Women went to work outside the home to create a more equitable society. But the more equitable a society is the more clearly women want labor divided by gender. Where are we today?
In a study in 2022 women in a very selective college assumed that when they marry they will be responsible for the children and household chores. They expect their spouses to “help with chores”, but not have large responsibility.
But we still put girls through systems that assume men and women will have similar careers. We don’t tell girls they are most likely won’t want to work outside the home.
Our schools are built for a less equitable society than we have now. When men worked in factories and women had no money of their own, it made sense to educate girls so they could grow up and get money of their own. But we have an equitable society today where women have the right to half the family’s money no matter who earned it. Women have decision making power regardless of whether they work outside the home. We don’t have perfect equity, but it’s vastly different than we had when the schools were established, so it makes sense that the structure of our schooling is no longer helpful to women.
We need to start talking realistically to women about the real data. And real feelings women have about personal fulfillment in equitable societies. The way we talk with girls today is as invalidating as the way we talked with them in 1950: we disregard their hopes and dreams and what we know about what women have been telling us they want for the last 30 years.
Here are posts I’ve written that have the data. But I want to tell you: the data about what women want today is not what’s holding us back. It’s been there, consistently for decades. What’s holding us back is cognitive dissonance. We’re scared to tell girls they will probably grow up and take care of children and that’s a great choice for smart, educated people to make.