This week’s “Comment of the Week Award,” also known as the COWAbunga Award, goes to Attorney DC, whose understanding of collective action dilemmas cut to the heart of a debate about gender and the workplace:
I still disagree [that] it is the responsibility of the parents (husband and wife) to deal with a woman's problems in the workforce due to children, rather than the responsibility of employers. If a husband says, "OK, I will cut back on my hours to help out around the house and with the kids," his employer may fire him. If a husband says, "I will willingly work part time rather than full time," he will probably be denied that choice by his employer. If a husband says, "I will work nights so that one of us can be home with the baby," the employer may well say, "Too bad, not going to happen." If a husband says, "I will go into work early and come home early, to be there for the kids when the get home from school," the employer may well say, "No you won't." If a husband says, "I will swap places with you and stay home on bedrest, as you were ordered by the doctor, so that you can continue at your job for the rest of the pregnancy," obviously that is not a possible solution. A supportive husband is great, but from my take on the situation, a husband and wife together can only do so much. If businesses were willing to deviate just a bit from their current 9-5, 40 hour week, no breaks in service model, I think families across the country would all benefit.
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