Could the Man of My Dreams Be a Wife?

The man of my dreams likes homemaking

Well, I just finished reading a fascinating article in The Atlantic magazine called “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin. This is a very long article and parts of it may not interest some readers, but I found the statistics and projections for women’s roles in our culture fascinating.

I believe the new place of women in society is having a profound impact on today’s partnering roles and relationship issues.

According to Rosin, “For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women?” The article reports on the unprecedented role reversal now under way—and its vast cultural consequences. See the full article here: The End of Men
It’s tough to do justice to this article with these brief highlights that are relevant to my topic, but I’ll do my best. The most stunning assertion is that for the first time in human history, man’s dominant role in our culture is changing “with shocking speed.”As of this year,for the first time in American history, women now hold a majority of the nation’s jobs and most management positions are held by women.

Women on the Rise

Rosin goes on to say that the work force is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the home and women making all the decisions. While women are delaying marriage to focus on their careers, single-person households are rapidly increasing. In addition, with the rising divorce rate, as well as and many single women adopting children, single-parent households are on the rise.
Rosin claims that demographically, we can see with absolute clarity that in the coming decades the middle class will be dominated by women. Women currently dominate today’s colleges and professional schools and receive B.A. degrees at a 3 to 2 ratio over men. A 2008 Columbia Business School / University of Maryland study revealed that firms with women in senior management positions performed better than firms with males in those top jobs. In stark contrast to a couple of decades ago, men are now more likely than women to hold only a high-school diploma.

A senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education commented, “One would think that if men were acting in a rational way, they would be getting the education they need to get along out there, but they are just failing to adapt.”
Rosin’s research revealed many highly educated women are concerned with the shrinking pool of men to date who don’t have a bachelor’s degree. Some women complained that the men they date or have relationships with tend to be indecisive or flounder in their commitment to a career path.

Also, some women have expectations that while they pursue their careers that require demanding schedules, when they do have children, their spouse may be at home “playing with the kiddies,” as quoted by one pre-med student. Rosin asserts that increasing numbers of women who are unable to find men with a similar income and education are forgoing marriage altogether.

There's a dream man for every woman

Goodbye to the Cleavers

Which brings me to this blog post title referring to the man of my dreams being a wife. I’m facetiously referring to the traditional married woman’s role that typically has included primary responsibility for childcare, meal preparation, many of the household chores and home décor. Rosin asks the great question “WHAT WOULD A SOCIETY in which women are on top look like?” She reports that this is the first time that Americans aged 30 to 44 have more college-educated women than college-educated men, and “the effects are upsetting the traditional Cleaver-family dynamics.” Today the typical working wife brings home 42.2 % of household income, and four in 10 mothers—many of whom are single—are the primary breadwinners in their families.

Personally, some of my girlfriends and I have often commented that we’re so busy with our careers that we need wives!

Because many of my readers are professional and career-focused single women, I thought this topic is very relevant in bringing to light the realities of partnering in the 21st century. I envision both women and men having to change perspectives about the nurturer and the provider roles, as well as becoming more tolerant and non-judgmental about customary masculine and feminine roles.

Do Love and Life Differently: It’s time to re-evaluate old partnering and relationship paradigms and redefine social rules that make more sense for our evolving culture.

What are your thoughts on how men have changed or will need to change in the future to make good partners for today’s modern woman? How will women need to change? Would you date a man with considerably less education than you have?

2 Responses to “Could the Man of My Dreams Be a Wife?”

  1. Mary Berghaus Says:
    December 27th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Hi Deb,
    As a 52 year old doctor, single (divorced 22 years)mother of one son, I can’t seem to find a man that fits my life pattern either.
    The younger men (28 to 35)that have married my nieces are adapted to caring for the children, shopping and doing whatever it takes to make the household work. My generation of men aren’t adapted to women working full time, with personal goals and happy with their lives. We are looking for companionship, someone that cares if we had a good day and what can they can do to make our lives better. We don’t want more responsibilities for their care, like running their errands, fixing their meals, and being their mothers. We want a partnership with both mates wanting what’s best for the other to achieve their goals. I’m happy to see the younger generation of men stepping up and sharing the parent/partnership role in every level. How can we get the men age 45 to 65 to understand that sharing of all duties and change their attitude that women are their to serve and nurture them. I have finally found my happiness and love myself. If a man does not compliment and raise that level of happiness and full fill that intimate need, I don’t waste time on the relationship.

  2. Deb Garraway Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 8:04 am

    This is a problem for a lot of 45+ men because they’re frame of reference is what they saw their mothers do. They need to be educated on 21st century romantic partnerships. Coupling today, especially for us Baby Boomer women, is about friendship, companionship, and personal growth individually and as a couple. I know there are men out there who are evolved and want the same thing. They just don’t know how to articulate it to women and what it looks like in practice. We women need to lead the way by expressing our clear desires for the relationship (not by asserting/demanding with an attitude)and we need to ask men the deeper questions about what they really want in a partnership. We also need to ask ourselves what do I bring to the table to enhance his life. I’ve talked about this more in this post:
    Thanks so much for your input! Deb

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