The New Household Roles of Men

| February 14, 2016 | Reply

household roles of menThe specialization of tasks between men and women has been historically associated to their gender. Men in ancient times were hunters and gatherers, or toiled to plough the fields, whilst women were mothers and homemakers, who raised the children and tended to domestic issues and chores.

In times of trouble, men would be called upon to defend their farm or homeland, or drafted to fight in foreign wars.

Today men still tend to find domestic chores boring and unpleasant, preferring tasks of a more physical nature. This is perhaps attributed to the evolution of man and the different circumstances men had to encounter, a combination of biological and historical evolution, which remains quite prevalent today.

Traditionally the man is the head of the house and main income earner whilst women traditionally take on the role of domestic manager, mother and child minder.

Even in this day and age, gender inequality is found in various parts of the world. In certain tribes seeing a man preparing meals or doing household chores is unheard of.  A man’s limited participation in household chores can often result in conflict within the family as the woman’s role is slowly expanding in the modern world.

Women of previous generations were taught by their mothers to do the cooking cleaning and babysitting. Years of domestic chores prepared them for taking the sole responsibility of managing a home. Men, also raised by their mothers, often never learned to do their own laundry or prepare their own food. They never witnessed their fathers ironing a shirt or making a casserole. They grew up believing that men were exempt from performing domestic tasks.

Old Perception of Men in Traditional Society

Many men are still not taught to be responsible for household chores. Men appreciate a clean and a nice home, but still look at it as a woman’s job. Most of them will not make any effort to offer assistance. In some cultures, men pay a dowry for a woman who will provide labor and be a mother to their children.

Men certainly are not supposed to cook in these traditional settings. Men in the past were not even allowed in as they were considered to be useless in the kitchen. Men would help by working, chopping firewood and bringing home the proverbial bacon.

With the disproportionate gap of wealth between rich and poor class families, the traditional notion that man is the main income earner is slowly changing. Affluent societies often see men and boys engaged in household chores, while the woman is actively involved in bringing a supplementary income to the household.

This leaves a man more involved in domestic chores like preparing lunch or dinner, while the woman works a late shift in the office.

Marriage and Shared Responsibilities

Running a household is not an easy job especially if both partners work. In most cases the task of achieving domestic discipline falls on the woman. The woman is in charge of the laundry, the cooking, the grocery shopping, kids’ activities and housecleaning, even when working a strenuous 8 hour shift at work. Men and women enter marriage with preconceived ideas of which duties they are meant to perform.

Many husbands cannot fathom the thought of changing diapers, vacuuming floors or preparing meals. Different cultures tend to have their own ideas as to the various roles of men and women in a family. This can be most perceptible in inter-cultural marriages.

Marriage, however, is a responsibility both parties entered into willingly. This means that men should share more of the household responsibilities instead of only concentrating on keeping a roof over their heads.
In instances where both husband and wife are employed, it is essential that an agreeable and healthy balance is reached between the two parties. Both partners must learn to compromise. Both parties should always consider the others workload, both at work and in the home. A mutually beneficial agreement should be reached in order to make life less stressful, even if it means that the man has to cook dinner several nights a week and puts the kids to bed while the woman works late.

Sharing responsibilities, especially cooking, is vital because it bonds a couple together and improves their respective culinary skills. This provides them with an opportunity to learn from each other. The old days of women being in charge of the kitchen is no more.

In current societies, men and women both bring in an income. For instance, women who are nurses work long hours, so the man must learn to make himself a dinner when he comes home. In case there are children in the house, the man will have to embrace his hidden culinary skills and learn to prepare meals while his wife is at work.

When dividing household chores consider each others unique abilities, gifts and talents. The man may be a good gardener or wonderful decorator. He may enjoy lawn maintenance. The woman may be a good cook, even though it does not necessarily mean that the man cannot lend a helping hand in the kitchen.

Every couple faces a different situation so the ideal solution is if the household responsibilities are divided in order to reduce as much conflict as possible.

The Impact of Men on their Children

It is a sad fact of life that even today some men have no time to spare for household duties or caring for their children. They believe that as long as they bring a paycheck every month, their duty is done. This only leads to unnecessary friction within the home. When men and women share household responsibilities, it creates a positive impact on the child.

It is vital that modern day parents teach their young children the importance of cooperation. This helps them become shared partners within their families in the future.

Numerous studies have shown that, since the 1960s, distribution of labor in a home are ever changing. In the last two decades alone, men have increased their role within the home dramatically and, as a result, have begun taking a much deeper interest in household duties and their children.

Men of today are not completely focused on bringing home a paycheck. They enjoy reading to their kids, preparing breakfast, monitoring schoolwork and doing the laundry.

The role of the modern man is, much like women, that of a skilled multi-tasker. By actively participating in domestic chores the man can help foster domestic equilibrium and prevent unnecessary friction within the family. It also affords some excellent opportunities for personal growth, by learning new skills and trying new things.

Who knows, the man who lived on mother’s cooking and could barely manage to make beans and slightly burnt toast might end up discovering an unrealized, hidden talent and become the next big celebrity chef!

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Category: Modern Culture

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Blokeworks wants to provide the most relevant advice for helping the everyday, average male navigate his way through this crazy modern world. Its simple, we give you the best tips, tricks and information we can, to be a Modern Man.

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