Here is the article that won. It was published in the February 2016 edition of The Chronicle.
Some mothers are bringing home the bacon, while fathers are staying home to cook it.
Fifty years ago, the terms “stay-at-home dad” and “female breadwinner” were unheard of. Advanced Placement Psychology teacher Paul Reedy said gender roles are society’s expectations of how males and females should behave, dress, and even think. Reedy said that our nation is becoming more accepting of fluidity in them.
“As someone who grew up in the 1970s, I have been able to witness a transformation in this country about gender roles and the expectations,” Reedy said. “It was a slow evolution, but you have to acknowledge the fact that women are actually outnumbering men in number of college degrees at this point.”
The Washington Post proved this statistic mentioned by Reedy; in the 2009-2010 academic year, women earned 57.4 percent of all bachelor’s degrees.
Sophomore Anna Estes intends to have a math or science career when she is older. Estes said she is proud of the fact that in modern society, women aren’t forced to be monetarily dependent on men.
“I have been raised to to follow my dreams and one of those include finding a career I love,” Estes said. “It’s really cool that we don’t have to grow up in a society where women have to be financially reliant on men.”
This is due to the fact, Estes said, that women are being encouraged more to do well in school and have higher aspirations.
“It’s great we are encouraging everyone, not just one gender, to strive for goals in their career,” Estes said. “Men and women are both realizing that they can do whatever they want to achieve their dreams; whether it’s staying at home or finding a career that they love and that provides money for their family.”
Junior Jared Gworek has his heart set on being a stay-at-home father. Gworek said he came to this conclusion when he realized he enjoys interacting with children.
“My extended family has a lot of young children and it’s really fun hanging out with them at family parties,” Gworek said. “Forming a deeper and more personal connection with my future children appeals to me. I would also like to go on wild dad adventures with other stay-at-home dads.”
Junior Danny Mackzum said he wouldn’t mind if his wife was the breadwinner of the family.
“Honestly, it wouldn’t really bother me because if she had a nice job that made a lot of money, then why would it?” Mackzum said. “I don’t understand why most men feel like they have to be the support system for the family.”
Sophomore Thomas Marriner’s father, Mathew Marriner, is a stay-at-home dad. Mathew said that for the most part, he’s accepted for deciding to stay at home.
“I have seen a few reactions from people along the line, but generally 99 percent of people these days accept that I am a stay-at-home dad or at least think it’s a normal type of thing.” Marriner said. “I can remember when I first told my father I was going to stay at home with Thomas he said, ‘Really? Are you sure you want to do that?’ I think that is just the generational difference. He wasn’t trying to be insulting, he just didn’t quite understand. His job is a huge part of his identity. I’m a big kid though, so I enjoy being around children. It works for me.”
Marriner said that acceptance of differences is the key to progression for society.
“I think that we are well on our way to expanding gender roles and accepting other people for who they are,” Marriner said. “Whatever role you carve out, as long as it’s a productive one in society and you are a good person, then you’re able to live a happy life.”