Readers may be interested in this upcoming event, to be held at Stony Brook University (main campus):
March 31, 2pm in the Social & Behavioral Sciences Building, room N-405
Henpecked Husbands and Power Women? Negotiating masculinity and status-power relations within heterosexual dual-earner and career couples
Anna Sophie Bach, Department of Sociology at University of Copenhagen, Visiting Scholar at Stony Brook University
Women’s entrance into the labor force has been claimed to have caused one of the biggest changes of ‘the family’ in history. Even though women have always worked, their changed relation to paid labor as well as increased levels of education has provided women with a new kind of autonomy and power within the family. This paper discusses men’s experience of being the partner of a powerful and high-achieving woman. Inspired by the conceptual work of sociologist Theodore Kemper, I examine how the relationship between power and masculine status is negotiated in qualitative interviews with Danish men who are partnering women with career jobs. My analysis shows how the loss of male breadwinner authority can be positively reconstituted within a Scandinavian gender equality discourse. Further by introducing a concept of the heteronormative power of attraction, the paper argues that the loss of ‘traditional’ masculine power can be renegotiated as masculine status trough being attractive in the eyes of a successful woman. Concluding, the results are put into perspective in relation to the ongoing discussion of men and masculinity in crisis, that is taking place in both academia and media in Europe as well as South East Asia and the US.