Poll: Are Gender Roles in Marriage an Expectation?
Last month I had dinner with a single male friend (fellow Mormon / age 35). He spent much of our time together telling me of his troubles in “love” and reviewing the details of a recent break-up. After listing several reasons for the break-up and several faults of his former girlfriend, he leaned in to whisper the greatest offence of all: “ …. And, you know, she’s not the sort of girl that wanted to stay home and raise our children.”
What should I do in a moment such as this? Laugh? (Because it was so ridiculous) Weep? (Because I was horrified that he was serious) I did neither, but I did widen my eyes in mock surprise and exclaim, “No Way!”. Sadly, my sarcasm was lost on him.
I was surprised and horrified. Do single men (in 2012 in Washington DC) really have theses “hands down” expectations of gender roles in marriage? I have long assumed (and communicated to several of my boyfriends) that roles were to be discussed and decided upon depending on the individual strengths of each partners – and the logistics that surround the couple at the time of their marriage.
I expressed these thoughts to another single male friend – at yet another dinner. He didn’t seem surprised – and then turned the tables on me by saying: “Women are just as bad at gender role expectations. Many of them won’t even date a man that makes less money than she does. LDS women want to marry a confirmed provider – and then decide if she feels like continuing in her career or not.”
I was surprised again – and it has made me think about gender role expectation in LDS dating.
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