The Time poll on the status of women in America was published this week (US participants only probably, but as we are so similar I presume Canadian stats are not much different).
Maria Shriver produced the Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything, and according to an article by her in Time magazine, it's a "landmark study that examines how families live and wok today." It sounds like women have made great strides, but are still carrying more of the load, especially in the home.
It's a good thing that 70% of women say they are less financially dependent on their spouses than their mothers were. But the level of stress may have increased as well: 40% experience stress frequently, and 39% sometimes. And what to make of the fact that 65% of adults surveyed think that not having a stay-at-home parent is a negative for society (whether male or female is not specified).
57% of men think it's better if the father works outside the home and the mother takes care of the children. Surprisingly 51% of women agree. But who is actually taking care of the children in either case? 69% of women are primarily responsible for taking care of their children versus 13% of men. Some lucky ones say "both of us" (26% of women, 40% of men).
It's all about negotiating the load - there's a book reviewed in the Globe & Mail today which examines the Superior women who take on that load or burden of working plus housecare plus childcare. The theory is that we have trained our men to do less, by being superior at multi-tasking.
An interesting thought - because it lays the onus for change on women, of course, the superior ones. Who must now retrain their spouses to not only take out the garbage but change diapers, take junior to piano lessons, doctor appointments and the rest of the parenting duties.
What do women want? I think it's a faily simple answer. We want an equal partnership. We don't want to be boss (not really....), we don't want to be under his thumb, and we don't want to raise a family all on our own (not really....). We want help bringing home the bacon, frying it up and putting it on the table for the little piglets, I mean kids.
We want to play more, put up our feet and relax more, have meaningful conversations with our loved ones, be appreciated for all we do, and we thrive on a fair challenge.
That's all. Not much to ask.
40 years later.....from Time's first special issue on the status of women, there has been a lot of progress. College campuses are filled with women, Half the Ivy League presidents are women and two of the three network anchors (soon will be). Women win Nobel Prizes, publish books under their own names, and have babies when they want to, not because they have no choice.
Now what women want is a break! time off to take care of themselves....
Let's hear it for women. You rock, baby! You are not getting older, you ARE getting better.....