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Modern-Day Marriage: Would You Do It If You Had To Do It All?

Posted: 11/05/11 07:22 PM ET

I recently read a piece written by William J. Bennett, who was lamenting about men being in trouble. Apparently the increase of women of all races out-educating, and more commonly, out-earning men has left our male counterparts feeling some kinda way. While we're kicking arse and taking names, an increasing number of men have devolved into children who whine and play video games all day.

When the time comes, who in Hades would want to marry that?

It is true that women have made great strides in academia and in the workplace, but instead of rising to the occasion and competing head-to-head, why are some men falling back to let the woman carry home, work, and family?

Tanisha Moorley, 35, is married with four kids, but feels like she's raising a fifth: Her husband. In addition to working a full-time job, she puts in the second shift at home, doing the cooking, cleaning, and homework and sport activities for this children. She asks her husband for help, but he can't seem to manage wrangling the kids for doctor's appointments and other chores. All this extra work has left Tanisha mentally and physically exhausted, and wondering why the heck she got married in the first place. And to add insult to injury, her underemployed husband awakes her in the middle of the night for sex. "I feel like, oh my God, he takes everything and now he takes this too?"

So... why this imbalance of responsibilities? Is it that men feel unneeded in this new shift of gender power? Is this an unintended consequence of feminism? After all, the bargaining power of women is greatly improved--we have more education and more money than ever before in history, married or not. But with all that responsibility comes a lot more work... for us. And we're not happy about it, according to a 2009 study published in American Economic Journal. The great hope was that both men and women would climb the ladder to Utopia together, but like Bennett alluded, there's been more man-babies born in the U.S. right about the time we got our big-girl panties.

"How is it that our ascension has caused men to feel they can get away with not doing anything? Our having the right to be fully functioning adults should not take away masculinity. They are abdicating responsibly," says Janine Latus, best-selling author of If I Am Missing Or Dead, feminist, and domestic abuse advocate.

But some men feel like the blurry roles have left them feeling an inertia. "American was born in revolution, the men here have always been it's protectors. That resistance had to be broken down for us to be placed in the position that we are in now. There has been a direct psychological assault on men going on for decades now in America. Men ARE being feminized, and so many men just shut up and say nothing about it because it might rock the boat with the opposite sex," says "Lycan Thrope," a frequent commenter on my blog fan page.

I was born in the 1970s, so I observed the newfound empowerment of women, men who were disgruntled by it, then, apathetic to it. Remember that perfume commercial where the woman is shifting from work dress to sexy and alluring, all the while there's someone singing "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget that you're a man?" Let's examine the words of that song for a minute. It's basically saying that a woman can be bread winner, domestic goddess, and sexpot, perfectly every day, all day.

Man. That's sounds exhausting. And if the wife or partner does all that, what the heck does the guy do?