Unemployed men are one apron string away from becoming real housewives


Some lucky ladies already have this hunky jobless maid to themselves for FREE.

In a great piece for the New York Observer, fellow Columbia grad Alex Symonds (hi!) chronicles a trend she noticed among the male unemployed: jobless and aimless, they are turning into the reverse June Cleavers of 2010: buying groceries for their wives, taking care of their kids, and meticulously cleaning smudgy surfaces all over the house.

We’ve noticed this domesticated male epidemic already. And once or twice before. It’s not very new, but Symonds brings a deeper level of sophistication to the stats and notices that men are not only taking over all the housework, but also feeling a similar sense of ennui Betty Friedan chronicled among the ’50s women chained to their kitchens in The Feminine Mystique.

One common thread? What a waste their pricey schooling was: (Again something we’ve heard before, but a trend is a trend dammit).

Like the middle-class women who populated Friedan’s opus, this new mystified class expresses a dissatisfaction more existential than financial. Mr. Elrod has health insurance through his wife’s job. Mr. Biddle is getting by on savings and help from his parents. Mr. Barr can, well, afford to shop at Whole Foods.

But they keenly feel the unfulfilled promise of their expensive educations.

“Part of the frustration is this incredibly long build-up to nothing,” Brad said. “Like, ‘Why did I spend 22 years getting A’s and studying for the chance to eat canned chili?’ … I was in the airport watching people move bags from the curb to the curbside check-in, thinking, ‘At least they do something all day long, and I have $450,000 in education and fancy everything, and I’m sitting around all day and watching 2.5 movies a day?'”

Given all this recent resentment towards hefty college price tags, maybe universities should now throw in a clause in very fine print in all of their brochures: “This institution will not be held responsible for your hundreds of thousands of loans if you graduate unemployed. We repeat, our diploma will never guarantee you a job. In fact, maybe you should just quit now and enroll online elsewhere.”


11 thoughts on “Unemployed men are one apron string away from becoming real housewives

  1. thanks, lapetite! better start prepping your swiffering skills now if you want to land a hot career wife to pay for your whole foods groceries. 😉

  2. I thought this was equality and this is what we were working towards? We don’t need two wage earners in a family, the family unit should be one wage earner and one homemaker. Let’s drive down the costs of everything (it’s happening anyway) to be priced for single wage earning families.

    If we as a society want men to raise children now and women to work, or a mix of it just randomly, there should be no complaints from that. That was the whole idea behind women working, to get rid of gender roles. So we can’t just on one hand applaud women working and then on the other complain about men that are homemakers.

    • woah woah woah, vestaraog. no one’s complaining. don’t get me wrong: i would LOVE to land a nice homemaker for a husband. these women are lucky bitches!

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  6. This is what we were working towards? Whose “we”? I’m not aware of anyone working toward men raising children instead of women. Children should be raised by both parents. The idea behind women working was not to get rid of gender roles. It was to be independent and self sufficient. Which is equally essential for men. What you’re calling for is a reversal of gender roles, not their elimination. Which very few people are working towards, at least in this universe.

    Women are “lucky bitches” to have househusbands? Really? Are men lucky to have housewives? Why is it “lucky” to have a partner who has no income, is depressed, lonely, unfulfilled, lacking adult interaction, dependent, economically vulnerable, devoid of intellectual activity, and frustrated? If you think that is a “lucky” situation, then I hope you will similarly praise men who are married to homemakers, and similarly ignore the downside of their partners lives. In reality, most women married to househusbands, complain of how little actual housework is done by their spouses and having to come home to do it themselves after working all day. But if you think this is a “lucky” situation, then please write of how totally wrong the feminists were to oppose the breadwinner/homemaker relationship, because according to you it works so well.

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