The Coronavirus is displayed all over the news. What’s coming to light is how divided the workload is at home for parents. More mothers are staying at home than fathers. Patriarchy comes in many forms and is prevailing at this moment. The question of who gets to take care of the kids is a gendered question. Patriarchy leads to gender inequality and gender roles.
Now that many schools are closing due to the Coronavirus, it has left parents with many questions. They are attempting to figure out what to do, how to juggle all their normal duties plus learning new roles that are being assigned to them according to gender. Not many fathers have to face this dilemma, this doesn’t exclude all fathers, this just means more mothers are being dealt with a bad hand than the fathers.
Women are taking on numerous rules such as being the caretakers, work moms, and teachers for their kids during this pandemic. Even when the father is home, the workload is still isn’t being shared equally. One reason women take on more than one role at home is that women are known to be better at multitasking than men, which allows them to juggle responsibilities.
Being a teacher is a new territory for mothers during this time. They are having to devote less time to other responsibilities of their own in order to learn how to be a teacher to their children. It’s also known that the reason more mothers are becoming the teachers than the fathers is that they are more patient.
The biggest contributing factor to why mothers are having to stack more on their plate versus the father is because of the pay difference. In this day and age, jobs are still paying men more than women. So when parents have to sit down and decide who is able to stay home from or work from home, the decision is based on who earns more. The woman is more than likely to be the one to stay home because she is getting paid less.
When looking at single parents, this can be a challenging time. Most single parents are women because judges often feel as if kids are better off with the mother. About 80% of single-parent households are run by single mothers.
Women are taking on more of the emotional and domestic labor. Men and women treat caregiving differently. Women see it “having to” and men view it as “do it when they can.”
It’s no surprise that gender roles get assigned to families. It’s “normative” for the females in the house to assume the caretaker role, while the males assume the breadwinner roles. The thing is that even when women are the breadwinners of the house, patriarchy still runs through those homes because it’s usually the men who decide they want to stay home and enforce it. When the woman is the breadwinner instead of the man, it’s been noted that the more the woman earns, the less housework the man will do. So the woman will still come home from a long day at work and tend to her housework duties. The women become caretakers because women tend to be more attentive and submissive. They think ahead, in terms of what comes next, planning for emergencies and such, while the male of the house may only think at that moment.
The pandemic has increased the burden on women all over the world. They are supposed to take on more with little to no help. Many mothers know all this will have to fall on their shoulders. Women automatically assume this position because the men don’t stand up and take it. The men also just assume the women will be handling it, as per usual.
Patriarchy manifests itself in various ways. It demands people to conform to a set of gender rules. When children get sick or have to stay home from school, it really tests these limits and rules and shows how patriarchy still exists in families.