It is the metamorphosis of Family. This quiet revolution is becoming less quiet and more pronounced and men and women in my generation are waking up to the fact that we want different things than the generation before and it isn’t as easy as realising as we believe it should be.
Take this word; Feminism. This isn’t just a word for females. This isn’t just something women are trying to build inertia on. This is a real-life urgent and important concept in order to move the frozen needle on equal rights for women, men and children. For families.
This past week I have had 2 separate conversations with professional men who have been marginally and not so marginally ostracized for prioritizing their families ahead of their careers. For one it was a temporary thing where his child was sick and he elected to stay home instead of his wife, which is usually what happens. And the second is of a man who chose to share parental leave with this wife; a move that was deemed ‘career limiting’ by one of his direct managers. I find these stories are getting more and more common.
For every woman who has chosen to take the charge in the professional arena, there is a man who if given the opportunity would choose to be the primary caregiver or even take a step back from their careers and focus on family. Sometimes, we don’t have extended family members we can count on to back us up when the children are too small to take care of themselves, so juggling between work and family becomes a game of ping-pong and the family has to figure it out themselves without being bullied into certain stereotypes.
It is a fundamental right to be able to choose. And when an institution, laws or a person, limits that choice, it makes us feel stuck, unappreciated and looking for alternatives.
It’s a shame. Countries, companies and bosses have so much more to gain in the form of higher productivity, loyalty and increase in profits, if they weren't so short-sighted.