Article Title

The Power of Caretaking


Naomi Cahn


In this article, I explore how the role of women at home is related to their roles at work. Maternal identity affects women's willingness to change both the structure of caretaking and the structure of the workplace. The power that women have gained from their "mother-work" and housework within the home is a double-edged sword: acting as the primary caretaker, while an extremely rewarding role, is simultaneously a "confining" position. I argue that until both men and women see themselves as nurturers and workers, neither the workplace nor the family will undergo fundamental change. Encouraging men to see themselves as fathers and restructuring the workplace to accommodate the family are difficult issues that others have extensively explored; I focus instead on the need for women to give up some of the power and control that they currently exercise within the family.

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