TED Conversations

Theodore A. Hoppe


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So, what is the purpose of men in modern families?

There are several Op-Ed debate in the New York Times asking, or attempting to answer, this question.

"In almost half the American households with children, mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners. This victory for working women shows evolving family economics — or maybe, two very different types of families.

So what is the purpose of men in modern families? We’re approaching the holiday that celebrates dads, but do fathers bring anything unique to the table?"

Reference a TEDTalk that you have listen to on this topic if you can.


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    Jun 8 2013: I believe if we are ever going to have equal rights for men and women in the modern world, then traditional gender roles in the household must be completely abolished. What a man can do as a father and what a woman can do as a mother should be interchangeable between the two and they should be seen more as a team that is sharing the equal load of maintaining the household.

    What I meant by biology was things like breastfeeding which is clearly something that a man cannot do.
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      Jun 8 2013: Where do we not have equal rights?
      One of the ways that is often pointed to is in the area of equal pay for equal work.

      "Even feminist economists acknowledge that today’s pay disparities are almost entirely the result of women's different life choices—what they study in school, where they work, and how they balance home and career. This is not to deny that some employers will try to pay Jill 78 cents and Jack $1.00 for an identical job. But our strict laws give Jill the right to take that employer to court. The claim that American women as a group face systemic wage discrimination is groundless."

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      Jun 8 2013: Isn't equal rights more about people having and making real choices.
      If people choose a sort of traditional approach rather than be forced it is just fine by me.
      By that I mean they may choose for the women to be the primary care giver but the man would still change nappies and help out etc not a forced Victorian separation into man stuff and women stuff.
      I'm fine if they choose some other way too and all parties reasonably happy.

      I know some women who can't wait to get back to work after having a baby and others who are most happy being the primary caregiver.

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