Let (and make) men chip in

I firmly agree with this article by Peter Chin:

How strange that although males also fulfill the role of professionals and parents as women do, there is almost no debate as to whether they are able to balance these two roles adequately. As the father of four children and a pastor, I have given the issue considerable thought, and believe there is only one real explanation:

It’s that no one expects men to be as involved in parenting as women.

I remember going to an academic conference, and one conversation drifted to a lament about how cademic institutions just don’t support women who want both to have families and to be in academics. One professor lamented, “How are women supposed to teach, run a research program, do all the extra work associated with professorship, and still go home to clean the house, cook, and take care of the kids?” I asked, “Why isn’t the spouse doing some of that?” She and many of the onlookers (mostly women) commented that they’d never thought of that before.

I think this stereotypical separation of gender roles hurts both men and women, since both are forced to choose between a family and a career, and incentivizing it with the way jobs are structured is even worse. Since women are in general are given much better (at least relative to men) maternity benefits, it de facto pushes men to choose the career and women the family role. One new dad I know got 12 days of paternity leave, while his wife got 5 months. How else are gender roles to be apportioned under that circumstance, if the family is trying to make the best of things?