Introducing the Panelists: Parenthood and Gender Roles
One aspect of the “Opt Out/Pushed Out” question that often gets overlooked is the “life” half of the (quickly becoming clichéd) phrase “work-life balance.” Yet what it happening at home is inextricably linked to what is happening at work. It is simply impossible to address the larger issues women (and men) face in the workplace without addressing their experiences at home.
And so, I am excited to introduce what will be our third panel, “Parenthood and Gender Roles.” The panel will examine how popular myths and ideals of parenthood are contributing to the “opt out” problem, how family and care responsibilities play out at home, and how we can examine and address these issues.
We have four terrific panelists who bring extensive knowledge, research, and experience to this topic.
Marc and Amy Vachon were featured in a New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story that came out in June, “When Mom and Dad Share It All.” They are the founders of EquallySharedParenting.com and have been featured in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Today Show, Fitness Magazine, and the Huffington Post. Marc and Amy are currently writing a book about the benefits, challenges and practicalities of creating an egalitarian family life for Perigee/Penguin to be published in 2010.
Francine Deutsch is a Professor of Psychology and Sociology at Mount Holyoke College and the author of Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works.
She has explored the division of domestic labor in the modern American family and has researched and written extensively on gender equity at home and in the labor market and its effects on women’s well-being in a global economy.
Kathleen Gerson is a Professor of Sociology at N.Y.U. and has published widely in the areas of gender, work, and family issues. Her books include Hard Choices: How Women Decide About Work, Career, and Motherhood; No Man’s Land: Men’s Changing Commitments to Family and Work; and The Time Divide: Family, Work, and Gender Inequality (with Jerry A. Jacobs). Her new book, Blurring Boundaries: How the Children of the Gender Revolution Are Remaking Work, Family, and American Life (forthcoming in Fall 2009), examines young women’s and men’s responses to growing up in an era of changing families and gender transformations.
If you are interested in further reading on this topic, I suggest taking a look at some of the following thought-provoking articles:
While we would love for men to participate in the conference as a whole, I strongly encourage men to attend this panel in particular and women planning on attending the conference to pass information about this panel along to their male partners, friends, and peers.
Please feel free to post questions or issues you would like our panelists to address in the comments section. Some to get us started:
- How are domestic responsibilities usually divided in an average dual-working parent family?
- What does a day in the life of an “equal parent” look like?
- Can Equally Shared Parenting really work? Is it realistic where one or both partners are lawyers? What kind of lawyers?
- What are the most important and overlooked care-taking issues people should discuss before having children?
We’re looking forward to what should be an interesting and provocative discussion.
Yale Law Women Conference Co-Chair
Yale Law School Class of 2009