Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mad Men

My wife and I have been working our way through Mad Men on Netflix. It has taken a while as all the stars must align. Kids go to sleep at a decent hour. Two parents, neither so tired they fall asleep trying to get the 5 year old to sleep. It is a mini-miracle that we ever watch it.

I'm sure you have heard of the show if you haven't seen it. It is set in the 1960s ad agency. One of the interesting things to see in the show is the division of labor among the sexes. The men work in various executive jobs around the agency and the women are the secretaries.

One character, Peggy Olson, begins as a secretary and works her way into being one of the copywriters.

Today women make up half of the workforce and it is not uncommon for women to be in various positions up and down the corporate ladder. And while we have yet to reach full equality, women still make 77% of what men in the same job make, we certainly have seen advances in women in the workplace.

But these advances in women's roles in the workplace didn't just quietly happen. It took movements. It took organizations by women for women to fight for those rights and those opportunities. Women, together in numbers, standing up and fighting for equal opportunity and recognition.

And so today we have a mirror movement. Not in the workforce, but in the homeforce. Dads are becoming more involved in taking care of their kids and their homes. They seek work/home balance and some have voluntarily left the workforce to take care of their kids and their home full-time.

And like women did, we now have to battle on multiple fronts. Assaults come from all directions. Religious organizations that think this doesn't fit into God's plan, people in society that think men cannot and should not be in that role, and the government.

While we continue to battle on all fronts, right now we are focussing specifically on the government. There are a lot of articles to explain what the Census report means. Why it is important for the Census not to be sexist in their assumptions of chid care.

And if you agree, which I am sure you do because you are not some neanderthal that thinks "men work, woman stay home" is some genetic code instilled for eternity either through natural selection or an all knowing, all loving God that will otherwise send you to hell.

No, you know that these particular roles that have been assigned to men and women are cultural, and cultures change. They advance. And here is what you can do about.

You can go and sign the petition to get the Census to change they way they count child care.

You can go like the Dad's Don't Babysit facebook page, because you believe that to be true.

You can spread the word about the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

You can share our rallying cry,