The Thinking 

Male Breadwinners Refuse to Toe the Line

June 8, 2012


MEN who support their wives in traditional marriages represent a serious threat to the feminist revolution, say the authors of new Harvard-funded research, PJ Tatler reports.

The three authors of the article “Marriage Structure and Resistance to the Gender Revolution in the Workplace” write:

In this article, we examine a heretofore neglected pocket of resistance to the gender revolution in the workplace: married male employees who have stay-at-home wives. We develop and empirically test the theoretical argument suggesting that such organizational members, compared to male employees in modern marriages, are more likely to exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are harmful to women in the workplace. To assess this hypothesis, we conducted four studies with a total of 718 married, male participants. We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) find organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny, more frequently, qualified female employees opportunities for promotion. The consistent pattern of results found across multiple studies employing multiple methods and samples demonstrates the robustness of the findings.

They conclude:

Might it be the case that diversity training is less effective with men embedded in traditional marriages than those in modern ones. We suspect so.

To which anyone with an ounce of common sense can only respond: You betcha!

After all, imagine a man supporting a wife and children working alongside a woman who is frequently absent due to maternity leave and her “flexible” (read: shorter) hours. She might spend the first hour  at work exhausted from getting her children off to day care or school, and then she might be on the phone talking to babysitters. Due to sex discrimination laws, this woman may be promoted above the male drudge who never leaves his desk. She also may have the benefit of two salaries, including that of her husband. So the drudge not only works harder, he is much poorer. No wonder he has an attitude problem.

The authors suggest further research and raise the tantalizing possibility of outright manipulation:

No, organizations should not seek to manipulate people’s non-work lives; but we, as organizational scholars, should seek to understand better how the byproduct of those non-work lives can be accommodated in the workplace.

They don’t have to go to extremes. That job is already being handled quite well under feminist tyranny.


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