If you think the living gets tough for corporate business women, wait until you hear about all the tough times going down for their other halves in today's cruel world, by way of the decidedly contrarian new treatise "Why Men Still Can't Have It All" in the new issue of Esquire. Adding the "entirely lost" male voice to the work-life balance debate, Esquire's Richard Dorment not only tells of his own hardships as he and his lawyer wife navigate the working world as parents — he hears from an actually lost but still irrelevant voice, that of the man married to the face of the debate itself: Dave Goldberg, a.k.a Sheryl Sandberg's spouse.
Sandberg may have brought about peak Lean In with a backlash-inducing bestseller all about how women like her might somehow "have it all," but Goldberg is a working parent, too, of course. And lest you think women are the only ones making sacrifices for their careers (or, conversely, sacrificing their careers), well, Goldberg has some real talk for you: "My wife famously said she leaves her office at 5:30 so we can be home at 6:00 for dinner, and I do the same thing, though we're both back online doing work after the kids go to bed," Mr. Sandberg tells Dorment. And that's not all: Goldberg, in addition to his high powered job as the CEO of SurveyMonkey, shares the chores with Sandberg... via Google Doc, naturally.
But Goldberg, of course — and as Esquire's Dorment admits — is very much an outlier. Most men don't share the housework with their wives. That's not because they don't want to, apparently, so much as because because women think they're better at it. "The most compelling argument comes from writer Jessica Grose in The New Republic," writes Dorment, before quoting Grose: "Women are more driven to keep a clean house because they know they — before their male partners — will be judged for having a dirty one," she explains. Dorment also makes a similar argument about childcare, suggesting men shouldn't take paternity leave because women hog all the parenting work at the outset. "The first six weeks of a child's life are fairly uneventful for men," he writes, describing how women do the feeding, and napping, and poop-cleaning... while men feel "left out." Men would like to have it all — househole chores and baby-changing included — but, you see, women are shutting them out. If women are leaning in, it seems, men are still looking down. And that's just so unfair, isn't it?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.