The Pandemic and Male Privilege

Women in heterosexual relationships have long been writing (and complaining) about the emotional impact of male privilege and inequality on the home front for decades. It is well established that overall, women who are in the paid workforce, are not only still paid less, but also still doing more unpaid domestic labour. Many of them feel burnt out. It is a major issue I see in my couples therapy practice and one that continues to surprise many men, who do not understand how their privilege has worked or why their partners are so angry and tired.

American columnist Lyz Lenz says the situation has gotten worse during this pandemic. She writes from her research, “In the pandemic, this split is shattering American mothers. Among heterosexual couples where both partners work, women are now doing 70% more childcare. With mothers and fathers at home—both of them ostensibly working, if they’re employed, watching children, and supervising online school—women are doing on average 15 hours more work than men“. She writes that personally, it took her divorcing her husband, to find court ordered equality — an order her husband could no longer avoid or refuse.

This is not just a women’s problem. We need to consider how we are parenting our boys. And the men need to stop blaming the women for being a little grouchy and hear how they have been impacted. Fairness at home can be corrected. And more equality can go a long way to save a relationship. Are you struggling with these issues. Counseling and psychotherapy can help.