In this Article, I explore how the roles of women at home are related to their roles at work. By explaining the dynamics of household changes, this Article provides an additional understanding of the need for women's home and workplace equality. I argue that the power that women have gained from their role as a caretaker within the home is a double-edged sword: acting as the primary caretaker, while extremely rewarding, is simultaneously a “confining” position. Until both men and women see themselves as nurturers and workers, neither the workplace nor the family will undergo fundamental change.
This Article examines the historical derivation of the mother as the primary caretaker as well as the contemporary mechanisms that reinforce this role. I discuss the parameters, costs, and benefits of women's power within the home, and I argue that women must relinquish some of this power in order to ensure more participation from men. I conclude by suggesting family and workplace changes to facilitate this transition.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-95, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-95
Naomi Cahn, The Power of Caretaking, 12 YALE J.L. & FEMINISM 177 (2000).