The inequity of domestic life is one of the most profound and perplexing conundrums of our time. In an era of seemingly unprecedented feminist activism, enlightenment, and change, data show that one area of gender inequality stubbornly remains: the unequal amount of parental work that falls on women, no matter their class or professional status. All the Rageinvestigates the cause of this pervasive inequity to answer why, in households where both parents work full-time, mothers’ contributions—even those women who earn more than their partners—still outweigh fathers’ when it comes to raising children and maintaining a home.
How can this be? How, in a culture that has studied and lauded the benefits of fathers’ being active, present partners in child-rearing—benefits that extend far beyond the well-being of the kids themselves—can a commitment to fairness in marriage melt away upon the arrival of children?
Darcy Lockman drills deep to find answers, exploring how the feminist promise of true domestic partnership almost never, in fact, comes to pass. Starting with her own case-study as Ground Zero, she moves outward, chronicling the experiences of a diverse cross-section of women raising children with men; visiting new mothers’ groups and pioneering co-parenting specialists; and interviewing experts across academic fields, from gender studies professors and anthropologists to neuroscientists and primatologists. Lockman identifies three tenets that have upheld the cultural gender division of labor and peels back the reasons both men and women are culpable. Her findings are startling—and offer a catalyst for true change.