In this article, Professor Dowd sets out the asymmetric pattern of men’s caretaking as compared to women’s caretaking, and raises the issue of why greater equality has not been achieved in care as women’s participation in the workforce has increased. She argues that not only is this linked to the lack of institutional and structural supports for parenthood, which leads to gendered outcomes in who does care, but in addition, and perhaps most importantly, the barrier to care is cultural, linked to masculinities norms. Dowd sets out the barriers to care linked to masculinities and suggests a further analysis linked to vulnerability and its connection to caregiving. Changes in masculinities, therefore, are critical to changing the pattern of men’s caretaking, and she sets out ways that this might be accomplished.
Nancy E. Dowd, Fatherhood and Equality: Reconfiguring Masculinities, 45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1047 (2012), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/401