Thursday, July 26, 2007

Standards Falling

Tuesday's Evening Standard ran an article which sadly isn't available on the wed by Lucy Cavendish and her husband entitled "Why I Had To Give Up My House Husband". I should really have hung onto it so I could quote vast chunks and then dissect them but I left it on the bus, I think. Anyway the gist of it was "Lucy and her husband spent a year trying to have him raise the kids and it didn't work". The not-very-hidden sub text was "men can't raise kids, women should do it". But the article - when you read it through - was, well, odd for a few reasons.

1) He wanted to be a house-husband mainly because he thought it would be easy. He told neighbours he'd have time to go out for a game of squash every week. He doesn't seem to have realised that his kids need full-time supervision. It didn't work because he felt so tired and hadn't anticipated it being a full-time job. So his point is - men shouldn't stay home, it's too hard, only women are capable of doing such hard work. Neither of them bother to discuss the implications of that on the state of the women's pensions deficit.

2) Ms Cavendish herself hasn't ever been a housewife. She's been a journalist all along (and a very successful one thanks to big name papers publishing low-quality stories like these). So when at the end of the piece she says how she enjoys dropping them off at classes, buying their stuff and making their packed lunches, etc, even though she finds it below herself, she doesn't mention that she then enjoys having a meeting with her editor and planning her next two-page feature about how other women should live their lives.

3) She does however work from home an claims to have found it impossible to go out and leave him in charge. So who was in charge? And is it any surprise he couldn't do the job up to her standards while she was stood over one shoulder all the time looking angry?

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