Thursday, 15 April 2010
A mother's care is seen as primary and best
Widespread social attitudes about both work and care are still deeply gendered. The result is that fathers continue to be seen - by others and themselves - as secondary carers for their children. This is the predominant view that was expressed by fathers in my research. A mother's care was often seen as more essential to children - especially infants and young toddlers. Expressions of a mother's care as best were linked to issues of biological reproduction, cultural upbringing, and many fathers feelings of inadequacy as male carers. Despite huge changes in women's rights and gender equalities in the UK, society as a whole still needs to look more honestly at how we box both care and work into gendered roles.