Call it a Mr. Mom backlash. For couples eschewing stereotypical division of household duties, sharing responsibility isn't about role reversal; it's about role sharing and thinking like teammates or co-pilots instead of gender-bending pioneers. The New York Times Magazine's cover story this coming Sunday (already available online) profiles several families where designated "mom" and "dad" duties don't exist, at least not as society generally defines them.
My boyfriend during my freshman year of Brown was a 6'5'' black guy from Philly who played power forward on the basketball team. One of the main reasons I was drawn to him was that I knew my parents wouldn’t approve. They are what you might call liberal conservatives: They’re NPR-listening, cultured, Democratic-voting Jews, but my mom doesn’t like women with visible bra straps, and my dad doesn’t feel comfortable around black men. It didn’t work out with the basketball player and by the time I graduated I was still single. I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn with some roommates, and at night I barhopped with a girlfriend who had guys falling left and right for her because she smoked and knew how to appear disinterested. I threw myself at every 120-pound drummer who gave me a second glance.