Working Women Essay

Working Women Essay

Length: 1035 words (3 double-spaced pages)

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For centuries women have been viewed as the caretakers of the family. However, as more women are either earning higher salaries than their spouses or taking on the role as the “breadwinner” of the household, that view gets a little more complicated. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family – this number greatly increased from the 11% in 1960. These mothers who are the primary financial supporters of the family are divided into two groups: 37% are married and have a higher salary than their husbands while 63% are single mothers (“Breadwinner Moms”).
Although our society is progressing with time, there are still some complications when it comes to women as the breadwinners of the family. While nowadays it is more common for a woman to earn a higher salary or raise children as a single mother, it is not completely socially acceptable to do so. At first women feel justified in their role as the financial supporter of the family (as they have a right to feel), but sometimes this slips into the shadow of a greater burden, sometimes referred to as the “second shift” (named by the sociologist Archie Hochschild). While it is a burden for the women who continue working around the house after they come home from their day jobs, society once again shames them into continuing the old housewife template. However, the women who have the familial support of their husbands also feel guilt for society tells them that they should be working the “second shift”. For instance, M. P. Dunleavey, a journalist for the New York Times, describes her own experience as the “breadwinner” of her family in an art...


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Pollack, Eileen. “Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.
Rosch, Amelia. “WISP Increases Female Participation in the Sciences.” The Dartmouth. The Dartmouth, 07 Nov. 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.
Rupp, Leila J. “Eleanor Flexner’s “Century of Struggle”: Women’s History and the Women’s Movement.” NWSA Journal 4.2 (1992): 157-69. JSTOR. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.
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