimes attacked for letting the side down and allowing themselves to be exploited but that it’s OK for humans with Y chromosomes to carry out these unpaid but invaluable tasks.

Someone has to raise children and run the home – the sad fact is that too many people (male and female) have been led to believe that these are optional extras and lower down the list of priorities than being exploited by an employer ! Children are real live human beings under construction (which someone has to oversee) not a piece of paper to present to shareholders detailing the annual corporate profit margin.

Holly Combe // Posted 10 July 2009 at 2:06 pm

Lisa: I agree. Society still seems to devalue anything traditionally considered considered Women’s Work and it’s really depressing when it seems that work can only become acceptable when men do it. However, it does seem we still have a long way to go and, while men who step away from the blokey breadwinner stereotype do have all that “emasculation” rubbish to contend with, at least they still have the pioneering act of stepping away to ease it. For women doing work traditionally thought of as part of a female role, there is no such grand consolation. If we do it, we get caught up in all the patriarchal symbolism that comes with it and are at risk of being labelled as traditional. I think that’s why so many women end up falling into the misogynistic trap of accusing women who stay at home of “letting the side down”.

Rose // Posted 11 July 2009 at 10:59 am

I think we need to get past the idea that a parent needs to be at home and another at work. There aren’t that many families that are/remain in this traditional structure anyway. It’s time we support genuinely flexible working and allow every parent to be a parent as well as earn an income if they so choose. If myself and my partner could find the opportunity to share the childcare and work we would do it but sadly employers just don’t offer these positions with enough frequency. If the work/childcare split was equally divided between myself and my partner I believe we would both be better parents and happier employees.

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